Sunday, July 24, 2016

Bishop Richard Moth Travels to Lourdes with 750 Pilgrims and Celebrates the Memory of Lady Sarah Clutton

Two Lourdes Helpers mark the spot for the benches in Lourdes in front of the Accueil 
©Diocese of Arundel & Brighton Lourdes Pilgrimage Trust

On Friday 29th July Bishop Richard Moth from the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton joins with 750 pilgrims from Sussex and Surrey as they make their way to the Shrine of Our Lady in Lourdes, Southern France. The theme of the pilgrimage this year is ‘Be Merciful Like the Father.’ The pilgrims both sick, disabled and able bodied go to Lourdes to encounter God not just in the Masses, prayers and other religious activities, but also in each other.

There will be a special event as part of the Arundel & Brighton Lourdes Diocesan pilgrimage as the Lourdes authorities have bestowed a singular honour on Lady Sarah Clutton RIP by agreeing that two benches will be erected in her memory and placed in front of the Accueil which welcomes sick and disabled pilgrims. After 37 years of service to the Arundel & Brighton Pilgrimage, this is a fitting tribute to Lady Sarah following her retirement from leadership of the pilgrimage and her subsequent death in 2015.

The idea of benches came from some of Lady Sarah's Arundel friends who have been regular pilgrims to Lourdes. A letter was sent to the Rector of Lourdes asking if we could erect a bench in her honour, and he came back with a positive response with one condition - it had to be two benches not one! The reason for this is that the Accueil is a symmetrical building with 2 wings and the positioning of the benches will reflect that (see picture).

This year on the 2016 Pilgrimage between 29th July to 4th August the benches will be blessed by Bishop Richard. He said: “This is a fitting tribute to someone who spent herself untiringly for the sick and disabled over many years, and who helped to shape the Arundel & Brighton Lourdes Pilgrimage into what it is today.”

You can see more photos of the event on the Lourdes website

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Bishop Richard Leads Pilgrimage for Year of Mercy to Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation

Crowned Statue of Our Lady with the Child Jesus in the church of Our Lady of Consolation & St Francis
Bishop Richard Moth led a Diocesan Holy Year Pilgrimage to the Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in West Grinstead, West Sussex on Sunday 17 July. Hundreds of parishioners from all over the diocese, a few from each parish because of the limitations of space, came by coach to join in the celebrations which began at 11am and end with Mass at 3pm. Some parish clergy who were busy in their own parishes in the morning were able to come later in the day for the Mass at 3pm.

In the Holy Year of Mercy the Shrine was chosen as one of the sites for a Holy Door in the Diocese and Bishop Richard expressed a wish that there be a pilgrimage to the Shrine as part of the Diocesan Holy Year celebrations. During the day there was Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Confessions and the Holy Rosary and the climax of the day which was Holy Mass.

The Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation was the first Catholic Shrine in honour of Our Lady to be established in England since before the Reformation. The site was also the location for a secret chapel used during times of persecution and was at one time a seminary in the early days of Catholic Emancipation. The Church remains today a popular pilgrimage centre welcoming people throughout the years not only in this Holy Year.

You can find out more about the Shrine on their website.

See photos of the day on Flickr…/aruneland…/albums/72157670514667581

Friday, July 15, 2016

Arundel & Brighton Seminarian Takes Next Step on Road to Priesthood

Tom Kent being instituted as Lector by Bishop Paul Hendricks at Wonersh
Congratulations to Tom Kent who recently received the ministry of Lector (Reader) from Bishop Paul Hendricks at St John's Seminary, Wonersh near Guildford. This is a further step on the road to Priesthood. 

In September Tom Kent and Deacon Roy Waters who are both studying at the seminary will be joined by Jack Lusted, Nicholas Harden and Stephen O’Brien. Tristan Cranfield who is a seminarian at the Venerable English College in Rome will be joined next September by Aloysius Atkinson. 

The St John Vianney group continues to meet with Vocations Director, Fr Terry Martin and there are about 10 men discerning what is it that the Lord may be asking of them.We pray for them all and for more vocations to the priesthood. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Congratulations to new Deacon in the Diocese

New Deacon Liam McIlvenney with Bishop Richard Moth
On Friday 1st July Bishop Richard ordained Liam McIlvenny to the Diaconate at St Edward the Confessor Church in Keymer, West Sussex. Deacon Liam joins the ranks of more than 50 Deacons in the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton working in parishes, chaplaincies and other ministries.

Liam is married to Caroline and has grown up children and continues to work for East Sussex County Council. The Bishop at the end of the Mass informed the parish as well as family and friends who had come for the ordination that Deacon Liam had been assigned by Bishop  Richard to minister in the parish of Keymer and Hustpierpoint. This was met with loud applause, especially in recognition of the work he had already done in supporting the parish during the absence of their parish priest Fr Tony Collins due to illness.

Finally the Bishop joined everybody in wishing Deacon Liam a long and fruitful ministry.

Friday, June 24, 2016

50 Years a Priest - Fr Liam Celebrates with Bishop Richard

L-R: Bishop Richard, Deacon Gary and Fr Liam O'Connor
The parishioners of English Martyrs Church in Goring by Sea recently celebrated the Golden Anniversary of the Ordination of their parish priest, Father Liam O'Connor. Father Liam was ordained at St John's College, Waterford, Eire on 12 June 1966. Although expecting to be appointed to parishes in the Southwark Diocese, Father Liam very quickly found himself attached to the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton which had been newly formed the year before, 1965. He was appointed to the parish of St. Barnabas, East Molesey in Surrey, where he served until 1970.

Over the following 36 years, Father Liam found himself for various periods at five different parishes, until, in 2006, he was sent to English Martyrs. During his ten years here, Father Liam has become a well loved priest, dedicated to the spiritual wellbeing of the parish family of God. In this Father Liam has lived out his promise of fifty years ago to commit himself as an instrument of Jesus Christ; to serve through sharing in the sacred ministry of Christ himself.

To mark this significant milestone, the celebrations started with a special Mass at 3.00 pm, concelebrated by Father Liam, Bishop Richard Moth and other priests of the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton. On this occasion the church was full as the parishioners came together, with Father Liam's family and friends from the parishes where he had previously served over the fifty years, as well as clergy from other churches in Goring. After the Mass, presentation was made to Father Liam to mark the occasion. This included a substantial cheque, a specially prepared anniversary candle and a Book of Memories, into which parishioners and friends had recorded their tributes and congratulations to Father Liam. After this, the celebrations continued with a buffet reception for all supported by the performers, Shenanigan, who provided music and song.

These took place in the grade 2 listed Barn, which had served as the first church until 1970, when the present church was brought into use. The church is well known as the home of the reproduction of the Sistine Chapel Ceiling, painted over twenty years ago by Gary Bevans, who, as Deacon Gary, was present at the Mass and celebrations afterwards.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Pope Speaks to Deacons 50 Years on from Foundation of International Diaconate Centre

Pope Francis greeting Deacon Mark Woods and his wife Jane
On Saturday 4 June the Holy Father received in audience in the Hall of Popes the members of the International Centre for the Diaconate, which at the end of last year celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of its foundation, and who were on a pilgrimage to Rome on the occasion of the Jubilee of Mercy. With the group was an English Deacon and his wife, Mark and Jane Woods from the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton. The weekend before the Pope had celebrated Mass for thousands of Deacons from around the world as part of the Jubilee of Mercy.

In his address to the deacons, Francis recalled the new commandment that Jesus entrusted to the apostles during the Last Supper – "just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another". "By loving each other, the disciples continue the mission for which the Son of God came into the world", the Pope explained. "And they understand, helped by the Holy Spirit, that this commandment implies service to their brothers and sisters."

However, in order to take care of people and their needs in a practical sense, the apostles chose a number of "deacons", or servants. "Deacons express in a particular way Jesus' commandment: imitate God in the service of others, imitate God Who is love and is driven even to serve us. God's way of acting, with patience, benevolence, compassion and willingness to better us, must also distinguish all the ministries: bishops as successors of the apostles, priests, their collaborators, and, in the concrete work of 'serving tables', deacons. Deacons are the face of the Church in everyday life, of a community that lives and journeys in the midst of the people, and where the great are not those who command, but rather those who serve."

Deacon Mark said he was inspired by both the pontiff's commitment to the diaconate and the attention he paid to others. “I was most impressed how closely the pope listened to both the addresses from the Bishop Protector, Rt Rev Gebhard F├╝rst and the President, Deacon Klaus Kiessling of the International Diaconate Centre. He also blessed my wife, Jane, and I personally and a Bible I had with me from a friend.”

“Pope Francis showed his commitment to the diaconate around the world in meeting with us and in encouraging us to be servants acting in love,” he added.

The International Diaconate Centre was formed in 1965 in the wake of Vatican II to encourage and support the development of the diaconate worldwide. Since that time there are now deacons in more than 50 per cent of dioceses in the world. In England and Wales the last diocese without deacons, Salford, has announced it is hoping to begin deacon formation in the coming years. The Diocese of Arundel & Brighton has had deacons for over 40 years.

You can see additional photos of the audience on the Vatican photo website ( for 4 June).

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Joannie Following in the Footsteps of Julie - World Youth Day Communications

Joannie with ITV's Julie Etchingham
Joannie, a World Youth Day pilgrim from Arundel & Brighton Diocese who is going to Krakow in July for World Youth Day with Pope Francis is following in the footsteps of ITV presenter Julie Etchingham.

Joannie will be a World Youth Day communications officer during her time in Krakow helping to spread the good news via all media from Facebook to news releases about the meeting with the Pope and other young pilgrims. Julie Etchingham herself did the same role some 25 years earlier at an previous World Youth Day in Poland with Pope St John Paul II.

This will be a wonderful opportunity for Joannie not only to do the same as Julie, but to let the world know about the faith and commitment of millions of young Catholics from around the world.

For more on World Youth Day see their website.