Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Hallowen; Trick or Treat?

Halloween: Trick or Treat? from on Vimeo.

This excellent Halloween Vimeo by local Anglican Priest, Glen Scrivener from All Souls Eastbourne, reveals the truth behind All Hallows' Eve. Watch and share!

Thanks to the Diocese of Chichester for this.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Cricket Comes to the Vatican reports: Helmet, bat, ball and gloves:crickets lovers can now find somewhere to play in the Vatican. Its Culture Department has created Saint Peter's Cricket Club, a team for priests and seminarians that want to keep batting the ball while staying in Rome. The idea, though, came from Australia's Ambassador to the Holy See.

Ambassador of Australia to the Holy See
“There are a significant number of seminarians and priests in Rome who are interested in playing cricket. Many of them have all played cricket.”

Vice secretary, Pontifical Council for Culture
“The coach will choose the best 11 players to play against other teams. Hopefully, they will be good enough. And if they lose, at least they will lose with honor.”

Cricket is very popular in the UK, but not in the rest of Europe. In fact, only foreigners play in Italy's national team. Saint Peter's Cricket Club will also depend on South Asian countries, like India, where the sport is widely played.

Vice secretary, Pontifical Council for Culture
“The Catholic Church is universal: in fact 'catholic' means 'universal.' Soccer plays a very important role in seminaries, but more than half of the world's population lives in Asia, the South and East of the world, and no one there plays soccer, but rather cricket. That's why cricket must be present in the formation of our priests and seminarians.”

The Australian Ambassador to the Holy See has great dreams for Saint Peter's Cricket Club: he hopes that someday the team will play against the team of the Church of England, and, why not, also against Muslim teams.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Sunday, 27 October 2013

170 Years Serving at Arundel Cathedral!

170 Years worth of Servers!
Canon Tim Madeley, Dean of Arundel Cathedral presented to five of the Cathedral altar servers, Guild of St Stephen medals for long service. 

Pictured on the left and on the right are Richard Edney and Ian Fricker with silver medals for 10 or more years service and in the centre, Graham Monet, James Walsh and Billy Walker with gold medals for 50 or more years service to the guild.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Fundraising Lourdes Doctor Reaches his Summit

Dr Salvo Xerri at 4,000 metres up Mount Kilimanjaro
For many years Dr Salvo was the lead Doctor for the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton Lourdes Pilgrimage. In retirement he decided to attempt for the Lourdes Sick Fund to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Kenya. He managed to get to 4,000 feet, but was beaten back by altitude sickness which affected his breathing. Nevertheless this was a noble effort and if you would like to show your appreciation of his effort and help sick pilgrimages get to Lourdes next year then go to his JustGiving site and donate now!

Friday, 25 October 2013

5 Top Tips for Using Social Media in the Church

Sean Skinner from Premier Radio offers 5 tips about social media and how to use it in your parish.

If you are really interested in being a parish in a digital age then why not attend the Christian New Media Conference on 9th November in London.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Nativity of the Lord Celebrates Harvest in New Parish Hall

Edel and Ann play for Harvest Supper
The first ‘whole parish’ Harvest Supper held in the new Parish Centre at St. Joseph’s Church, Redhill was a sell out and a resounding success. 200 hundred early birds got tickets, unfortunately others missed out!

During the meal, delicious pasta bake followed by fruit crumble, Violinist Edel Magee, accompanied by Anne St. John-Hall, entertained the guests. Afterwards there more entertainment; Irish Dancing, performed by Maisy Sinclair, Alice Craig, and Maddy Wood, Year 8 pupils at St. Bede’s School, Redhill, followed by the group “Three Chicks and a Piano”.

The event raised £830 for CAFOD. Much of this was thanks to the generous food donations, which mean the financial cost was only £1.00 per person. Surplus food went to the Salvation Army.

Photo: John Barrett

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Reflections for Married Couples Launched in Westminster

On 23rd October a third book of scriptural reflections in support of Christian Marriage was launched at Westminster. The other two books in the series for Years B & C are already available. They can be bought singularly or as a set. Published by McCrimmons the books can be obtained through the Diocesan Bookshop.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Pope Francis Honours Camberley Parishioner

Bishop Kieran presents award to Jane with Fr Richard in background
When Catholic parishioner Mrs Jane Lawlor went to her regular Mass at Saint Peter and Saint John Catholic Church on Saturday 21st September, she hardly expected to come home with a medal but she did! At the end of the service Camberley and Bagshot Parish Chairman, Brian McBride read the citation to Pope Francis recommending Jane for the “Bene Merenti” medal.

Bishop Kieran had come to the parish for the occasion and presented the medal to a very surprised recipient. Bishop Kieran commented, "Pope Francis has sent to me this medal and this certificate to present to you, Jane, to honour the good works which you have done for the Parish over the last 40 years. On behalf of His Holiness I am delighted to present this Bene Merenti Medal to you.” As the medal was pinned onto Jane’s lapel there were loud cheers and prolonged clapping

Mrs Lawlor, has been an active Church member in various capacities since she and her husband Don came to the area in the 1970s. Among the duties she has been involved in are the Camberley Care project, children’s instruction, flower arranging, cleaning, social events and ensuring that the church is a very welcoming place for all.

After the Mass the congregation gathered in the Church hall for a celebration drink.

The “Bene Merenti” is a medal instituted by Pope Gregory XVI in 1832, and is conferred on those who have exhibited long and exceptional service to the Catholic Church, their families and community.

The words Bene Merenti, which means to a well deserving person, is on the back of the medal, surrounded by a crown of oak leaves; the ribbon is made of Papal colours, yellow and white.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Pope: Change your Lifestyle to Halt World Hunger reports: The Pope believes that world hunger is one of the most serious challenges faced by humanity. Once again he has denounced the so called 'throw away society' that wastes food without a second thought. In a letter sent to the FAO's Director General, for 'World Food Day' the Pope gives a few recommendations.

He notes that one third of the global food production is lost because of waste. A trend that seems to be on the rise.

As a solution he recommends a change of lifestyle, including leaving excessive consumerismbehind along with the idea of achieving 'profits at all costs.'

The answer, he says, also lies in having an educational system that focuses on solidarity and dignity. He highlights that this very model is played out every day in the family, where one person cares for another, with respect.

It's this model that should be applied at a higher scale, since in essence the family is the nucleus of society.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Formal blessing of new Abbot of Worth Abbey

Abbot Luke Jolly (left) with Bishop Kieran Conry after the Abbatial Blessing
Sunday, October 13th: On a festive afternoon, Worth Abbey Church was packed with more than 700 well-wishers, gathered to participate in the Abbatial Blessing of Dom Luke Jolly, the monastery’s sixth abbot.

Bishop Kieran Conry, Roman Catholic Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, presided at the Abbatial Blessing, in the presence of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the former Archbishop of Westminster, along with English Benedictine Abbot President Richard Yeo, and Benedictine abbots and abbesses from all over England. More than 50 Catholic clergy and Religious from the Sussex area joined the celebration. Bishop Martin Warner of the Anglican Diocese of Chichester was a welcome presence, along with several of his clergy. The locality was represented by the High Sheriff of West Sussex, Patrick Burgess.

Occurring only when a new abbot takes office, the Abbatial Blessing does not confer any new authority upon Abbot Luke. Instead, it is an opportunity for the monastic community of Worth Abbey and its new abbot to gather with the diocesan bishop, who is the head of the local church, and the faithful of the wider community and pray for God's blessing.

Abbot Luke, who was elected on 8th August, received a copy of the Rule of Saint Benedict, a signet ring, a mitre, and a pastoral staff from Bishop Kieran. The rule and the staff are the most ancient signs of the abbot's authority, and of his pastoral responsibilities. Bishop Kieran reminded the congregation that an Abbot is chosen to be a “guide, teacher and encourager” within the monastic community. As part of the promises made during the service, Abbot Luke undertook to “always be concerned” for those entrusted to his spiritual care.

Following the blessing, Abbot Luke received the kiss of peace from the bishops and abbots present, as well as from the members of his own monastic community. Commenting at the end of the ceremony on the wet weather on the day, Abbot Luke noted that it is “good to be reminded that we are not in control of everything”.

Abbot Luke (60) is the first old boy of Worth School to become abbot. He left Worth to study History at Manchester University, before training as a Probation Officer. He has been a monk at Worth since 1980 and has served as both Prior and Novice Master, manager of the Abbey Estate, as a Boarding Housemaster and as Senior Chaplain in Worth School. He was also the primary spiritual guide to the participants in the BBC TV documentary ‘The Monastery’, based at the Abbey.

Originally from East Anglia, Abbot Luke’s personal interests include a love of the countryside, walking, medieval East Anglian churches and following many sports.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Holy Bands Festival this Weekend

Called by Name Young Adults Retreat

Called By Name
Young Adults Retreat (18-35)
25th – 27th October 2013 @ Worth Abbey, Benedictine Monastery
Every human person has a unique vocation. God is calling you by name!

The Called By Name retreat offers an opportunity for you to tune-in more deeply to the call of Christ in your life, to discern His will for you, discover deeper meaning and direction in your life, and to grow in the trust and freedom to respond generously to the Gospel.
The weekend will include talks from a range of speakers from different walks of life, spiritual accompaniment, and space for prayer and reflection. The programme will follow the monastic rhythm of prayer, participating in the liturgy of the Benedictine monastic community at Worth. Participants will be able to benefit from the sanctuary of Worth Abbey: it's Church and beautiful grounds, and the atmosphere of peace and prayer.

The retreat is not aimed only at those discerning a possible call to religious life/priesthood, but to every young person seeking to know and live the call of Christ. Together we will explore the personal vocation (who you are!), the work/mission/task of your vocation (what you do!), different states of life (marriage, religious life, priesthood, etc), as well as tools for discernment (how to hear and respond to Christ’s call).

Talks – Prayer/Reflection – The Divine Office & Mass – Spiritual Direction

Our speakers include the Missionaries of Charity, Br Nick Crowe OP – Dominican student brother from Oxford, Sr Cathy Jones – Assumption Sister working for the National Office of Vocation, and Phil Carroll – Seminarian at Wonersh.

Cost: £65 for students/the unwaged, and £95 for the waged. (Subsidies are available so please let us know if cost is a barrier for you; we do not want cost to prevent anyone from attending!)

For more information and to book, contact Mary via or call 07951452348

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

The Induction Dr. James Kilmartin as Head of Cardinal Newman Catholic School

Dr Kilmartin on right with Bishop Kieran and pupils from the school
On Thursday 19th September Dr. James Kilmartin was inducted as the fifth Head teacher of Cardinal Newman Catholic School. In a ceremony full of music and symbolism Dr. Kilmartin committed himself to working for a future in which the school would become known not only for its work in providing young people with an excellent education but also for its commitment to social justice and inclusion.

The opening bars of Elgar’s ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ set the tone for what was to be a vibrant, varied and moving celebration of Dr. Kilmartin’s vision for the school. The chapel was full as Bishop Kieran called in his homily for the new Head teacher to be an inspirational leader. As the choir sang For the Beauty of the Earth by John Rutter, eight groups, representing parents, students and other members of the wider school community created a tableau, designed and made by the  Design and Technology Department, which recreated the logo of the Catholic Year of Faith. The image of a shipits sails filled and its direction clear, formed a clear and powerful visual symbol of the school community moving forwards with confidence into the future. In his response to Bishop Kieran Dr. Kilmartin spoke of his sense of being both honoured and privileged to take on the leadership of the school and thanked those present for their help and support.

Soloist Paula OSullivan, a parent, sang La Vergine degli Angeli with a clarity and intensity which provided one of the most moving moments of the afternoon. The chapel echoed to the words of the final hymn, Praise to the Holiest in the Height, and then a reception in the school’s new dance studio provided an opportunity for further celebration of this important moment in the history of a unique and very special school community.

Story and picture from Peter Shears

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Don't Let the Bible Remain a Mystery to You

As the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton prepares to celebrate the Word of God this year in preparation for its Jubilee in 2015, reflecting on the great document of Vatican II on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum especially considering the place of Scripture in the Church the following Scripture may well be of interest to many within the Diocese with events happening in both Portsmouth and London.
Internationally Renowned Catholic Bible scholar and author, Jeff Cavins, is coming to the UK for an unprecedented Scripture tour! His best-known method, The Bible Timeline, is a fascinating, color-coded study that takes you on a journey through the entire Bible, giving you an easy and engaging way to understand the "big picture" of Scripture. Join us for this extraordinary tour and see how reading the Bible can enrich your faith and bring you closer to Christ.

UK Bible Tour with Jeff Cavins

November 11-15, 2013
Click on a link below to learn more about and register for a FREE event near you!
  • Birmingham Oratory Parish Hall, Birmingham
  • Gibberd Room, Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool
  • Our Lady of Perpetual Succour RC Church, Manchester
  • Marwell Hotel, Winchester
  • Portsmouth Catholic Cathedral, Hampshire
  • Amigo Hall, St. George's Cathedral, London
  • St. Patrick Catholic Church, London
November 16, 2013
  • The Bible Timeline Seminar, Westminster Cathedral Hall, London

Easy Registration

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Deacon Ian Wells Receives Papal Blessing for 20 years Service to School

Papal Blessing Presentation
Deacon Ian Wells, outgoing Chair of Governors for St Teresa's School, Effingham , was recently presented with a Papal Blessing at St Teresa’s Feast Day Mass celebrated at school on 1 October by Fathers John Inglis, Alex Hill, Stephen Ortiger, Dominic Rolls alongside Deacon Ian, staff and pupils.

The special Papal Blessing was presented to Deacon Ian at the end of Mass by Gill Nelson, Head of PE and the longest serving member of staff at the School, and the School Head Girl, Penny Smith and Georgina Hayes Chaplaincy link Head Girl Team in recognition for his time as Chairman of Governors.

Seen above are (from left to right) Michael Bray, incoming Chair of Governors, Father Dominic Rolls, Headmaster Mike Farmer, Deacon Ian Wells, Deacon Ian's wife Jean, Father John Inglis , parish priest of Effingham and Fetcham and Angela Eddy, School Chaplain. 

Deacon Ian said “This was totally unexpected and I am overwhelmed by this very special blessing from the Holy Father. I have hugely enjoyed my 20 odd years involvement with St Teresa’s, firstly as a parent and then as Governor and Chair to the Governors. I am going straight home to hang it in pride of place – it will be the first thing you see as you come into our house!”

Deacon Ian is currently active in Effingham with Fetcham parish as well as Catholic chaplain at Gatwick airport. He works at Gatwick with his wife Jean and Sr Jo Threfall.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Catholic Church Concerns on New Immigration Bill

Filipino Catholics at Mass for Migrants 2012
In response to the Immigration Bill introduced on Thursday 10 October 2013, the Catholic Bishop for Migrants, Bishop Patrick Lynch raised his ongoing concern for the needs of vulnerable migrants and migrant families, particularly in the area of accommodation and access to health services in the UK.

He said that some migrant families could now face destitution: “the expectation placed on private landlords to conduct immigration status checks on tenants before providing accommodation, will deny many vulnerable migrants the right to suitable housing and could lead some migrant families into destitution”.

And highlighted that the vulnerable would be worst hit by the Government’s charging proposal. He emphasised that: “the charging proposal will not only deny access to healthcare but increase inequalities among members of society and will have a disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable migrants particularly women and children”.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales submitted a response on the Consultation on Migrant Access and their Financial Contribution to NHS Provision in England in August 2013.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Why? God, Christ & The Church

A new Catholic Truth Society publication called 'Why?' is now available. It is intended as a short course (3 sessions) for adults and young people who know little about the Catholic faith. One of the authors is Fr Andrew Pinsent, scientist and philospher from Arundel & Brighton Diocese

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Pope Calls Extraordinary Bishops' Synod on the Family says: "Pope Francis called for an extraordinary Synod of Bishops, to discuss the pastoral role of families. The gathering will bring bishops from across the world to Rome from October 5-19 in 2014. At issue will be pastoral challenges families face in the context of evangelization.

Since it's an 'extraordinary assembly,' the only participants will be the presidents of episcopal conferences, patriarchs, heads of the Vatican's dicasteries, and the superiors of religious orders.

To date, there have only been two extraordinary assemblies in modern history. The first held in 1969, dealt with the role of episcopal conferences; while the second, in 1985, was on the 20th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council.

The Synod of Bishops is the body that brings together bishops from across the world to help the Pope govern the Church. Pope Francis has stated he would like to see the group play a larger role in Church affairs. In fact, during their first official meeting with the Pope, the Council of Cardinals, made up of eight cardinals, spent a great part of their time talking about how to make the Synod of Bishops more efficient."

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Apostleship of the Sea Supports Stranded Seafarers

AoS Volunteer with Ship's Captain
For over eight months several seafarers have been stranded on two ships arrested in Shoreham-by-Sea and Rye, two ports in our Diocese of Arundel & Brighton. Sadly, a third ship belonging to the same company is arrested in Santander, Spain. The ships are arrested but the men on board are not. The trouble is they can’t leave because if they do, they fear that their unpaid wages – and they haven’t been paid for over 7 months – will never be paid. The seafarers come from Russia and the Ukraine and their families at home are really struggling and suffering. Igor, on the MV Independent arrested at Shoreham, is married and has two small boys. His wife has been borrowing money from family and friends just to put food on the table.

Ever since the ships were arrested, Apostleship of the Sea port chaplains and locally-based volunteer ship welfare visitors have visited the men on board to try and give them some normality in their life on board. The most important gift is the ship visitors themselves because the seafarers have been lonely and depressed. AoS has given phone cards, internet access, food, books in Russian and many other gifts. Volunteers have also taken some of the men to local attractions such as the Shoreham Airshow, local museums and also take them to Mass. AoS has raised awareness of the seafarers’ plight by giving interviews to local newspapers, national newspapers as well as local and national TV. The local port authorities have been very supportive, providing emergency water supplies to the ships. Local catholic Church groups have become involved and local residents have given help as well. It’s worth reflecting that even in the UK in 2013 seafarers who are a long way from home and are stranded through no fault of their own are so dependent on charity. Our prayer is that the men will receive their unpaid wages and can go home soon. But no-one can guarantee that.

To find out more or get involved, visit or contact Reverend Roger Stone at or call him on 07963 345618.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Bishop's Pastoral Letter for Jubilee Preparations

Bishop Kieran
Dear people of Arundel and Brighton,
It’s just over six months since Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was elected Bishop of Rome – as he chooses to call himself – and, probably like you, I can remember where I was when I heard the news. I was about to celebrate Mass in the chaplaincy in Royal Holloway College, and just before Mass began there was a rumour that a pope had been elected. The white smoke appeared just after 7pm Rome time, and Pope Francis appeared on the balcony at twelve minutes past eight.

His appearance and his first words were quite a surprise. He wore just a white cassock – no red on top of it at all – and instead of a formal Latin greeting he said to the crowds in the piazza below, simply, “Good evening,” in Italian.
Pope Francis has gone on to surprise and delight people as the world hears and sees how different a style of papacy this is.

Hearing and seeing are very important parts of how we know anything or anyone. Our first judgement about a person is based on how that person looks and behaves. Then we judge them on what they say and how they say it.

It is no different with God. We know God by what we have seen and what we hear.We see God in the created world; we see God in the community of the Church and we see God in the person of Jesus Christ. We hear God in the words of the Scriptures, the bible, and the teaching of the Church that has been handed on from generation to generation. Jesus himself revealed the Father to people by what he said and the deeds he did, especially in his healing and forgiveness; sometimes these things went hand-in-hand, like the cure of the paralysed man in Matthew Chapter 9, where Jesus demonstrates his power to forgive sins by saying to the man, “Take up your bed and walk.”

How God reveals himself to us is the theme of the next session of our preparation for our celebration of the diocesan Jubilee in 2015. We are about to begin our study of the second of the four documents from the Second Vatican Council. This one is called in Latin Dei Verbum, “the Word of God” and looks at that question of how God makes himself known, and not just how he makes himself known, but why. It’s what we call ‘Revelation’, the unveiling of himself by God. This is what our faith is based on, not on what we have discovered about God, but what God has told us about himself. Most of that is contained in the Church’s Sacred Scripture, the writings that form the Old and New Testament.

It’s probably fairly true to say that most Catholics are not all that familiar with the bible. It’s not their fault; it’s not all that long ago that Catholics first heard the bible readings at Mass in English, rather than Latin – many adults in church today will remember this. Neither were Catholics encouraged to read and study the bible; the Church’s main emphasis seemed to be on believing what the Church teaches.
But now we have a wonderful opportunity to explore our own sacred writings and discover the treasure that lies inside. It’s a time to ask questions about what we mean by ‘true’ when we speak of the bible; did God really create the world in six days, and why are there four gospels that don’t always agree on the details of the life of Jesus? Why do we still read the Old Testament if God reveals himself fully in Jesus?

I would urge and encourage you to come along and join a group. We have listened to the feedback from the first season, when we studied the first document on liturgy, how we pray to God and how we worship,and we hope that this season’s material is better presented and more user-friendly. It doesn’t matter if you missed last season’s sessions; this is a good place to start. And it certainly doesn’t matter if you feel that you are completely ignorant about the bible; sometimes it needs someone in a group to say, “I haven’t a clue what that means,” and voice the unspoken anxieties of others in the group.

The celebration of the Jubilee in 2015 is not just about 50 years of the diocese of Arundel & Brighton. It’s more about these years that lead up to it and how we equip ourselves to deal with the challenges of the present and the future. It’s about being better able as Catholics to understand our faith and articulate it, to explain it to others. It’s about recognising that our faith is given to us as a gift by God not simply for our own benefit, but as a gift to be shared.

It’s interesting that recently there has been formed a ‘Church for atheists’ in Brighton. They seem to do many of things we do in church, except believe in God. There probably is a deep and hidden hunger in our society for something real to believe in, rather than astrology and celebrities. People are probably beginning to see how shallow and unreal our society is. We have the chance to offer them something which speaks to the heart and soul, but to do that we have to receive into our own hearts and souls.
Come along and experience the joy of discovering something new and beautiful. Feel what it is like to fall in love with the word of God spoken through the pages of the bible.
My thanks to all those who have worked so hard to prepare this material, and to the people who are bringing the groups together. Enjoy this new season’sexciting challenge and all the blessings it will bring.

With my prayers for you and with all good wishes.
+ Kieran, Bishop of Arundel & Brighton

For Audio version below to download go to the Bishop's page on the website and follow link to his Pastoral Letter

Friday, 4 October 2013

CAFOD Harvest Fast Day Today!

Would you make a place at your table for Mayling?

This Harvest Fast Day, make a place at your table for people who don't have enough to eat. People like 10-year-old Mayling and her grandmother Marta. 

On some days, when there is very little money, Mayling and her grandmother Marta eat just two tortillas each. And if they have nothing, they eat nothing. But no matter how little Marta has, she does her best to ensure Mayling has a place at her table.

By donating just £1 a week - less than the cost of a loaf of bread - to CAFOD, you can help make sure the world’s poorest families have enough food today and for the future.

Donate now and make a place at your table >>