Here we enter a new stage of Advent: having spent so much time on the Second Coming, now we look back, to remember the details of the Lord’s First Coming. We turn our focus to Mary, and hear of the angel Gabriel inviting her to take her part in the mystery of the Incarnation, the revelation of the mystery kept secret for endless ages. This mystery springs from the House of David, and so we lead into the Gospel by hearing in the first reading how David is to establish that house: He wishes to build a ‘house for the Lord’; through the prophet he is told it is not a bricks-and-mortar house that he will build, but the House which is his line. Eventually, in Mary (betrothed to Joseph) the House of David does itself become the house of the Lord, the womb wherein he has a dwelling place.
St Helen’s may be a local church in Caerphilly but did you know that we receive visitors to our website from all over the world? In fact, over the course of the last year we have received visitors from 56 countries, including Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Brazil and Brunei.
These are some of the countries with the most visitors.
And what are the people who visit our website looking at? Here are the top pages that they viewed over the last 365 days. It’s not surprising that the home page is top but notice that the Parish Newsletter generated 3,749 views and Mass and Services This Week 1340. The Community Hall and one of its activities, Parents and toddlers, are popular and directions to find us and contact us are also important. Of the Sacrament pages Baptism is top with 97 views, whilst the next spot is occupied by Becoming a Catholic – 3 views ahead of Marriage! If only we could get more people to come along to our Becoming a Catholic sessions!
And how are they finding us? Well, it looks like they are mainly finding us through the search engines – Google accounts for 5231 of those search engine queries. However, the number of people coming here from Facebook is also on the increase: 351 over the last year but 33% came in the last quarter and 20% in the last month.
And one final stat.. Our website has 78 pages (newsletter, sacraments, etc) and 278 blog articles.
We hope you found that useful and don’t forget to let people know about this website!
As the end of 2017 approaches we look back on an eventful year within the life of the Church and the State as a whole. One of the major events to take place was the General Election that resulted in another hung parliament.
During the 2017 election campaign the Conservative party made a promise to remove the 50% cap on Catholic admissions to Free Schools. The cap has hindered the opening of new schools in areas that need them. It now looks that the Government may be preparing to backtrack on its manifesto promise.
The Government is making a critical decision on whether to overturn the admissions cap which prevents some schools from allowing all Catholic pupils to attend. By her own admission, the Secretary of State has said the rule has been ineffective and adversely affects Catholic families. There will be no legislative debate as this is a decision purely for the Government itself. Whilst the Catholic Bishops’ Conference are lobbying the Government on the issue, the lobbying does not appear to making any inroads.
Are you a Catholic who wants to send your child to a Catholic school? Do you support the right of Catholic parents/guardians to choose a Catholic education for their child or children? Do you want to safeguard the future of Catholic education in England? If the answer’s yes to any of these questions, we urgently need your help.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales have set up a petition for ‘Safeguarding the future of Catholic Education’. To sign the petition click the button below and complete your details. When you have done this the next screen will show your letter to the Secretary of State for you to ‘sign’ and send.
Also please share the link to the petition as widely as possible, to as many Catholics as possible, let your voice be heard.