Thursday, 24 December 2015

A Thought for Christmas from Bishop Richard Moth

Bishop Richard Moth
On December 8th, Pope Francis opened the "Holy Door" in St. Peter's in Rome. This ceremony marked the beginning of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, a time that Pope Francis has called the Church throughout the world to celebrate. By the time the Year of Mercy ends in 2016, countless pilgrims will have walked through the Holy Door, offering prayers and opening their minds and hearts to a God who calls us to share His love and mercy with others.

Pope Francis also asked that the Cathedral Churches of the world open Holy Doors, to enable people to make a special pilgrimage during this year. So, on 13th December, the Holy Door of the Cathedral Church in Arundel was opened. It was a wonderful celebration with people from all over the Diocese joining together to mark this special year.

Holy Doors are helpful signs for us. The open door is a reminder that we must open the doors of our minds and hearts to the wonder of God's love for us and to those around us too. This can be challenging and uncomfortable. I may not feel ready for others - of for God. I may fell a little bit vulnerable as I open myself to God,s love and his call to go out to others.

Christmas is the day on which we celebrate the birth of Jesus, We see the Christ-child, vulnerable as all babies are vulnerable, relying completely on the love and care of Mary and Joseph. He is born in poverty, soon to be a refugee in a foreign land. This infant, whose birth we celebrate is God-with-us. In Jesus we see God becoming vulnerable with and for us.

He invites us to open to door of our hearts to mercy. He invites us to open the door of welcome to others, especially to those who are themselves weak, alone, poor, unwell in mind or body, to the refugee, the prisoner and the one affected by crime, to those are searching for mercy themselves. In being merciful, we find true happiness and wholeness in our lives.

May this Christmas, in this special Jubilee Year of Mercy, be a time when every one of us finds afresh the mercy of the God who loves us and a time when we are truly merciful to others. May our homes, our places of work, our churches, our shops and streets be places of mercy - and may you and your loved ones have a truly happy and blessed Christmas.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Bishop Richard Moth Opens a Holy Door to Begin the Year of Mercy

Bishop Richard Moth (Centre) with on the left Anglican Bishop of Chichester,
Rt Rev Martin Warner and Dean of Chichester Cathedral, Rev Stephen Waine.
Bishop Richard Moth opened a Holy Door at Arundel Cathedral on Sunday 13th December to officially begin the Year of Mercy, called by Pope Francis, here in the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton. Several hundred people from around the Diocese including clergy along with ecumenical presence of the Anglican Bishop of Chichester, Rt. Rev Martin Warner, were present for the opening of the Holy Door.

Pope Francis had already opened a Holy Door on Tuesday 8th December at St Peter’s in Rome and had called upon fellow Bishops around the world to open a Holy Door in their own Cathedrals and important churches in their diocese for the Year of Mercy.

Doors are a symbol of openness to God’s mercy. Bishop Richard said in his recent Pastoral Letter to the Diocese “The Holy Door of Cathedral or Church must be a reminder to us of the door of the heart and the Gospel calls us to open the doors of our hearts and minds to the gift of mercy. We must be bearers of that mercy to the refugee, to the asylum seeker, to the prisoner and the victim of crime, to the one who is homeless, to the one who may have a roof over their head but seeks the peace and mercy that comes in knowing Christ.”

Two other Holy Doors were opened across the Diocese on the same day, at The Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation, West Grinstead, West Sussex and at the Parish of Christ the Prince of Peace, Weybridge in Surrey. A third door is to be opened at the start of the new term in January in the chapel at Mayfield School in East Sussex.

Bishop Richard called on the people of the Diocese, during his sermon at the Mass for the opening of the Holy Door, to be missionaries, sharing God’s mercy with the world and pointing the way to Jesus Christ. He said “We must find the joy of the Gospel in the depth of our being.” A joy to share with the whole world.

He also called for a renewal of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) just as he had in his recent Pastoral Letter Bishop Richard where he also charged the people of the Diocese “to reach out to those who are estranged from the Church or who, for whatever reason, have not heard the message of the Gospel.”

Finally in his homily he left us with the prayer that for ourselves and for others: “We may be ever open to God’s mercy.”

The Mass concluded with the blessing of an Icon of Our Lady of Consolation, a copy of the Icon at the shrine in West Grinstead, which is to travel around the Diocese to parishes, prisons and schools in the course of the year. A sign of the mercy of God received through Mary, the mother of Jesus.

During the year he wishes the people in the Diocese not only to carry out acts of mercy for our neighbours, to reach out to all distanced from the Church, but also to deepen their life of prayer and their relationship with God, and finally to go in pilgrimage to one of the designated Holy Doors.

There is a full programme of events now in place to support all these aims, details of which are on the Diocesan website –

Mass celebrated in front of the Icon of Our Lady of Consolation

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Bishop Richard to Open Holy Door for Year of Mercy in Arundel

Bishop Richard Moth is to open a Holy Door at Arundel Cathedral for the Year of Mercy on Sunday 13 December beginning at 5pm in the Cathedral Centre.

All are welcome to attend.

For more information on the Year of Mercy see where you can also hear or read his Pastoral Letter announcing the Year of Mercy in the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Bishop of Arundel & Brighton joins with Anglican Bishop of Chichester to open their Holy Door

Bishop Richard Moth with Bishop Martin Warner
at Chichester Cathedral
Bishop Richard Moth of Arundel & Brighton Diocese was pleased to join Bishop Martin Warner from the Anglican Diocese of Chichester for the opening of a Holy Door at the Anglican Cathedral in Chichester to celebrate a Year of Mercy in the Anglican Diocese of Chichester at the same time as it is celebrated in the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton and worldwide within the Catholic Church.

Bishop Richard also issued a Pastoral Letter the weekend 5th/6th  December about the Year of Mercy. You can listen to or read his letter in full here.

Bishop Richard will himself open a Holy Door on Sunday 13th December at 5pm at Arundel Cathedral following the opening of a Holy Door at St Peter's in Rome by Pope Francis on Tuesday 8th December.

For more information on the Year of Mercy see here.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Deacon Ted Connelly Dies Aged 102

Deacon Ted proclaiming the Gospel aged 100
Please pray for Deacon Ted Connelly who died recently at the age of 102, a deacon of Northampton Diocese who was living in the parish of Camberley and Bagshot in Surrey in this Diocese. Not only was he one of the first deacons in England and Wales, being ordained in 1976, but he was probably the oldest living Latin Rite Deacon in the world.

His Funeral will take place on Wednesday 16th December, 10.30am at SS Peter & John, Camberley.

Ted was born 10th January 1914. The family joke is that his birth started the First World War. He was born to Hannah and John and was one of four boys. He lived in very poor conditions in the notorious “back to back” houses of Birmingham. Only 12 such houses remain as a museum near the city centre. The rest were knocked down as slums 50 years ago.

He was a bright boy and got a place in the Catholic Grammar School of St. Phillips which still exists today, albeit in a different form. He ended up as head boy and captain of football, cricket and athletics. He was academically very intelligent and his Bishop gave this poor boy a scholarship to Birmingham University where he got a first class honours degree in Chemistry.

He was courting his beloved, Dolly, when he moved to ICI Paints Division in Slough. They were married for over 50 years with two children, David and Mary. Ted absolutely adored her. He commuted back and forth to Birmingham whilst courting until they married just before the Second World War. As a research chemist working on camouflage paints for warplanes he was not called up and ended up in the Home Guard.

Ted was a senior manager in research and development at ICI. After 30 years he retired early and began his next career.

From home Dolly and Ted began making shopping bags and handbags. They designed and made the templates. Dolly did most of the sewing. The marketing was by word of mouth and friends and family were inveigled into becoming unpaid salespersons.....and so it continued for over 10 years.

And so to his last career! In his late fifties, Ted had a spiritual transformation where his religion moved from theology to an experiential relationship with God. He talked to his son David about meeting his “Dad” who was God the Father whom Jesus also called Dad (Abba). Quite amazing really when you understand the brokenness of his own biological father who had been an alcoholic and had abandoned his family to poverty. Fr. David Woodward called him to be a deacon and was ordained as one of the first permanent deacons in the country together with three others from the parish on 9th July 1976. He retired from active ministry when he was ninety!!!!! Ted officiated at marriages, funerals and baptisms. He was active in the SVP and was a regular hospital visitor. He also preached regularly and typed out every one.

Ted was a man of huge determination and iron will. He was also a gregarious, passionate man with a generous heart. As he has got older, he has grow ever closer to his Lord and you would find him reading the scriptures whenever people visited him. He delighted in Mass and the Eucharist which he received every day. He was loved by many. He was a great and a holy man “in whom the Lord is well pleased”.

A full life well lived. May he rest in peace.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Fr Martin Breen RIP - Funeral Mass

Fr Martin Breen's funeral took place on Wednesday 25 November at St John the Evangelist in Tadworth, Surrey. The Mass was offered for repose of his soul by Bishop Richard Moth from Arundel & Brighton Diocese who was joined by priests and deacons from the Diocese as well as friends, family and parishioners.

Fr. Martin was born on 7th July 1933 and was educated in the CBS School, Co. Limerick, and the Thames Poly in Woolwich. He joined the De La Salle training college in Manchester and became a Brother, F.S.C. Among his teaching posts was one in Burma which ended at Independence.

Between January and June 1978 he studied for Priesthood at St. John’s Seminary, Wonersh before joining the Beda College in Rome, October 1978 – June 1981. On the 14th July 1981 he was ordained a Priest along with Canon Bill Davern by the then Bishop Cormac in the Parish Church of Hospital, Co. Limerick.

Following ordination he was appointed as Assistant Priest to St. Paul’s, Haywards Heath 1981-1984. The Sacred Heart, Caterham 1984-1985 and St. Joachim’s, Hampden Park 1985. His first post as Parish Priest was to St. Charles Borromeo, East Worthing 1985-1991 (on his Feast he died), Our Lady Queen of Heaven, Frimley 1991-2000.

Marking the Millenium he took a sabbatical at Marianella for the Pastoral Ministry Programme. On return he ministered as Parish Priest of St. John the Evangelist, Tadworth from 2002 to his death on 4th November 2015.

The Diocese has lost a faithful, prayerful and gentle Priest – and a gifted golfer.

May he rest in peace.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Diocese Holds Successful Year of Mercy Preparation Day

Jeff Cavins on Year of Mercy
The Diocese of Arundel & Brighton kicked off its preparations for the Year of Mercy with a successful day of reflection led by Jeff Cavins on Saturday, November 14th at St Teresa’s School Effingham.

The day entitled 'Christ Looks at us with Mercy …And Calls Us to Discipleship'reflected on how in this Jubilee Year of Mercy we are called to a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and to become his followers and disciples, and come off from the sidelines.

Jeff Cavins who is a former Protestant Pastor before he returned to the Catholic Church is well known for his presentations on the Bible for Catholics, helping them to discover afresh the great story of God's love revealed in the Scriptures. Many parishes in Arundel & Brighton Diocese have taken part in his Quick Journey Through the Bible 8 week course and are now tackling his longer Journey Through the Bible 24 week course.

The topics included in the day of reflection were:

God’s Amazing Plan for you - Jeff demonstrated the awesome power of God by looking at creation first from the macro level and then at the micro level. By observing God’s amazing creation, you will grow in awe and respond in praise. With God’s creation as a backdrop, Jeff introduced the astonishing truth that human beings are his most amazing creation and that to top it off, God wants a relationship with us.

The Call to Discipleship- Building on his first talk, Jeff continued to explain God’s desire to walk with us as he introduced the first-century relationship between a rabbi and his disciple as the metaphor for God’s relationship with us. Jeff described the life of a disciple two thousand years ago and then painted a picture of how that can become a reality for people today. This was a very practical talk about walking with God in a modern world.

Mary, Mercy and Mission - At the centre of Israel’s worship was the Ark of the Covenant, which housed the presence of God. This most precious of temple furnishings played a central role, both as the source of God’s presence but also his mercy. Jeff showed that the Ark, once hidden in a cave in the Old Testament, is discovered in the New Testament in a cave in Bethlehem. Mary, the new Ark of the Covenant, is the person that God used to introduce his mercy to the world.

Disciplines of a Disciple - In this talk, Jeff introduced some practical disciplines in the life of a modern-day disciple. You explained how to talk to Jesus on a daily basis by utilizing the ancient practice of Lectio Divina (divine reading). This practice of talking to God in Scripture and hearing his daily direction will transform your walk with Christ and enable you to meet problems with real direction and comfort. In addition, Jeff will share some of his personal practices that lead to a more fruitful relationship with Jesus.

You can see pictures of the day see the Diocesan Flickr site.

For further details of Jeff Cavins and his materials see

Friday, 13 November 2015

Bishop Richard Moth urges people to support 'Mental Health Equality’ campaign

Bishop Richard Moth in Arundel Cathedral
The Bishop of Arundel & Brighton and the Bishop with reponsibility for Mental Health, the Right Reverend Richard Moth, commented on the campaign:

"The campaign which is being launched today to treat mental health equally with physical health and ensure that those in need receive proper access to treatment and help is extremely important.

"I’ve become acutely aware just from our work on the Mental Health Project for the Bishops' Conference these past few years how prevalent is the need, and how often that need goes unmet.

"On behalf of our Bishops' Conference in England and Wales, and together with other churches and faith groups, I'm very glad to be supporting this vital cause, and I urge people to join this campaign for more resources for mental health by contacting their member of parliament."

Find out more information on the 'Mental Health Equality' campaign at

Friday, 30 October 2015

Guy Consolmagno on Science and Religion: Both Kirk and Spock

See who showcase this video and say:
Brother Guy Consolmagno is a planetary scientist who directs the Vatican Observatory and curates the Vatican meteorite collection, one of the largest in the world. He holds a degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he did post-doctorate work (in addition to the Harvard College Observatory). At the age of 29, he joined the Peace Corps and lived in Kenya. He became a Jesuit Brother in 1992, and was honored in 2000 by the International Astronomical Union for his contributions to the study of meteorites and asteroids.

In this TEDTalk, Consolmagno admits to being “a fanatic about his science and a nerd about his religion” and relates the conversation he had about both fields with William Shatner of Star Trek fame.

Consolmagno says we shouldn’t divide the universe into “the purely rational and the purely emotional” and explains that both science and religion start with observations and often have to move forward with “inadequate data” in order to help us get to the truth.

“At the end of the day, we only do science or we only have a religion as an act of worship, because both science and religion worship the same God, who is the God of truth.”

Monday, 12 October 2015

Cardinal Vincent on how a Vatican Synod of Bishops does its work

Thanks to Catholic Communications Network for providing this update. You can find more information on the Synod on their website.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Family Synod Update from Cardinal Nichols

Thanks to Catholic Communications Network for providing this update. You can find more information on the Synod on their website.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Pope's Homily for Opening Family Synod Mass

Pope Francis prays before an Icon of the Holy Family have the full text of the Pope's homily at the opening Mass for the Synod. You can read this below:

"If we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us” (1 Jn 4:12).

This Sunday’s Scripture readings seem to have been chosen precisely for this moment of grace which the Church is experiencing: the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the family, which begins with this Eucharistic celebration.

The readings centre on three themes: solitude, love between man and woman, and the family.

Adam, as we heard in the first reading, was living in the Garden of Eden. He named all the other creatures as a sign of his dominion, his clear and undisputed power, over all of them. Nonetheless, he felt alone, because "there was not found a helper fit for him” (Gen 2:20). He was lonely.

The drama of solitude is experienced by countless men and women in our own day. I think of the elderly, abandoned even by their loved ones and children; widows and widowers; the many men and women left by their spouses; all those who feel alone, misunderstood and unheard; migrants and refugees fleeing from war and persecution; and those many young people who are victims of the culture of consumerism, the culture of waste, the throwaway culture.

Today we experience the paradox of a globalized world filled with luxurious mansions and skyscrapers, but a lessening of the warmth of homes and families; many ambitious plans and projects, but little time to enjoy them; many sophisticated means of entertainment, but a deep and growing interior emptiness; many pleasures, but few loves; many liberties, but little freedom… The number of people who feel lonely keeps growing, as does the number of those who are caught up in selfishness, gloominess, destructive violence and slavery to pleasure and money.

Our experience today is, in some way, like that of Adam: so much power and at the same time so much loneliness and vulnerability. The image of this is the family. People are less and less serious about building a solid and fruitful relationship of love: in sickness and in health, for better and for worse, in good times and in bad. Love which is lasting, faithful, conscientious, stable and fruitful is increasingly looked down upon, viewed as a quaint relic of the past. It would seem that the most advanced societies are the very ones which have the lowest birth-rates and the highest percentages of abortion, divorce, suicide, and social and environmental pollution.

Love between man and woman
In the first reading we also hear that God was pained by Adam’s loneliness. He said: "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Gen 2:18). These words show that nothing makes man’s heart as happy as another heart like his own, a heart which loves him and takes away his sense of being alone. These words also show that God did not create us to live in sorrow or to be alone. He made men and women for happiness, to share their journey with someone who complements them, to live the wondrous experience of love: to love and to be loved, and to see their love bear fruit in children, as the Psalm proclaimed today says (cf. Ps 128).

This is God’s dream for his beloved creation: to see it fulfilled in the loving union between a man and a woman, rejoicing in their shared journey, fruitful in their mutual gift of self. It is the same plan which Jesus presents in today’s Gospel: "From the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female’. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh” (Mk 10:6-8; cf. Gen 1:27; 2:24).

To a rhetorical question – probably asked as a trap to make him unpopular with the crowd, which practiced divorce as an established and inviolable fact – Jesus responds in a straightforward and unexpected way. He brings everything back to the beginning, to the beginning of creation, to teach us that God blesses human love, that it is he who joins the hearts of two people who love one another, he who joins them in unity and indissolubility. This shows us that the goal of conjugal life is not simply to live together for life, but to love one another for life! In this way Jesus re-establishes the order which was present from the beginning.

"What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mk 10:9). This is an exhortation to believers to overcome every form of individualism and legalism which conceals a narrow self-centredness and a fear of accepting the true meaning of the couple and of human sexuality in God’s plan.

Indeed, only in the light of the folly of the gratuitousness of Jesus’ paschal love will the folly of the gratuitousness of an exclusive and life-long conjugal love make sense.

For God, marriage is not some adolescent utopia, but a dream without which his creatures will be doomed to solitude! Indeed, being afraid to accept this plan paralyzes the human heart.

Paradoxically, people today – who often ridicule this plan – continue to be attracted and fascinated by every authentic love, by every steadfast love, by every fruitful love, by every faithful and enduring love. We see people chase after fleeting loves while dreaming of true love; they chase after carnal pleasures but desire total self-giving.

"Now that we have fully tasted the promises of unlimited freedom, we begin to appreciate once again the old phrase: "world-weariness”. Forbidden pleasures lost their attraction at the very moment they stopped being forbidden. Even if they are pushed to the extreme and endlessly renewed, they prove dull, for they are finite realities, whereas we thirst for the infinite” (Joseph Ratzinger, Auf Christus schauen. Einübung in Glaube, Hoffnung, Liebe, Freiburg, 1989, p. 73).

In this extremely difficult social and marital context, the Church is called to carry out her mission in fidelity, truth and love.

To carry out her mission in fidelity to her Master as a voice crying out in the desert, in defending faithful love and encouraging the many families which live married life as an experience which reveals of God’s love; in defending the sacredness of life, of every life; in defending the unity and indissolubility of the conjugal bond as a sign of God’s grace and of the human person’s ability to love seriously.

The Church is called to carry out her mission in truth, which is not changed by passing fads or popular opinions. The truth which protects individuals and humanity as a whole from the temptation of self-centredness and from turning fruitful love into sterile selfishness, faithful union into temporary bonds. "Without truth, charity degenerates into sentimentality. Love becomes an empty shell, to be filled in an arbitrary way. In a culture without truth, this is the fatal risk facing love” (Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, 3).

And the Church is called to carry out her mission in charity, not pointing a finger in judgment of others, but – faithful to her nature as a mother – conscious of her duty to seek out and care for hurting couples with the balm of acceptance and mercy; to be a "field hospital” with doors wide open to whoever knocks in search of help and support; even more, to reach out to others with true love, to walk with our fellow men and women who suffer, to include them and guide them to the wellspring of salvation.

A Church which teaches and defends fundamental values, while not forgetting that "the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mk 2:27); and that Jesus also said: "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mk 2:17). A Church which teaches authentic love, which is capable of taking loneliness away, without neglecting her mission to be a good Samaritan to wounded humanity.

I remember when Saint John Paul II said: "Error and evil must always be condemned and opposed; but the man who falls or who errs must be understood and loved… we must love our time and help the man of our time” (John Paul II, Address to the Members of Italian Catholic Action, 30 December 1978). The Church must search out these persons, welcome and accompany them, for a Church with closed doors betrays herself and her mission, and, instead of being a bridge, becomes a roadblock: "For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified have all one origin. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brethren” (Heb 2:11).

In this spirit we ask the Lord to accompany us during the Synod and to guide his Church, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph, her most chaste spouse.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Bishop Richard Moth Issues 2nd Pastoral Letter on Refugee Crisis

Bishop Richard has responded to the Refugee Crisis alongside other bishops of England and Wales and the requests from parishes in the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton as to what parishes might do to respond.

This Pastoral Letter is to be read in all parishes the weekend of 12/13 September. He says:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Having heard the Holy Father’s invitation to parishes and religious houses in Europe to respond to the growing refugee crisis, and after discussion with Deans, the following arrangements are to be put in place in this Diocese.

Parish Priests are asked to request information from those who are able and willing to assist in the following ways:

1. With emergency short term placement accommodation; short term accommodation for those who are unable to pay; self-contained long term property for those granted refugee status (who are able to pay rent);
2. With skills and time – including language skills; the teaching of English; legal assistance; knowledge of the local community and the facilities that may be available;
3. Financial support. 

This information is to be sent directly to either Aidan Cantwell at DABCEC or to Mary-Jane Burkett at St. Cuthman’s. Mary-Jane will welcome information especially from Brighton & Hove. Aidan and Mary-Jane will act as our contacts with local councils and information from the Bishops’ Conference will also be passed to them.

It is of the utmost importance that we work through these channels to ensure that the best possible support and aid can be directed in the most effective way.

In terms of schools, Local Authorities will be looking to place an increased number of refugee children through their ‘Fair Access’ protocols. I encourage our Catholic school communities to be as open to this as possible.

We can all be attentive to those who may be newly arrived in our parishes and communities. A warm welcome is, in itself, a gift. Your continuing support and prayers for those refugee families who are already living within the Diocese is greatly appreciated and I am sure our response to the present deepening crisis will prove effective.

With every blessing,


Bishop of Arundel & Brighton

You can also listen to a Podcast from Bishop Richard about the Refugee Crisis here.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Bishop Richard Moth Asks for Prayers for Queen Elizabeth II

Bishop Richard has asked that prayer be offered to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 9 September and on the weekend along with a prayer of intercession. 

He has also joined the other Bishops of England and Wales in offering a loyal address to the Queen on the occasion of her becoming the longest reigning British Monarch in history.
Bishop Richard has asked that this prayer be offered to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth on 9 September and on the weekend

Friday, 4 September 2015

Bishop Richard issues first Pastoral Letter to Diocese of Arundel & Brighton

Bishop Richard Moth

Bishop Richard Moth First Pastoral Letter: A Call to Mission and Mercy

Bishop Richard Moth has issued his first Pastoral Letter since he was installed as Bishop of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton on 28th May. The Pastoral Letter is to be read in all churches this weekend, 5th and 6th September 2015.

In the Pastoral Letter he places the call to Mission at the heart of our task as Christians. He says: “For we must open our minds and hearts to the Word who is Life and we must proclaim the Word whom we hear. This is the task, the responsibility, of every one of us. This is the mission of the Diocese.”

He reflects on the opportunities he has already had to witness the commitment of so many people in the Diocese to this mission, at the recent Festival 50 celebrations at the Amex Stadium in Brighton, during the annual Lourdes pilgrimage and in parishes and schools across the Diocese, but he goes on to say that: “Yet there is so much to be done, for the mission of the Church is never ending as we seek to respond to the needs of our time and the yearning for truth that is present in the heart of every person.”

He believes that at the heart of carrying out this mission is the need to encounter and share ‘the Mercy of the Father’. For this reason he commends to the Diocese the call of Pope Francis to celebrate a ‘Year of Mercy’ which is to begin on 8th December 2015. He calls on parishes to be “communities of mercy – mercy for one another, lived out in such a way that our witness will be a constant invitation to others to encounter the wonder of the Father’s love for us.”

Likewise Christian homes must also be “places of mercy, where all in the family are enabled to grow in the understanding of the mystery of God’s love that we encounter in Christ.” And finally that our Catholic schools “must continue in their mission to enable our young people to take their place in the Church and in the wider society as missionaries of God’s mercy.”

He concludes his letter by asking those listening that whilst aware of our human frailty to be always trusting in God and to be “ever-more committed to the Mission to which Christ has called us – to proclaim the wonders of the Lord and call all people to know the Mercy, Joy and Peace that is found only in Him.”

Bishop Richard’s Pastoral Letter for the Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
6th September 2015

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In Today’s Gospel, Jesus heals the hearing and speech of a man with a word – “Be opened”.[1] When we bring children for Baptism, the celebration brings this event before us as we hear the words: “May he touch your ears to receive his word and your mouth to proclaim his faith.”[2] This little prayer is a wonderful expression of our hope for the newly baptised – that they have the opportunity to hear the Word of God and that they respond by proclaiming it to others.

The word of Jesus and the words of this prayer call us to Mission. For we must open our minds and hearts to the Word who is Life[3] and we must proclaim the Word whom we hear. This is the task, the responsibility, of every one of us. This is the mission of the Diocese.

In the short time since my appointment to the Diocese, I have seen this mission being fulfilled in many wonderful ways – in celebration and witness at the Festival 50 celebrations, in the care and shared prayer of our pilgrimage to Lourdes, in the deaneries, parishes and schools that I have been able to visit, where so much is done to form people in Faith. Yet there is so much to be done, for the mission of the Church is never ending as we seek to respond to the needs of our time and the yearning for truth that is present in the heart of every person.

A first step for every one of us on the road to hearing Jesus’ word to us, in all its wonder and challenge is to acknowledge our own frailty, shortcomings and failures. Experiencing the Mercy of the Father does more than encourage us to be merciful. So, mercy – love in action – becomes an imperative, something that is no longer an option. “Be merciful as your heavenly Father is merciful, says the Lord.”[4] The real encounter with the Love and Mercy of God is an experience of Call – the Call is, as St. James reminds us in today’s second reading, to invite all people home to the Love and Mercy of the Father, experienced in the One Whom he has sent.[5]

Pope Francis, in introducing the Church to the Year of Mercy, writes: “Mercy is the very foundation of the Church’s life.”[6] Hence, our preparation and celebration of the Year of Mercy should be related in every way to the Mission of the Church.

Our parishes must be communities of mercy – mercy for one another, lived out in such a way that our witness will be a constant invitation to others to encounter the wonder of the Father’s love for us. Our homes should be places of mercy, where all in the family are enabled to grow in the understanding of the mystery of God’s love that we encounter in Christ. Our schools must continue in their mission to enable our young people to take their place in the Church and in the wider society as missionaries of God’s mercy.

As members of Christ’s Church, may we open our minds and hearts to be formed completely by our encounter with the mystery of Lord’s Mercy. We experience that encounter in a very particular way in the Sacraments: the Eucharist, the Sacrament of the Sick and in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It must surely be the case that when we realise the wonder of these gifts, we are also called to reflect on the gift of the Priesthood in the life of the Church and in the Mission in which we all share. Pray each day in thanksgiving for the priests who serve in our Diocese. Pray, too, that others will answer the call to serve as Priests, for the encounter with a merciful Church will also be an encounter with the wonder of the Sacraments that bring forgiveness, healing and strength for the mission.

[1] Mk. 7:34.

[2] The Rite of Baptism, n. 101.

[3] 1 Jn. 1:1.

[4] Lk. 6:36.

[5] Jn. 6:29.

[6] POPE FRANCIS, Bull of Indiction Misericordiae vultus of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, n. 10.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Canon Brian O'Sullivan Dies - Funeral Mass in Local Anglican Church

Canon Brian at Lourdes in the Grotto for Mass in 2011
Canon Brian O'Sullivan who died on Friday 21 August. His Funeral Mass will be on Tuesday 8 September at 12 Noon in the local Anglican Parish Church of St Andrew and St Cuthman Church, Vicarage Lane, Steyning BN44 3YL. This is with the kind permission of the Bishop of Chichester and reflects Canon Brian's commitment in his life to Christian Unity.

There will be Vigil Mass for him at 7pm on Monday 7 September at Christ the King, Bramber Road, Steyning BN44 3PB. Please pray for the repose of his soul.

May he rest in peace.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Sad Closure of St Joseph’s Care Home, Brighton

St Joseph's Care Home, Brighton
The Diocese of Arundel & Brighton was sad to hear of the closure of St Joseph’s Care Home, Brighton

The Institute of Our Lady of Mercy released a statement saying:
'It is with regret that the Institute of Our Lady of Mercy confirmed today August 19th that St Joseph’s Care Home, Brighton will be closing this autumn.

Since the initial announcement on July 6th of the proposal to close the Home a full consultation has been undertaken with the staff. At the same time residents and their families have been given support in finding other accommodation.

Sr Colette Cronin, the Institute Leader, said: “During this consultation period we have not received any viable alternative proposals that would enable us to keep the Home open. At this time, our priority is to ensure the well-being and safety of all remaining residents throughout the closure process. We are working to enable closure to take place by the end of October 2015 at the latest.

We will continue to offer our remaining residents and their families support to help find suitable alternative accommodation.

We know that this has been a very difficult period for residents, families and the staff. We would like to express our deep gratitude to our staff for their professionalism and loyalty. They have continued to offer the highest quality of care throughout this time.”

At the moment no decisions have been made about arrangements for the future of the property in the longer term.'

Monday, 10 August 2015

Year of Mercy Hymn by British Composer Paul Inwood

The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization yesterday published on its ‘Jubilee of Mercy’ website the winning entry in an international competition for a hymn setting for the Holy Year of Mercy. The music has been written by Paul Inwood, an English Catholic liturgical composer well known on both sides of the Atlantic. A substantial number of composers from around the world were invited to submit settings to a committee whose members included Monsignor Massimo Palombella, Director of the Sistine Chapel Choir, which has recorded the new hymn with Vatican Radio.

Links to the score and audio recording are currently only on the Pontifical Council’s Italian website at and there is a YouTube video available at 

The hymn is currently available in Italian, English and French, and the author and composer have donated all rights in it to the Pontifical Council to aid its diffusion around the world. 

Paul Inwood said: “It is a great honour for me that my setting was selected for the Holy Year of Mercy. The text we were given has a Latin antiphon and Italian verses interspersed with refrains in Latin, like a kind of litany. My music is also a mixture, with elements in the style of a Taizé response and a Gelineau tone. The verses work in any language ― I provided French and English translations ― and I deliberately kept the music very simple so that even the smallest parishes can hopefully make use of it. There is also some more elaborate music: a brass prelude and interludes, and a choral coda which is included in the recording.” 

The Holy Year begins with the opening of the Holy Door in St Peter’s Basilica, Rome, on December 8th.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Bishop Richard Joins Hundreds of A&B Pilgrims in Lourdes

A&B Lourdes Helpers with one of the VIPs
Bishop Richard Moth has joined with the hundreds of Arundel & Brighton Lourdes Pilgrims who are in Lourdes for the annual diocesan pilgrimage. He will spend time with the VIPs who are the sick pilgrims, with the Redshirts and all the other helpers and pilgrims of the diocese not only in celebrating Mass together at various places in Lourdes but also in spending time in care of the sick and in prayer at the Grotto asking the intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes for the people and diocese of Arundel & Brighton.

Redshirts hold umbrellas over VIPs in the rain

Friday, 17 July 2015

Youth Vigil at Festival 50

Kneeling in adoration of Blessed Sacrament
The first part of Festival 50 to kick off was the Youth Vigil on the Saturday night. About three hundred people were there, many of whom then slept overnight!

Groups of young people and young adults started arriving at the Stadium at about 4.30 on Saturday, greeted by a fantastic welcome team and an array of games, stalls and other activities. (If you’ve never seen a monk having a sword fight with a foam sword, then you’ve probably missed the only chance you’re likely to get!). At seven o'clock the vigil itself kicked off, and the young people present (aged about 14 to 35) were treated to some fantastic talks, some excellent live music from ‘One Hope Project’, and to an incredibly moving hour of adoration, with prayer ministry and the Sacrament of Reconciliation on offer.

After the vigil ended, many of the participants went home to return the next day, while some camped out for the night in the Stadium’s Heineken suite. Not the best night’s sleep to be sure, but a wonderful experience! For those who couldn’t sleep, there was also adoration throughout the night.

There was also a dedicated youth stream on the Sunday morning, again very well attended.

It was really lovely to see so many young people entering in to Festival 50, and it was so amazing to see so many young adults, clergy and others working so hard to make their experience a good one.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

11,000 People Celebrate 50 Golden Years for the Diocese with Festival 50

Sunday 5th July saw 11,000 people from across Surrey and Sussex celebrated the Golden Jubilee of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton at the Amex Stadium in Falmer, near Brighton. This is the largest Catholic event in the United Kingdom since the visit of Pope Benedict XVI.

Bishop Richard said: “This is indeed a grand day for our Diocese as we celebrate 50 years since our foundation in 1965. It is truly wonderful to see so many from right across our Diocese gathered to celebrate our history, the Church that we are today and the future to which we look with hope and trust in the power of the Holy Spirit at work in his people.”

The climax of the day was a Mass of Thanksgiving in the Stadium at 3pm led by Bishop Richard alongside the priests, deacons and people of the Diocese.

Bishop Richard went onto speak in his homily for the need for the people of the Diocese to be formed in faith, be a people of prayer and to go out in mission to the world to share God’s mercy.

He concluded his homily saying: “As we celebrate Jubilee, we look to the future with confidence. The task is indeed great, but it is in our weakness that we find strength. There is no need for fear, therefore, but there is a need for prayer, for formation and a wholehearted response to the call to Mission that is the life of the Church. Let us, then go forward in hope, ever more closely conformed to Christ, who is with us always; yes, to the end of time.”

Read his homily in full (PDF version).

You can see pictures of the day on the Bishops' Conference Flickr site and the Diocesan Flickr site

Friday, 3 July 2015

Bishop Richard Moth sets out from Arundel Cathedral with Walking Pilgrimage to Festival 50

Friday morning 3rd July Bishop Richard celebrated Mass in Arundel Cathedral and blessed those walking in pilgrimage over the South Downs to the Amex Stadium at Falmer, near Brighton for Sunday 5 July. After the Mass and blessing he joined them for part of the first day's walk.

On Saturday he will join the hundreds of volunteers preparing the Stadium to receive thousands of visitors on Sunday. Bishop Richard will then join the Young People of the Diocese for their Night Vigil of Prayer taking one of the middle of the night shifts of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.

Finally, after a few hours of sleep he will meet the people arrriving at the coach park and railway station for the day. At 3pm he will then preside at the Mass of Thanksgiving for the Golden Jubilee of the Diocese.

All are welcome to come along as entry is free.


Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Not long to go for Festival 50 - Amex Stadium Brighton 5 July

The Amex Stadium, home of Brighton & Hove Football Club
It is now not long to go to Festival 50 and the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton on Sunday 5 July at the Amex Stadium, Falmer near Brighton.

The day begins when the doors open at 9.30am for Morning Prayer with Bishop Richard Moth at 10am. Around and in the Amex there will be a funfair, exhibitions, displays, speakers, bands, dance, school choirs, a chapel for prayer and reflection and much, much more.

We are expecting over 200 coaches for the day plus those attending by train or bus. There is still lots of space though in the stadium for people to come on the day by public transport - why not let the train (or bus) take the strain!

The day will end at 3pm with a Mass of Thanksgiving for 50 years of the diocese. It will be led by Bishop Richard in the presence of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor and the clergy, laity and religious of the diocese.

All are welcome to join us for the day. For more information see

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Diocese Mourns Death of Lady Sarah Clutton

Lady Sarah Clutton
It is with great sadness that the Diocese heard of the death of Lady Sarah Clutton's on Sunday 14 June. Many in the Diocese know her well from the Diocesan Lourdes Pilgrimage which she served so generously for many, many years as its Director.

Bishop Richard says: "Although new to the Diocese I am well aware of the tremendous love and esteem in which Lady Sarah was held. The Diocese owes her a huge debt of gratitude for her witness to the Gospel, notably in her wonderful work for the Lourdes Pilgrimage."

Michael Thoms, the current Director of the Lourdes Pilgrimage says of his predecessor: "In this life she was a tower of strength, helping others throughout her time with us, and showing through example what it is to serve from the heart."

We would ask you to pray for her and her family at this time. There will be a Private Funeral this week with a Memorial Mass to be held at Arundel Cathedral on Monday 28 September.

May she rest in peace.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Laudato Si' - New Encyclical Letter from Pope Francis

Vatican Radio have produced this useful summary of the Pope's new encyclical letter Laudato Si':
Pope Francis’ encyclical is focused on the idea of "integral ecology," connecting care of the natural world with justice for the poorest and most vulnerable people. Only by radically reshaping our relationships with God, with our neighbours and with the natural world, he says, can we hope to tackle the threats facing our planet today. Science, he insists, is the best tool by which we can listen to the cry of the earth, while dialogue and education are the two keys that can “help us to escape the spiral of self-destruction which currently engulfs us."

At the heart of the Pope’s reflections is the question: “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?” The answers he suggests call for profound changes to political, economic, cultural and social systems, as well as to our individual lifestyles.

Chapter 1 sets out six of the most serious challenges facing “our common home”
Pollution, waste and our throwaway mentality: “the earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth”
Climate change: “one of the principle challenges facing humanity in our day” but “many of those who possess more resources and economic or political power seem mostly to be concerned with masking the problems or concealing their symptoms”
Water: “access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right” yet entire populations, and especially children get sick and die because of contaminated water
Biodiversity: “Each year sees the disappearance of thousands of plant and animal species” and the consequences cannot be predicted as “all of us, as living creatures, are dependent on one another”. Often transnational economic interests obstruct this protection
Breakdown of society: Current models of development adversely affect the quality of life of most of humanity and “many cities are huge, inefficient structures, excessively wasteful of energy and water
Global inequality: Environmental problems affect the most vulnerable people, the greater part of the world’s population and the solution is not reducing the birth rate but counteracting “an extreme and selective consumerism”

And Chapter 3 explores six of the deep root causes of these growing crises
Technology: While it can bring progress towards sustainable development, without “a sound ethics”, it gives “those with the knowledge, and especially the economic resources… an impressive dominance over the whole of humanity”
The technocratic mentality: “the economy accepts every advance in technology with a view to profit……yet by itself the market cannot guarantee integral human development and social inclusion”
Anthropocentrism: we fail to understand our place in the world and our relationship with nature. Interpersonal relations and protection of human life must be set above technical reasoning so environmental concern “is also incompatible with the justification of abortion”
Practical relativism: environmental degradation and social decay is the result of seeing “everything as irrelevant unless it serves one’s own immediate interests”
Employment: Integral ecology needs to take account of the value of labour so everyone must be able to have work and it’s “bad business for society” to stop investing in people to achieve short-term financial gains
Biological technologies: GMOs are a “complex environmental issue” which have helped to resolve problems but bring difficulties such as concentrating land “in the hands of a few owners”, threatening small producers, biodiversity and ecosystems

So where do the solutions lie? Here are six of the best:
In “The Gospel of Creation”: Chapter 2 examines the Old and New Testaments to show how human life is grounded in our relationships with God, with our neighbours and with the created world. We must acknowledge our sins when we break these relationships and realize our “tremendous responsibility” towards all of God’s creation
In Integral Ecology: Chapter 4 explores this new paradigm of justice which means “the analysis of environmental problems cannot be separated from the analysis of human, family, work-related and urban contexts”, while solutions must be based on “a preferential option for the poorest of our brothers and sisters”
In Dialogue: Chapter 5, entitled ‘Lines of Approach and Action’ stresses the need for “honest and open debate, so that particular interests or ideologies will not prejudice the common good”. The Church does not presume to settle scientific questions or to replace politics, but it can promote dialogue on global and local governance, transparent decision-making, sustainable use of natural resources, as well as engaging in respectful dialogue with other people of faith and with the scientific world
In Education: Chapter 6 urges schools, families, the media and the churches to help reshape habits and behavior. Overcoming individualism, while changing our lifestyles and consumer choices, can bring much “pressure to bear on those who wield political, economic and social power” causing significant changes in society.
In Ecological Conversion: Chapter 6 also highlights St Francis of Assisi as the model of “a more passionate concern for the protection of our world”, characterized by gratitude and generosity, creativity and enthusiasm
In Spirituality: Finally Chapter 6 and the two concluding prayers show how faith in God can shape and inspire our care for the environment. The Sacraments, the Trinity, the model of the Holy Family and our hope for eternal life can teach, motivate and strengthen us to protect the natural world that God has given us.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Joyful Day as Bishop Richard Moth Installed

Letter of Appointment shown to the people
In a joyful ceremony Bishop Richard Moth was installed as the 5th Bishop of Arundel & Brighton at Arundel Cathedral on Thursday 28th May.

Archbishop of Southwark and Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton, Peter Smith led the Installation. The homily at Mass was preached by our new Bishop, Richard Moth.

In his homily Bishop Richard says of the event: "For this is a great day – the 50th Anniversary of the very day on which this Diocese of Arundel & Brighton was established. It is a real privilege and, I believe, a grace that this should be the day of my Installation as your 5th Bishop. As on Easter Day, we can say: ‘This is the Day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad’."

The Mass of Installation had the presence of Cardinals Nichols and Murphy-O’Connor, Archbishop Peter Smith, together with 21 other Bishops from England and Wales, the Abbot of Worth, Fr Luke Jolly OSB and the Bishop of Aberdeen, Hugh Gilbert, former Abbot of Pluscarden where Bishop Richard is an oblate. There were over 170 priests from the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton, Forces Chaplains, the Archdiocese of Southwark, and elsewhere. Also present were 30 or more Deacons from the Diocese. Importantly there were representatives from every parish and Catholic school in the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton.

Bishop Richard in his homily reminded us of the challenge of Jesus to himself, to those there at the installation, and indeed the whole of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton when he said: "Jesus calls us out. We take up the cross and follow where He, the shepherd, leads – to the disadvantaged at home and abroad, to those suffering from injustice, to those trying to rebuild their lives, to the one released from prison, to the one living with mental or physical illness, to those who have lost hope and meaning in their lives, to those searching, perhaps even unknowingly, for God."

He went onto to say: "Jesus himself calls us to the service of His mercy, that others may know Him who is our subject – that all may taste and see that the Lord is good – that all may know the nourishment and safe pastures of the sheepfold that is Christ, that ‘all may have life and have it to the full’."

More pictures are available on

The Homily and Liturgy of the Mass can all be found on the diocesan website 

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Installation of New Bishop of Arundel & Brighton - Bishop Richard Moth's Homily

Bishop Richard Moth was installed as 5th Bishop of Arundel & Brighton on the fiftieth anniversary of the foundation of the Diocese at Arundel Catherdral, Arundel. You can read his homily below:

"May I begin by adding my own words of welcome to those of Archbishop Peter. Thank you for being here for this great celebration, for this is a great day – the 50th Anniversary of the very day on which this Diocese of Arundel & Brighton was established. It is a real privilege and, I believe, a grace that this should be the day of my Installation as your 5th Bishop. As on Easter Day, we can say: “This is the Day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad.”[1]

On Jubilee days, there can be a temptation to look back. We have much to celebrate at this time of Jubilee: the foresight of those who recognized the need for a new Diocese; the faithfulness of so many people, the commitment of the religious communities, the teaching in our schools, the service of priests and deacons, the leadership and vision of all my predecessors as Bishops: Bishop David, whose ring I wear today and whose crozier Archbishop Peter presented to me; Archbishop Michael – it is personal joy for me to welcome him here today, for he ordained me Deacon and Priest and was one of the principal consecrators at my ordination as Bishop; Cardinal Cormac – whom we welcome here today and who will speak to us at our Festival 50 celebrations in a few weeks time; Bishop Kieran, whose contribution in the field of evangelization within the Diocese and beyond has been very significant. We must also thank Archbishop Peter for all he has done for the Diocese in recent months, giving so much of himself to this Diocese along with his heavy responsibilities in Southwark.

While we rejoice in so much of these past years, we must also look forward and the Scriptures proclaimed for us today lay down both a challenge and source of consolation as we continue our pilgrimage together.

There are times in all our lives when we experience difficulties as individuals and as families, weakness and pain as a Diocese too – but today let us re-commit ourselves to “the Word who is life – for this is our subject”.[2] For us as the Church in Arundel & Brighton – and for the Church everywhere – there is but one subject, the person of Jesus Christ. For it is Christ alone, through the union with Him to which we are called, that will make our joy complete. In our encounter with the One who loves us we, with the psalmist, know that “the Lord is good”.[3]

It is in Christ alone that joy and fulfillment lie, in the Christ who gave up everything out of love for us, whose love for us is without bounds, embracing death for us. The Christian is at home at the foot of the Cross – an uncomfortable truth – and our call is to take up the cross and follow in the footsteps of the One who is all love. It is there, too, that we are in the company of Mary our Mother.

We follow in this way not just for ourselves, but that all may “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”[4] This, indeed, is the vocation of the Church that is this Diocese of Arundel & Brighton – the proclamation of God’s mercy in Christ. As Pope Francis reminds us, in the Bull of Indiction for the coming Jubilee Year of Mercy: “The Church is commissioned to announce the mercy of God, the beating heart of the Gospel, which in its own way must penetrate the heart and mind of every person.”[5] It is Jesus, in His death and resurrection, who is the fount of mercy for all peoples. It is He, our subject, whom we must proclaim.

The effective proclamation of the joy of the Gospel demands commitment on all our parts. Like Jeremiah, we will not feel up to the task. Certainly, his expression of inadequacy is true for me today as I come before you as your new Bishop. But, as we – together – move forward in our proclamation of the Word who is life, God’s words to Jeremiah must remain always in our minds and hearts: “Do not be afraid – I am with you.”[6]

First and foremost, we must be continually renewed for the mission that lies before us. Let us commit ourselves to ever-deeper prayer, to times of silence where we can reflect on the message of the Gospel.[7] Let us grow in our understanding of the gift of faith – not just at those key times of sacramental preparation, but through a life-long deepening in prayer and understanding. Through our participation in the Sacrifice of the Mass and through the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, may the Word who is life transform our lives.

It is through this nurture, this security within the sheepfold of Christ, that we grow in grace and are enabled to go out to others – and this is where the Gospel gets uncomfortable! We do not remain in the sheepfold. Jesus calls us out. We take up the cross and follow where He, the shepherd, leads – to the disadvantaged at home and abroad, to those suffering from injustice, to those trying to rebuild their lives, to the one released from prison, to the one living with mental or physical illness, to those who have lost hope and meaning in their lives, to those searching, perhaps even unknowingly, for God. Jesus himself calls us to the service of His mercy, that others may know Him who is our subject – that all may taste and see that the Lord is good – that all may know the nourishment and safe pastures of the sheepfold that is Christ, that “all may have life and have it to the full.”[8]

In laying down this call afresh today, be assured of my commitment to prayer for you, service to you and – with you – the proclamation of our one subject: the Word who is life.

[1] Ps. 117:24.

[2] 1 Jn.1:1.

[3] Ps. 33:8.

[4] Ps. 33:8.

[5] Pope Francis, Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy Misericordiae vultus, n. 12.
(Hereafter MV)

[6] Jer. 1:8.

[7] MV, n. 13.

[8] Jn.10:10.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Bishop Richard Moth to be installed as 5th Bishop of Arundel & Brighton Thursday 28 May

Bishop Richard in front of the main Altar in Arundel Cathedral
The installation of Bishop Richard Moth as the 5th Bishop of Arundel & Brighton will take place during Mass in Arundel Cathedral, Arundel on Thursday 28th May 2015 at 3pm.

The Most Rev Peter Smith, Archbishop of Southwark and Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton will conduct the Installation. The homily at Mass will be preached by the new Bishop, Rt Rev Richard Moth.

The Mass of Installation will be concelebrated by Their Eminencies, Cardinals Nicholls and Murphy-O’Connor, Most Rev Peter Smith, the Archbishop of Southwark, together with 21 other Bishops from England and Wales, the Abbot of Worth, Fr Luke Jolly OSB and the Bishop of Aberdeen, Hugh Gilbert, former Abbot of Pluscarden where Bishop Richard is an oblate. There will as well be over 170 priests from the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton, Forces Chaplains, the Archdiocese of Southwark, and elsewhere. Also present will be 29 Deacons from the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton.

The Cathedral will be full to capacity with a congregation of over 600.

Among the invited guests will be numerous dignitaries including the Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshal, Edward Fitzalan Howard and his family, and representing Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Lords Lieutenants of West Sussex, East Sussex and Surrey, representing Pope Francis, the Papal Nuncio (Ambassador of the Vatican state to the Court of St James) His Excellency, Archbishop Antonio Mennini as well as ecumenical guests including the Bishop of Chichester, Rt Rev Martin Warner and the Bishop of Dorking, Rt Rev Ian Brackley.

Importantly there will also be representatives from every parish and Catholic school in the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton

The clergy and people of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton are looking forward to welcoming their new Bishop to his Cathedral.

A Diocesan spokesman said: “After a period without a bishop it will be a day of great joy to welcome Bishop Richard Moth as our new bishop. We will once again be fully the Catholic Church gathered around our bishop and we can once more look to the future with confidence. It is a time of new beginnings for the Diocese.”

He went onto say: “Not everybody who would wish to will be able to attend the Installation of Bishop Richard in Arundel Cathedral, but anybody who wishes to meet him and welcome him can join him at the Amex Stadium in Falmer, near Brighton on Sunday 5th July for the Festival in celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the Diocese.”

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Bishop Richard Moth Interview

© Mazur/
Bishop Richard Moth is well used to travelling hopefully. As bishop of the forces, he has literally been around the world and back in the last year – journeying some 26,000 miles in 12 months. But, although Pope Francis last month appointed him the fifth bishop of Arundel & Brighton, his travels are not at an end.

While Bishop Richard said he is ‘blessed’ to be in a part of the country he knows, his immediate plan is to get to know the diocese better – and that means a lot more travelling, although, rather than Camp Bastion, his visits will be throughout Sussex and Surrey.

Asked what he saw as the priorities for A&B, Bishop Richard said: ‘I am looking forward to getting around and meeting everybody, getting a feel for everything…The key thing is to listen for a while.’

While acknowledging that vocations to the priesthood are an issue, he said: ‘It is key for any bishop…For me it applies across the board and also involves supporting marriage, the religious life and fostering people who think God is calling them to a single life.’

Bishop Richard will be installed at Arundel cathedral on 28 May and is very much looking forward to the 50th Jubilee celebrations in July.

‘It is a wonderful opportunity for the diocese going forward,’ he said. ‘We must be open to the influence of the Holy Spirit coming out of the Jubilee.’

The 56-year old bishop said he has been ‘overwhelmed’ by the welcome he has received, since his appointment was announced.

‘I’ve had a fairly huge amount of correspondence,’ he said. ‘And I have been made extremely welcome. It has been quite overwhelming.’

Bishop Richard was born in Zambia in 1958, when it was still known as Northern Rhodesia. His father worked there for Anglo American, the mining concern. But the bishop actually grew up in Edenbridge, Kent, just over the border in the archdiocese of Southwark.

The young Richard attended the prestigious Judd grammar school, in nearby Tonbridge, from 1979 until 1976. He was keen on the arts, rather than the sciences, and his favourite subjects were history and English. But he knew from the age of 13 that he wanted to be a priest and, rather than going to university, he went straight from school to the seminary.

‘I finished at the Judd in the July,’ he remembered. ‘And I went to St John’s seminary [Wonersh] in the August.’

According to Bishop Richard, he had been greatly influenced by their local priest in Edenbridge: ‘He was such a good example.’

After that, he said: ‘I went on various retreats and, when I was leaving school, I applied to Archbishop Cowderoy to go for formation.’

An 18-year old would not be accepted today, would they?

‘I think it is important to look at each individual,’ said Bishop Moth, who was formerly vocations director for Southwark. ‘Sometimes, people have said someone is too old. I think it is right to look into each case. It is not just teenagers, we should be open to older people and to those interested in the religious life.’

He also emphasised how essential it is for all those in religious life to offer a good example for those considering a vocations.

Bishop Richard’s parents accepted that the priesthood was ‘right’ for him, although he was an only child and it meant there would be no grandchildren.

At Wonersh, Bishop Richard particularly enjoyed canon law – taught by Fr Peter Smith, who would go on to be Archbishop of Southwark and was, until recently, apostolic administrator of A&B. After Ordination, the then Fr Richard worked in parishes in the London area – first at Clapham Park. He was to go from there, after two years, to study canon law in Ottawa. This led to Bishop Richard’s long involvement in marriage tribunal work: the process of applying for annulments through the Church. And when he returned to a parish in Lewisham, he also worked as a canon lawyer.

From there, Bishop Richard went to be secretary to Michael Bowen, the then archbishop of Southwark. He was very much a jack-of-all-trades during this period, acting as vocations director, press secretary, vice-chancellor and president of the appeals tribunal.

After his time as secretary to Archbishop Bowen, Bishop Richard became vicar general of Southwark, then chancellor of the archdiocese until in 2009, until he was called to be the bishop of the forces. It is an unusual position, he explained: ‘It is an Ordinariate, canonically. It functions like a diocese but it is defined by its people rather than by physical boundaries. Wherever British forces are, that is the diocese.’

It was during this period that Bishop Richard’s travels really began. He visited Germany, Cyprus, Gibraltar, the Falklands, Afghanistan, America and the home nations. He also spent time on HMS Illustrious, as a guest of the Royal Navy.

Bishop Richard said he felt privileged to work with the forces and their chaplains: ‘It’s a fascinating work to do, there are examples of great faith…I learnt a lot.’

He maintained that ‘chaplains are held in high esteem’ by everyone connected with the armed forces – whether are people of faith or not.

‘It was wonderful to see the support that the armed forces received from their chaplains,’ he said. ‘At all sorts of levels, the support is there, from somebody to chat to right up to the sacramental role. Chaplains are living alongside service personnel.’

Although leading a conventional diocese has different challenges, Bishop Richard rejected the idea that civilian society does not have as much time for religion or religious values. He said: ‘I tend to feel, in the grand scheme of things, that there is a recognition of the value of religious life, even if that is something people cannot articulate. People are still searching for something.’

In addition to his ‘day jobs’, Bishop Richard has long been involved with two other faith organisations which have been and still are influential in his spiritual and personal life. During his time with Archbishop Bowen, Bishop Richard was made a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre. This has seen him travel some 27 times to the Holy Land with pilgrimages of the order and he is hopeful that, maybe, this might be a future destination for an A&B group.

And, since his days as a seminarian, Bishop Richard has also been linked to the Benedictine religious order for 37 years as an ‘oblate’ of the Scottish monastery of Pluscarden. According to Bishop Richard: ‘I have found it a huge benefit to have the support and prayers of the community and to feel part of it. To live something of the Benedictine Rule [St Benedict’s guidance to monastic communities] is to have a sense of family. It has been a huge support. It is a place I go on retreat and I know the community well.’

He maintained that it comes into his life in many ways – and quite often into his homilies as well!

‘The Benedictine Rule is a very balanced, insightful document…I hope it gives a sense of balance to the way I live my life,’ said the bishop. ‘It is not uncommon for diocesan priests to be oblates of monastic communities. I have often come across similar kinds of attachments.’

Looking ahead, A&B’s new bishop said the next few months are going to be ‘hectic’. But, it is clear, Bishop Richard is bringing with him a military energy and a monastic commitment to his new role in Arundel and Brighton.

Article by Sarah Whitebloom

Sunday, 26 April 2015

A&B Golden Jubilee Souvenir Magazine inc Festival 50 Programme

A&B Golden Jubilee Souvenir Magazine with Festival 50 Programme and information is now out in parishes and schools.

Join us on 5th July at the Amex Stadium in Brighton. For more information go to

For additional copies email

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Nuns on the Rise - Vocations Sunday

Carmelite Nuns
© Mazur/
The number of women entering convents in England and Wales has hit a 25 year high. From a low point of 7 in 2004, the numbers have steadily increased to a high point of 45 in 2014. Religious life is an attractive choice for an increasing number of educated and dynamic young and older women.

Sr Cathy Jones – Religious Life Vocations Promoter at the National Office for Vocation explains why she thinks this is so: “A key reason for this increase is the growth of a culture of vocation in the Church. Young Catholics are asking themselves ‘What is God’s plan for my life?’ and they are availing themselves of opportunities to meet with experienced guides to consider their future in the context of prayer, discussion and scripture.

“It is also significant that in recent years many religious congregations have grown in confidence in proposing their way of life, both through offering taster weekends and by participating in youth festivals, enabling potential ‘discerners’ to easily encounter religious and take the first steps to find out more about religious life.”

Fr Christopher Jamison, Director of the Vocations Office adds: “There is a gap in the market for meaning in our culture and one of the ways in which women may find that meaning is through religious life.”

Theodora Hawksley, 29, until recently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Edinburgh, joined the Congregation of Jesus a couple of months ago. She is now living in their house in North London and is taking the first steps towards making vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. She says: "Entering religious life was a decision born of love. It was an acknowledgement that my life has slowly and concretely rearranged itself around the love of God, and around that relationship as the one I prize above all else.”

The Congregation of Jesus is an apostolic order working outside the cloister in a wide variety of different fields - in education, healthcare, evangelisation and more besides. Both ‘enclosed’/’contemplative’ and ‘apostolic’ orders are on the rise in terms of numbers – there has been a ninefold increase in the number of active religious sisters and a fourfold increase in the number of enclosed sisters in England and Wales.

The General Superior of the Congregation of Jesus, an Englishwoman, Sister Jane Livesey (Theodora’s boss) says about the rise and the role of women religious: “We have been delighted in the English province to have admitted a postulant at the start of this year and to have a further candidate actively discerning her vocation with us at the moment, both attracted in particular by our Ignatian charism and by our foundress the Venerable Mary Ward, the pioneer of women’s apostolic religious life, who as long ago as 1612, told her earliest members that ‘women in time to come will do much’.”

Mary Ward's vision of an active, apostolic role for women in the Church met with opposition during her lifetime, but it finds an echo now in Pope Francis’ call for women to play a more ‘incisive’ role in the Church. In The Joy of the Gospel, he writes, ‘The Church acknowledges the indispensable contribution which women make to society through the sensitivity, intuition and other distinctive skill sets which they, more than men, tend to possess.’

Sr Jane believes that religious life is one place where women can make just such an incisive contribution:
“It is historically the case that it is religious life that has given women a clear and recognised place in the Church and an opportunity to contribute very fully to the Church’s mission to be at the service of the people of God – whether ‘churched’ or ‘unchurched’. In our case in this country our current ministries include university and seminary teaching, hospital chaplaincy, spiritual accompaniment of all kinds, child psychotherapy and others besides. And we are only one group – there are many other congregations making equally significant contributions who are as grateful to God as we are that he continues to call women and men to follow him in the consecrated life, which, at the invitation of Pope Francis, the Church is honouring and celebrating in particular during 2015, the ‘Year of Consecrated Life’.”

Sunday 26 April is Vocations Sunday – a day of prayer for vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life. The strapline for this year’s day is ‘Change a Life’ - pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life. A Vocations Sunday poster will run at a bus stop in Fiveways, Liverpool as from Thursday inviting people waiting patiently for their bus to ‘Change a Life’ by praying for vocations.