Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Diocesan Medal for A&B News Editor Pauline Groves as She Retires

Pauline Groves presented with medal and certificate by Bishop Richard

Pauline Groves who has been A&B News Editor for 23 years. Pauline, already a volunteer on the paper took over from Canon John Stapleton as Volunteer Editor of A&B News in 1994 and in all those years did not miss editing a single copy, coming in 12 times a year to oversee its compilation and production. Her last edition will be that produced in February for March.

In recognition of this outstanding contribution to the life of the Diocese, Bishop Richard presented her with the St Philip Howard, Diocesan Medal at the End of Year Mass for Volunteers and Staff. He gave thanks for her commitment and dedication over the years.

From February 2017 there will be a new structure for A&B News following Pauline's retirement. An A&B News Editorial Board will be formed under the direction of the Bishop and the Communications Commission. The Communications Officer, Mark Woods will take on the role of General Manager for the A&B News team with a new Volunteer Editor, Harry Robertson who together with other current and new volunteers will take forward production and publication of the paper each month. Ruth Gerun will continue to offer secretarial support and the email address for contact and stories will continue to be

We wish Pauline well in her 'retirement' though we are sure it will still be a busy one.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

A&B Schools Sings for Advent at Westminster Cathedral

Woldingham School at Westminster Cathedral
Christmas for Arundel & Brighton Diocese Woldingham School in Surrey starts with the beautiful Advent carol service held at Westminster Cathedral, in which the whole community joins to celebrate the season of Advent and the coming of Christ. The Cathedral was filled with parents, grandparents, alumnae, governors and friends. Once again we were delighted to include St Francis’ School Choir, Caterham in our service.

The choir was also joined by some former music scholars, many of whom were Head Girls or Deputy Head Girls and some of whom have excelled in their music studies at institutions such as the Royal Academy of Music.

The Senior Choir rang out from the retroquire with Hodie! and Wolcum Yole! from Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols, as the procession of the Junior Choir and St Francis’ Choir made its way up the Cathedral nave.

Headmistress Alex Hutchinson, warmly welcomed everyone and Fr Gerard Devlin, Chaplain and Priest-in-Residence at Woldingham, read the opening prayer, before the readings and carols, ending with the resounding 'Hark the Herald Angels Sing'; a jubilant prelude to the Christmas season.

The service was streamed live to parents and alumnae who couldn’t be at the Cathedral, with over 100 watching live in 27 countries and nearly 700 views since then. This is now the third carol service streamed live to overseas parents, forming part of an initiative to help with communications for those not always able to attend in person. Other streamed events include prize day, concerts and parent/tutor meetings.

The retiring collection this year raised over £2,000 for Shooting Star Chase, a local charity based in Guildford, providing care for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions and supporting their families.

Earlier in the day a group of students and staff visited the Cardinal Hume Centre close by and spent the morning sorting donated items for Christmas presents for the homeless. They had also brought their own gifts to donate. They were given a guided tour and a talk about young homeless people and the role of volunteering.

Alex Hutchinson, Headmistress, said,

“This really does mark the start of Christmas for us at Woldingham. We are so grateful to those at Westminster Cathedral for helping us to celebrate in such beautiful surroundings with our wider community; the service was both an opportunity for reflection at the end of a busy term and a celebration of Woldingham’s musical talent.”

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Bishop Richard Moth Installs Two New Canons at Arundel Cathedral

Bishop Richard with left Canon Tony Churchill and right Canon Colin Wolczak
Rt Rev Richard Moth, Bishop of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton recently installed two Surrey priests, Rev Tony Churchill from St Michael’s, Ashtead and Rev Colin Wolczak from Guildford Parish as Canons of Arundel Cathedral on Sunday 4 December.

The ceremony of installation took place during annual Solemn Vespers (Evening Prayer) for the Friends of Arundel Cathedral. This meant that as well as well-wishers from the two priests’ parishes there was also many friends and invited dignitaries from Surrey and Sussex, alongside members of the Chapter of Canons of Arundel Cathedral.

Bishop Richard welcomed the two new Canons as men who could bring experience and wisdom to support him in his work as Bishop of Arundel & Brighton Diocese.

The two new canons were welcomed not only by Bishop Richard, but also on behalf of their new fellow Canons by the Canon Provost, Mgr. John Hull. Once installed the two new Canons joined their brother Canons in reciting a psalm from the Bible delighting in the joys of working and sharing together as brothers.

The dignitaries included not only mayors and councillors from Sussex and Surrey, but all three Lord Lieutenants of Surrey, and East and West Sussex.

The event was also honoured with the colourful presence of several Knights and Dames of the Holy Sepulchre who raise funds for aid projects in the Holy Land.

Photos: Bishop Richard with Canon Tony Churchill and Canon Colin Wolczak ©Arundel & Brighton Diocese

Additional photos are available on the Diocesan Flickr site

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Bishop Richard Speaks on Prison Reform for Bishops' Conference

Here's a short piece recorded with Bishop Richard Moth. Bishop Richard is the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales Lead Bishop for Prisons and had just returned from the Bishops' plenary meeting in Leeds. Here's the latest on the document 'The Right Road' and the 'Ban the Box' campaign that encourages employers to exclude the tick box on initial job application forms requiring a person who has completed a prison sentence to disclose their conviction.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Mass for Cardinal Cormac at Arundel Cathedral - 60 Years of Priesthood

L-R: Bishop Richard Moth, Cardinal Cormac, Archbishop Peter Smith
Rt Rev Richard Moth, Bishop of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton welcomed Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor and former Bishop of Arundel & Brighton to Arundel Cathedral on Sunday 27 November to celebrate 60 years of priesthood.

Cardinal Cormac was ordained a priest on 28 October 1956 in Rome before returning to the Diocese of Portsmouth to work. In 1971 he was appointed Rector of the English College in Rome from where he was called to become Bishop of Arundel & Brighton on 17 November 1977. He was Bishop of Arundel & Brighton for nearly 23 years. On 15 November 2000, he was as installed as tenth Archbishop of Westminster and made a Cardinal by Pope John Paul II on 21 February 2001. He now lives a busy retirement.

Cardinal Cormac is remembered in the Diocese with immense affection from his 23 years as Bishop, reflected in the full Cathedral that was there to celebrate Mass with him on Sunday 27 November and then join him, at the kind invitation of Edward, Duke of Norfolk for refreshments in Arundel Castle.

Bishop Richard said, in welcoming the Cardinal back to his old Diocese, that in saving his final Diamond Jubilee celebration for Arundel & Brighton Diocese, the Cardinal “had saved the best wine till last!”

At the end of Mass Bishop Richard again thanked Cardinal Cormac for his presence here which was echoed in long and warm applause from the congregation.

You can see photographs of the event on the Diocesan Flickr site.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Bishop Richard Reflects on the Jubilee of Mercy as Year Ends

Bishop Richard at Closing of Holy Door at Arundel Cathedral on 13 November
In July last year in A&B News Bishop Richard shared his aspirations for the Jubilee of Mercy. Now, with the year concluding, he reflects on what actually happened and how, individually, we should never close the Door of Mercy.

Where and when did it all begin?

The Opening of the Holy Door on 13th December 2015 saw a Cathedral filled with people, fine music and a real sense of celebration and anticipation at the beginning of the Jubilee of Mercy.  The beautiful celebration and real sense of joy that the Jubilee had begun gave new meaning to Gaudete Sunday.  We were joined by Bishop Martin Warner of Chichester, together with the Dean of Chichester Cathedral – a wonderful gesture of openness to the message of Pope Francis that Christians must adopt the way of Mercy as a lifestyle. 

The other Holy Doors across the Diocese – at Christ the King, Weybridge, Mayfield School and at the Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation – together with the Cathedral have seen very significant numbers of pilgrims.  Of particular note has been the Diocesan Pilgrimage to West Grinstead, where over 400 people gathered for a day of prayer, reflection and the celebration of Mass.  Later in the year, a more reflective day at Mayfield School brought people together for Mass and the opportunity to explore the practice of Lectio Divina.  School Pilgrimages have brought young people from all over the Diocese to the Cathedral, making their way through the Door of Mercy and rejoicing in the gifts of the Jubilee Year. 

The Shrine at West Grinstead has welcomes a greater number of pilgrimages during this Jubilee Year than in past years and thanks go to Fr. David Goddard and his family for the wonderful hospitality they have given to all who have found their way to the Shrine.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff and students at Mayfield School, for the historic chapel there has welcomed children from the schools of East Sussex during the course of the Jubilee.

What benefit did pilgrims get in this unique Year of Mercy?

All who have taken pilgrim journeys through these Holy Doors have benefited from the Holy Year Indulgence – a particular outpouring of the Father’s Mercy to those who seek Him with a sincere heart.  The Indulgence is intimately linked to the Sacrament of Penance and the numbers availing themselves of this Sacrament, during the ’24 Hours for the Lord’ in particular, have been tremendous.  This alone has been a testimony to the timeliness of this Jubilee Year and I am sure the experience of ’24 Hours for the Lord’ will continue in the years ahead.

Pope Francis has called the Church to be open to popular piety and early in 2016, the copy of the Image of Our Lady of Consolation began its travels around the Diocese.  This very simple process proved to be a very helpful focus for parishes, schools and prisons and I do believe it drew everyone in our Diocesan family together in prayer.  With all those who wished being able to take home a stand-up Prayer Card, brought this prayer to Mary, the Mother of Consolation, into the heart of our families.  They have been welcomed in prison cells, too, where Pope Francis has told inmates that, for them, the door of the cell is the Door of Mercy.

Now that we are at the end of the Jubilee Year, is this the end for us all?

The Jubilee Year will, I firmly believe, leave the Diocese with some important legacies. Not least of these is our continuing response to the Refugee Crisis.  Although this began before the opening of the Holy Door, the very fact that the work has taken off as it has is, surely, an outpouring of Mercy by so many across the Diocese.  In thanking everyone for the wonderful response, this work must continue, firmly rooted in our recognition of the dignity of the human person that is so much a part of the lifestyle of Mercy.

A further legacy of the Jubilee Year will be the renewed interest in the practice of Lectio Divina.  The events for the younger people of the Diocese brought over 350 together to reflect on the Scriptures.  Such evenings have already been arranged for next year – this time four of them in order to better accommodate people.  Thanks go to Jack Regan and the many catechists across our parishes who have worked together to make these events possible.

A team of Redshirts, following their experience in Lourdes and wishing to offer some service to parishes have initiated ‘RedTour’.  Started in a small way, this will be another fruit of the Jubilee Year, enabling our young people to become yet further engaged in the life of our Diocesan Family. 

As I write these few words, the ‘closure’ of the Holy Door approaches.  Even though the Jubilee Year is drawing to a close it must, surely, never be possible to ‘close’ the Door of Mercy.  The new ways in which so many have engaged with God’s Mercy during this year will continue to bear fruit.  The Holy Door provides us with a way of reflecting on the Door of our Minds and Hearts and that Door must never close.  Our minds and hearts must remain open to the gift of Mercy that the Lord seeks to give us and, having received His Mercy, we must open our hearts to others. If, as I believe to be true, the family that is our Diocese has found afresh the wonder of Mercy, then we must, as Pope Francis has called us to be, people for whom Mercy is a lifestyle. 

Article by Peter Burholt

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Papal Award for Mrs Mary Reynolds - Former A&B Director of Education

Cardinal Cormac presenting the Certificate of her appointment to Mrs Mary Reynold
Last year, Bishop Richard recommended Mrs Mary Reynolds, former Director of the Catholic Schools Service, to the Vatican for a papal award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Catholic education, both in the diocese and nationally, for over 40 years. At the request of the Bishop, the news that Pope Francis had appointed her a Dame of the Order of St Gregory the Great was shared with Mary and her husband, Philip, by Monsignor John Hull at a private luncheon he hosted for them during the summer.

Cardinal Cormac, who appointed Mary as Director in 2000, made the formal presentation of the award during Mass on Sunday, 9 October, at St Edward’s, her parish church in Windsor. The parish priest, Canon David Hopgood, organised the Mass very much as a parish celebration of the Pope’s recognition of Mary’s work in Catholic education. Appropriately, there were many young families among the packed congregation. With them were Mary’s father, husband, members of their families, friends and representatives of her former colleagues, both diocesan and national. Concelebrating Mass with the Cardinal were Canon David Hopgood, Dom Stephen Ortiger, OSB, Fr James Hanvey, SJ, and Fr Alan Neville, MSC, a family friend who is based in Cork. Canon Bill Davern joined the celebrations later.

In making the presentation, Cardinal Cormac reminded everyone that, following her work as a head teacher in three Catholic primary schools and as the primary religious education adviser in the diocese, Mary’s initial task as Director was to bring together the two branches of the Schools Service (legal and religious education) with one base at the Christian Education Centre in Crawley. This was done so successfully that most have now forgotten there was once an education office at Bishop’s House in Hove.

The Cardinal paid tribute in particular to how Mary, in responding to the many changes in education, had always looked for the most effective way of preserving the Catholic character of the schools in the diocese. As the then Bishop, he had very much relied on her support in this, as had the priests in the diocese who welcomed her work to strengthen the links between schools and parishes. Cardinal Cormac noted, too, that many teachers and head teachers had valued Mary’s pastoral leadership, her real care and concern for them if they had personal problems, her readiness to go the extra mile, literally, to support them. He thanked Philip Reynolds for his generous support of Mary’s work, especially in helping to organise and run the pilgrimages to Rome which were so much appreciated by the head teachers who participated.

Following Mass, the parish gave a reception for everyone in the church hall. Mary and Philip’s personal guests then went on to enjoy a celebratory lunch, meet up with friends and colleagues, and share their reminiscences of Dame Mary’s remarkable contribution to Catholic education.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Bishop Richard Moth Pastoral Letter at the End of Holy Year of Mercy

Bishop Richard Moth
Bishop Richard Moth as Bishop of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton has issued a final Pastoral Letter for the Year of Mercy calling on members of the Diocese for deepening of their spiritual lives so they can share it with others. The Pastoral Letter is to be read in all churches the weekend, 12th and 13th November 2016. He will also close the Holy Door opened for the Year of Mercy at Arundel Cathedral on Sunday 13th November with Mass at 5pm.

In his first Pastoral Letter for the Year of Mercy in Lent he asked people through the traditional ways of prayer, fasting and giving to the poor to be open to ‘the way of Mercy’. In this letter, he focusses on the Mission as the Church to call others, in Mercy, to life with Christ through the Spiritual Works of Mercy which are to counsel the doubtful, instruct the ignorant, admonish sinners, comfort the afflicted, forgive offences, bear wrongs patiently, pray for the living and the dead.

He says: “The Spiritual Works of Mercy are ways in which, as instruments of Christ Himself, we reach out to our brothers and sisters. When we truly live out this call to be merciful we are transformed as individuals and the Church becomes ever more perfectly the Body of Christ.”

The other Holy Doors in the Diocese at Weybridge, West Grinstead and Mayfield will also close on the same day. The Year of Mercy itself will end on Sunday 20th November when Pope Francis closes the Holy Door at St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Yet the closing of the Jubilee Year of Mercy is not the end of the life of Mercy for the Diocese. As Bishop Richard insists: “Although the Jubilee Year draws to a close, the work of Mercy never ends. The doors of our minds and hearts must be always open to the Mercy of the Father and the needs of our brothers and sisters.”

He believes that as this Jubilee Year of Mercy ends that we must re-dedicate ourselves “to this great work to which the Lord has called us and may the blessings of this Jubilee Year continue to bear fruit in all that lies ahead.”

You can read the letter in full on the Diocesan Website.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

The Art of Dying Well - A New Resource

The Ars Moriendi or “Art of Dying" was a very popular fifteenth century manuscript designed to bring Christian comfort and practical guidance to a dying person and his/her family. The original Latin texts and illustrations offered advice on the protocols and procedures for a good death. Key content included deathbed etiquette and prayers, as well as the five temptations that a dying person might face and the prescribed antidotes. The Ars Moriendi illustrated some fairly turbulent scenes, such as the devil trying to snare the soul of a dying man and battles raging between the angels and the demons at the deathbed. These works were popular and visceral because death was daily on the doorstep.

The Catholic Church has 2000 years’ worth of experience of helping people to die in peace and a treasury of resources and reflections on death, dying and eternity that the Bishops of England and Wales would like to open up to everyone. Inspired by the comfort provided by this popular work, they have produced an innovative new digital space on the subject of ‘Dying Well’.

The Art of Dying Well is a new website that offers a helping hand to those grappling with issues around death and dying. Based in the Catholic tradition but open to all, it features real-life stories about the highs and lows of dealing with the final journey. Professionals in palliative care, ethics, chaplaincy and history have informed the site content.

The month of November in the Catholic Church is dedicated to praying for the dead and is the traditional time to visit the graves of loved ones. It is commonly known as the Month of the Dead. We are invited most particularly during this month to remember and pray for our friends and family who have died and for those who have no one to remember them.

The Art of Dying Well Instagram account will host a ‘Remember Them’ virtual memorial wall – inviting people to post pictures and memories of a loved one who has died or is dying. By tagging @artofdyingwell on Instagram, these names and photos will then be shared with five convents and abbeys who will remember and carry in prayer those whose memory is kept alive in these snapshots. The religious sisters and brothers will also pray for those who have no one to remember or pray for them.

As a Catholic approaches death, there are a series of comforting rituals that can help him or her to prepare spiritually for the final journey. In these rites and special Prayers for the Dying are illustrated in an animation which features the fictional story of the Ferguson family narrated by the English actress Vanessa Redgrave.

The poet W.H. Auden said that death is “like the distant roll of thunder at a picnic”. That sums up how many of us think about death. We know it is coming eventually, but we are rather more focused on the here and now. The Art of Dying Well aims to help people keep death in mind, so as to fully embrace life now.

Jim, 51, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in October 2012 and spent four months in hospital. He suffered two infections and almost died. He was treated with four cycles of intensive chemotherapy which left him with moderate brain damage that affects his memory and a susceptibility to colds and flu. Yet, he has taken up weight lifting and power lifting and considers himself fitter than he has ever been. He says the illness “pressed the reset button” on his life.

Everyone will have a different experience of dying and of what dying well means – it is part of what makes us unique.

Sister Anne Donockley, an Augustinian nun from Cumbria, who died of a heart condition in April 2016 said: “On a coffin there are two dates; the date of your birth, the date of your death and there is a little dash in between the two – the hyphen. The most important of those three things on the coffin is actually the hyphen, representing your life between birth and death.”

According to Dr Kathryn Mannix, Consultant in Palliative Medicine, death shouldn’t have to be seen as a depressing thing to face. She says, “I knew from my hospice work that most dying people are not depressed, and in my clinic many people have lived to enjoy the last weeks and months of their lives. It’s wonderful to see them regain their enjoyment of life again, when they simply expected to remain miserable until they died.”

The Art of Dying Well was launched on All Saints Day - 1 November - with a Mass in Westminster Cathedral celebrated by Cardinal Vincent Nichols.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

St Peter’s Annual Theology Lecture a Great Success!

Picture:  Dr Towey speaking to sixth form student in St Cecilia’s
Dr Anthony Towey from StMary’s University gave St Peter's Catholic Secondary School in Guildford, annual Theology Lecture on the Bible as a source of authority.  We were particularly pleased that Dr Towey agreed to give the lecture as he was directly involved in the recent changes to the A-level specifications. Over 100 people attended, a mixture of A-level Religious Studies students from St Peter’s as well as from other local schools, parents and staff. 

Dr Towey’s lecture was particularly relevant to those taking Religious Studies A-level.  He outlined how the Bible is misunderstood when it is read literally. He went on to explain that there is confusion around the status of the Bible; on one side there is divine inspiration and on the other side the human dimension, which creates a tension around how scripture can be interpreted.  Dr Towey explored this tension, concluding that Catholics cannot be literalists and how theology is a ‘live’ activity; the task of interpreting the Bible continues. The stimulating lecture ended with a flurry of questions from students on a range of points raised in the lecture.

Dr Towey is currently Director of the Aquinas Centre for Theological Literacy at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. He lectured in Rome, Durham and Birmingham before leading the RE department at Loreto College, Moss Side. He is an Ofqual subject specialist and has assisted in the shaping of the religious education reforms at A-Level and in particular by developing new specifications and resources at GCSE with AQA and Eduqas.  His recent publications include: ‘An Introduction to Christian Theology’ (2013) published by Bloomsbury, as well as co-author of ‘The New GCSE Religious Studies Course for Catholic Schools’ (2016) published by Redemptoris.

Mr Dell, Head of RE, said “Dr Towey provoked students to think differently about the Bible and it resulted in some very stimulating questions.”

A-level Religious Studies is a popular choice at St Peter’s sixth form and a number of our students go on to study Theology, Religious Studies or Philosophy at University.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

A Special Year of Mercy Pilgrimage with Bishop Richard

L'Arche Community Shares the Word of God at Pilgrimage Mass
We were blessed to have a sunny day for our Pilgrimage. Groups for people with learning difficulties from all over the Diocese gathered in the Cathedral Centre on Sunday 23rd October for a shared picnic lunch. There was a great sense of excitement and anticipation. Groups had brought their banners and we distributed sticks with streamers to use on the pilgrimage walk.

Bishop Richard, Mgr. Tony Barry, and all the altar servers ably assisted by Graham Monet who was the MC, joined us in the Cathedral Centre for the Introductory Rite. We then walked as pilgrims with Bishop Richard to the Cathedral singing “We are walking in the light of God”. We gathered outside the Holy Door and Bishop Richard helped us to understand its importance. The first reading was powerfully proclaimed by the L’Arche group using a colourful banner they had made.

The Stars of Mary wrote and lead the Prayers of the Faithful and members of the Sense of Prayer Group brought up the Gifts. Richard from Hand In Hand carried the bowl of incense to the foot of the altar as a sign of our prayers rising to God. Throughout the Mass Lauren ‘signed’ to help everyone understand and access the liturgy, including learners from St Joseph’s Specialist School & College.

The Hand In Hand Group helped us to reflect after Holy Communion with the most beautiful and prayerful liturgical dance to the hymn “Bread of Life”. The music throughout the Mass and pilgrimage was joyful, prayerful and enabled everyone to take part. David Purcell (Head of R.E at St Joseph’s Specialist School & College) led the music and was our animator. Catherine Christmas (keyboard), Anne Ward (ukulele) and Cora Gillies (flute) provided music that was vibrant, joyful and prayerful.

After Mass it was time to go home - as we left the Cathedral Bishop Richard gave everyone a wrapped cupcake with the message “Thank you for walking with me on the Year of Mercy Pilgrimage. Have a safe journey home. Bishop Richard.” There was much hugging and waving as each group went on their way with everyone saying “Can we do it again next year?”

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Refugee Crisis Newsletter

A Refugee Crisis Newsletter for Autumn 2016 is now available detailing how, as a diocese, under the guidance of Bishop Richard, we are responding to the ever growing challenge of the global refugee crisis.

The newsletter includes the latest information available to us and highlights some tremendous work that is ongoing by the partners we are choosing to work with. Please read a copy and share with your family and friends. Hard copies are now available in your parish, or you can view and download it here

The newsletter begins with a foreword from Bishop Richard which includes the message, ‘it is important that the diocese continues to develop innovative ways of working, to ensure that we can engage all our parish communities in effective action’.

It also includes the following:
  • The Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Programme and Community Sponsorship.
  • The work of Voices in Exile who support those seeking asylum, refugees and those with no recourse to public funds.
  • Stories from Refugees supported by our partners.
  • Prayers, bible passages, Catholic Social Teaching principles and quotes.
  • Ways to help including hosting an event or pledging financial support.
Anyone who wants to learn more about how to get involved should contact our Coordinators (details on page 11 of the newsletter)

Monday, 17 October 2016

Healing the broken-hearted this World Mission Sunday 23 October

It has been over twenty years since the genocide that devastated Rwanda. And while the saying ‘time heals all wounds’ may ring true, many people across this small African nation are still in need of practical, spiritual and emotional support. This World Mission Sunday, Missio, the Pope’s official charity for overseas mission, will be appealing to the faithful to help heal the broken-hearted.

Following years of ethnic tension, a series of mass killings violently broke out in Rwanda in April 1994. In one hundred days approximately one million people – twenty per cent of the population – were brutally tortured and killed in one of the worst genocides the world has ever seen.

Fr Emmanuel Nsengiyumva was just eighteen years old when the systematic slaughter began. He lost two of his brothers and knows well the deep emotional wounds of his people: ‘Your relatives, your mother, your father, your brothers, is not only killed but they torture him in front of you. Some of them would die in two days… two days of agony.’

With the support of Missio, Fr Emmanuel has dedicated his life to reaching out to his fellow Rwandans as parish priest in Nyamata. His desire for his people is that through forgiveness their broken-hearts may be healed.

Fr Anthony Chantry, National Director of Missio in England and Wales, says ‘There are some wounds so deep in human experience that they require the healing touch of God’s love. The Church with its vital ministry of caring for victims of senseless and appalling violence allows God’s grace to heal those whose lives are broken.’

World Mission Sunday is celebrated by Catholics in every country where the Church is present. On 23 October, parishes all over the world will be encouraged to pray for the missionary work of the Church and share what they can to support faith communities overseas which are in urgent need.

Two of the many Rwandans that are working through their pain are Edouard and Immaculée, who have been married for 23 years and feature on the World Mission Sunday poster. Devastatingly in the space of one week, more than ten thousand people - including Edouard and Immaculée’s parents, as well as fifteen brothers and sisters between them - were brutally killed in and around the local Catholic Church in Nyamata. Both carry deep wounds and struggle with the trauma of their past. Edouard recalls: ‘Just after the genocide we visited the church and tried to find our relatives, but it was impossible because there were just so many dead bodies.’

After the genocide, many perpetrators were brought to trial and imprisoned. Having served their time, many of these prisoners are now returning to the neighbourhoods they brutalised. Many priests, sisters and brothers in Rwanda are supporting these communities through counselling and healing workshops, which focus on forgiveness and mercy. Edouard explains, ‘The church has helped us to be strong, the priests have tried to bring our community together.’

In the Nyamata parish alone, two hundred people, both former prisoners and survivors, are currently engaged in a ‘Two Ways Healing’ programme where the perpetrators have ‘the key of asking for forgiveness’ and the survivors have ‘the key of forgiving’. In this Year of Mercy, this programme encourages the perpetrators to truthfully ask for forgiveness from survivors, whom they know and live with daily. While the survivors are encouraged to forgive sincerely, helping both in their mutual journey of healing and reconciliation.

This process, supported by Missio, is conducted within an intensive pastoral care programme. The former prisoners meet every week for six months and after three months, they begin to connect with the survivors, asking for forgiveness and gradually reconnecting with their communities and with the Church. This World Mission Sunday, the support of Catholics all over the world will help more parishes implement and conduct similar life-giving programmes.

Through this programme, Fr Emmanuel is supporting those whose lives have been shattered look to the future with hope. His work is supported by Missio, which works to answer the call to love God and to love our neighbour by bringing the hope of the Gospel where there is turmoil, poverty and uncertainty. The Pope’s worldwide collection is a real sign of God’s mercy and love to our sisters and brothers around the world who are suffering through war and conflict.

To make a donation, or to find out more, please visit

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Peace in the Middle East? - Bishops' Conference Podcast

The latest Middle East Analysis podcast from the Bishops’ Conference, sees a welcome return to studio duties for Dr Harry Hagopian – the Bishops’ consultant on matters relating to the Middle East North North Africa (MENA) region.

After a two-month Summer hiatus, there was much to talk about when he popped into the studio with James Abbott. Rather than pursuing the futile task of trying to catch up with eight weeks’ worth of events in a region racked by explosions of violence, tension and uncertainty, they focused on three things:
  • The US-Russian brokered ceasefire in Syria
  • The UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants held in New York on Monday 19 September 2016
  • World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel #DismantlingBarriers

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Diocese Seeks New Volunteer Editor of A&B News

A&B News needs you!
The current Volunteer Editor of A&B News, the diocesan newspaper of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton is retiring at the end of the year and the Diocese is looking for a new Volunteer Editor. The Editor works as part of the Communications Team and is responsible to the Communications Officer. There is part-time secretarial assistance to the paper. Travel and other appropriate expenses are paid. Work space is provided at the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton Christian Education Centre in Crawley.
You can see a full Job Description, Person Specification here to download. Otherwise ring Ruth Gerun on 01293 651164 or email
Interested individuals should send in a CV and covering letter explaining their interest in the role to Mark Woods by 31 October 2016. If anyone wishes to discuss the position further then please contact Mark Woods, Communications Officer on 0752 843 8042 or email

Monday, 26 September 2016

Bishop Richard Moth Pastoral Letter to Act on Poverty

Bishop Richard Moth

Bishop Richard Moth as Bishop of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton has issued a further Pastoral Letter for the Year of Mercy calling on members of the Diocese to take action on poverty. The Pastoral Letter was to be read in all churches the weekend, 24th and 25th September 2016.

In his first Pastoral Letter for the Year of Mercy in Lent he asked people through the traditional ways of prayer, fasting and giving to the poor to be open to ‘the way of Mercy’. In this letter he focusses on the Gospel command to love neighbor and especially those living in poverty.

Reflecting on the parable of the rich man and the poor man, Lazarus, at the rich man’s door he says: “The question for us today, and every day, is quite simple.  Do I reach out to the one in need, or do I relax in comfort, safe within the walls and gates I have constructed for myself?  Am I like the rich man’s family, with a conscience that is not even stirred by the One who died for me and rose from the Dead? In the words of Pope Francis, has my conscience grown dull in the face of poverty?”

In helping the poor and loving neighbour we, says the Bishop “recognise them as people created by a loving God.” He insists that if we love God we must love and be merciful to others. This means “we must act.” It is not enough, important as it is, just to give money, but says Bishop Richard “I invite you today to join with me in an examination of conscience as to the way in which you respond to the Lord's call to express the love that he has given to us in the care we offer to our brothers and sisters, mindful that these works of mercy will be used as the measure for our lives.”

He sees this Jubilee Year of Mercy as an opportunity for a renewal of our commitment to service which is integral to the Christian life. 

Pastoral Letter below in full.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
 As our celebration of the Jubilee of Mercy progresses, I would like to share with you some reflections on one of the great themes of the Jubilee, the Corporal Works of Mercy.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus gives us the Parable of the rich man and Lazarus.   The rich man has everything, the other nothing.  In the world’s terms, the rich man has great dignity, the other – Lazarus – none whatsoever.  The rich man has it in his power, with very little cost to himself, to raise up from the abject poverty of the gutter, the poor man who sits at his gate.  He does nothing.  He looks only at himself.  The harshest judgement comes to the rich man, while poor Lazarus is raised up. 

The question for us today, and every day, is quite simple.  Do I reach out to the one in need, or do I relax in comfort, safe within the walls and gates I have constructed for myself?  Am I like the rich man’s family, with a conscience that is not even stirred by the One who died for me and rose from the Dead? In the words of Pope Francis, has my conscience grown dull in the face of poverty? 

We know from St. Matthew’s Gospel that the yardstick by which we shall be judged is that of our mercy to others.  We are called to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, to care for the sick and to visit those in prison and to bury the dead. These works are called "corporal" because they are concerned with the physical well-being of our brothers and sisters. 

The two-fold commandment of Christ – to Love God and love our neighbour  – is the key to our understanding of mercy, for it places our motivation for action in the right context. We are enabled to be merciful to our brothers and sisters because we recognise them as people created by a loving God; because we recognise the dignity of the other.  When we are prompted by the loving relationship that we have with God, we cannot but be merciful to others.  Mercy becomes an imperative for us and flows out to others in practical ways.  

We cannot simply wish others well and then leave them to manage for themselves.  St. James reminds us of this in his letter, stating that such behaviour indicates that faith in us is dead.  We must act.  The corporal works of mercy are, simply, the outflowing of the love out of which God our Father has created us; the love that has brought us forgiveness and new life in the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus, His Son; the fruits of the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

There will indeed be many ways in which we can celebrate the exercise of these Corporal Works of Mercy across our Diocese - in the work of our SVP groups, in contributions to food banks, in the work of many volunteers who assist in prison chaplaincy in the Diocese, in our response to the Refugee Crisis (to name but a few) - but there will always be more.  

We may be generous in charitable offerings of one kind and another, but sometimes a financial contribution can be a very easy option.  I invite you today to join with me in an examination of conscience as to the way in which you respond to the Lord's call to express the love that he has given to us in the care we offer to our brothers and sisters, mindful that these works of mercy will be used as the measure for our lives.  We might begin by recognising the need to be 'tuned in' to the needs of those around us.  The rich man in today’s Gospel was not. Unless we are ‘tuned in’ how shall we be able to respond in real terms.  We must abandon any hardness of heart and reach out to all.  To fail in this area of our lives is not an option, for Jesus calls us to this and we cannot but respond to the one who died for us.

May this Jubilee Year continue to be a time of great blessing for us all and a time when we respond with renewed energies to the call to service that is at the heart of the Christian life.

With every Blessing,

Yours sincerely in Christ

+ Richard 

Bishop of Arundel & Brighton

Monday, 19 September 2016

Working with Refugees in Arundel & Brighton Diocese

Voices in Exile CEO Mary Jane Burkett speaks about its work with Refugees and Ayslum seekers in Sussex and Surrey in cooperation with, among others, the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton and the Anglican Diocese of Chichester, the latter who produced this video.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Woking parishioner awarded gold medal

Mr John Sylvester with Fr Frank Harrington having received his medal
Woking parishioner awarded gold medal - no, not an Olympic gold but a Gold Medal of Merit from the Guild of St Stephen, for long and dedicated service as an Altar Server. John Sylvester of Woking started as an Altar Server at the age of 8 years old and has served for 79 years.

During his military service he supervised and trained other men as Altar Servers on board ship to the Middle East and in Palestine, Egypt and Libya in 1947-49. John has continued to serve throughout his life and still is a regular Altar Server at St Dunstan’s Catholic Church, Woking. John was awarded this rare gold Medal of Merit for his dedication over 79 years. The photograph shows Canon Frank Harrington, Parish Priest, presenting John with the award.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Diocese Seeks New Volunteer Editor for A&B News

The current Volunteer Editor of A&B News, the diocesan newspaper of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton is retiring at the end of the year and the Diocese is looking for a new Volunteer Editor. The Editor works as part of the Communications Team and is responsible to the Communications Officer. There is part-time secretarial assistance to the paper. Travel and other appropriate expenses are paid. Work space is provided at the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton Christian Education Centre in Crawley.
You can see a full Job Description, Person Specification here to download. Otherwise ring Ruth Gerun on 01293 651164 or email
Interested individuals should send in a CV and covering letter explaining their interest in the role to Mark Woods by 31 October 2016. If anyone wishes to discuss the position further then please contact Mark Woods, Communications Officer on 0752 843 8042 or email

Friday, 12 August 2016

Young People are Interested in the Church and Faith - A&B World Youth Day Feedback

WYD Pilgrims at prayer during Saturday Vigil
What’s the biggest crowd you’ve ever been in? Have a think…

The biggest football matches in this country draw about 90,000 people. Glastonbury this year drew almost twice as many. If you were at Festival 50 last July, you were probably one of around 11,000, and if you went to Big Church Day Out this year, you were in among 25,000.

As impressive as those numbers are though, a group of pilgrims from our Diocese were part of an event in last month which drew more than three million! That’s seventeen times larger than Glastonbury, and more than a hundred times bigger than Big Church Day Out. We’re talking, of course, about World Youth Day 2016. According to Wikipedia, one of the thirty-or-so largest gatherings of any kind ever!

World Youth Day started back in the mid 1980s, the brainchild of Pope Saint John Paul II. It takes place locally every year (in the UK, we mark it with ‘National Youth Sunday’ in the Autumn) but every two or three years, it’s marked with a huge international gathering. In 2011, it was in Madrid, in 2013 in Rio, and in 2016 it was the turn of the beautiful city of Krakow in Poland. 49 A&B pilgrims joined pilgrims from all over the world and, importantly, the Holy Father!

The choice of Krakow is an interesting one. Krakow, of course, is synonymous with Saint John Paul, the founder of World Youth Day. This festival gave us not only a chance to celebrate him, but also to focus on the city that produced him, together with its rich Catholic heritage.

The phrase ‘World Youth Day’ is actually a bit misleading. It all culminates in Sunday Mass with the Holy Father, but leading up to that is a week of events all focused on the host city.

A&B WYD Group
For the A&B group, our journey to Krakow began on the previous Sunday, July 24th. After Fr Simon Dray said Mass for us at DABCEC, we piled into our coach and hit the road.

Our first obstacle was to clear Dover. This was the weekend where the media were reporting huge delays at Dover. Luckily, we cleared Dover with no delay at all. Proof, if proof were needed, that prayer works - we all got on the case, as did the people gathered for the Lourdes briefing back home!

The journey to Krakow was plain sailing until we hit the Polish border. The four-hour delay while the coach driver registered with the Polish authorities was an annoying setback, but it gave us a great chance to mix with thousands of other pilgrims who were in the same boat – our first taste of the crazy festival atmosphere of World Youth Day.

Ahead of the weekend, the events of WYD follow a simple format. There are three large events, attended by everyone, punctuated by a load of smaller ones.

The three large events are the Opening Mass, the welcome ceremony for the Pope, and the Stations of the Cross. The Opening Mass in particular, gave us our first taste of huge crowds, and our first chance to explore the themes of WYD. Ahead of the Pope’s arrival, it was celebrated by Cardinal Dsiwisz, the Archbishop of Krakow, and John Paul’s long time secretary.

WYD English speakers at catechises session
From Wednesday onwards, our days followed a simple format: Catechesis in the morning and ‘Youth Festival’ activities in the afternoon and evening. The latter was all about exploring the events put on around the city, while the former was about exploring our faith and celebrating Mass in language groups. We went to a huge arena for a programme of events laid on the by Knights of Columbus. We were lucky enough to be led in catechesis by Cardinal O’Malley of Boston and Cardinal Tagle of Manila.

A&B Group at WYD Saturday night in Campus Misericordiae

WYD Saturday night in Campus Misericordiae
On the Saturday morning, all of this came together and all of those assembled in Krakow left their accommodation to head for Campus Misericordiae – a huge area outside the city designed to hold a few million pilgrims. Since it’s impossible to get that many people in to an area in the space of a few hours, the tradition has developed at WYD that we file in throughout the Saturday and sleep out overnight! It’s not the most comfortable night’s sleep in your life, but definitely one of the most memorable. The sleep is bookended by a vigil with the Holy Father on the Saturday evening and the Mass the next day.

We were led on our pilgrimage by Fr Aaron Spinelli, the Diocese’s Priest Adviser for Youth Ministry. He was helped out by four other chaplains, who helped to animate and explain what was going on within our group and who were on hand to hear confessions and celebrate Mass for us throughout the week. One of the key things they kept telling us was that we had come to Krakow at the invitation of the Pope, but we had really come to meet Christ!

By the end of the week, it was clear that the week had affected everyone. Before we left, we talked about how we are going to continue what we’ve started back home. During his homily on the Saturday night, Pope Francis challenged those present not to be stay “on the couch!” It’s tempting, he remarked, but in reality it limits our freedom and stifles who we really are. If we want to see a change in the world, we have to bring the best version of ourselves that we can. A great challenge for young people everywhere!

Fr Aaron with some of the A&B WYD group

Friday, 5 August 2016

Blessing of Lourdes Benches in Memory of Lady Sarah Clutton RIP

One of Benches to be blessed

Blessing of Benches by Bishop Richard

Bishop Richard with Lady Herries (sister of Lady Sarah), Mgr Barry Wymes and Mr Francois Labadie, Director of the Accueil Notre Dame, Lourdes Sanctuary
In memory of Lady Sarah Clutton

Thursday, 28 July 2016

New Deacon Ordained in Hastings, East Sussex

Newly Ordained Deacon Duncan Brown with his parish priest Fr Seamus Stapleton SCA and Bishop Richard Moth
On the Feast of St Bridget of Sweden, Saturday 23rd July, in the church of ‘St Mary, Star of the Sea’, Bishop Richard Moth ordained Duncan Brown into the Sacred Order of the Diaconate.

Surrounded by his wife Kathy and children William and Eliza, his many other family members, friends and fellow deacons, Duncan was ordained a Deacon.

The church was packed with a joyful congregation from ‘St Mary, Star of the Sea’ and the nearby ‘Parish of the Good Shepherd’. Duncan’s friends from ‘The Holy Redeemer’ and ‘St Thomas & the English Martyrs’ were very well represented in this happy throng. Their voices joyously sang Charles Wesley’s hymn ‘O Thou who camest from above’ and almost raised the roof with their rendering of George Timms’s ‘Sing we of the Blessed Mother’. The choir and accompanying musicians quite outdid themselves in remarkable renditions throughout the service.

The celebrations continued after the Ordination in the church-hall with a very generous buffet including some pretty stunning cakes.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Bishop Richard Moth Asks for Prayers as French Priest Killed During Mass

Bishop Richard Moth
Bishop Richard Moth has asked the people of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton covering Surrey and Sussex to pray for the people of France and the Church in France following the horrific attack on the church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, outside Rouen, Normandy and the death of Fr Jacques Hamel.

Bishop Richard said: “I ask you to pray not only for all those killed and injured in this present attack in Northern France, but for all those affected by terrorist attacks wherever that may be in the world.”

Bishop Richard was joined in this call for prayer and condemnation of the attack by Pope Francis who has spoken of “the pain and horror of this absurd violence.”

The Archbishop of Rouen, Dominique Lebrun, who is the Bishop responsible for this area of northern France and who is at World Youth Day with millions of young Catholics in Poland, said: "I cry out to God with all men of goodwill. I would invite non-believers to join in the cry. The Catholic Church cannot take weapons other than those of prayer and brotherhood among men."

Many Christians throughout the world, especially in the Middle East face similar trials and tribulations at the hands of Islamist Militants, who have particularly targeted churches, clergy and Christian faithful as well as other minority groups.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Bishop Richard Moth Travels to Lourdes with 750 Pilgrims and Celebrates the Memory of Lady Sarah Clutton

Two Lourdes Helpers mark the spot for the benches in Lourdes in front of the Accueil 
©Diocese of Arundel & Brighton Lourdes Pilgrimage Trust

On Friday 29th July Bishop Richard Moth from the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton joins with 750 pilgrims from Sussex and Surrey as they make their way to the Shrine of Our Lady in Lourdes, Southern France. The theme of the pilgrimage this year is ‘Be Merciful Like the Father.’ The pilgrims both sick, disabled and able bodied go to Lourdes to encounter God not just in the Masses, prayers and other religious activities, but also in each other.

There will be a special event as part of the Arundel & Brighton Lourdes Diocesan pilgrimage as the Lourdes authorities have bestowed a singular honour on Lady Sarah Clutton RIP by agreeing that two benches will be erected in her memory and placed in front of the Accueil which welcomes sick and disabled pilgrims. After 37 years of service to the Arundel & Brighton Pilgrimage, this is a fitting tribute to Lady Sarah following her retirement from leadership of the pilgrimage and her subsequent death in 2015.

The idea of benches came from some of Lady Sarah's Arundel friends who have been regular pilgrims to Lourdes. A letter was sent to the Rector of Lourdes asking if we could erect a bench in her honour, and he came back with a positive response with one condition - it had to be two benches not one! The reason for this is that the Accueil is a symmetrical building with 2 wings and the positioning of the benches will reflect that (see picture).

This year on the 2016 Pilgrimage between 29th July to 4th August the benches will be blessed by Bishop Richard. He said: “This is a fitting tribute to someone who spent herself untiringly for the sick and disabled over many years, and who helped to shape the Arundel & Brighton Lourdes Pilgrimage into what it is today.”

You can see more photos of the event on the Lourdes website

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Bishop Richard Leads Pilgrimage for Year of Mercy to Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation

Crowned Statue of Our Lady with the Child Jesus in the church of Our Lady of Consolation & St Francis
Bishop Richard Moth led a Diocesan Holy Year Pilgrimage to the Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in West Grinstead, West Sussex on Sunday 17 July. Hundreds of parishioners from all over the diocese, a few from each parish because of the limitations of space, came by coach to join in the celebrations which began at 11am and end with Mass at 3pm. Some parish clergy who were busy in their own parishes in the morning were able to come later in the day for the Mass at 3pm.

In the Holy Year of Mercy the Shrine was chosen as one of the sites for a Holy Door in the Diocese and Bishop Richard expressed a wish that there be a pilgrimage to the Shrine as part of the Diocesan Holy Year celebrations. During the day there was Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Confessions and the Holy Rosary and the climax of the day which was Holy Mass.

The Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation was the first Catholic Shrine in honour of Our Lady to be established in England since before the Reformation. The site was also the location for a secret chapel used during times of persecution and was at one time a seminary in the early days of Catholic Emancipation. The Church remains today a popular pilgrimage centre welcoming people throughout the years not only in this Holy Year.

You can find out more about the Shrine on their website.

See photos of the day on Flickr…/aruneland…/albums/72157670514667581

Friday, 15 July 2016

Arundel & Brighton Seminarian Takes Next Step on Road to Priesthood

Tom Kent being instituted as Lector by Bishop Paul Hendricks at Wonersh
Congratulations to Tom Kent who recently received the ministry of Lector (Reader) from Bishop Paul Hendricks at St John's Seminary, Wonersh near Guildford. This is a further step on the road to Priesthood. 

In September Tom Kent and Deacon Roy Waters who are both studying at the seminary will be joined by Jack Lusted, Nicholas Harden and Stephen O’Brien. Tristan Cranfield who is a seminarian at the Venerable English College in Rome will be joined next September by Aloysius Atkinson. 

The St John Vianney group continues to meet with Vocations Director, Fr Terry Martin and there are about 10 men discerning what is it that the Lord may be asking of them.We pray for them all and for more vocations to the priesthood. 

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Congratulations to new Deacon in the Diocese

New Deacon Liam McIlvenney with Bishop Richard Moth
On Friday 1st July Bishop Richard ordained Liam McIlvenny to the Diaconate at St Edward the Confessor Church in Keymer, West Sussex. Deacon Liam joins the ranks of more than 50 Deacons in the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton working in parishes, chaplaincies and other ministries.

Liam is married to Caroline and has grown up children and continues to work for East Sussex County Council. The Bishop at the end of the Mass informed the parish as well as family and friends who had come for the ordination that Deacon Liam had been assigned by Bishop  Richard to minister in the parish of Keymer and Hustpierpoint. This was met with loud applause, especially in recognition of the work he had already done in supporting the parish during the absence of their parish priest Fr Tony Collins due to illness.

Finally the Bishop joined everybody in wishing Deacon Liam a long and fruitful ministry.

Friday, 24 June 2016

50 Years a Priest - Fr Liam Celebrates with Bishop Richard

L-R: Bishop Richard, Deacon Gary and Fr Liam O'Connor
The parishioners of English Martyrs Church in Goring by Sea recently celebrated the Golden Anniversary of the Ordination of their parish priest, Father Liam O'Connor. Father Liam was ordained at St John's College, Waterford, Eire on 12 June 1966. Although expecting to be appointed to parishes in the Southwark Diocese, Father Liam very quickly found himself attached to the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton which had been newly formed the year before, 1965. He was appointed to the parish of St. Barnabas, East Molesey in Surrey, where he served until 1970.

Over the following 36 years, Father Liam found himself for various periods at five different parishes, until, in 2006, he was sent to English Martyrs. During his ten years here, Father Liam has become a well loved priest, dedicated to the spiritual wellbeing of the parish family of God. In this Father Liam has lived out his promise of fifty years ago to commit himself as an instrument of Jesus Christ; to serve through sharing in the sacred ministry of Christ himself.

To mark this significant milestone, the celebrations started with a special Mass at 3.00 pm, concelebrated by Father Liam, Bishop Richard Moth and other priests of the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton. On this occasion the church was full as the parishioners came together, with Father Liam's family and friends from the parishes where he had previously served over the fifty years, as well as clergy from other churches in Goring. After the Mass, presentation was made to Father Liam to mark the occasion. This included a substantial cheque, a specially prepared anniversary candle and a Book of Memories, into which parishioners and friends had recorded their tributes and congratulations to Father Liam. After this, the celebrations continued with a buffet reception for all supported by the performers, Shenanigan, who provided music and song.

These took place in the grade 2 listed Barn, which had served as the first church until 1970, when the present church was brought into use. The church is well known as the home of the reproduction of the Sistine Chapel Ceiling, painted over twenty years ago by Gary Bevans, who, as Deacon Gary, was present at the Mass and celebrations afterwards.