On 31 January, Bishop Nicholas celebrated Mass at Our Lady Help of Christians in Kentish Town to the bless the new gate and doors to the church.
Bishop Nicholas in his homily spoke about the significance of doors in the life of the parish. They are the doors through which parents bring their children for their baptism and 'it's the doorway through which parishioners are carried out after their funeral'.
He said that the 'church door reminds us, every time we pass through it, of this certainty: that we shall one day pass through the door from this life into eternal life', saying that this is a narrow door and that 'we need to use this life to make sure we can fit'.
During the homily, Bishop Nicholas also encouraged those present to visit one of the Holy Doors in the diocese explaining, 'Pope Francis wants us to believe that God waits to meet us at these Holy Doors like the Father waited for his prodigal Son. He waits to show us his mercy.'
He went on to explain that mercy 'isn’t so much a noun as a verb. That’s to say, it’s not just a thing; it’s an action; it’s something God does in us.'
He invited everyone to consider the call to be merciful by contemplating the corporal and spiritual works of mercy: 'Reflecting on any of these will focus our hearts. It will open our hearts to God’s mercy by making us ask what more we could be doing to help people.'
Referring to the diocesan Proclaim initiative, he encouraged parishioners to support their own parish evangelisation team: 'If the going is hard, as it may well be at times, then console yourselves with thinking about the long term, how it will be the ones whom we helped in this life who will be there to welcome each of us when we arrive at heaven’s door.'
After Mass, Bishop Nicholas joined Fr Tom and the parish for a celebratory meal.
The full text of Bishop Nicholas' homily can be read here.