Saint James



The Parish of

St. Peter,

Bushey Heath

September 2017

From the vicar

One of the more obvious Catholic privileges is the use of incense which, when managed effectively by a competent thurifer, enhances the liturgy, lifts the whole being heavenwards and allows the congregation a foretaste of worship with the angels.

The censer or thurible comes in many sizes, but has the same basic design and function. It consists of a bowl in which charcoal and incense are burnt and a perforated lid which allows the smoke to rise. The censer is suspended on three chains which allow the thurible to be carried. A fourth chain attached to the lid allows it to be raised for charging.

Before incense is used it is blessed by the priest, at the beginning of mass and again before each specific use. At the beginning of mass the cross and altar are incensed by the priest and then the priest himself is incensed by the thurifer using three double swings. A similar pattern is to be observed at the offertory after the nine-fold incensation of the elements.

Other persons and objects involved in the ritual are also incensed at mass. The first of these, after the initial censing of the altar takes place at the proclamation of the Gospel. Whilst still in the sanctuary, incense is added to the thurible after which it is blessed. At the reading of the Gospel the thurifer hands the censer to the priest (or deacon) who censed the Book of the Gospels with three double swings, the first to the centre, the second to the left and the third to the right.

The second is the incensation of the sacred ministers and congregation which is made at the offertory. After the oblations, altar and celebrant have been incensed, any other clergy present in choir are incensed using two double swings. The servers are then censed individually with one double swing. If there are three or more gathered together then they are incensed collectively with three double swings after the manner of the Book of the Gospels. The congregation is then incensed with three swings in the same manner.

The Blessed Sacrament is incensed during mass by the thurifer who, having put on incense (without blessing) during the Sanctus, kneels at the epistle side facing the celebrant or, if space does not allow, before the altar. The incensations are then made with three double swings usually when the celebrant genuflects, elevates and then genuflects again (as with the sanctus bell). The thurifer then moves to the centre, genuflects and retires.

When a procession takes place as part of the liturgy incense may be carried and side altars incensed along the route. Incensations may also be made at funerals and would be expected at the Easter Ceremonies, solemn Evensong or at benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

The incensing of the congregation as members of the order of the laity is particularly important to note. Those who gather for mass are not spectators at an event, but are participants in the celebration of the greatest feast known to man. They do so by virtue of the dignity of their baptism which marks them as belonging to the Lord. The incensing of the people should never be seen as an after-thought, but as an integral part of the rite. This may be more obvious at a high mass when the bishop is present along with his college of priests, deacons and the laity – all the orders gathered together in once place, but it is no less true Sunday by Sunday in the humble parish church. Here, every time mass is celebrated, priests and people gather in their own orders with their own specific roles united by baptism in the Lord Jesus whose saving death is remembered until he comes again.



Pray for the organisations supported by St. Peter’s especially those engaged in evangelism:

Church Army, Barnabas Fund and Mission Aviation Fellowship.

From the diary…

Wednesday 6th September, 10.00am    Mothers’ Union Corporate Communion

Wednesday 20th September, 8.00pm    Parochial Church Council meeting (Parish Hall)

Tuesday 26th September, 10.00am       Mass

Wednesday 27th September                  no service (SSC Synod)

for October…

Sunday 1st October

            8.00am            Said Communion (BCP)

            9.30am            Parish Mass (Modern Rite)

            Celebrant at both services: Father Milo Brandon, Chaplain at Haberdashers Aske’s School

From the registers –


12th August                  Alexander Abraam Varma 

St. Peter’s Quiz Night

and fish supper 

Saturday 23rd September at 7.00pm 

Only £12 per head. See the weekly pewsheet for full details.

Sign the sheet at the back of church to book either fish and chips or chicken and chips.

The Great Community Mural Competition

Congratulations to Enoka David whose drawing won the St. Peter’s competition and has been entered into the national final sponsored by Ecclesiastical Insurance. A copy of Enoka’s work, along with all the other entries can be seen at the back of church. Thank you very much to all who contributed by putting in so much hard work and sharing their inspiration with us.

Services in October

Fr. Andrew is expecting to have a replacement hip during October. This may necessitate some minor alterations to the usual programme of services. Please look out for the October newsletter which will contain full details for the month.

Charity Concert

in aid of


Children’s Home

on the Thailand-Burma Border

By pupils and friends of Janine and Rebecca Carnac 

Saturday 9th September, 7.00pm

Tickets £5

St. Peter’s Church, Bushey Heath

Refreshments will be available during the interval. Raffle.


Contact details:

Vicar: Fr. Andrew Burton SSC, a priest of the Society. (020 8950 1424). Usual day off Monday.

Churchwardens: Mr. Peter Mould (020 8428 8307); Mrs. Anne Swerling (020 8950 8923).


The vicar welcomes enquiries about Baptism, Marriage and Confirmation. The Sacrament for the Sick, the Churching of Women, the Blessing of Houses and Confession are available by appointment.


Text a prayer request to our Prayer Line on 07939 379018. Private prayer will be offered for 2 weeks.