Thursday, 31 May 2012

Prayer Card Campaign to Encourage More Vocations to Military Chaplaincy

Bishop Richard Moth
© Mazur/
In response to the real shortage of military chaplains in all three Armed Services, the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Forces, Bishop Richard Moth, has asked service men and women and serving chaplains to fervently pray that more priests come forward to serve as chaplains. Prayer cards have been disseminated to churches across the Bishopric of the Forces and serving chaplains.

In a Pastoral Letter to accompany the launch of the prayer card, Bishop Moth highlights the chaplain’s vital ministry to service men and women:

“I invite you all to reflect upon the “definite service” that is Military Chaplaincy. This is a priestly ministry that is vital to the needs of the Military community. Every member of the Armed Services, together with their families, will have benefited from the ministry of their chaplain. This is especially the case when personnel are deployed on operations. The chaplain’s presence amongst them speaks of the Hope of the Gospel message.”

Bishop Moth says that “not every priest is called to be a Military Chaplain”, but he does believe that for some “this would be a very real possibility”. The aim of the prayer card, is to “instil in the hearts of priests the desire to dedicate their lives to you as chaplains to our Armed Services.”

In September, the Bishopric will celebrate 25 years as a Military Ordinariate and Bishop Moth is inviting others to join him “in making this year a time of special prayer for an increase in vocations to Military Chaplaincy.”

The prayer card reads:

O Lord Jesus Christ,
instil in the hearts of priests
the desire to dedicate
their lives to you as chaplains
to our Armed Services.
Give them wisdom and strength,
to hear your call.
Give courage and compassion
to those who serve you as Forces Chaplains.
May their hearts be filled
with zeal and love of you
so that your name
may be better known and loved,
for you live and reign
for ever and ever.


Wednesday, 30 May 2012

St Joan of Arc's statue decorated with flowers for her feast day (30th May) in St Joan of Arc's Parish, Farnham Parish

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Helping the Christians of Egypt

Brighton Voices in Exile Group
Egyptians have just gone to the polls to elect a new President. We often forget that at least a 20% of the Egyptians are Christians, mainly Coptic Orthodox. Some have been subject to persecution by  resurgent Islamic extremists and are seeking refuge in this country and elsewhere.

Locally in the Diocese, Brighton Voices in Exile, housed in St Mary Magadalen's parish has written  saying " We're experiencing a high demand for our services at the moment with many Copts arriving from Egypt and facing destitution situations. Any support that could be given would be greatly appreciated."

So please not only pray for those refugees and more generally the people of Egypt, but also do what you can to help these refugees by donating on their website.

Monday, 28 May 2012

The Spirit moves CAFOD Supporters

Deirdre McMahon from CAFOD comments:

Fr Paul at previous Marathon
"We have just celebrated the great feast of Pentecost that should fire us up to be disciples of Christ. It would appear that the Spirit has truly enthused CAFOD supporters in the diocese.

The theme of water underpinning the Thirst for Change Campaign and Government Matching of Lenten donations; have all helped the Holy Spirit move our parishes, schools, volunteers and supporters with inspiring and fruitful results. Our school volunteers have made a record number of visits to schools and Fast Day Talks were given across the diocese reaching over 7000 mass goers. As I write this our Parishes alone have donated £92,000, 35% more than last year and this is not yet the final figure.

Many thanks to all those who took part and contributed to the wonderful total raised this year. In raising this money there has been fun and prayer at events, too numerous to mention. I do, however, wish to mention Fr. Paul Turner of St Richards in Chichester, who completed the London marathon in 3hrs, 47 mins and 19 seconds, beating his previous best by five minutes. His target to raise £2,500 for CAFOD has already been smashed and to date he has raised over £5,500! Well done Fr Paul and all our fundraisers.

We pray for the Holy Spirit to be with us all as we continue to work towards a world free from poverty and injustice."

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Remembering the People of Syria

Latin Rite Cathedral of St Francis, Aleppo
It seems that the situation in Syria has disappeared from our screens, but the situation still remains difficult. The Catholic Bishops of that country both Eastern and Latin rite meet last  month and offered their vision for a peaceful Syria:

Final Report of the Assembly of the Catholic Hierarchy in Syria
"The Assembly of the Catholic Hierarchy in Syria held its regular springtime meeting at Aleppo in the headquarters of the Maronite Archbishop on 25 April 2012, chaired by its President, Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III. Also taking part were Syrian Catholic Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III (Younan), Archbishop Mario Zenari, Papal Nuncio to Syria and Catholic bishops in Syria.

The Fathers reviewed the situation in Syria in the light of current painful events. They discussed pastoral problems relating to the life and social mission of the Church in the harsh conditions experienced by some regions of the country. They issued the following report:

1. We stand shoulder to shoulder with our Syrian people, in seeking a dignified life, national unity, solidarity among all the various social, religious and national constituent groups; in pursuing the widespread, effective reform process that has to be undertaken on the ground, in political, social and cultural spheres and service, through co-ordinating the efforts of all Syrians – government, parties, constructive opposition, specialists – in the framework of national unity and active participation in national dialogue (absolutely indispensable for any reform and without which it would remain but a vain hope), recognizing that this is the best way to escape the cycle of violence and repression. The State has called for dialogue and we invite all national parties at home and abroad to build a new multi-party democratic Syria. We also encourage everyone to participate fully in free and fair elections for the National Assembly on 7 May next, to express the popular will.

2. The Lord God himself began the dialogue with humanity through divine revelation in sacred scripture, calling them to share in life. Jesus Christ came on this earth “that they (men and women) might have life, and might have it more abundantly.” Therefore the Church is likewise calling for reconciliation and dialogue between the State and all elements in the country, and for rebuilding trust, openness to others and respect for differing political, religious and intellectual affiliations and opinions.

3. Violence has gone beyond all limits. We can only appeal strongly and emphatically to all people of conscience to return to their senses and abjure anything destructive of human and national life. We strongly condemn all kinds of violence from whatever quarter. We call for peaceful civilians not to be embroiled in political strife, for people not to be intimidated and terrorised by kidnapping, massacre, extortion and home demolition, seizure of property and imposition of authority by force and oppression. We support the mission of UN envoy Kofi Annan, especially in its humanitarian aspect concerning withdrawal of heavy weapons from inhabited areas. We advocate speeding up the return of refugees and displaced persons to their homes and compensating victims; re-establishing the rule of law and employing every effort to resolve the crisis; undertaking practical governmental reforms and fighting corruption, so as to ensure participation and equality of rights and duties for all citizens.

4. We stand in solidarity with the pain and suffering of all citizens, whether civilian or military, affected by the events and the painful cycle of violence in different parts of the country for the past thirteen months. It is natural for us to have in mind especially our Christian faithful, who have been obliged to leave their homes and towns or villages. Sometimes they have been used as human shields and their districts as battlefields. We stand by them in their plight and assure them that we shall do our best to extend a helping hand to them, especially through Caritas Syria and all our institutions, to try to meet their material, pastoral, health and social needs. In fact the Churches have already begun their relief programmes. We want to thank most especially the Holy Father, Benedict XVI for his fatherly gesture in contributing through Cor Unum to the victims of the bloody events in our country. We also thank local individuals and institutions who have been supporting this humanitarian service of the Church.

5. We call for transparency of information at local level, just as we require international media to be objective and faithful in reporting events and not distort the facts. We also appeal to the international and Arab community to support the efforts expended for the peace process in Syria and the region as a whole.

Finally we address our beloved fellow-citizens in Syria and especially our Christian faithful, urging them to solidarity, mutual assistance and spiritual strength, to come through the crisis, upheld by feelings of hope and trust in our people’s potential to find suitable solutions for building a renewed Syria, by turning to love and brotherhood and making the discourse of reason heard above the clash and rattle of arms. We wish them, in the joy of the celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, to be strengthened by resurrection in their hearts and for them to be witnesses of this Resurrection.

Assembly of the Catholic Hierarchy in Syria"

Please pray for our Christian brothers and sisters there and all the peoples of Syria whatever their faith that they will seek a just and peaceful solution.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Silence in the City Seminar is Coming Up on 26th May

Fr Stephen Ortiger OSB will be speaking on The Sound Of Silence. Fr Stephen is a Benedictine monk of Worth Abbey, and former Abbot of the Community. He's been living the monastic life for 50 years or more(!) and so he has much wisdom and insight into Christian life and prayer to share with us. He is a very engaging speaker.

Saturday 26th May @ 9:30-12 @ One Church, Gloucester Place, Brighton (map if you who don't know where that is )

The morning will include: Talks - Prayer - Lectio Divina - Discussion - Q&A

A bit more about the Silence in the City Project...When life in the modern city can feel full of pressures, noise and distractions, Silence in the City seeks to offer space for a deeper encounter with God, supporting people to discover the richness and wisdom of the Christian tradition of prayer and contemplation.

Silence in the City offers opportunities and resources for exploring prayer, welcoming people of all Christian denominations, as well as people from other faiths, and those not part of a faith community.

For more information, contact Michaela: and do join our facebook page! Go to and click "Like"!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Gift Aid Success Lifts the Recession's Gloom

Diocesan Gift Aid Coordinator, Sue Rickard and St Paul's Head, Rob Carter

Peter Burholt reports:
Despite the gloom and doom of a recession, the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton came up trumps and made donations in the last 12 months, resulting in £1.45m being reclaimed in tax rebates from the Treasury. Sue Rickard, the Diocesan Gift Aid Coordinator, said “This is truly a remarkable achievement. It never fails to amaze me how our Diocese maintains its generosity, even in difficult financial times like these. With 25,515 members in the scheme, we achieved an average of nearly £60 per member in tax rebates – and just to think, these funds go to an extremely wide range of uses in our schools and parishes.”

This great news was given at the 46th Gift Aid Annual General Meeting at the end of April at St Paul’s College, Burgess Hill. Over 100 organisers attended the session, which was preceded earlier in the day by a seminar on the workings of GiftWise, the Diocese’s online recording system.
Welcoming the delegates to the AGM, Financial Secretary Fergus Brotherton warmly thanked everyone for the way in which Gift Aid was so successfully managed by both the organisers and his own team at Bishop’s House. “We continue to be one of the leaders in England and Wales in developing the way in which Gift Aid is administered.”

One of the three Diocesan auditors, David Goodge, addressed the group on the importance of keeping records in a way that HM Revenue find acceptable. David covered some basic subjects as “When does the tax year start?” “Getting the figures to add up when using a manual system” and “Confidentiality and the Data Protection Act”. These subjects may be taken for granted, but David reported that one would be surprised at what we occasionally pick up in our audits.

Ian Dallas, another member of the “gang of three” auditors and who is deeply involved in the GiftWise scheme, gave a review of the ins-and-outs of the system and encouraged everyone who does not use GiftWise to get on board. “As you will have heard at previous AGMs what a difference it makes, not least of all it can improve both parish and school cash flows” he encouraged.
Sue Rickard, in her opening remarks, wanted to focus this year on schools “While there have been great success stories with schools benefitting from Gift Aid rebates, the reality is that there are many who are not in the scheme and missing out on easy-to-get income.” The AGM’s venue was used as a wonderful example of how Gift Aid has had a material effect on the pupils at St Paul’s College. From the outset of its move to Burgess Hill, the College set up a Gift Aid scheme which collected donations to enable every pupil to have a laptop for all their schoolwork. “Not everyone could afford to make these donations, but the good news story is those pupils who come from less well off families are given laptops for free - as a direct result of the rebates we get from HM Revenue. We certainly could not afford to do this without the support of these rebates” reflected Head Teacher, Rob Carter (see picture of Rob with Sue Rickard at the AGM).

To reinforce the message on schools, Dee Simpson shared her experience of how to make Gift Aid work for schools. Dee’s enthusiastic description of her recent start as a school organiser and the way in which she promoted the scheme left many of the delegates thinking about the possibilities of their own places. What results would the Diocese get if Dee’s enthusiasm could be bottled and sent to every school and parish?

The afternoon ended on a high note, with Mass being concelebrated by Bishop
Kieran and Fr Rick McGrath from Burgess Hill. Bishop Kieran reminded the delegates of his recent call for hope. “Your work in Gift Aid enables all sorts of people to hope - you have my sincere thanks for all that you do for the Diocese”.

Words and picture: Peter Burholt

Monday, 21 May 2012

A&B School WIns BBC Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year

St George's College Choir

BBC Songs of Praise Winning Trophy

St George’s College Chamber Choir is the Senior winner of BBC Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year 2012. The competition, which took place on Sunday 12th February at the Lowry Theatre, Manchester, was screened on BBC1 yesterday. Having performed their own choice of traditional hymn in the semi-final round to the panel of distinguished judges, Russell Watson, David Grant and Suzi Digby, St George’s College Chamber Choir performed their chosen inspirational song in the final, ‘Didn’t my Lord deliver Daniel?’ arranged by Paul Hart.

Conducted by Tansy Castledine, Director of Music, and accompanied by Andrew Barton, St George’s College Chamber Choir gave an energetic and vibrant performance of their spiritual. With its divisions into multiple parts, swift tempo and intricate text, the piece provided the choir with an opportunity to demonstrate its technical agility and assurance in this, the choir’s first ever competition entry. The judges commented on the choir’s remarkable execution of the piece, describing it as amazing and “in voice quality terms, peerless.”

The choir was absolutely thrilled with their achievement, particularly with such strong competition, with a previous winner and runner-up being in the semi-finals and finals respectively. The Chamber Choir, comprising 27 students varying in ages from Third Year to Sixth Form has a varied performance programme. As a Catholic school, whose Josephite ethos of family spirit stands at the heart of the community, the choir enjoys preparing for liturgical services and singing as a visiting choir at British and European Cathedrals. Additionally, the choir performs larger scale choral works such as ‘The Messiah’ by Handel and ‘The Creation’ by Haydn, gives concerts and recitals both in the UK and abroad, and raises significant funds for local charities, Lourdes pilgrimages, and Josephite schools in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The students are excited about what the year might hold for them as competition winners, though deep down they clearly hold in higher regard what their singing means for them personally and to those who share in it as worshippers and audience members accordingly. In conversation with one of the younger members of the choir it is clear that they are mature in their thinking on this: “Singing is like sharing a journey with someone, though you don’t need to say anything in reply. You both know where it can take you and how much it can mean; having the chance to express words and emotion through music can be intensely fulfilling and help us on our spiritual journey”.

Since filming, St George’s College Chamber Choir has also won the Senior section of the Barnardo’s National Choir Competition 2012, making them the only choir ever to have won both competitions in the same year of entry.

St George’s Weybridge is a leading independent co-educational Roman Catholic day School in Surrey for 3 – 18 year olds offering a values led education for all.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Another A&B Priest Celebrates Silver Jubilee

Fr Collins enjoying Silver Jubilee Celebrations
 St Pius X report that:
"Fr Colin Wolczak, Moderator of the Guildford parishes, recently celebrated 25 years in the priesthood.  Parishioners of St. Pius X, one of the communities for which he is responsible, presented Fr Colin with a cheque in gratitude for his devoted service. 

Fr. Colin is seen below marking the occasion with parishioners and cutting a cake specially prepared for him."

Fr Colin cutting the cake

Friday, 18 May 2012

What Katy Did Next!

Katy Triumphs!
Ann Lardeur from the Nativity of the Lord parish reports:
"Katy Nicolls, Merstham's Marathon Maid, made it to the finish of the London Marathon, without crisis and for Crisis! She completed the course in 5 hours 26 minutes, fortunately just missing the rain.

She was at Mass at St Teresa's the following day wearing her medal, and of course collecting in some of the sponsorship money. Crisis has an extra £2,200 plus any late donations. Her personal comment was "It was an amazing day with great support from family and friends". Congratulations, Katy.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Altar prepared for Mass in Broadfield
Christ the Lord, Broadfield and Bewbush in Crawley Parish recently celebrated a Mass for the many cultures that make up their congregation. The Mass was concelebrated by Fr Gerard Hatton and Fr Raffael Majewski, and reflecting the diverse cultures of both clergy and congergation, there was an entry hymn in French, readings in Portuguese and Polish, Bidding Prayers in many languages and a board in front of the altar displaying “welcome” in various languages.

After Mass they were entertained by song and dance, Irish, Mauritian and Chagossian dancers, and a Welsh lullaby, as well as enjoying food from different countries.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Choral and Organ Scholarships - St Pancras, Lewes

Father Jonathan Martin writes:
"The Schola Cantorum of St. Pancras Lewes is offering four Choral Scholarships and one Organ Scholarship for the academic year 2012 – 2013. Scholarships are offered to students studying at the Universities of Sussex and Brighton. Awards can also be made to gap year or sixth form students. Applications from post-graduate students are equally welcome.

Choral Scholarships are offered to sopranos, altos, tenors and basses to sing in the mixed voice adult choir.
The normal commitment is one early evening weekly practice and service in term time and one Sunday service every other week in term time. The scholarships have a degree of flexibility, designed to suit the university term, and are currently worth up to £350 per annum. Travel expenses from campus to Lewes are covered.

School Choral Scholarships are also available to pupils aged 16 to 18 to assist with the cost of singing lessons over the year.

One of the benefits of the scholarship is professional group voice coaching. Charlotte Shorthouse delivers 5 x 90 minute sessions per term. During these sessions, scholars have the opportunity to develop their understanding of vocal anatomy, explore issues of vocal health and voice production, thus improving the
quality of the ensemble. The voice coaching is provided at no cost to members of Schola, as a benefit of singing in the group. This coaching is entirely compatible with scholars receiving individual voice tuition outside these group lessons with their own teacher.

At the end of the year those who have attended all the voice coaching sessions receive an attendance certificate for Estill Voice Training – Level I, an internationally recognised course (see  for more details). Attending a Level 1 course would normally cost in the region of £400.

An Organ Scholarship is available. The Organ Scholar works alongside the Director of Music to provide organ accompaniments and to assist in choral training as required. The Organ Scholarship is worth £450 and a contribution to the cost of organ lessons.

If you would like more information or have any questions please write to Father Jonathan Martin:

Auditions will be held in Lewes in September 2012. To apply, please send your CV and covering letter to Fr Jonathan Martin at the above email address.
St Pancras, Irelands Lane, Lewes BN7 1QX
Telephone: 01273 473309

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Keeping Faith in a Secular World - Working with Healthcare Workers

Social Action Adviser, Sue O, Brien writes:
"Many of you in the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton are aware of the work we do on behalf of our healthcare workers – people who put themselves on the line every day for those who are sick – doctors, nurses, auxiliaries and care home workers and their administrative and support staff. We take them all for granted all too often, but people who look after us when we are sick face many challenges – pastoral, physical and sometimes ethical ones.

As Social Action adviser I have tried to set up initiatives to support our healthcare workers – the Healthcare Workers’ Mass is an annual event, and each year the numbers grow a little bit more as people come to hear about the Mass which will be celebrated by Bishop Kieran this year at The Friary, Crawley, on Saturday 24th November at 12.15. We also hold forums for people who work in healthcare settings to come and discuss those things that are particularly pertinent to them.

Doing this work I am fortunate in having a very enthusiastic inspiration from Dr. Aloysius Amaladoss who many of you will know from this Diocese. He has secured a wonderful speaker for us to come to the parish of Our Lady of Sorrows, Bognor Regis – Fr Alexander Lucie Smith (who I am sure many of you will have read in The Tablet and elsewhere) will be talking to us on the theme “Keeping the Faith in a Secular World”. As Christians we can so often come across challenges to our faith in our secularising world and sometimes we have to ask ourselves the question “If I were accused of being a Christian, would the evidence convict me?” The date is Saturday 14th July from 2pm-5pm.

This is a theme of such importance to us all that we are opening this forum up to everyone – if you think you would like to come, or you would like more information please contact me by email to register your interest or my secretary Ruth Gerun (telephone number 01293 651161."

Monday, 14 May 2012

World Communications Day 2012 - 20 May

This coming weekend the Church on the Feast of the Ascension (in England & Wales) celebrates World Communications Day.

Pope Benedict XVI has recognised the positive and enriching role some websites, applications and social networks can play in providing people with the "time for reflection and authentic questioning" in their lives.

The Holy Father says "attention should be paid to the various types of websites, applications and social networks which can help people today to find time for reflection and authentic questioning, as well as making space for silence and occasions for prayer, meditation or sharing of the word of God. In concise phrases, often no longer than a verse from the Bible, profound thoughts can be communicated, as long as those taking part in the conversation do not neglect to cultivate their own inner lives.

To read more go to

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Silver Jubilee Priest Made a Canon

Fr Kieron Celebrates Mass of Thanksgiving for his Priesthood
FR KIERON O’BRIEN, PARISH PRIEST OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCHES OF ST RICHARD’S, CHICHESTER, OUR LADY’S, BOSHAM AND ST PETER’S, THE WITTERINGS, RECENTLY CELEBRATED 25 YEARS OF PRIESTLY SERVICE: Some 275 people including parishioners, former parishioners and family together with 25 clergy including his Bishop, Kieran Conry and former Bishop, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor joined to give thanks for 25 years of priestly ministry of Fr Kieron. There was a packed Church for the celebration of the Mass of Thanksgiving which was followed by a reception in the parish hall afterwards.

Fr Kieron O’Brien, trained for the priesthood at St John’s Seminary, Wonersh near Guildford, for the Catholic Diocese of Arundel & Brighton which covers Sussex and Surrey. He also studied at the English College in Rome. He was ordained 25 years ago on 9th May 1987. He said: “As a young man I felt I had to answer God’s call and follow my vocation, and as a result I have been blessed with 25 years of joy in the priesthood.”

Fr Kieron, as well as his parish work and his diocesan work as Coordinator for the Safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults in the diocese, has a great love of cycling. He often finds time on his days off to get on his bike and enjoy the Sussex countryside. In the past he has carried out sponsored cycle rides from Sussex to the Lourdes in the South of France to raise funds for the sick, so they can go on pilgrimage to Lourdes to the famous shrine of Jesus’ mother, Mary.

In his homily Fr Colin Wolczak who was ordained in the same year as Fr Kieron reflected on the call of the Spirit, set out in the reading at the Mass from the prophet Isaiah, to bring good news to the poor and bind up the broken hearted. Fr Kieron had done this during his 25 years of service and especially in his work on Safeguarding ensuring that God’s little ones are as best protected from harm in this diocese as they can be. It was clear from the numbers of people filling the Church that evening that Fr Kieron had indeed done all the Spirit had asked of him, bringing said Fr Colin “hope and joy to the people he has served.”

Fr Kieron was ordained priest on 9th May 1987 in the Parish of St Francis & St Anthony, Crawley by Bishop Cormac Murphy-O’Connor (now Cardinal Cormac). He has served in the Chichester parish for eleven and a half years. Before this he has served in parishes in West Byfleet and Crawley as well as being secretary to Bishop Cormac for four years and serving on the staff at the English College in Rome for two.

At the end of the Mass Bishop Kieran Conry spoke warmly of Fr Kieron’s hard work as a priest especially in respect of Safeguarding and announced that in recognition of all of this he had been appointed a Canon of Arundel Cathedral, for which there was loud and sustained applause. The Mass ended with a final blessing from Fr Kieron to all present.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Celebrating May - Month of Our Blessed Lady
 The Lady altar at the St. Joan of Arc Church, Farnham has been decorated for the month of May by Tricia Morgan.

Photo by Patsy Clark

Friday, 4 May 2012

New Bishop for Anglican Diocese of Chichester

Bishop Kieran Conry  has sent warm greetings to the new Bishop of Chichester, Rev Martin Warner who takes over from Bishop John Hind.

Bishop Designate Martin Warner

The Diocese of Chichester reports:
Downing Street have announced this morning that The Right Reverend Dr Martin Warner, currently Suffragan Bishop of Whitby in the Diocese of York, is to be the next Bishop of Chichester.

Dr Warner, 53, succeeds The Right Reverend John Hind who retired last month.

The Diocese of Chichester was founded in 1070 and essentially covers the area of East and West Sussex and the City of Brighton and Hove reaching a population of over 1.5m. The Diocese has over 500 churches and enjoys overseas links with Ghana, Sierra Leone, Cameroon and Guinea (West Africa).

Dr Warner studied at St Chad’s College in Durham before completing his theological training at St Stephen’s House, Oxford. He was ordained deacon (1984) and priest (1985) in Exeter Cathedral whilst working as Curate of St Peter’s Plymouth.

He moved north to the Midlands in 1988 to be Team Vicar for five years in the Parish of the Resurrection, Leicester before being elected to be the Priest Administrator of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham between 1993-2002. During his time in Norfolk he was also priest in charge of Hempton and Pudding Norton between 1998-2000. He was appointed Honorary Canon of Norwich between 2000-2002.

Dr Warner was then appointed as a residentiary Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral in London, firstly as Canon Pastor and latterly Treasurer where he made a big contribution particularly with regards to the Cathedral’s connection with the art world (2003-2010).

He was elected as suffragan Bishop of Whitby in the Diocese of York in 2010 and has served the parishes of the Cleveland archdeaconry which includes the contrasting communities of Middlesbrough and much of the North Yorkshire Moors.

Dr Warner is a regular contributor to the Church Times and has written five books.

He is a cyclist, enjoys the arts and is well known for his hospitality and welcome – an art he perfected when welcoming thousands of pilgrims to England’s Nazareth, as Walsingham is known.

Dr Warner is a traditionalist who has worked resolutely in recent years to encourage provision in which people of all integrities can remain together. He worked closely with women priest colleagues at St Paul’s Cathedral and has sought to serve with equal care the ordained men and women in his episcopal patch in the north of England.

Bishop Warner said today: “It is a daunting and exciting challenge to be asked to serve the people of Sussex as the next Bishop of Chichester. I look forward very much to learning more about the mission in which we shall be engaging together, though it will be a big wrench leaving the North East so soon”.

Welcoming the news on behalf of the Diocese of Chichester

The Right Revd Mark Sowerby, The Acting Bishop of Chichester, said: “I am delighted that Dr Martin Warner, whom I have known for many years, is to be the new Bishop of Chichester. I believe that he will lead us with the effervescent energy and clarity that has always been distinctive of his ministry and I very much look forward to working alongside him in the service of the Church and people of Sussex”.

The Very Revd Nicholas Frayling, the Dean of Chichester, said: “These are challenging times for the Church and for its Bishops. The Dean and Chapter and all at the Cathedral look forward to welcoming Bishop Martin and assure him of our prayers and good wishes as he prepares for his new ministry in Chichester”.

The Reverend Alastair Cutting, Chair of the House of Clergy, said: “We're excited to welcome Bishop Martin as our new Bishop: he brings a deep commitment to the breadth of the C of E, with a track-record of drawing together a wide spectrum of theological views and positions. He loves cinema, art, and architecture; and is a gifted communicator with dynamism and personality. He's a keen supporter of mission and community engagement; and we look forward to his leadership across the Chichester Diocese”.

Brian Hanson CBE, Chair of the House of Laity, said today: “We welcome Bishop Martin who comes with a reputation as a fine preacher and teacher of the Faith. His experience, both as a canon of St Paul’s Cathedral and as a bishop of an area with large conurbations and tracts of countryside, will be a great assistance to him in his future ministry in East and West Sussex and the City of Brighton and Hove”.

Titles of MW books
Walsingham, an Ever-circling Year (1996)
Say Yes to God (1999)
The Habit of Holiness (2004)
Known to the Senses (2004)
Between Heaven and Charring Cross (2009)

Title of PhD Research
Virginity Matters: power and ambiguity in the attraction of the Virgin Mary

An interview with Bishop Martin Warner is available via the website Youtube.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Dedication of a new Chapel at Gatwick Airport

L-R: Salvation Army Commander, mayor of Crawley, Bishop of Horsham, Mgr John Hull and Muslim Imam
Recently, a Service of Dedication took place at the new Chapel and Prayer Room at London Gatwick Airport’s South Terminal. The existing 35 year old Chapel needed to be relocated as part of a billion pound refurbishment programme. The Arundel & Brighton Diocese Gatwick Chaplaincy Team prayed hard for a facility that would be adequate and pleasing to people of all Faiths, be they passengers or staff.

Our own Vicar General, Rev Mgr Canon John Hull, was present as a guest to represent the Catholic Chaplaincy Team for both North & South Terminals. Catholic Services are held on a Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with Sunday Mass celebrated each week at midday in South Terminal.

Other representatives on this special occasion included the Anglican Bishop of Horsham, the Divisional Commander of the Salvation Army, the Mayor of Crawley, and leaders from the Muslim and Buddhist Faiths.

Following the Dedication, the Directors of the Airport hosted a buffet lunch, which included two wonderfully decorated cakes, to celebrate the official opening of the Chapel. We thank them for their generous hospitality.

Deacon Ian Wells, Sr Jo Threlfall and Jean Wells (Chaplaincy Team)

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Story of a Lay Catholic Saint and Martyr

Saint Anne Line was executed at Tyburn in England on 27th February 1601. Her crime had been to shelter a Catholic priest. Her last words at the gallows confirmed her vocation to assist the hunted priests of Elizabethan England, when she declared that she wished she had sheltered a thousand. She died an English Martyr and remains a great witness to the Catholic Faith in England today.

In this new film from Mary's Dowry Productions, Saint Anne Line tells her own story over footage that portrays key events of her life and death, with Sacred Art and historical imagery. Encounter the spirituality, faith and virtue of a young English woman who sacrificed everything so as to help keep the Catholic Faith alive in England.

Runtime: 28 minutes DVD Format Available worldwide from

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

INVOCATION 2012 - Festival of Vocation

Fr Terry Martin, A&B Vocation Director, invites all young people (18-35) to join him and a large group travelling from A&B to the national Vocations Festival in Birmingham, 6th - 8th July 2012. It is a well-established event which invites those present to take seriously the call of Jesus Christ in their lives. It is an opportunity, in an atmosphere of prayer and fellowship, to reflect, with others of a similar age, on life's Big Questions. Every young Catholic need, at some stage, to ask themselves the question, "What is God inviting me to do with my life?". This could be your chance to do just that.

Enquirer for the Priesthood, Simon Jones, writes of Invocation 2011:
"Invocation 2011 was one of few opportunities I've had to be part of a significant gathering of young (or young-ish!) Catholics, each of us there because we wanted to discern Christ's call in our lives. Those at the event included those considering vocations to religious life, secular priesthood, consecrated single life, and (in no small numbers) to marriage and family life too. Some had a very clear sense of where they were called, others were at the very beginning of their discernment. I was also heartened to meet some non-Catholics drawn to the event simply because they were curious and attracted to the faith of their Catholic friends.

The organised seminars allowed those who had already made a commitment to share with those of us still discerning the experiences of all that their choices had entailed. But just as valuable to me were the relaxed, informal conversations with those in a similar situation as myself, wrestling with the same doubts and human weaknesses and seeking answers to the same questions. The warmth and openness of those that I met was a source of tremendous comfort and inspiration to me, not least when offered in the relaxed atmosphere of the bar during the evening, with live, contemporary music adding to the atmosphere. Of course prayer and worship were central to the weekend, with Morning and Evening Prayer and the Celebration of the Mass at the very heart of the event. There were ample opportunities for Confession and Adoration too, although the highlight for me was the wonderful Candlelight Procession of the Blessed Sacramment on Saturday evening before Benediction.

There was, in short, so much on offer that I appreciated that the balance of worship, formal seminars and informal conversation in which we chose to participate was left very much in our own hands according to the needs of each us in our journey with Christ."

If you'd like to come, contact Fr Terry on or 07545 7576627. Visit the website: