Wednesday, 24 December 2014

A Happy and Holy Christmas

The Diocese of Arundel & Brighton wishes you a Happy and Holy Christmas and Blessed New Year

Monday, 24 November 2014

New Deacon for Arundel & Brighton Diocese

L-R: Deacon Stephen Sharpe, Bishop John Hine, Deacon Robin Farrow,
Fr Kevin Dring, and Mrs Caroline Farrow with their 4 children.

Congratulations to Robin Farrow who was ordained to the Diaconate by Bishop John Hine at the Sacred Heart Church in Hove on Saturday 22 November. He will be ordained to the Priesthood in the Easter Season next year.

Deacon Robin who is a married former Anglican minister will be moving with his family to the Parish of Ash in Surrey around Christmas time and will be working in the parish alongside Deacon John Edwards and Fr Terry Martin before his priestly ordination after which he will be the Priest in the parish.

We wish him many years of happy ministry. Ad multos annos!

Friday, 14 November 2014

Jubilarians Celebrate in the Eternal City

L-R: Seminarian Tristan Cranfield, Canon David Foley, Fr Albert Van der Most,
Canon Mgr John Hull, Mr Neville Barrie, Canon Gerald Coates
Four Priests from Arundel & Brighton Diocese, Canon David Foley, Fr Albert Van der Most, Canon Mgr John Hull and Canon Gerarld Coates recently traveled to the English College in Rome to celebrate their various jubilees of ordination. They are pictured here with Arundel & Brighton seminarian Tristan Cranfield who is training in Rome for the priesthood and Mr Neville Barrie who was assisting Canon Coates for the visit.

They joined other jubilarian priests from England and Wales at Villa Palazzola and at the English College. The highlight of the visit for them was the audience with Pope Francis which took place during the week.

We give thanks for their many years of service to the priesthood and the diocese, and wish them many more.
Ad multos annos!

Friday, 31 October 2014

CAFOD Launches 'One Climate, One World' Campaign in Brighton

Photo from left to right: Caroline Lucas MP, Martin Brown, Deidre McMahon, Jesy Romero, Adan Samuel Pajuelo Bula, Neil Thorns
There was a full house in the Cassidy Pastoral Centre at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Brighton on Tuesday 21 October. People had come from across the Diocese for the A&B launch of the new campaign on climate change, called ‘One Climate, One World’. Speakers included two of the community leaders that CAFOD works with in Peru, Jesy Romero and Adan Samuel Pajuelo Bula, CAFOD’s Director of Advocacy & Communications, Neil Thorns, Campaign Engagement Manager, Sarah Hagger-Holt and the local MP, Caroline Lucas.

Jesy and Adan told how changes in the climate were already affecting the community in the Andes. Most notably, they showed how the glacier above the village had significantly shrunk leading to a serious reduction in the water in the lake on which they depended. Jesy works with the Peruvian Bishops Social Action Commission, supported by CAFOD, which is helping farmers adapt. For example, to try to conserve the lake, water has had to be rationed with some farmers only able to irrigate their crops for one day a month.

Because of the urgency of the global situation and because action needs to be taken now by all countries, the ‘One Climate, One World’ campaign is calling on the UK political party leaders to play their part. As they prepare the manifestos for the general election, CAFOD is asking them to include a commitment to work to prevent climate change pushing people deeper into poverty and to move from fossil fuels to sustainable energy.

Caroline Lucas told the meeting that climate change was a question of justice as the poorest countries were being most affected yet they had done the least to cause it. She said: “Do get stuck in, do believe that your efforts can make a difference because they definitely do.”

The CAFOD Diocesan Manager, Martin Brown, said: “It was great to see so many people turn out to show their support and I hope all readers of A&B News will join us in demanding action and standing in solidarity with people who are being affected by the changing climate. Please take action online at”

Story: Roger Morton; photo: Ben White/CAFOD

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Renew, Refresh, Rejoice - Poems from a Priest

More Poems From The Pen Of Father Rob
In Thames Ditton parish, faced with the mammoth of task of raising £250,000 for the repair and renewal of their church buildings (which celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2015), it’s ‘all hands to the pump’. Events range from the Parish Ball run by the Women’s Group to a Car-Wash organised by the Confirmation Candidates. Father Rob Esdaile, the parish priest, is making his own contribution, publishing a second volume of poetry, with its title drawn from the theme of the parish’s Jubilee Year, Renew, Refresh, Rejoice. It would be an ideal stocking-filler for Christmas! Copies can be obtained for £5 (+ £1.50 postage) from Our Lady of Lourdes RC Church, Hampton Court Way, Thames Ditton KT7 0LP.

Reproduced below is one of the more seasonal poems in the collection:

His Name Is John

That stubborn look in his wife’s eye,
the glint that he’s observed often of a morning or an evening
across the breakfast table or when doling out the steaming stew;
that set of mouth which both provokes and yet attracts
and which he knows he cannot countermand,
voices her conviction that ‘His name is John.’
And a dozen pairs of eyes are fixed on him
as he scribbles down his mute reply: ‘She’s right!’
Then a dozen tongues are of a sudden wagging,
plus his own, restored, pouring out his praise of God
against the nosy neighbours’ counterpointing commentary.

His name is John, or rather Jehohanan:
Meaning,‘The Almighty has shown forth his favour.’
The aging priest already knows the meaning of this blessing:
his son is not in his control. For the tiny infant scowl betrays
the self-same stubborn rightness of his wife
and in a few years, no doubt, the boy will be gone,
lost to wanderlust or to some harebrained plan of revolution, he presumes,
but lost in fact (did he but know the truth) to God.

No matter, though: ‘His name is John.’
God’s favour rests on him.
And while he voices his first flush of pride
this father gives his restless son
the tools to do his future work
hymning the undying goodness of the Lord.

©Rob Esdaile, 2014

Friday, 24 October 2014

Wintershall Nativity - A New Generation Takes Over

Charlotte de Klee and Peter Hutley
Production of the great Wintershall religious plays performed in Surrey, London and Glastonbury has been passed to the next generation of the Hutley family, ensuring that the tradition stays alive.

Peter Hutley has written and produced first the Wintershall Nativity, and latterly either the Passion Play or the epic Life of Christ as well, every year since 1990.

Now in his late 80s, he has passed the baton to his daughter Charlotte. He will still be a part of the theatre, acting in the plays and inspiring the cast, but she will take over the responsibility for the productions.

With a cast ranging from 75 for the Nativity to 200 for the Life of Christ, all willing amateurs except for the professional Christ, the plays are a huge undertaking and luckily Charlotte knows just what she is taking on.

The whole Hutley family, parents, children and grandchildren, have been involved in the productions from the start – in the case of the grandchildren since birth – and Charlotte shares Peter’s passion for the plays. She has been responsible for staging the Wintershall Nativity in Scotland where she lives, for the last 16 years.

The Wintershall productions have always had professional directors, Ashley Herman and Kathy Longbottom, and the theatre project has never stood still. As the repertoire of plays increased, so did the venues. The Passion played in Guildford High Street and is now regularly staged in Trafalgar Square. This year, it also went to Glastonbury. The Nativity will be performed at Wintershall and also returns to All Souls Church in Langham Place and the piazza at BBC Broadcasting House.

Peter’s vision saw Christ’s cross, straw, sheep, donkeys and whole families of actors take the plays to central London. Where will Charlotte’s vision take them next?

Top of her initial wishlist is a new generation of actors to join the cast. “It’s like a family, a community,” she said, “We don’t have auditions and everyone is welcome. It’s really about the Body of Christ. We are all part of it and nobody is excluded.

“Rehearsals are mostly at weekends from October and the actors are trained by first class directors. At least one child had their life changed by the experience as it is such a tremendous confidence builder.”

Rehearsals start next month. Contact 01483 892167 if you would like to be involved. Performances are on December 17 in London and December 18-21 at Wintershall.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Pope Francis Beatified Pope Paul VI It was a symbolic morning at the Vatican which was led by three Popes: Pope Francis declared Paul VI blessed, accompanied by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

Benedict XVI, although frail, followed the ceremony attentively.

In front of thousands of people, the Pope inscribed Paul VI in the Book of Saints.

"We declare that the Venerable Servant of God Paul VI, Pope, shall henceforth be invoked as Blessed...”

As is usual during beatifications, this tapestry was unveiled on the facade of the basilica. From there, the newly Blessed seemed to gaze at the crowd with a loving smile.

Pope Francis said:
"When we look to this great Pope, this courageous Christian, this tireless apostle, we cannot but say in the sight of God a word as simple as it is heartfelt and important: thanks! Thank you, our dear and beloved Pope Paul VI! Thank you for your humble and prophetic witness of love for Christ and his Church!”

Paul VI was an intellectual Pope, whose thoughts continue to incluence the Church today. He is most likely one of the often quoted Pontiffs by Pope Francis, who admires his texts on the apostolate.

Blessed Paul VI served as Pope for 15 years until his death in 1978. During that time he traveled to 19 countries in all 5 continents. He became one of the strongest voices for peace and the defense of human life.

His feast day will be celebrated on September 26th, the day of his birth.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Apostolic Administrator Appointed to Arundel & Brighton

Rather belatedly details of the appointment of the Apostolic Administrator:

On 4th October the Holy Father accepted the resignation of Bishop Kieran Conry. At the same time the Holy Father has appointed Archbishop Peter Smith as the Apostolic Administrator of the vacant See of Arundel and Brighton, until such time as a new Bishop takes possession of the Diocese.

Letter from Archbishop Peter Smith

On Sunday 5th October the following letter was read out at Masses across the Diocese

My Dear brothers and sisters,
The announcement last weekend that Bishop Kieran had offered his resignation to the Holy Father came as a great shock and was very distressing. Working with him in the Bishops’ Conference since 2001, and more recently as a Bishop of the Province of Southwark, I am well aware of all his dedicated work in the Diocese and nationally in his work as Chairman of the Department of Evangelisation and Catechesis.
My heart goes out to you at this difficult time, and I just wanted to write and let you know that I have offered Mass for you and all those hurt or distressed by Bishop Kieran’s actions. I will be keeping you and all those involved in my prayers in the coming weeks and months as you continue your preparations to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the Diocese next year.
The words of Pope Francis in his letter to the Church, “Evangelii Gaudium”, struck me as particularly appropriate at this difficult time: “I invite all Christians everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask you to do this unfailingly each day.” May I gently suggest that in the coming weeks and months, you consider having a regular period of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament in your parish churches, which would be a very fitting response to that invitation, and an excellent preparation for the Golden Jubilee of the Diocese.
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, who was your Bishop for 24 years, has asked me to send on to you a letter, which I am attaching to this message.

With an assurance of my prayers and good wishes,
+ Peter

Letter from Cardinal Cormac

My dear People of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton,
I just want you to know that my thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. The resignation of Bishop Kieran and the events accompanying it have been a great shock and sadness to us all.
As it happens, I know Bishop Kieran had intended a letter about the Church to be read out to you today. In it he says, “The Church is what joins us to Christ and builds and supports that relationship. It is also what binds us to one another. It is where we find healing and forgiveness. It is where we find support and encouragement.” We all need that healing and forgiveness as Bishop Kieran does at this time. We are all dependent upon one another for prayer, support and encouragement in times of trouble and failure. I know that you will pray for Bishop Kieran as he seeks God’s guidance for the time ahead, and for all those who have been hurt by these events.
The Diocese of Arundel and Brighton is a great diocese and will continue to flourish and develop with the renewal that has already begun in preparation for the Golden Jubilee. Know that you are and will always be in my prayers.
With my kindest wishes,

Yours devotedly in Christ,
+ Cormac

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Bishop Kieran Resigns

Bishop Kieran Conry has offered his resignation as Bishop of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton. In a statement he said:

Statement by Bishop Kieran Conry
I am sorry to confess that, going back some years, I have been unfaithful to my promises as a Catholic priest. I would like to reassure you that my actions were not illegal and did not involve minors.

As a result, however, I have decided to offer my resignation as bishop with immediate effect and will now take some time to consider my future.

I want to apologise first of all to the individuals hurt by my actions and then to all of those inside and outside the diocese who will be shocked, hurt and saddened to hear this.

I am sorry for the shame that I have brought on the diocese and the Church and I ask for your prayers and forgiveness.

There will be no further comment.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Blogs Away!

There will be no further updates on this Blog until after 16 October. 

In the meantime don't forget Festival 50 on 5th July 2014 at the Amex Stadium, Brighton:

Monday, 22 September 2014

An App to Follow and Learn about the Mass features a new app:
This educational app offers the Mass from a different point of view. It's called "Mass Explained” and it is the perfect way to understand and learn more about the meaning of the actions, words, signs and rites of the Mass.

It explains the Roman Rite, the Mass the majority of Catholics are familiar with. Additionally, it explores each section of the liturgy with prayers and unique gestures.

The app is interactive and includes 3D videos and panoramic photos. It also contains biblical references, quotes from the Fathers of the Church, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and encyclicals.

"Mass Explained” is available in English for the iPad.

Monday, 15 September 2014

St Peter's Wins Cricket Match against St Peter's!

Vatican and Brighton St Peter's Cricket Teams
St. Peter's Vatican lost the T20 game to St. Peter's Brighton

St. Peter's Brighton 168/6 (20 overs)

St. Peter's Vatican 114/9 (20 overs)

The Vatican team said "Congratulations to all our friends in Brighton for having offered us a wonderful day... Many thanks from the bottom of our hearts..."

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Ania’s 102nd Birthday Celebrations at St Joan of Arc Farnham

Ania Botwin with Great-Niece Gosia in St. Joan’s Centre, Farnham
On 6th August, Ania Botwin, a parishioner of St Joan of Arc in Farnham, celebrated her 102nd birthday. Mass on the following Sunday was celebrated for her intentions and Father Niven Richardson gave her a blessing and a special candle.

After Mass, many of the congregation joined her and family members for a drink and cake in St Joan’s Parish Centre. A lovely feature of this celebration was a Bach Gavotte for violin played by Gosia, Ania’s 16 year old great-niece. Gosia is studying violin in Warsaw and is spending two weeks holidaying with Ania and family in Farnham.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Want to find more information on Popes? There's an 'app' for that

Pope Francis is the 266th Pontiff in the history of the Catholic Church. He's obviously very popular, but the lives of other Popes, like Gregory X, aren't as well known.

Now, there's an 'app' for that. It's called Popes Encyclopedia and with one simple click the lives of every single Pope become available.

It allows users to choose information on the Popes by date, name, country or religious order.

Tapping on the cross will open the main menu. There one can find all kinds of information like the age of John XXIII upon his election, or where Pope Callistus III was born.

Users can also search topics ranging from the longest papacy to resignations and even Popes who have been canonized.

A picture of each Pope can be found along with a card that lists key details about their lives. Popes Encyclopedia is available for iPhone and Android smartphones.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

25th Anniversary of Depaul UK and its work with Young People

A Nightstop host volunteer welcomes a young person to stay for the night. Photo: Courtesy of Depaul UK 
Twenty-five years ago, the charity Depaul UK was set up in response to the growing number of young people sleeping rough on the streets across the country. A thanksgiving mass will celebrate the charity’s anniversary at 2pm on 27th September 2014 - the feast day of St Vincent de Paul - at Westminster Cathedral, presided over by the charity’s patron Cardinal Vincent Nichols. 

An unprecedented rise in youth homelessness has caused demand for Depaul UK’s services to increase by 300% in just 12 months in some parts of the country. In order to meet rising demand, Depaul is calling on households across the Catholic community who have a spare room to consider making it available to a young homeless person.

The charity supports a network of 40 safe emergency accommodation services across the UK, called Nightstops, placing homeless young people aged 16-25 in the homes of over 740 volunteer hosts approved by Depaul UK. The scheme sees volunteer hosts provide a room, evening meal and listening ear to a young homeless person for one night or for up to two weeks. Once engaged with Nightstop, staff can then work with the young person in partnership with local agencies to help them address issues that caused them to become homeless, providing family mediation and securing longer-term settled accommodation.

Martin Houghton-Brown, Chief Executive of Depaul UK, said:
“The thanksgiving mass is a great opportunity to thank the Catholic community for the invaluable support and commitment that has helped the charity transform the lives of so many young people who are homeless, vulnerable and disadvantaged.

“But recent times have been tough on young people, with an estimated 80,000 becoming homeless or sleeping rough last year in the UK and demand for our services rising so fast we are having to turn young people away. This is forcing more and more to sleep in unsafe places, vulnerable to exploitation and harm.

“Nightstop is a unique and increasingly vital service made possible by the generosity of inspirational people, many from the Catholic community, with a spare room and a desire to help young people in crisis.”

Depaul’s journey began over 400 years ago in a small village in the Pyrenees where St Vincent de Paul was born in 1581. And since Depaul UK was founded in 1989 through the partnership of three Catholic charities and the vision of the late Cardinal Basil Hume, the values based Vincentian charity has continued its strong links with the Catholic Church.

Since 1989, the charity has helped over 80,000 children through a national network of youth homelessness projects in the UK and now also operates in Ireland, France, Slovakia, the USA and Ukraine. Conflict in Ukraine is driving many displaced families to Kharkiv and Odessa where Depaul projects have been offering a vital lifeline, providing hot meals, first aid, shelter and support for those living on the margins of a society in turmoil.

If you would like to sign up as a host family, visit to find your local Nightstop. Alternatively contact us via Twitter and we will put you in touch with the right project: @DepaulNightstop

Friday, 29 August 2014

Supporting and Praying for the Ukraine

Rt Rev Hlib Lonchyna (see picture), Holy Family Eparch of London for Ukrainian Catholics in Great Britain has written:
"The letter of the Primate of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is a heartfelt appeal for prayer and support for the Ukrainian people of all faiths in this most dangerous and volatile situation, as well as a plea to be wary of many forms of misinformation coming not only from government sources (the media), but - regretfully - even from the Russian Orthodox Church.”

Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halych (see picture), Primate of Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church

Kyiv, August 21, 2014
Prot. N. 14/370
To the Catholic Episcopal conferences
То the World’s Religious and Political Leaders
To All People of Good Will

For nine months Ukrainians, have been on an arduous pilgrimage from post-Soviet fear to freedom and God-given dignity. Traumatized by twentieth century World Wars, brown and red totalitarianism and genocide, they seek a just society and a democratic, European future. With patience, endurance, and great human sacrifice they overcame in February the brutal regime of Viktor Yanukovych. This moral triumph was answered in March by Russia’s territorial annexation of Crimea. Now, for months the country endures foreign supported destabilization, separatism, and terrorist activity in the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions, in one word: war. Tragically, as became manifest in the criminal shootdown of Malasian Airlines Flight 17, the Ukrainian trial affects the global community.

All of the Churches and religious organizations of Ukraine stood together against the violence of the Yanukovych regime, the annexation of Crimea, and the division of the country. On the Maydan-Square for months, every day, and hourly in the night, in common prayer they insisted on respect of civil rights, non-violence, unity of the country, and dialogue. This civic ecumenical and inter-religious harmony and cooperation has been an important source of moral inspiration and social cohesion in Ukraine.

In annexed Crimea and in the Eastern war zone some of the Churches and religious communities have been targeted for discrimination, enduring outright violence. In Crimea the most exposed have been the Muslim Tatars. The Tatar community as a whole is in daily danger. Some of its leadership has been exiled, barred from their homeland. The existence of Greek and Roman Catholics ministries, Orthodox parishes of the Kyivan Patriarchate, and the Jewish community in Crimea has been variously menaced.

In April violence was instigated in eastern Ukraine. According to Ukrainian authorities some 1000 people, including international journalist and peace monitors, were kidnapped or detained; dozens were tortured or killed. The anti-terror operation launched by the Ukrainian government faces a foreign aggression that co-opts local rebels and local and international criminal delinquents. As a result today there are over thousand civilian casualties in the densely populated cities, with the number rising by 50 deaths or more daily, not to mention the 298 victims of MA Flight 17. The infrastructure of the cities including roads and bridges, electric substations, coal mines, and industrial installations are being destroyed to cripple the economy and future reconstruction that will become the responsibility of the Ukrainian state. Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee the warfare that has been brought into the heart of the cities by the so-called separatists.

Amidst the horrors of war the tiny Ukrainian Greek and Roman Catholic minority experience oppression on the territories controlled by the “separatists.” Three Catholic priests were kidnapped: Pawel Witek and Wiktor Wąsowicz (Roman Catholic), Tykhon Kulbaka (Greek Catholic). The later was kept in captivity for 10 days and deprived of medicine he needed. The episcopal residence of the Greek Catholic bishop in Donetsk was robbed and sealed, depriving him of his chancery and all documentation. The Cathedral yard was hit by “separatist” rocket fire damaging the building and windows with shrapnel. The bishop and almost all Greek Catholic priests were forced to leave the environs of Donetsk. Armed representatives of separatist regime entered the church and desecrated the sanctuary. They “allowed” priests to stay and conduct services but put them on travel restrictions. Terrorists blackmail the clergy by threatening to harm their parishioners.

Most recently, on Saturday, August 16, the small monastery of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate in Donetsk was seized and violated. The sisters who generously and humbly served the community and who were on a summer retreat or at summer camps for children outside of Donetsk cannot now return to their home now being used by the “separatists.”

Protestants are targeted by pro-Russian terrorist groups and have suffered the gravest violence: two sons of the pastor of the Evangelical Church “Metamorphosis” Alexander Pavlenko and two deacons of that church, Victor Brodarsky and Vladimir Velichko were taken from a church service, tortured, and killed by the terrorists. Their bodies were exhumed from amass grave in Sloviansk.

Unfortunately, the beleaguered Ukrainian Catholics, Greek and Roman, faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate and Protestants in the east of Ukraine are further endangered by the rhetoric of the Orthodox leadership in Russia, which is becoming increasingly similar to the propaganda of Russian political authorities and media.

In recent documents issued in Moscow at the highest level of the Russian Orthodox Church, particularly in a letter to the Primates of the Orthodox Churches, Greek Catholics and the Ukrainian Orthodox of the Kyivan Patriarchate, disrespectfully called "Uniates" and "schismatics”, are defamed. They are held responsible for the military conflict in Eastern Ukraine and are accused of generating the warfare, especially the violence against Orthodox clergy and faithful endured as a result of military operations. Russian Orthodox leaders spread libelous information about Greek Catholics and other confessions thereby putting them in danger from the separatist militants who identify themselves as warriors for Russian Orthodoxy.

We strongly reject these claims and accusations. The Ukrainian military is not structured as a denominational entity. Therefore, chaplains of various denominations serve in the zone of the Antiterrorist Operation. Chaplains are not permitted to interfere in the life of local religious communities. Accusations that chaplains of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church have committed acts of violence against members of other churches and religious groups are not true.

The tragedy that Ukraine is experiencing today, due to military aggression, is a tragedy for all peoples, believers of all faiths, and all social groups. Buildings, churches and monasteries of all religious and ethnic groups are being damaged or destroyed. Clergy of all faiths who exercise their pastoral ministry in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts and Crimea have suffered, some risking their own lives. Two Orthodox priests who were killed in the region are among more than a thousand civilians killed during the conflict and their terrible deaths are not connected with their religious beliefs. They were accidental victims of shelling.

We pray for all the innocent victims and for peace in Ukraine. And our Church is doing everything to bring peace and alleviate the suffering of those affected by this terrible conflict.

Ukraine needs the effective support of the global Christian community and support of all people of good will. In a media context rife with propaganda we ask you to evaluate information critically. We need your prayer, your discernment, your good words and effective deeds. Silence and inaction will lead to further tragedy. The fate of MA Flight 17 is an example of what may happen if the terrorist activity is allowed to continue.

Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halych
Primate of Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

50 Years of Service Celebrated

Sr Zita with Deacon Seamus Mahon (L) and Fr David Maskell (R)
Sisters from The Towers Convent in Upper Beeding, West Sussex celebrated Sr. Zita’s 50 years of service to the community at a joyful mass in Corpus Christi Church, Henfield, along with parishioners and visitors from far and wide. 

Sr. Zita’s brother and his wife travelled all the way from Ireland for this milestone celebration. The church was filled to capacity and many past parishioners came back to celebrate in the spirit of a true extended family. In his homily, Fr. David Maskell, parish priest called on the congregation to recognise and witness Sr. Zita’s commitment to the faith, the community and to her responsibilities and praised her for her ‘staying power’.

Mass was followed by a party in the Church Hall at which Sr. Zita cut the proverbial celebratory cake.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Coming to Festival 50 - Timothy Radcliffe OP

Coming to Festival 5 - Fr Timothy Radcliffe O.P.
Former Master General of the Dominicans
Amex Stadium, Brighton - Sunday 5 July 2015

Friday, 22 August 2014

40 Years of Permanent Diaconate in Arundel & Brighton Diocese

Bishop Kieran, Deacons, Family and Friends at Arundel Cathedral
On Sunday 10th August, the Feast of St Laurence, Deacon and Martyr, the deacons of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton with family and friends gathered at Arundel Cathedral with Bishop Kieran for Evening Prayer followed by a celebration in the nearby Cathedral Hall. It was the occasion to give thanks for 40 years of the Diaconate in the diocese, restored during the Second Vatican Council 10 years before.

Eric Kilminster was the first man to be ordained for the restored permanent diaconate in Arundel & Brighton Diocese on 11th August 1974 by Bishop Michael Bowen, though his initial ministry was in the Gulf state of Bahrain. He was the first deacon for Arundel & Brighton and second ever in England and Wales. Although Eric has since died his widow is still living in retirement in the West Country.

The diaconate formation process in the diocese did not, however, begin in earnest until 1981 when four men began training of which three were to eventually be ordained. Hilary Parson, one of these three, is still alive, living in retirement in Portsmouth Diocese. He celebrated his 30 years as a deacon this year on 29th June, the Feast of SS Peter and Paul. This was recognised on the day when he was presented by Bishop Kieran with an icon of Christ washing the feet of the disciples during the Diocesan Festival in Crawley on that day.

Deacon Hilary with Icon

Since Eric’s ordination the place and role of the diaconate has grown and deepened in the diocese. At the time of the silver jubilee of the diocese in 1990 there were 10 deacons. As we approach the golden jubilee of the diocese in 2015 there are four times that number. Currently there are 38 active deacons in the diocese with 9 retired deacons and 5 men in training.

Bishop Kieran gave thanks during Evening Prayer for all that deacons had given to the Church in this diocese over the 40 years, but challenged the deacons present to reach out to those on the edge of the Church and draw them in more fully into the life of the Church through gentleness and mercy.

The 40th Anniversary of the Diaconate in Arundel & Brighton Diocese will continue to be celebrated during the year especially as it coincides with 50th Anniversary of the Vatican II document on the Church, Lumen Gentium which at paragraph 29 speaks about a restored permanent diaconate.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Supporting the People of Iraq - Catholic Church in England and Wales Acts

Christians and Yezidis collect aid from CAFOD partners CRS and Caritas Iraq
CAFOD, the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development is at work through its partners in Iraq helping those who are vulnerable and in need. It says:

How is CAFOD responding?
Since late 2012, we have supported a massive humanitarian programme in response to the crisis in Syria, providing aid to people in urgent need in Syria itself, as well as refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and northern Iraq. Our Church partners in Lebanon and Jordan are now doing everything they can do to support Iraqi Christians as they flee their country.

We have also committed £25,000 to our Church partners in Iraq so that they can respond to the urgent needs of families forced from their homes in this latest emergency. Our partners have already provided humanitarian relief to 3,500 displaced families in Ninewa and plan to respond to the needs of 30,000 families over the next six months.

Is CAFOD only supporting Christians in Iraq?
No. Our partners in Iraq are providing aid to people in need, regardless of their faith or political allegiance.

What does CAFOD think about the current crisis in Iraq?
We wholeheartedly support the recent statement by Cardinal Vincent Nichols:

“I have followed with deep sadness the unfolding disaster in Mosul, in Sinjar and Qaragosh, and in other towns and villages across northern Iraq. This is a persecution of immense proportions in which Christian, Yezidi and other communities have been targeted by ISIS and forced to flee their ancestral homes in the Nineveh Plains in search of temporary safety. All they are doing is trying to escape certain death.

“Today, I add my voice to those of the Church leaders in Iraq as well as all the Bishops of Oriental Churches who met in Beirut yesterday alongside the Apostolic Nuncio. (They have since met in Erbil with the refugees). Along with Christian and Muslim leaders in Wales and many others we appeal for help and protection for these persecuted communities facing a threat to their very existence in their biblical homelands. It is imperative that the international community ensure the physical protection of all communities in Iraq, their human rights including the right to religious freedom. I urge Her Majesty’s Government to lead the efforts in the face of such a human calamity in order to help restore these shattered communities, provide them with urgent humanitarian aid and work with others to ensure their long term security in the land of their birth.

“I encourage our own Catholic community to continue to give generously to our agencies working to support the people of Iraq. Above all I invite all people of faith to turn to God in prayer and seek for our world the change of heart and the gift of grace that alone can bring us peace.”

We need to both pray and assist all those in need in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East through CAFOD and Aid to the Church in Need.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

As Four Men Start at St John's Seminary - Diocese is Praying for Vocations -

Four men are about to start training for the priesthood at St John's Seminary, Wonersh near Guildford for Arundel & Brighton Diocese. We need many more men to come forward to the priesthood and prayer is at the heart of promoting such vocations.

It is good to know that the brothers of the Catenian Association celebrate a Mass for Vocations somewhere in the world each day of the year. In Sussex (Province 18), they recently celebrated a Sunday parish mass for Vocations to the religious life at the prestigious Worth Abbey. It was both spiritually and organisationally a great success and if God hears the pleading, many more young men and women will respond by devoting themselves to service in the Church.

Some 80 Catenians and ladies of the Province were in attendance and those who missed the Mass missed a really rewarding celebration.

The mass was concelebrated by the many of the community of Worth Abbey led by the Rev. Dom. Philip Gaisford and they were joined by Fr. Terry Martin, Diocesan Director for Vocations, 10 priest in all. Fr. Terry has been greatly encouraged by the Province’s support for his work financially and spiritually (£1000 was raised last year).

Ten priests concelebrated the Worth Abbey Mass for Vacations

The words of encouragement to the congregation to pray for vocations and the very well-crafted homily, which included reference to the subject while fully exploring the readings of the day, was exceptional. The whole mass was spirit filled and an entire prayer in itself.

To contact Fr Terry Martin about vocations see the website.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Opening of Woodland Walk Sculpture Trail

Bishop Kieran next to the deer sculpture
Earlier this year the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, Kieran Conry accompanied by members of Cranleigh DFAS (Decorative Fine Arts Society) to visit St Joseph’s Specialist School and College to join staff and learners for the official opening of the Woodland Walk Sculpture Trail. DFAS provided sponsorship for the deer sculpture, created by Alison Catchlove, a local artist. Work began on the metal sculpture during Arts week in Autumn 2013; when learners from St Joseph’s Specialist School & College were taught how to beat and shape the metal panels used to make the deer, they also chose it’s name - Spartacus Uhu, (Uhu is Farsi for deer).

A Green Man can also be found along the route of the woodland walk. Principal, Mary Fawcett told guests: “The Green Man was only installed last week, so we are delighted that already a bird is making it its home and building a nest. It is our intention that the trail will continue to be added to over the coming months and years, to provide a multisensory experience for all our learners to enjoy.”

The refurbishment of the Woodland Walk and Nature Trail has been made possible by help during Grounds Days from staff, learners and their families and other volunteers. Bishop Kieran said “The finished pieces are fantastic and a real delight to see.”

Monday, 11 August 2014

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Gaza disaster prompts Friends of the Holy Land to launch first Emergency ‘Family Support’ Appeal

Friends of the Holy Land (FHL), a UK-based charity committed to supporting Christian people and communities in the Holy Land, has launched an Emergency ‘Family Support’ Appeal to include remaining Christians in Gaza. Conditions in the Gaza Strip have become exceptionally difficult as a result of the destruction of homes and infrastructure, and FHL is increasingly concerned for the welfare of remaining Christians. The Appeal will concentrate on providing funds for the needs of individual families, whether medical treatment, house refurbishment, education or to ensure day to day survival.

‘The Christian population of Gaza has been small in number for some years, and we now believe it’s no more than 300 families, some 1,300 people’ said Peter Rand FHL’s Vice Chairman. ‘For this small minority, conditions have always been difficult, but as we all know from recent media coverage, Gaza's citizens are now living in conditions few people have experienced in the last sixty years. FHL’s role is to support and help Christians in the Holy Land, to ensure a Christian presence remains there. In the long term this requires sustainable employment and housing projects, but there’s a huge immediate need to address the day-to-day challenges of Gaza’s broken economy and infrastructure.’

'When I visited Gaza earlier this year I was very impressed with the work of Christian institutions there and the resilience of the population. Howeve

'We also ask all Christians to remember them in their prayers, to be as generous as they can, and to ask their parish and community to support our Appeal.’

FHL is a non-political, ecumenical, registered charity. Online donations to the appeal can be made via, or directly to FHL at 2 Station Rd, Kenilworth, CV8 1JJ.
r, the impact of the current disaster in Gaza is being felt in the West Bank too, creating concern and uncertainty for the future and a deterioration of the economic situation with increased unemployment and shortages of basic medications and other resources. While the situation is truly horrific for those in Gaza, FHL Emergency Family Support Appeal will deliver help to the most needy families identified by clergy on the ground and FHL's other partners across the West Bank and Gaza. We only deliver funds where we know that the most needy in the Christian community will receive them, and with our limited resources it is important that they are targeted as accurately as is possible in the circumstances.'

Monday, 4 August 2014

Bishops' Conference England and Wales Calls for Day of Prayer for Iraq

Iraq Prayer Appeal
As the Chairman of International Affairs at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, I invite you to join with many people from across Iraq in praying for an end to the violent persecution that threatens to extinguish the ancient Iraqi Christian community.

Church leaders in Iraq have selected Wednesday 6 August – the Feast of the Transfiguration – to be observed as a universal day of prayer. It is one of the major feasts in the Chaldean Catholic Church calendar.

In addition to this global day of prayer, we would also encourage you to pray for Iraq's Christians on Sunday 10 August.

Events in Iraq over the past few weeks have been disastrous. Christians have been systematically driven out of Mosul. A community of 60,000 before 2003 has dwindled over the years and is now down to almost nothing. For the first time in 1,600 years, no Masses are being celebrated in Mosul. Many Christians have fled to the surrounding Nineveh Plains and into Kurdistan as militants from the Islamic State, formerly the Islamic State of the Levant (ISIS), threaten those who do not subscribe to their fundamentalist ideology.

We are witnessing today an act of religious and ethnic cleansing toward Christians as well as many other communities such as Sufis, Shabaks, Mandaeans, Yazidis, Turkmen, let alone Shi’is and Sunnis, as extremists drive people out of the lands that have been their home for thousands of years; some churches have been converted into mosques, ancient monasteries lie abandoned and the homes of Christians have been daubed with signs that would mark them out as a target for the extremists.

I call on our government and those of other states to prioritise action to save the Christian and other persecuted communities of Iraq and to offer them the help and support they need urgently.

I invite you to support Aid to the Church in Need as well as all other Catholic charities offering emergency and pastoral support to Iraqis at a time of great crisis.

Most important of all, I appeal for your prayers so that God may show the people of Iraq his infinite mercy - comfort the mourners, bind up their wounds and heal the broken-hearted in those biblical lands that have been a cradle of civilisation.

Rt Rev Declan Lang
Bishop of Clifton and Chairman of the International Affairs Department of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales

Bidding prayer suggestion: “We pray for Christians and other faith communities persecuted in Mosul and elsewhere in Iraq. We pray that their faith may help them in their tribulations and in their search for sanctuary, so they may then receive compassion and care."

t. 020 7901 4800

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Festival 50 @Amex Stadium - Diocesan Golden Jubilee Celebrations

Put the date in your diary - 5th July 2015 from 10am till 4.30pm 

A day to celebrate 50 years of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton and to look forward to the future with Bishop Kieran.

Great speakers, fun happenings, great food and above all Holy Mass celebrated by the whole Diocese.

For more information, updates and to volunteer visit the Festival 50 page on the Diocesan Website.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

13th National Pilgrimage for Catholic Grandparents in Walsingham, 26th July 2014

This year the England and Wales National Pilgrimage, organised by the Catholic Grandparents Association (CGA) will take place on Saturday 26th July, the feast Day of St Anne and St Joachim, at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in Norfolk. This will be the 13th time that grandparents from all over the country gather to honour the patron saints of all grandparents and to recognise their own vocation.

This year, for the first time, the CGA will be staging The Walsingham Story which has been written especially for the pilgrimage and will be performed by local actors and children. The day will begin at 11.00 with a service of reconciliation and conclude at 5.00 pm. Throughout the day there will be a full range of faith and fun activities for all ages. Everybody is welcome.

For more information e-mail the Association or telephone Phil Butcher on 01328 560333

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Words and Action on Assisted Dying Bill

The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth and the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain are amongst the 24 faith leaders who have today voiced their shared concerns about Lord Falconer's Assisted Dying Bill.

In a joint statement to Members of the House of Lords they say:"While we may have come to the position of opposing this bill from different religious perspectives, we are agreed that the Assisted Dying Bill invites the prospect of an erosion of carefully tuned values and practices that are essential for the future development of a society that respects and cares for all."

The leaders and senior representatives are drawn from a broad coalition of Christian churches and denominations, and from the Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain and Zoroastrian faiths.Lord Falconer's Bill will be debated in the House of Lords on 18 July 2014.

For the full statement see the Catholic Bishops' Conference website.

To see what action you can take including contacting a Peer go here.

Arundel & Brighton Diocese Certificate in Catechesis - Coming Soon

Arundel & Brighton Certificate in Catechesis - Coming soon, book now!

Session 1 - Sat 11th Oct 2014 

Speaker - Fr Stephen Ortiger OSB
‘Retreat Day – ‘Called by Jesus Christ to be a Catechist’

Session 2 - Sat 22nd November 2014

Speaker - Fr Kevin O’Donnell
‘Encountering Jesus—Scripture, Church and Sacraments’

Session 3 - Sat 24th January 2015

Speaker - Fr Rob Esdaile
‘Not Less Than Everything - The Catholic Way of Catechesis’

Session 4 - Sat 7th March 2015

Speaker - Fr Jonathan How
‘Celebrating the Christian mystery in Liturgy’

Session 5 - Sat 18th April 2015

Speaker - Sr Anne Dunne 
‘Personal spirituality and leading others to prayer’

Session 6 - Sat 6th June 2015

Speaker - David Wills
‘Mission – being and bringing the Good News to others’

Booking is essential – places are limited so please discuss your application with your Parish Priest.

For further information, or to book, please contact David Wills on 01293 651157 or

Monday, 14 July 2014

St. Bernadette’s Primary School Brighton Celebrates

Bishop Kieran,  Jacqueline Lance (Head Teacher) and Mary Reynolds (Diocesan Director of Schools).
Bishop Kieran Conry celebrated with the community of St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School in Brighton as they marked the 40th Anniversary of their school.

St Bernadette’s opened in 1974 after Lourdes Convent left the site and amalgamated with other local Catholic secondary schools to establish Cardinal Newman Catholic Comprehensive School.
Bishop Kieran was joined by the Rev. Mgr. John Hull, Father Bruno Witchalls, Mrs Mary Reynolds, the Director of Catholic Schools for Arundel and Brighton, as well as former head teachers, deanery head teachers, staff, governors, parents and children.

St Bernadette’s is blessed with beautiful grounds and the Liturgy took place within them. The pupils contributed to the occasion with hymns, a celebration song, liturgical dance and prayers. The psalm was read in English and ten different languages to reflect and celebrate the diversity of the school. Past and present pupils shared what St. Bernadette’s meant to them. A Year 1 pupil revealed that the school felt ‘like home’. In his address, the bishop spoke about the palpable sense of family within Catholic schools and how the people within them cared for and looked out for each other

At the end of the liturgy, Bishop Kieran blessed three commemorative trees, which will be planted in the school’s new Ruby Jubilee Garden and a selection of healing plants, which will be added to the garden of the Sacrament of the Sick.

After the Liturgy the guests were invited to enjoy an Afternoon Tea. 

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Congratulations to Deacon Hilary Parsons on 30th Anniversary of Ordination

Deacon Hilary with his Icon presented to him by Bishop Kieran
Congratulations to Deacon Hilary Parsons who has just celebrated 30 years of ordination as a Permanent Deacon. He was one of the first to be ordained in the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton following the setting up of the Diaconate Formation Programme in 1981. The first Permanent Deacon ordained in the Diocese was Eric Kilminster (RIP) who worked in the Gulf States as a Deacon before returning to the Diocese. Deacon Hilary was ordained in St Richard's, Chichester on 29 June 1984 by then Bishop, now Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor. He served for many years in that parish before retiring to the New Forest where he continues to live.

In recognition of his long service to the ordained ministry and the Church, Bishop Kieran presented him with a icon of Christ washing the feet of the disciples.

May he have many more years of joyful ministry. Ad Multos Annos!

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Bishops of Holy Land Criticize 'Collective Punishment' of Palestinians

Pope Francis with Jewish Rabbi and Muslim Imman at Wailing Wall
Bishops criticize 'collective punishment' of Palestinians By Catholic News Service, JERUSALEM (CNS via CNUA) Catholic leaders in the Holy Land called for an end to the cycle of violence and criticized Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories and its collective punishment of Palestinians. "Using the death of the three Israelis to exact collective punishment on the Palestinian people as a whole and on its legitimate desire to be free is a tragic exploitation of tragedy and promotes more violence and hatred," said a July 8 statement from the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land. "We need to recognize that the kidnapping and cold-blooded murder of the three Israeli youth and the brutal vengeance killing of the Palestinian youth are products of the injustice and of the hatred that the occupation fosters in the hearts of those prone to such deeds," the church leaders said, but added that the deaths "are in no way justifiable."

In early July, Israel launched airstrikes into the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, killing more than 40 Palestinians -- including children, elderly and militants -- in a circle of escalating violence that began with the discovery of the bodies of three kidnapped Israeli teens and the brutal apparent revenge killing of a Palestinian teen. The Israeli offensive, dubbed Operation Protective Edge, has hit hundreds of targets, while more than 100 missiles have been launched into southern Israel, reaching into the center of the country and Jerusalem as well. The ordinaries, who include Catholic bishops and the Franciscan custos of the Holy Land, called the situation in Gaza "an illustration of the never-ending cycle of violence in the absence of a vision for an alternative future."

They criticized Israeli "leadership that continues to foster a discriminatory discourse promoting exclusive rights of one group and the occupation with all of its disastrous consequences. Settlements are built, lands are confiscated, families are separated, loved ones are arrested and even assassinated. The occupation leadership seems to believe that the occupation can be victorious by crushing the will of the people for freedom and dignity. They seem to believe that their determination will ultimately silence opposition and transform wrong into right." "Resistance to occupation cannot be equated with terrorism," they said. "Resistance to occupation is a legitimate right, terrorism is part of the problem." The church leaders said the mourned all those, Israeli and Palestinians, who had died. "Some of their faces are well known because the media have covered in detail their lives, interviewing their parents, bringing them alive in our imaginations, whereas others -- by far more numerous -- are mere statistics, nameless and faceless. The selective coverage, mourning and memory are themselves part of the cycle of violence," they said.

The church leaders also said the "violent language of the Palestinian street that calls for vengeance is fed by the attitudes and expressions of those who have despaired of any hope to reach a just solution to the conflict through negotiations. Those who seek to build a totalitarian, monolithic society, in which there is no room for any difference or diversity, gain popular support, exploiting this situation of hopelessness. To these we also say: Violence as a response to violence breeds only more violence." "We need radical change," they said. "Israelis and Palestinians together need to shake off the negative attitudes of mutual mistrust and hatred." 

They called for educating the younger generation "in a new spirit that challenges the existing mentalities of oppression and discrimination," but they also called for a change in political leaders. "We must find leaders who are clear-sighted and courageous enough to face the urgency of the present situation and to take the difficult decisions that are needed, leaders who, if necessary, are ready to sacrifice their political careers for the sake of a just and lasting peace. Such leaders have the vocation to be healers, peacemakers, seekers of justice and visionaries of the alternatives to the cycle of violence," they said, recalling Pope Francis' separate meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders during his May visit to the Holy Land and "his incessant call for justice and peace."

The complete statement can be found at

Let us pray for peace, reconciliation and justice between Israelis and Palestinians

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Pope meets with six victims of sexual abuse

On 7th July Pope met with six victims of sexual abuse for over three hours at the Vatican

Pope Francis met for over three hours with six victims of sexual abuse at the hands of priests, three men and three women, from the United Kingdom, Ireland and Germany.

He met individually with each person for about half an hour, to listen to their stories and experiences.

"It was not a superficial meeting, even the length of this meeting shows his commitment and intentions to listen, to understand. If was a mere formality, it would have been much shorter.”

The Vatican spokesperson explained that each individual meeting was highly moving, not just for the victims, but also for the Pope.

"I can tell you that the feeling was mostly deep, positive and serene. We saw people that were deeply touched, happy and grateful for the chance to live out this moment, this meeting. Towards the end, I saw the Pope very emotional. Any person, any priest, any pastor that experiences a meeting of this nature, with people who have suffered greatly, with the wounds of the pain they've lived through, it's always an extremely taxing encounter.”

The six victims began arriving to Santa Marta on Sunday. Some were joined by their families. During dinner, the Pope greeted them briefly. On Monday, they took part in the morning Mass at Santa Marta, which also included the members of the Commission for the Protection of Minors.

This group, led by Boston Card. Sean O'Malley, met at the Vatican over the weekend. According to the Vatican spokesperson, they talked about naming delegates to other continents, as well as establishing work groups. The Commission will meet again in October.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Diocesan Festival - More Pictures

Volunteers with Bishop after Mass
All ages here to help!
Why not volunteer for Festival 50
Sing praises to the Lord!

Monday, 30 June 2014

Diocesan Festival Wonderful Celebration

Bishop Kieran Celebrating Mass 
Making Friends

Having Fun
Here to help
People enjoying indoor picnics
One of the many volunteers