Saturday, 30 July 2011

Four Deacons and a Priest for Arundel & Brighton

L-R Dcns Dave Turner, Neil Mercer, Bhp Kieran, and
Dcns Paul Gately, Simon Kirkdale
This summer Bishop Kieran has had the joy of ordaining four married men to the permanent diaconate as well as ordaining a deacon to the priesthood. The four men ordained permanent deacons come from all corners of the diocese, from Sussex to Surrey, from all walks of life, decorator to barrister, some with young children and some with children who have now left home. They are eargerly waiting to begin their diaconal ministries in the parishes of Haywards Heath, Rottingdean, Weybridge and Uckfield.

Bhp Kieran with David King after his Diaconate Ordination
in the Winter Snow at  St John's Seminary, Wonersh
The young deacon ordained a priest was David King from Ashtead parish who trained at Wonersh Seminary. Fr David will be going to Eastbourne in September to assist Fr Rags and Dcn Paul in the central Eastbourne parishes.

We wish them all well in their new ministries and years of faithful service to the Church and world.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Bishop Commissions Diocesan Pastoral Team Commissions

John McManus, Special Needs Adviser and member of
Social Action Commission lights a candle during the service
Bishop Kieran recently commissioned members of the Diocesan Pastoral Team Commissions at a service in the St Wilfrid’s School chapel. After the Gospel each commission was presented to the Bishop in turn by the Pastoral Support Co-ordinator, Katrina Avery.

The bishop’s homily was partly based on his introduction in the service booklet:
‘My dear Friends in Christ, It is good to reflect from time to time on the fundamental mission and activity of the Church, to which we belong. It exists to preach the gospel. Anything that doesn’t help the Church in this mission is a distraction and even an obstacle.

The Church carries out this mission in a number of ways. One of the most obvious ways is through the life and activity of the parish community. The enlargement and development of the Diocesan Pastoral Team during the past eight years, in response to the diocesan-wide consultation ‘Preparing Together’, has meant that parishes and communities are increasingly served by the advisers in many areas of pastoral life.

The role of the Diocesan Commissions, supporting and sharing in key aspects of the service offered to the Diocese by each Pastoral Team adviser, is a vital part of our Diocesan pastoral structure. The generous involvement of each commission member, sharing their time and talents, helps to develop and enrich the evangelising work of the Diocese.

I am very grateful to all those who have undertaken this task. It is difficult to assess the success of anything related to the living of the Gospel or the tasks we undertake in the building of the Kingdom, as the parable of the sower and the seed suggests, but the numbers of people participating in events organised by the advisers and their Commissions is a clear indication of their value to individuals and communities.

I wish you God’s blessing in your work, because it is the work of preaching the Gospel, a task entrusted to each of us. It is entrusted to you now in a special way, and I am sure the Lord will guide and support you in it. I pray that he will bless you in all the ways in which you serve.’

After the homily, the Bishop then asked the commission members if they were prepared to commit to furthering the pastoral work of their own particular commission: their response was a resounding and very moving ‘we are!’ The lighting of a candle by a representative of each commission followed and pictured is John McManus, Learning Disabilities Adviser, who is on the Social Action Commission.

The evening concluded with a shared supper.

Story and pictures: David White

Thursday, 28 July 2011

4 Young West Byfleet Walkers in fancy dress
Cathy Paul from West Byfleet reports:
Another West Byfleet walker
“Warm weather and good spirits made for a great day on Sunday 10th July for the Parish Charity Walk 2011 held by Our Lady Help of Christians, West Byfleet in Surrey. Walkers, some in fancy dress, set off on a choice of 3-mile or 8-mile circular walks in aid of Parish Charity Projects – the building of the Thomas More Secondary School in Itaka, Tanzania and local charity Link Leisure in Woking which supports children with complex learning disabilities.

Children who entered in the 3-mile walk also took part in a special I-SPY Quiz testing their powers of observation, initiative and endurance! In part the route followed the Basingstoke Canal and the River Wey Navigation with a variety of boating and river activities to see and nature to admire. There was much co-operation from local people who helped to provide the clues and who encouraged walkers along the route – even making financial contributions!

Invigorated by refreshment stations along the way, the heroic walkers returned in fine fettle, raising over £300, and vowing to return same time next year for Parish Charity Walk 2012!"

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

West Grinstead and Henfield Celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi

Deacon Seamus Mahon reports:
Glorious sunshine always crowns any celebration. This year as our united parish of Our Lady of Consolation, West Grinstead and Corpus Christi, Henfield gathered at the Shrine Church in West Grinstead to celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi, we were so blessed. In fact our prayers for fine weather were more than answered and many people had to take shelter in the shade of the Pilgrims way – such was the heat.

We had decided that in accordance with the Bishops Conference’s decision that Holy Days of Obligation be moved to the nearest Sunday in order that the Feast may be more worthily celebrated we would do just that. It was a particular joy to see the church full with members of our parish together, with servers, singers and readers from both churches taking an active part. Our Mass was celebrated by Father David Goddard. Father Stephen Dingley concelebrated and gave an inspired homily. Our Mass was fittingly followed by a procession and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

Parishioners at the Feast
To complete the Feast another feast was provided by members of the parish. Tables groaned under the weight of the extensive repast provided for the enjoyment of the hungry crowd.  Hardly a crumb remained and innumerable empty wine bottles showed that a great time had been enjoyed by all!!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Eastbourne Priest Celebrates 25 years of Priesthood

Congratulations to Fr Rags Hay-Will who celebrated his silver jubilee of priesthood last week.

Fr Raglan with Fr Tim Hunting
Photo: David White
Fr Rags who was ordained in Arundel Cathedral 25 years ago by then Bishop, now Cardinal Cormac, is now parish priest of the central Eastbourne parish. The celebration took place on Wednesday 20 July with Solemn Vespers and Compline at 7.00pm in the Parish of Our Lady of Ransom, St Gregory and St Agnes in Eastbourne. A reception followed.

Monday, 25 July 2011

The Nativity of the Lord and World Youth Day

Ann Lardeur from NOL reports:
"Julian Stocker, his wife Karen, and Anita Pinnock, friends of Fr. Andrew Moss, joined Fr. Andrew and Fr. Charles Howell of the Nativity of the Lord parish in Surrey for a concert to raise funds to send our young people to World Youth Day in Madrid.
L-R Fr. Andrew, Karen Stocker, Anita Pinnock, Julian Stocker, Fr. Charles
Photo Janet Franklin

In his opening medley of songs from the shows Fr. Charles promised us "Some enchanted evening", and so it proved.   With Karen Stocker as accompanist, there followed a wide selection of popular and classical pieces, some as solos, some duets and sometimes as trio.  "The Lord is my Shepherd", Vicar of Dibley version, bridged us into religious reason for the concert with pieces such as "Pie Jesu" from Andrew Lloyd Webber's Requiem, Bach's "Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring" and Schubert's "Ave Maria".    "Money, Money, Money" in the Abba medley acted as a reminder to open our wallets!   Evidence of its effect were the collection baskets brimming with notes.   Fr. Andrew showed his virtuosity on the guitar accompanying Julian and Anita peforming "Hand it Over" (Keb Mo).  The event was summed up by yet another song "Oh Happy Day".  The evening concluded with convivial refreshments, wine and conversation in the Hall."

One hundred and twenty young people together with Bishop Kieran and the youth team will be attending the World Youth Day in Madrid in August from this diocese. We wish them well.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Bishop Michael Evans RIP

Bishop Michael Evans RIP
© Mazur/
Please Pray for Bishop Michael Evans of East Anglia who died yesterday, 11th July.

CCN reports:
Bishop Michael Evans, Bishop of East Anglia, died peacefully on 11th July at the age of 59. Six years ago he was diagnosed with advanced and aggressive prostate cancer, and continued his ministry throughout his treatment. Although his engagements were limited from early 2011 as his condition deteriorated, he continued to work up until his admission to hospital. In his last months he was much in the thoughts and prayers of the people of his diocese, as well as those of family, friends and his fellow Bishops.

Archbishop Peter Smith, Archbishop of Southwark, said, “Bishop Michael will be very much missed by so many people in the Archdiocese of Southwark and the Diocese of East Anglia - family, friends, laity, religious and clergy. As a priest of the Archdiocese, Michael was totally committed to his priestly ministry both as a pastoral priest and Professor of Theology for many years at St. John’s Seminary. Having known him as a fellow student, a friend and brother priest involved in the formation of future priests, I was delighted when he was appointed as the third Bishop of East Anglia. There Bishop Michael continued that dedication, emphasising the Bishop’s role as a teacher of the faith and spending himself in building up the Diocesan family of East Anglia. He was unstinting in using his time and great talents in the service of the clergy, religious and people of the Diocese. Even during his long period of ill health, although increasingly restricted in what he was able to do he refused to give up. I have no doubt that he will be greeted by the Lord he served so faithfully, with the words: ‘Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the Kingdom prepared for you.’”

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Monday, 4 July 2011

New Deacon Ordained in Rottingdean

Fr Graham, Deacon Neil and Bishop Kieran
Sunday 3 July saw the ordination of Neil Mercer as a permanent deacon for Arundel & Brighton Diocese in the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes, Rotttingdean. A packed Church of family, friends, fellow students, priests, deacons and parishioners heard Bishop Kieran call Neil to service in the diocese as a deacon. Following in the footsteps of Christ, Neil was called, in the light of the Sunday Gospel, to be 'humble and gentle of heart' so that people would see Christ in him.

Neil is a married with children who were all there to celebrate the ordination with him as his sons carried up his stole and dalmatic for him to be vested before joining the Bishop on the sanctuary to assist as a deacon for the first time at Mass.

Neil will be assisting the priest of the parish, Fr Graham Ricketts in his work in the parish as well as continuing his work as a barrister.

Neil is the first of four deacons to be ordained this summer along with a priest. This year the diocese will have been blessed with four priestly ordinations and four diaconate ordinations for the diocese, and not forgetting three priestly ordinations for the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walshingham

Many congratulations to all.