Wednesday, 31 July 2013

A First Timer's Impression of Lourdes

The Sanctuary and Basilica in Lourdes
Penny Richardson from Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in Adur Valley, West Sussex offers her first impressions of a pilgrimage to Lourdes as the A&B Diocesan Pilgrimage continues its own pilgrimage in 2013 in Lourdes:
"It was last December 8th on the occasion of our Golden Wedding anniversary that our son surprised us with a gift of a trip to Lourdes .

So on July 9th we set off. Arrived in mid morning having driven through lovely countryside, to the town of Lourdes to be completely shocked at first. I had been warned about souvenir shops but had not expected the sheer scale of shops selling mostly tacky souvenirs. To be fair we did find other more tasteful shopping areas and as tourism must form a very large part of their economy so we should not be so derogatory about that. We quickly found our way to Rosary Square and found the setting there quite beautiful. After the recent floods we wondered how much it would be affected. There were many signs of damage and the baths were still closed off. Indeed the river was still swollen and gushing along that it was easy to see that another storm and heavy downpour could easily cause the same to happen again.

We made our way down to the shrine and at this stage did not feel particularly moved. It was certainly busy and a league of nations in miniature! I was particularly impressed by the amount of young people apparently happy in their task of pushing and pulling around those in wheelchairs and their kindness to the disabled . I wasn’t sure how I felt about the taps for holy water nor the massive candles.

You may think this all sounds very negative – read on!!

All through the day there were Masses and other services going on and you didn’t have to go far to listen to some beautiful singing from one place or another.

We returned in the evening for the torchlight procession. This left us feeling extremely moved, even emotional. It was all organised very well and to watch these vast swathes of pilgrims was incredible. When the beginning of the procession reached rosary square the tail end had not even started. After the statue had been placed in the centre those in wheelchairs were brought up in lines which alone moved me to tears. Then the groups with banners filled the staircases encircling the basilica followed by other pilgrims walking with their torches moving along in strict lines until the square and beyond was one mass of people and torches.

David, Penny's husband, who was new to all this sort of thing, says he will never forget the chanting of “ Ave Maria” and the way that everyone lifted their torches high at that moment. We had watched this procession from a high point so that we could get some good photographs but the next night we joined in ourselves . As we were to return home the next day we thought that would be our last visit there but found next morning we were drawn back again. It is an amazing place that has this extraordinary effect of drawing us back again and again. I have a feeling this trip will not be our last.

I remember that Deacon Stephen Sharpe from our parish said that when in Rome it was the sheer physical sight of the church that moved him to respond to his calling – I can understand that myself now, it was indeed the sheer physicality of the church in action that I found so moving.

Most reassuringly I came away with the feeling that we may fret over our diminished congregations and some of our parochial efforts not being fully supported but it is clear that God’s Church is not only alive and kicking but thriving and well."

Penny why not next time join the diocesan pilgrimage? See www.dabnet.org

Monday, 29 July 2013

Thinking and Acting on Call to Priesthood

Tom Kent - new A&B seminarian
Tom Kent who is with the diocesan pilgrimage in Lourdes and is about to start his preparation year for priesthood at Vallodalid in Spain reflects on the call to priesthood:
"It has been almost eight months since I moved from the quiet rural intimacy of Wadhurst, into the bustling parish of Horsham. Over a year ago, when Fr Terry Martin, the diocesan vocations director, called me to say that I would be moving, I could never have imagined exactly what life there would be like; a parish where the average size of a weekday congregation is bigger than the sum total of the Sunday Masses in Wadhurst! 

My point is not that I felt unprepared or unwilling to face the reality of what priesthood really is, -a busy life surrounded by countless different people- but that I did not know for sure what was awaiting me. If I look back to a time when I was only just considering the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood, I could never have imagined that I would even go on a parish placement at all. I had a few ideas of what it might be like to celebrate the Mass, hear confessions and give homilies, but I had no actual "plan" for becoming a priest. 

Simply put, I had a vague idea in the back of my mind which was one of many aspirations. For example, at one time I was very interested in the possibility of becoming an architect, or a doctor; a husband and a father. This begs the question, therefore, as to what it is that transforms a humble aspiration into a Christian vocation? Why am I now on a parish placement, discerning a vocation to priesthood, when there were so many other options? All of our 'life choices' are definitely possible vocations, and I have no doubt that countless numbers of people have wondered what life might have been like had they done something else with it. 

Consider all of those young people who, at about this time, are revising hard for GCSE and A-level exams and are giving serious thought to their futures. How can any of us possibly discern a vocation when there are so many possibilities and distractions, so many temptations and so much stress? The answer is Christ, always Christ; turn to him and you cannot go wrong. Even if you think to yourself, "I don't have the right life style, I don't have the time, I don't have the money or the experience," Christ is still the answer. These are all valid doubts, of course, but Christ does not want us serve him because of these things. He wants us to serve him because of who we are, because he loves us for who we are. Whilst I very much hope that there are young men -perhaps still hiding away in the corners of this diocese- who will soon give some serious thought to priesthood, it is each one of us who has a specific call to a particular service. This is the true meaning of vocation! There is one thing to which we are all called, and that is to holiness.

I am beginning to understand, for it's a long journey, growth in holiness is the first step of discernment; to grow in holiness it is necessary for us to discover a relationship with Jesus. We must be devoted to him in prayer. We must adore him in the Blessed Sacrament, not out of mere piety but out of love, the same love that we must share with the world around us: we must love like him. If we are totally open to Christ, if we are willing to follow him by offering to him everything that we do and everything that we are, we shall hear his voice. Jesus never stops calling out to us, the only reason that we might not hear him is because we might not be listening! We must be totally open to what he wants of us and we must be willing to work hard with ourselves, to allow him to penetrate our lives. This is indeed a lifelong challenge, and there is no guarantee that we will succeed, but if we take our faith seriously, it is the most important thing we shall ever do! 

When I first arrived in Horsham, those eight months ago, it was a great challenge to me; firstly because I knew absolutely nobody, but secondly because, as I have already mentioned, I had no idea of how my time here might unfold. I simply placed my trust in Christ. Whilst still very far from any sort of perfect relationship with Christ, it is was with immense gratitude that, last week, I told the people of Horsham parish that my time with them has only ever been beneficial in helping me to discover him more deeply. It is my prayer that we, as a diocese, will continue to promote vocations- especially to the priesthood- and that we will inspire each other to grow in faith and love of Jesus."

Please pray for Tom, Alex and Joe who all start there seminary formation this year. 
To find out more about vocations in the diocese go to the A&B Vocations Website

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Fundraising for Lourdes - Climb Every Mountain

Dr Salvo Xerri who has been a doctor with the Lourdes pilgrimage for many years has decided to climb not every mountain, but one very large one. 

He writes:
"I am Salvo Xerri and I am going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in October this year. By doing this I hope to raise funds for the Arundel & Brighton Lourdes Pilgrimage sick fund. 

Every year our diocese helps pilgrims to go to Lourdes, but some may find it difficult to go because of financial restraints. 

This fund exists to provide financial assistance to those sick pilgrims who otherwise cannot afford to go to Lourdes. My aim is to raise as much money as possible to help this fund, and make it possible for those pilgrims with a medical problem to come to Lourdes.

I hope that people will be able to support me in this endeavour and sponsor me for this climb."

One can donate by going to www.justgiving.com/salvo-xerri

Thank you for your support and generosity.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Message from Pope Francis on Day for Life to Catholics in British Isles

Pope Francis kisses a baby in St Peter's Square
Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk
Pope Francis said in his message to Catholics in the British Isles celebrating the Day for Life on 28 July:
“Calling to mind the teaching of Saint Irenaeus that the glory of God is seen in a living human being, the Holy Father encourages all of you to let the light of that glory shine so brightly that everyone may come to recognise the inestimable value of all human life.

Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live for ever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.

His Holiness prays that the Day for Life will help to ensure that human life always receives the protection that is its due, so that 'everything that breathes may praise the Lord' (Psalm 150:6). ”

To find out more about this visit the Bishops' Conference website.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Bishop Joins Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes

Redshirts welcome sick and helpers
Bishop Kieran has joined hundreds of pilgrims from Arundel & Brighton Diocese making the annual pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes. Despite the recent floods the Bishop was under no doubt that we should still go both to pray with and support the people of Lourdes who welcome us year by year.

Alongside Bishop Kieran there will be priests, deacons and lay people, but at the heart of the pilgrimage will be the sick pilgrims who form the focus and inspiration for this annual pilgrimage. The sick pilgrims come each year asking for the prayers of the Blessed Mary for the healing, consolation and support of her son Jesus.

Bishop Kieran joined nearly a hundred 15-17 year olds, known as Redshirts, for Mass on the day before the main pilgrimage leaves by train. They travel by coach across France starting two days before to arrive in time to be sure to welcome all the pilgrims arriving on the train especially the sick and disabled. The sight of these young people giving a joyous welcome to the train-weary pilgrims is a tonic for all.

The week in Lourdes will be a time of prayer, friendship and fun. At the heart of the pilgrimage Bishop Kieran points out in the Lourdes Pilgrims Handbook is the celebration of Mass, the source and summit of all that is done during the week. Linked and feed by the Eucharist the gifts of service and community spring forth. Hundreds of people from young to old work with and help the sick and disabled pilgrims to have a wonderful experience in Lourdes and they in turn are served by the prayer, patience and kindness of the sick and disabled.

To find out more about the pilgrimage go to www.dabnet.org and follow links to Lourdes Pilgrimage pages.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Never Mind Chris Frome Congratulations to Canon Kieron

Canon Kieron on his bike
The cycling phenomenon that is Canon Kieron O'Brien is just completing his sponsored cycle ride from Chichester to Lourdes in the south of France to join up with the diocesan pilgrimage which begins on Friday 26 July. Previously parish priest at St Richard's, Chichester he is now parish priest of St Joseph's, Brighton which is in need of funds for work that needs to be done on the Church. As the new parish is in a poorer area he decided that he would raise funds by doing something himself and so he got on his bike and cycled to Lourdes.

This is not the first time he has done this journey, Canon Kieron who is a regular cyclist was expecting to arrive in Lourdes in the foot of the Pyrennes, the site of Chris Frome great stage win in the recent Tour de France, within a week.

Canon Kieron will join hundreds of A&B diocesan pilgrimages, young, old, sick and disabled in Lourdes where he will be chaplain to one of the groups.

If you would like to sponsor him go to his My Donate page and donate!

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Bob Smytherman new Catholic Mayor of Worthing

Worthing Mayor Bob Symtherman
Bob was first elected to Worthing Borough Council in 2002 to represent Tarring Ward. During 2003/04 he was appointed as the Executive Member with responsibilities for Planning and Economic Development; he then went on to become Leader of the Opposition Group until 2008. In 2009 Bob was elected to represent the area on West Sussex County Council and re-elected in May 2013. From 201-2013 he was Chairman of the Worthing County Local Committee.

As a Councillor Bob has served on most of the Council’s committees; mainly the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Panels; he was also Chairman of the Licensing Sub-Committee.

Bob went to St Mary's Roman Catholic Primary School in Worthing and regularly attends  St Mary's Catholic Church in Richmond Road where he is a regular Minister of the Eucharist. The Parish priest Father Chris Benyon will be Bob’s Chaplain during his mayoral year.

Bob has worked in the town since 1988; firstly as a manager of a take-away in The Royal Arcade owned by the former Mayor & Honorary Alderman Nick John and later for the local business Connaught Leisure. Bob has also been a cycling instructor for West Sussex County Council and Night Manager at the Chatsworth Hotel in Worthing.

As well as his work on the Council, Bob is a Trustee of the popular local charity Worthing and Arun MIND and also Chairman of the Federation of Private Residents’ Association which has represented the interests of long leasehold flat owners in England & Wales.

Bob’s charities for the year will be Worthing Guild Care, Worthing Alzheimer’s and Worthing and Arun Mind which will soon become Coastal West Sussex Mind following a merger with Chichester area MIND. The Mayor’s Charity Committee will be chaired by former mayor’s chauffeur Percy Nowell.

Bob’s Mayoress is Councillor Norah Fisher. When attending mayoral engagements with Bob, Norah will be accompanied by her assistance dog “Herbie” who is a Labradoodle. 

The Mayoral charities photographer (John Young Photography) took some wonderful pictures of the event  www.johnyoungphotography.net and the pictures and video about the Mayor are included on his charities website http://www.worthingmayorscharities.co.uk/

Monday, 22 July 2013

School Head Retires with a Mass

Bishop Kieran with Carole Baker
Sister Mary Andrew, Chair of Governors for the Towers Convent School in Upper Bedding, West Sussex writes:
Carole Baker is retiring after 10 years as the first lay Head of The Towers School. She has done an amazing job: under her direction, a beautiful new wing was erected, pupil numbers increased, academic achievements have been exceptional and there is a great spirit in the school.

Blessed Peter Vigne, founder of the Blessed Sacrament Sisters who established The Towers, said, “To educate is to help the young seek happiness,” and that the principle of education is love, “ … which is full of kindness and seeks only the good of others.” Carole sought to live out this charism, always putting first her pupils’ happiness, guiding them with love into becoming mature and well-balanced young people who will make a difference to the world.

When asked what she would like as a retirement gift Carole requested a “Mass celebrated by Bishop Kieran Conry”. In the last week of term Bishop Kieran along with fellow Priests and Deacons, including Canon Gerald Coates, Father Tony Lovegrove, Father Dominic O'Hara, Father Tadeusz Bialas, Deacon Seamus Mahon and Deacon Richard Edwards, celebrated a whole school Mass at The Towers. The service was both joyous and uplifting – a fitting end to her time at the school. Past pupils, local Heads and other people who have supported Carole throughout her career were able to be part of the congregation.

They look forward to welcoming our new Headmistress, Clare Trelfa, in September.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

A Poetic Reflection for Sunday

TRINITY OF SILENCE


In hamlet chapels & in great cathedral halls,
Across the awful tapestry of time,
The FATHER of all silences abides,
Unfathomable Architect divine.

In human hearts the SON of silence dwells,
A silence echoed in a darkened wood,
So still the feather kiss of gentle rain,
Like thunder cracks the reigning quietude.

The singing silence of the high and hallowed hills,
A haunting SPIRIT rides a whistling breeze,
The wayward wind is Lord and Master here, 
Where kestrels hover solely by decree.

Antony Hebdon, parishioner of Sacred Heart, Hove

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Artists Find a Home in a Church

People look around the artist stalls at St Patrick's during the Festival
Recently St Patrick’s, Woodingdean opened it's doors to the Brighton Festival.

They hosted 18 artists to join in the very popular Artists Open House where artists open their homes or use other venues to display, and hopefully sell, their creations.

It was a lot of hard work to organise, advertise and man the open days, but well worth the effort. Comments in our visitors’ book showed this. They ranged from ‘lots of amazing talent’ to ‘lovely to see a Catholic church getting involved in community events’. They will do it again next May so look out for theirr advert in the Brighton Open House brochure and elsewhere. They would love to see you.

From Bernadette, Irene and Jane.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Civil Liberties at Risk in Same Sex Marriage Law?



As the Bill on Same-Sex Marriage is about to become law C4M reflect on the dangers to individual civil liberties

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Statement by Catholic Bishops Conference on the passing of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act

Archbishops Vincent and Peter who made statement
©Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk 
In receiving Royal Assent, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act marks a watershed in English law and heralds a profound social change. This fact is acknowledged by both advocates and opponents of the Act.

Marriage has, over the centuries, been publicly recognised as a stable institution which establishes a legal framework for the committed relationship between a man and a woman and for the upbringing and care of their children. It has, for this reason, rightly been recognised as unique and worthy of legal protection.

The new Act breaks the existing legal links between the institution of marriage and sexual complementarity. With this new legislation, marriage has now become an institution in which openness to children, and with it the responsibility on fathers and mothers to remain together to care for children born into their family unit, are no longer central. That is why we were opposed to this legislation on principle.

Along with others, we have expressed real concern about the deficiencies in the process by which this legislation came to Parliament, and the speed with which it has been rushed through. We are grateful particularly therefore to those Parliamentarians in both Houses who have sought to improve the Bill during its passage, so that it enshrines more effective protection for religious freedom.

A particular concern for us has also been the lack of effective protection for Churches which decide not to opt-in to conducting same sex marriages. Amendments made in the House of Lords though have significantly strengthened the legal protections in the Act for the Churches. We also welcome the Government’s amendment to the Public Order Act which makes it clear beyond doubt that “discussion or criticism of marriage which concerns the sex of the parties to the marriage shall not be taken of itself to be threatening or intended to stir up hatred”. Individuals are therefore protected from criminal sanction under the Public Order Act when discussing or expressing disagreement with same sex marriage.

In other respects, however, the amendments we suggested have not been accepted. We were concerned to provide legislative clarity for schools with a religious character. This was in order to ensure that these schools will be able to continue to teach in accordance with their religious tenets. Given the potential risk that future guidance given by a Secretary of State for education regarding sex and relationships education could now conflict with Church teaching on marriage, we were disappointed that an amendment to provide this clarity was not accepted. The Minister made clear in the House of Lords, however, that in “having regard” to such guidance now or in the future schools with a religious character can “take into account other matters, including in particular relevant religious tenets”, and that “having regard to a provision does not mean that it must be followed assiduously should there be good reason for not doing so”. These assurances go some way to meeting the concerns we and others expressed.

We were disappointed that a number of other amendments to safeguard freedom of speech and the rights of civil registrars to conscientious objection were not passed. But Ministerial assurances have been made that no one can suffer detriment or unfavourable treatment in employment because she or he holds the belief that marriage can only be between a man and a woman.

The legal and political traditions of this country are founded on a firm conviction concerning the rights of people to hold and express their beliefs and views, at the same time as respecting those who differ from them. It is important, at this moment in which deeply held and irreconcilable views of marriage have been contested, to affirm and strengthen this tradition.

Sharing Joy of First Holy Communion with Whole School

School Assembly with First Communion Children at the front
Annecy School, Seaford in East Sussex had a blessing service for the First Communion children to celebrate with the whole school and First Communion children's parents.

Fr Paul Jennings led the service and the children wore their First Communion clothes.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

New Priest Ordained for the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton

Bishop Kieran with the new priest Fr Simon Dray following Mass of Ordination
Congratulations to Fr Simon Dray who was ordained to the priesthood on Wednesday 10th July at Our Lady of Sorrows, Bognor Regis, West Sussex. Born, baptised, and confirmed in the diocese in the parish of St Clement's, Ewell, Surrey where he is to celebrate his first Mass, he received the sacrament of Holy Orders as a priest for the diocese. He is to start his priestly ministry as an assistant priest in Bexhill at St Mary Magdalen's with Fr David Parmiter.

Ad multos annos!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Prayer for Syria

Middle East Christians at Mass
photo: ©Mazur/catholichurch.org.uk
Archbishop Vincent Nichols, president of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, and Bishop Declan Lang, chair of the international affairs committee for the Conference, today called on all Catholics to offer prayers, and to offer practical support wherever possible, for all those affected by the conflict in Syria.

In the statement the Bishops said:
“Please pray for those involved in humanitarian aid, that access will be granted so that help can reach those most in need. Please pray for political leaders and their advisors, that the postponed Geneva 2 summit on Syria will take place very soon.

"The urgent challenge facing the parties will be in creating conditions for a ceasefire and eventually a settlement that respects the dignity, fundamental freedoms and rights of all Syrians.

"The suffering that Syrians endure is growing not only through violence but also the economic hardships faced by increasing numbers in that country. The summer heat will bring further extreme hardship to those living in refugee camps. Please support practically those people exiled or internally displaced by contributing to the relief effort and the work of organisations such as Missio, Cafod and Aid to the Church in Need.”

Mass will be offered for the Syrian community and all those suffering the effects of the civil war in Syria this Friday, 12 July at 5:30pm in Westminster Cathedral.

At their plenary meeting in November 2012, the Bishops of England and Wales reflected on the tragedy afflicting Syria and, as a sign of solidarity with all in the Middle East region, asked the Catholic community to make 4 December a day of prayer for all those suffering violence and injustice.

The date 4 December was chosen as it is the feast day of St John Damascene and links the early Church with the living community of Middle Eastern Christians and their vocation as peace builders.

Prayer for Peace
O God of peace, who are peace itself
and whom a spirit of discord cannot grasp,
nor a violent mind receive,
grant that those who are one in heart
may persevere in what is good
and that those in conflict
may forget evil and so be healed.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

St John Damascene, pray for us.
Prayer text from Roman Missal © 2010 ICEL
Who was St John?
St John Damascene or St John of Damascus; Priest and Doctor of the Church; Feast celebrated on 4 December

St John was born about 675 in Damascus (Syria) and died near Jerusalem about 749. He is understood to have followed his father as a Christian official in a Moslem government. Later he became a monk and later Priest at Mar Saba monastery near Jerusalem, where he was renowned as a theologian and biblical commentator. He is remembered for his vigorous defence of the veneration of images against the iconoclasts, for his theological writings synthesising the thought of the Greek Fathers, and for his poetry and hymnody.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Pope to A&B Seminarians and others: 'Jesus is not a part-time option'



Wonderful words from Pope Francis to our prospective and actual seminarians and religious. Indeed wise words for all in whatever their place in the Church

Saturday, 6 July 2013

A&B Diocesan Seminarians to Meet the Pope

Arundel & Brighton seminarians and those considering a priestly or religious vocations will be in Rome with Fr Terry Martin Diocesan Vocations Director. Please pray for a safe journey and joyful pilgrimage for all.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

East Sussex Confirmations - A Spirit Filled Day

Catechists and confirmation candidates
Holy Redeemer church was full to overflowing on Saturday 15th June when The Good Shepherd parish and Our Lady Star of the Sea parish celebrated their confirmation mass for 22 young people.  Bishop Kieran concelebrated Mass with four priests. 

It was the culmination of a year of preparation for the confirmation candidates who had shared a retreat weekend together and held an evening prayer vigil, as well as attending regular meetings with the formation team.  One of the team commented that this year’s candidates had been particularly committed, which made the day even more joyful for everyone. 

In his homily the Bishop exhorted the candidates to express Christ’s love in the world in such a way that everyone would feel better for having spent time with them. Wherever life would lead them, the Catholic community was now their home and they would always be welcome.

The day was blessed with sunshine and happy group photos were taken outside followed by an abundant spread for all in the hall. The church was dressed in wonderful floral decorations in red.


In the meantime the ongoing work of amalgamation continues and we now have a new website www.parishofgoodshepherd.org.uk which is gradually being refined. 

Monday, 1 July 2013

Towers Fights Cancer Together - Totally Amazing

Sr Patrick and retiring Head Carole Baker
Back in April, The Towers Convent School in Upper Beeding made the decision that as a number of our parents, a member of staff and Sister Patrick were all undergoing treatment for various types of Cancer we wanted to support Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer and began planning our Solstice event.  Also, we decided that, as this is my tenth and final year as Head, we would aim for a total of £10,000. We thought that we were being optimistic and perhaps a little too ambitious but decided that it would be better to aim high.  As I write this the total is just over £13,500 with money from the sponsored runs and silent auction still to come. The original plan was to give £5,000 each to Macmillan and Cancer Research UK and then anything above that amount could go to the Worthing Hospital Scanner Appeal.

The first ‘event’ was our money mile where everyone was invited to place loose change on the tape around the school. The money is still coming in and we are at 1194 yards. Not quite a mile but equating to over £500.  There have been many individual events such as the Daisy Chain Challenge (£88), a parent who asked her dinner party guests to pay for their pudding (£55) cake sales at various churches to name but a few.

Then the Summer Solstice arrived and the Seniors arrived dressed in pink and green outfits plus trainers to do the 5km fun run along the banks of the river adur. The first girl back was Ellie-Rose Teatum with a time of 19 minutes 20 seconds.  In the afternoon all of the Juniors and nursery ran or walked around the field as many times as they could manage. For one nursery child one lap was enough before he declared to Hayley “I have had enough, my feet won’t do anymore” whilst the girl who did the most laps was Amelie Somers completing 48 laps closely followed by Harriet Thornton completing 47 laps.  The sponsor money from both of these events this has yet to be counted but even if each child only raises £10 then that would be a further £3200!

In the evening the auction alone raised an amazing £3905.  With ticket sales and bar sales, lockery and tombola adding a further £1600 to the proceeds from the night.  All 23 lots sold with some competitive bidding, particularly for the tickets to the Ashes which sold for £370 and the Florida apartment which reached an amazing £1000. The champagne tea at South Lodge, Dinner, bed and breakfast at Dean’s Place, a Mappin and Webb watch, signed cricket bat and the bakery courses at The Artisan Bakery were also very popular, each reaching around £200. There were many more items donated and a silent auction for these is still in process.

Saturday saw some serious competitors warming up with exercises demonstrated by Kat O’Neill before setting off on a steep hill over the Downs for a 5 or 8K run, jog or walk. This raised over £1000 in entry fees. Congratulations not only to Will Chambers and ex-pupil Lydia Growns who respectively won the two categories but also to Ellie-Rose Teatum who repeated her achievement of the previous day and was the first Towers pupil to return.

During the afternoon the fete was declared open by Sister Patrick and followed an afternoon of busy its busy stalls, entertainment and games went ahead despite the windy weather.  The rain held off until it was time to pack away and to start the barbecue. Venison or pork burgers provided by a parent were delicious and the entertainment first ‘Fat Owl’ followed by ‘No Pressure’ soon had literally everyone up and dancing to round off a fabulous weekend.

As this is posted monies have now reached £19,000!