Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Bishop Richard Launches Pastoral Plan for the Diocese - Introductory Video

An Introduction to the Pastoral Plan for Arundel & Brighton Diocese by Bishop Richard Moth (with subtitles) from Diocese Arundel and Brighton on Vimeo.

Bishop Richard Moth Issues New Pastoral Plan for the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton

Bishop Richard Moth, in a meeting with Clergy and Diocesan Staff in the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton outlined the new Diocesan Pastoral Plan at a meeting with them on Tuesday 18th September in the Arundel Cathedral Centre. This will be followed over the coming weeks by presentations to every deanery (local area) of the Diocese in Surrey and Sussex.

Bishop Richard visited every area (deanery) of the Diocese in the autumn of 2017 to offer a vision for the diocese based on Prayer, Formation and Mission. Clergy and people then went away to think about this around a series of questions and then came back and feed their responses back to Bishop Richard during a series of meetings in early spring 2018. In the light of these responses Bishop Richard with assistance from others has prepared a Pastoral Plan which is now able present to the Diocese.

Bishop Richard will be accompanied by Claire Wordsworth who will chair all the meetings and Sarah Kilmartin, the Chief Operating Officer of the Diocese who will outline the financial considerations of the plan.

The Plan itself falls into two parts. The first part, which outlines the way forward for Prayer, Formation and the Mission of Evangelisation, is the key element of the Plan.  

Bishop Richard said: “It is the Mission that must drive everything that we do, and the central offices of the Diocese will, in new ways, support all that we do in the Diocese as we respond to Christ’s call to us.”

The second part of the document will outline, in broad terms at this stage, the future shape of deaneries and parishes. 

He continued: “With a smaller number of priests, it will be absolutely vital for everyone to listen carefully to the call the Lord give to us and respond wholeheartedly. Every one of us has a part to play in the Mission. We must all deepen our understanding of the Gospel, give more time to prayer and be ready to go out to others with the wonder of Christ’s message.” 

Bishop Richard concluded: “This is an exciting time for the Diocese. I will not pretend that there will be no challenges and the changes that will need to be made will not be easy. As the family of the Diocese, we cannot remain static. We must work together as we move into the years that lie ahead, focusing our minds and hearts on the work the Lord has given us to do. Many opportunities will open up before us as we grow deeper in our prayer and in our understanding of the gift of Faith.”

Note: The full plan will be made available on the website in December once Bishop Richard has visited all the deaneries and introduced it to them.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Bishop Richard Skydives for Lourdes Pilgrimage Fund

He Flies through the Air with the Greatest of Ease - Bishop Richard Skydives for Lourdes Pilgrimage Fund

Bishop Richard Moth and Lucy Barnes will both skydive from an aeroplane on this Friday 14th September. They are doing so on behalf of the Lourdes Pilglrimage Fund to send sick and needy pilgrims to Lourdes.

Please give generously in one of the following ways:
• By purple Gift Aid parish envelope, marked ‘+R skydive’
• By Lourdes pilgrimage envelope, available in your parish
• By going to the BT MyDonate website.

All funds go to the A&B Lourdes Pilgrimage.

All cheques made payable to A&B Lourdes Pilgrimage

Thursday, 30 August 2018

The network of charity giving hope and rebuilding lives in Kerala

Dealing with Kerala Floods
As media focus on the Kerala floods gradually fades, a charity in England and Wales is drawing attention to its continued efforts to rescue and restore lives in this latest climate catastrophe.

With 10,000 volunteers in England and Wales and 66,000 volunteers in India the St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP) is well placed to carry out its extensive aid efforts to help lives damaged by the floods. Together, volunteers in the two countries are busy raising and distributing funds to people affected by the flooding, using donations to purchase materials including food, clothing and livestock to help Indian people rebuild their lives. UK members are fundraising in their local communities, and sending the aid through the SVP’s network to groups on the ground in Kerala, where they can directly reach and help vulnerable people. In this way, lives that have been destroyed by loss of loved ones, homes and livelihoods are gradually being given hope.

Johnson Varghese, National President of the SVP in India said: “The SVP in India has been extremely busy working with local fisherman to help rescue people trapped in flooded homes. SVP volunteers are collecting and coordinating the distribution of aid materials, using resources available from British donations together with their own money to buy vital goods.

"We desperately need donations as the rescue effort goes on. As people move back to their damaged homes, we’ll be using funds to help rebuild their houses, purchase household utensils, school materials such as uniforms, books, and even livestock to replace lost farm animals.”

The floods – the worst in decades – have so far cost 400 lives and destroyed 20,000 homes, with 800,000 people displaced. The full extent of the damage and cost to life will only become clearer once the flooding has receded and people have returned to their homes so that the number missing can be identified.

The SVP, founded in 1833, now has 800,000 volunteers in 153 countries worldwide. .

To donate to the SVP’s Kerala flood appeal, go to www.svp.org.uk or telephone 020 7703 3030. Donations made to the appeal will be passed to the SVP in India without deductions of any kind.

You can also donate to CAFOD (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development) who are working with Caritas India at www.cafod.org.uk 

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Letter of His Holiness Pope Francis to the People of God

Pope Francis
Pope Francis has responded to new reports of clerical sexual abuse and the ecclesial cover-up of abuse. In an impassioned letter addressed to the whole People of God, he calls on the Church to be close to victims in solidarity, and to join in acts of prayer and fasting in penance for such "atrocities".

Letter of His Holiness Pope Francis to the People of God

"If one member suffers, all suffer together with it" (1 Cor 12:26). These words of Saint Paul forcefully echo in my heart as I acknowledge once more the suffering endured by many minors due to sexual abuse, the abuse of power and the abuse of conscience perpetrated by a significant number of clerics and consecrated persons. Crimes that inflict deep wounds of pain and powerlessness, primarily among the victims, but also in their family members and in the larger community of believers and nonbelievers alike. Looking back to the past, no effort to beg pardon and to seek to repair the harm done will ever be sufficient. Looking ahead to the future, no effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such situations from happening, but also to prevent the possibility of their being covered up and perpetuated. The pain of the victims and their families is also our pain, and so it is urgent that we once more reaffirm our commitment to ensure the protection of minors and of vulnerable adults.

1. If one member suffers…

In recent days, a report was made public which detailed the experiences of at least a thousand survivors, victims of sexual abuse, the abuse of power and of conscience at the hands of priests over a period of approximately seventy years. Even though it can be said that most of these cases belong to the past, nonetheless as time goes on we have come to know the pain of many of the victims. We have realized that these wounds never disappear and that they require us forcefully to condemn these atrocities and join forces in uprooting this culture of death; these wounds never go away. The heart-wrenching pain of these victims, which cries out to heaven, was long ignored, kept quiet or silenced. But their outcry was more powerful than all the measures meant to silence it, or sought even to resolve it by decisions that increased its gravity by falling into complicity. The Lord heard that cry and once again showed us on which side he stands. Mary's song is not mistaken and continues quietly to echo throughout history. For the Lord remembers the promise he made to our fathers: "he has scattered the proud in their conceit; he has cast down the mighty from their thrones and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty" (Lk 1:51-53). We feel shame when we realize that our style of life has denied, and continues to deny, the words we recite.

With shame and repentance, we acknowledge as an ecclesial community that we were not where we should have been, that we did not act in a timely manner, realizing the magnitude and the gravity of the damage done to so many lives. We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them. I make my own the words of the then Cardinal Ratzinger when, during the Way of the Cross composed for Good Friday 2005, he identified with the cry of pain of so many victims and exclaimed: "How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to [Christ]! How much pride, how much self-complacency! Christ's betrayal by his disciples, their unworthy reception of his body and blood, is certainly the greatest suffering endured by the Redeemer; it pierces his heart. We can only call to him from the depths of our hearts: Kyrie eleison - Lord, save us! (cf. Mt 8:25)" (Ninth Station).

2. … all suffer together with it

The extent and the gravity of all that has happened requires coming to grips with this reality in a comprehensive and communal way. While it is important and necessary on every journey of conversion to acknowledge the truth of what has happened, in itself this is not enough. Today we are challenged as the People of God to take on the pain of our brothers and sisters wounded in their flesh and in their spirit. If, in the past, the response was one of omission, today we want solidarity, in the deepest and most challenging sense, to become our way of forging present and future history. And this in an environment where conflicts, tensions and above all the victims of every type of abuse can encounter an outstretched hand to protect them and rescue them from their pain (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 228). Such solidarity demands that we in turn condemn whatever endangers the integrity of any person. A solidarity that summons us to fight all forms of corruption, especially spiritual corruption. The latter is "a comfortable and self-satisfied form of blindness. Everything then appears acceptable: deception, slander, egotism and other subtle forms of self-centeredness, for 'even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light' (2 Cor 11:14)" (Gaudete et Exsultate, 165). Saint Paul's exhortation to suffer with those who suffer is the best antidote against all our attempts to repeat the words of Cain: "Am I my brother's keeper?" (Gen 4:9).

I am conscious of the effort and work being carried out in various parts of the world to come up with the necessary means to ensure the safety and protection of the integrity of children and of vulnerable adults, as well as implementing zero tolerance and ways of making all those who perpetrate or cover up these crimes accountable. We have delayed in applying these actions and sanctions that are so necessary, yet I am confident that they will help to guarantee a greater culture of care in the present and future.

Together with those efforts, every one of the baptized should feel involved in the ecclesial and social change that we so greatly need. This change calls for a personal and communal conversion that makes us see things as the Lord does. For as Saint John Paul II liked to say: "If we have truly started out anew from the contemplation of Christ, we must learn to see him especially in the faces of those with whom he wished to be identified" (Novo Millennio Ineunte, 49). To see things as the Lord does, to be where the Lord wants us to be, to experience a conversion of heart in his presence. To do so, prayer and penance will help. I invite the entire holy faithful People of God to a penitential exercise of prayer and fasting, following the Lord's command.[1] This can awaken our conscience and arouse our solidarity and commitment to a culture of care that says "never again" to every form of abuse.

It is impossible to think of a conversion of our activity as a Church that does not include the active participation of all the members of God's People. Indeed, whenever we have tried to replace, or silence, or ignore, or reduce the People of God to small elites, we end up creating communities, projects, theological approaches, spiritualities and structures without roots, without memory, without faces, without bodies and ultimately, without lives.[2] This is clearly seen in a peculiar way of understanding the Church's authority, one common in many communities where sexual abuse and the abuse of power and conscience have occurred. Such is the case with clericalism, an approach that "not only nullifies the character of Christians, but also tends to diminish and undervalue the baptismal grace that the Holy Spirit has placed in the heart of our people".[3] Clericalism, whether fostered by priests themselves or by lay persons, leads to an excision in the ecclesial body that supports and helps to perpetuate many of the evils that we are condemning today. To say "no" to abuse is to say an emphatic "no" to all forms of clericalism.

It is always helpful to remember that "in salvation history, the Lord saved one people. We are never completely ourselves unless we belong to a people. That is why no one is saved alone, as an isolated individual. Rather, God draws us to himself, taking into account the complex fabric of interpersonal relationships present in the human community. God wanted to enter into the life and history of a people" (Gaudete et Exsultate, 6). Consequently, the only way that we have to respond to this evil that has darkened so many lives is to experience it as a task regarding all of us as the People of God. This awareness of being part of a people and a shared history will enable us to acknowledge our past sins and mistakes with a penitential openness that can allow us to be renewed from within. Without the active participation of all the Church's members, everything being done to uproot the culture of abuse in our communities will not be successful in generating the necessary dynamics for sound and realistic change. The penitential dimension of fasting and prayer will help us as God's People to come before the Lord and our wounded brothers and sisters as sinners imploring forgiveness and the grace of shame and conversion. In this way, we will come up with actions that can generate resources attuned to the Gospel. For "whenever we make the effort to return to the source and to recover the original freshness of the Gospel, new avenues arise, new paths of creativity open up, with different forms of expression, more eloquent signs and words with new meaning for today's world" (Evangelii Gaudium, 11).

It is essential that we, as a Church, be able to acknowledge and condemn, with sorrow and shame, the atrocities perpetrated by consecrated persons, clerics, and all those entrusted with the mission of watching over and caring for those most vulnerable. Let us beg forgiveness for our own sins and the sins of others. An awareness of sin helps us to acknowledge the errors, the crimes and the wounds caused in the past and allows us, in the present, to be more open and committed along a journey of renewed conversion.

Likewise, penance and prayer will help us to open our eyes and our hearts to other people's sufferings and to overcome the thirst for power and possessions that are so often the root of those evils. May fasting and prayer open our ears to the hushed pain felt by children, young people and the disabled. A fasting that can make us hunger and thirst for justice and impel us to walk in the truth, supporting all the judicial measures that may be necessary. A fasting that shakes us up and leads us to be committed in truth and charity with all men and women of good will, and with society in general, to combatting all forms of the abuse of power, sexual abuse and the abuse of conscience.

In this way, we can show clearly our calling to be "a sign and instrument of communion with God and of the unity of the entire human race" (Lumen Gentium, 1).

"If one member suffers, all suffer together with it", said Saint Paul. By an attitude of prayer and penance, we will become attuned as individuals and as a community to this exhortation, so that we may grow in the gift of compassion, in justice, prevention and reparation. Mary chose to stand at the foot of her Son's cross. She did so unhesitatingly, standing firmly by Jesus' side. In this way, she reveals the way she lived her entire life. When we experience the desolation caused by these ecclesial wounds, we will do well, with Mary, "to insist more upon prayer", seeking to grow all the more in love and fidelity to the Church (SAINT IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA, Spiritual Exercises, 319). She, the first of the disciples, teaches all of us as disciples how we are to halt before the sufferings of the innocent, without excuses or cowardice. To look to Mary is to discover the model of a true follower of Christ.

May the Holy Spirit grant us the grace of conversion and the interior anointing needed to express before these crimes of abuse our compunction and our resolve courageously to combat them.


Source: Vatican Media

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Communications & Media Day in Diocese of Arundel & Brighton

Communications & Media Day
There will be a Communications and Media Day on Saturday 6 October from 10am (coffee & registration from 9.30am)-1pm at the Christian Education Centre, 4 Southgate Drive, Crawley RH10 6RP. 

Interested in communicating the gospel and using all the tools of modern media? Want to learn more? Want to get involved in communications in your parish or the diocese?

The focus this year will be on further developing the A&B News to reflect the priorities of the diocese while providing content people value, and on promoting the uptake of A&B News in parishes.

The day will end at 1pm but you are welcome to bring a packed lunch to eat at the end of the conference. Drinks provided

To book your place click https://www.dabnet.org/onlinebooking.aspx?courseid=1375
For more information contact abnews@dabnet.org

Friday, 13 July 2018

Pastoral Letter from Bishop Richard Moth for 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2018

Bishop Richard Moth

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Today’s Readings provide us with wonderful insights into the mystery of God’s purpose for us.  I invite you, both today and in the months ahead, to join me in reflecting on the mystery of the Father’s love as we look to the future of our Diocese.

The Second Reading, the ‘hymn of praise’ from the beginning of St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, sums up for us the wonder of our very existence.  We are brought together in Christ, through whom we are forgiven of our sins and in whom we find freedom.  All that we are is for the greater glory of God.  There is a real excitement in St. Paul’s words as he celebrates the fact that we believe and accept the message of Salvation and, in the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, find the freedom that comes from Christ.[1]

This is a joy so deep that it can be difficult to put into words.  As the “message of Christ finds a home in us”[2] we are enabled to find life in its truest sense – a life built on Christ and lived entirely in Him.  This life transforms us, our homes, our parishes and our places of work.   It is “life to the full”[3] – the destiny that Jesus tells us is ours and is the reason for His saving work.

This way of being is so wonderful – how could any of us turn away from it or reject its possibilities?  How could any of us wish not to share that life with others?  All of us must share in this Mission of bringing others to know Christ and the life He gives.

St. Paul’s sense of joy is to be lived out with purpose.  We see this purpose as Jesus sends out the twelve.  They travel light.  There is a real sense of movement in the words of today’s Gospel and we are caught up in the journey. We too, as individuals, as families, as parishes, as Diocese, are sent out by the Lord Himself to do a work so vital for our world that we dare not shrink from it. 

Yet, like Amos in today’s first reading, we may well not feel ready.  God’s choice of Amos was a surprise to him and to the people, for he was not from a family of prophets.  God called him to a new task in new places.  Amos could not refuse and God provides the words that he would say.

So it is with us. The call of Jesus in His Gospel is for every one of us.  His Real Presence in the Eucharist calls us to Him, to receive His Life, to adore Him and to share His life with others.  We “come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled Himself to share in our humanity.”[4]   The Sacraments and our lives of prayer enable us to become more and more like Him.  The relationship is real.  It is lived.

Just as Jesus spent time with His disciples, teaching them and forming them, so He calls us to be taught and formed by Him.  In this way, we become His people.  Then, with real purpose we become effective witnesses. 

In recent months, in parishes and deaneries, we have been considering the future life of the Diocese and this Mission to which we are called.  In the Autumn, the Pastoral Plan for the Diocese will be presented in each Deanery.  This is an important moment in the life of us all.  Pray for our Diocese, that this work may be truly blessed.

I ask you today to reflect on the Scriptures that we have heard proclaimed for us.  The sense of joy and wonder; the way in which God works in us, despite our frailties; the sense of real purpose in the lives of the disciples. Pray that this message will find a home in each one of us and in the whole family of our Diocese, that we truly be the people the Lord calls us to be: His disciples[5], His friends[6], His witnesses[7].

With every Blessing,

Yours sincerely in Christ,


Bishop of Arundel & Brighton

[1]     cf. Eph. 1:3-14.
[2]     Col. 3:16.
[3]     Jn. 10:10.
[4]     From the Offertory of the Mass, Roman Missal.
[5]     Jn. 8:31.
[6]     Jn. 15:14.
[7]     Acts 1:8.