Masses, etc. Monday 31st May to Sunday 6th June inclusive.

A reminder that from Monday 31st May bookings will no longer be taken for Masses, and that parishioners should simply come along. Places will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis, it is therefore advisable that parishioners come along as early as possible (the church doors being open usually 30 minutes before Mass begins).

Tuesday 1st June – Holy Mass at 7.00p.m. (with Confession available from 6.30p.m.) – St. James’

Wednesday 2nd June – Holy Mass at 10.00a.m. (Confession available after Mass) – St. James’

Thursday 3rd June – Holy Mass at 10.00a.m. (Confession available after Mass) – St. James’

Friday 4th June – Holy Mass at 10.00a.m. (Confession available after Mass) – St. James’

Saturday 5th June – Holy Mass at 3.00p.m. (Confession available after Mass) – St. Matthew’s

Saturday 5th June – Holy Mass at 5.00p.m. – St. James’


Sunday 6th June – Holy Mass at 9.00a.m. – St. James’

Sunday 6th – Holy Mass at 11.00a.m. – St. James’ (this tends to be the most popular Mass, therefore early arrival is strongly recommended)

Sunday 6th June – Holy Mass at 1.00p.m. – St. James’ (Confessions available after Mass)

As stated above, bookings will now not be required for any of these Masses.

A Pastoral Letter… Mass Bookings, Finances, Diocesan Structures, etc.

A Pastoral Letter to the Parishioners of St. James’ & St. Matthew’s

My dear parishioners, I hope that you and your loved ones are keeping well. In this letter I wish to bring to your attention a few practical matters concerning St. James’ in Kinross and St. Matthew’s in Auchtermuchty, and also to share with you some recent developments on a diocesan level.

You will know that I have just returned from my pilgrimage/retreat at Our Lady’s Shrine in Walsingham where I was blessed to have some time and space for prayer and reflection, and where you were all remembered.

Our focus as a parish is always the Gospel and our striving to be faithful to Almighty God. Our faith is incarnational, as Jesus Christ came in the flesh, and therefore we cannot avoid the practical and material implications of living and working and evangelising in the world, whilst always keeping before our eyes the ultimate goal of Heaven, and of always seeking intimacy with the Lord. I ask you to prayerfully consider what I now bring before you as practical issues for the parish and the diocese, and to pray that always we will do what is best to help us be to true and faithful to the Lord and the commission He has giving us of bringing the Good News to our brothers and sisters.

Mass Bookings:

I appreciate we all have a desire to return to normality in life after the restrictions that have been placed on us, and this is no less true in regard to the manner in which we worship God. As another little step forward I hope, very soon, to drop altogether the booking arrangements for attending Holy Mass. Effectively this will mean that as of Monday 31st May no bookings for Mass will be required, including weekends and weekdays. So that from Monday 31st May it will simply be a question of first-come, first-served at all Masses until our capacity is reached. Whilst this is a move forward I have been somewhat reluctant to do this as I know it may mean that some people may end up being turned away at the door once capacity has been reached. Such a thing is so against the grain for us as Catholics, but sadly, in these circumstances, it would, unfortunately, be necessary in order that we adhere to the restrictions the government has placed upon us. So in short: from Monday 31st May no Mass bookings will be made, but your track and trace details (name, contact details) will still be required at the church door.

In due course, and according to circumstances, I will also review other practices we have adopted during pandemic times and consider when we should, and if we are able, to return to a more normal manner of worship – considering such matters as when the distribution of Holy Communion takes place and whether we have readers at Holy Mass other than myself, etc.

Diocesan/Parish Finance:

Recently the Diocese has made us aware of its own financial struggles, to the point that the bishop has decided to make major changes regarding finances which have repercussions for us and all parishes. To clarify, the Diocese has always placed a levy on the parishes which for some time has stood at 15% of our income – this money is taken from the parish monthly to fund the working of diocesan structures and staff. Given the financial problems that the Diocese is facing we have been informed that our own levy (in St. James’ & St. Matthew’s) will rise by 11% to the new figure of 26% of our income. As you will appreciate, this is a significant raise to help support the Diocese with its struggling financial situation. To make this absolutely clear for our own circumstances whereas we have been paying over £600 per month to the Diocese from what comes into the parish, I have just been advised that for the remainder of this year (for which we have already paid £2,540.00) our monthly payments will be increased to £1,571.40 – the total being a levy from St. James’ and St. Matthew’s for this year of £15,111.20.

This is such a significant rise in what is being asked of us as a parish (and not exclusively of us, of course), that I feel bound for the sake of the parish’s future financial well-being to bring this to your attention and to appeal once again to your generosity, asking, humbly, that you might consider, if your means allow it, to increase your contributions where possible, so that we can try in some way to compensate for the greater demands that are now being made of us for the sake of supporting the Diocese. Notably the Diocese itself has had to make some members of staff redundant to also help alleviate the difficulties.

What is positive news is that our income over this past while of pandemic has dropped less than anticipated, and this is thanks to your commitment and generosity. The plain truth is that the parish depends entirely upon your contributions, we have no other source of income.

Diocesan Pastoral Structures & Parishes:

As the bishop has been looking at the overall situation in the Diocese quite naturally the structure of the Diocese in regard to pastoral provision has had to be considered, and so I would like to share with you some insights into what is being or is likely to be reviewed as we move ahead. This information is taken from a recent letter from his Lordship to the clergy of the Diocese, an excerpt of which I provide here below for your own information and consideration:

The Diocesan Trustees or, as they are now called, Diocesan Directors, have also been active

in setting up a preliminary Strategy Group to examine pastoral provision across the

Diocese, with a view to bringing their findings to parish, deanery and to the Priests’ Council

for consultation.   The key question here is to conduct an AUDIT examining the viability of

parishes, according to a number of criteria:

1. Number of practising parishioners.

2. Number of non-practising parishioners.

3. Overall Parish income.

4. The Condition of parish property*.

5. Distribution of priests.

6. Viability of any Mass centres which may be attached to parishes.

7. Changing demographics in parish, deanery, diocese

8. Particular pastoral challenges in individual parishes

9. Provision of priests in parishes, across a deanery

10. Demographics of priests; age profile, vocations, on-going care and formation.

One of the principal criteria will be to do with property assessments* which have already

begun in the Diocese, undertaken by D.M. Hall.  Already, two parishes have been identified

as being greatly at risk because of their physical state, the cost of refurbishment and whether

major repairs can be justified on the grounds of the number of those practising and further,

the ability of the parish to recover payment for repairs.   Obviously, this cannot be the only

criterion to be examined in the discussion of the future of a parish, as many other factors have

to be taken into account.  But the physical state of parish property and the economic state of a

parish can be an early indication that the continuity of a given parish community may be

called into question.   This is obviously a work in progress, and as a work in progress, the

results will go before the various consultative bodies for assessment and consultation, as and

when things become clearer.

In this month of May I ask you in a special way to invoke the guidance and assistance of Our Blessed Lady for the our dear bishop, for the Diocese and those who are charged with making decisions about our future, and, of course, for God’s blessings on our own small part of the Lord’s vineyard here in Auchtermuchty and Kinross. Please remember these intentions in your daily Rosary.

St. James’ and St. Matthew, pray for us! Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Martin Pletts, Parish Priest

Services, Mass Bookings, etc. from Monday 17th May to Sunday 23rd May inclusive… and then for Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th May…

Because I am on retreat/pilgrimage this coming week there are changes to the timetable, and also different instructions for making your bookings for the weekend of 29th/30th May – please read the instructions for booking that weekend carefully. Thank you.

Services this coming week for which you do not need to book a place:

Wednesday 19th & Thursday 20th May – Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, time for private prayer, then the Holy Rosary from 9.30a.m. – 10.30a.m.

Friday 21st May – Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with the Divine Mercy Chaplet from 3.00p.m. – 3.30p.m.

Masses for the 22nd and 23rd May for which you will need to make a booking (by calling me on 01577 863329):

Saturday 22nd May at 3.00p.m. in St. Matthew’s

Saturday 22nd May at 5.00p.m. in St. James’

Saturday 22nd May at 6.30p.m. in St. James’

Sunday 23rd May at 9.00a.m. in St. James’

Sunday 23rd May at 11.00a.m in St. James’

Sunday 23rd May at 1.00p.m. in St. James’

To book any of the Masses above you must call 01577 863329 only, at the following times: Friday 14th May between 7.00p.m. and 9.00p.m., and on Saturday 15th May between 7.45p.m. and 9.00p.m.


Please Note Carefully: Dr. Gary Law has kindly agreed to take bookings for the weekend of Saturday 29th May and Sunday 30th May, Masses will be at exactly the same times as those listed for Saturday and Sunday above. To book these Masses (for the 29th and 30th May only) you can call Gary from Wednesday 19th May, as well as on Thursday 20th and Friday 21st May between 12 noon and 1.00p.m. only, on: 01577 864661 or 07419990210 or email him on: As Gary is kindly doing us a favour I would ask you to stick strictly to these times and means for making the bookings. I will be unable to take any bookings at this time.


For the week of Monday 24th to Friday 28th May Masses during the week do not require a booking and will be at the following times: Monday 24th May at 7.00p.m., Tuesday 25th May at 7.00p.m., Wednesday 26th May at 7.00p.m., Thursday 27th May at 10.00a.m., and Friday 28th May at 10.00a.m.

I apologise for the complicated nature of this communication and hope that you manage to make your bookings easily. God bless you, Fr. Martin Pletts

Masses, etc. from Monday 10th May to Sunday 16th May, inclusive:

Bookings should not now be made for weekday Masses, but only for Saturday and Sunday Masses.

What follows is the schedule for 10th to 16th May, if you wish to book Masses for Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th May please call Fr. Martin on 01577 863329 only, and call at any of the following times: Thursday 6th from 11a.m. to 12 noon, Friday 7th from 11a.m. to 12 noon, and Saturday 8th from 7.45p.m. to 9.00p.m.


Monday 10th May – No Mass

Tuesday 11th May – No Mass

Wednesday 12th May – Holy Mass at 10.00a.m. followed by Confessions in St. James’, Holy Mass at 7.00p.m. in St. Matthew’s (Vigil Mass for the Ascension).

Thursday 13th May (Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord and normally a holyday of obligation) – Holy Mass at 12 noon in St. James’ and at 7.00p.m. in St. James’ (Mass at Kilgraston School at 9.00a.m. is for pupils and teachers only)

Friday 14th May – Holy Mass at 10.00a.m. in St. James’


Saturday 15th May – Holy Mass at 3.00p.m. in St. Matthew’s, at 5.00p.m. in St. James’, and at 6.30p.m. in St. James’

Sunday 16th May – Holy Mass at 9.00a.m. in St. James’, at 11.00a.m. in St. James’, at 1.00p.m. in St. James’, and at 5.00p.m. at Kilgraston School (for pupils and staff only).

Confessions will be heard on request at any time, apart from normally after Holy Mass during the week.