Monday, 16 October 2017

Norfolk convent welcomes “party girls” for new TV documentary

The sisters with the five girls

During their stay, the five girls gave up their smartphones, alcohol and make-up and helped the Sisters with their community outreach duties.

Sr Francis Ridler from the Convent, who is also headteacher at the associated Sacred Heart School, said: “It is all about five girls who are not satisfied with their lifestyle, drinking, spending too much money on make-up and the good life as it were.

“They were told they were going on a spiritual journey, but not told where. They were brought to Swaffham one by one. When they found out it was a convent they were very surprised.

“We tried to involve them in the life of the convent, in our prayers and community activities. It is a very down-to-earth film and although there were some scary moments, we feel it is an honest portrayal and good for the church.

“When one of them went out and brought a bottle of vodka back – we told them it not appropriate and after discussing it with us they took the vodka and poured it down the sink. I was as concerned about the waste as about them bringing the vodka back, which surprised the girls.”

“I am happy with the film as entertainment and we think it will bring the lives of the Sisters into people’s homes and help them to understand better what we do and are all about. I think that the producers edited it for an audience that is not used to religion and spirituality,” said Sr Francis.

“I can honestly say we felt we made a difference to their lives.”

Series producer Elaine Hackett said: "It is a real privilege to be granted access to a convent and to nuns who were willing to share their world.

Channel 5 factual commissioning editor Guy Davies said: “It's not a finger wagging exercise at young millennial women. Bad Habits is a really popular and entertaining way of asking some serious questions about how we live our lives.”

Bad Habits, Holy Orders starts on Thursday October 19, 10pm on Channel 5.

You can see the Sisters talk about the programme on the One Show on BBC1 at 6.15pm on Wednesday October 18 and on This Morning on ITV at 10am on Thursday October 19.

There are also plans for the Sisters to run a free pop-up restaurant in Shoreditch in London on October 18 and 19. It will be called Nundos.

http://fdc-sisters.org.uk/about-us/

Pictures from Channel 5.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Pray for the Repose of the Soul of Canon Gerald Coates RIP

Canon Gerald Coates RIP
Please pray for the repose to the soul of Canon Gerald Coates, priest of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton who died peacefully in the early morning of Tuesday 10th October in Holy Cross Care Home, Cross in Hand, Heathfield, East Sussex.

Details of his funeral will follow.

May he rest in peace

Monday, 9 October 2017

Jon Harman Takes Next Step to Diaconate Ordination

Bishop Richard Moth with Jon, his wife Nicki and two of his children
On Friday 6th October Jon Harman from Chichester and Wittering parish was instituted as an acolyte by Bishop Richard Moth at St Richard's, Chichester. The ministry of acolyte is the final step before ordination to the diaconate and involves service at the altar including distribution of the Eucharist.

Jon as well as training for the diaconate is also the Director of St Cuthman's, the Diocesan Retreat Centre www.stcuthmans.org

Please pray for him and his family as he continues his formation before ordination next year.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Requiem Mass for Cardinal Cormac at Arundel Cathedral

Cardinal Cormac at the Grotto in Lourdes with the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton pilgrimage
On Sunday 1st October Bishop Richard Moth of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton celebrated a Requiem Mass at Arundel Cathedral for Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor who died on 1st September 2017 and was buried in Westminster Cathedral on 13th September 2017.

Cardinal Cormac was Bishop of Arundel & Brighton from 1977-2000 and left an incredible legacy in the Diocese before his move to become Archbishop of Westminster and a Cardinal. As bishop of the diocese he early on engaged in a round of parish and school visitations, opening up his large house at Storrington for special events and adopting the American ‘RENEW’ programme. This was inspired by his belief that the Church should be ‘experienced not as a faceless institution but as a community, a family, to whose life all its members contribute’ and involved the creation of ‘small communities’ in parishes.

This sense of family was reflected in those who attended the Mass. Not only were there members of his actual family, but also a Cathedral full of priests, deacons and lay people from all over Surrey and Sussex and beyond who all brought with them fond memories of their friendship with the Cardinal when he was bishop in the diocese.

In his homily, Provost of Arundel Cathedral Chapter, Mgr John Hull who had worked closely with the Cardinal in the diocese reflected that the main memory all of us had of the Cardinal, as well as that great sense of family, was joy. The word joy was contained in the Cardinal’s coat of arms, but it was also to be seen in the many pictures on the back of the Mass booklet of a joyful Cardinal Cormac.

A spokesperson for the diocese said: “In celebrating this Mass as well as praying for the repose of his soul it was also a wonderful opportunity to remember with love the joy and hope that Cardinal Cormac brought to all he met and to share these memories with each other.”

He continued: “In the Mass we were able to offer the greatest prayer of all for him, a great final ‘Thanksgiving’ for his faithful service to the Church at large but to this particular Church in Surrey and Sussex.”


Photos: Provost Mgr John Hull (higher resolution picture available) Photo © Diocese of Arundel & Brighton

More Pictures available at Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/arunelandbrigtondiocese/albums/72157687415147714 Photos © Diocese of Arundel & Brighton

Monday, 18 September 2017

We Press on – together- In Hope: Support Pact this Prisoners’ Sunday

Prisoners' Sunday 8th October
“My upbringing was very dysfunctional; at the age of ten I found drink and drugs. I’m a person who has spent nineteen years of my life in prison and Pact support gave me hope, not only to stay out of prison but to help me find meaning in my life. It helped me when I had no food, no travel, and no job. The mentoring service has built my self-confidence, has given me a life worth leading and given me a future.”  David, User of Pact services

At the age of 45, David had spent almost half of his life in prison. With no support network David was anxious of falling back into old habits. He met with a Pact Worker whilst in prison who set him up with a group of volunteer mentors, motivated by their faith, who could offer him practical and emotional support for the first crucial months after release. This gave David immense hope, helped him find his feet, resettle back into the community and build a life. Thousands of men like David leave prison every day, many of whom are homeless with no support network. They are often some of the most marginalised people in society; and yet most in need of hope for a fresh start. Without support, men like David may not have the chance to get back on the right road.

On October 8th this year we mark Prisoners’ Sunday, the national day of prayer and action for prisoners and their dependants. Our theme, ‘We Press on –together- in Hope’, recognises the vital role we all play in coming together, as a Catholic community working to bring light and a fresh start to people affected by imprisonment. We ask you to put your faith into action and help us to support more people like David.

A resource pack will be sent to every Parish Priest across England and Wales with more information. Please encourage your relevant celebrant to make use of the resources to mark the day. Additional resources such as children’s activities & liturgy and discussion group topics are available on Pact’s website from early September. If you would like to get involved or host a talk on Pact’s work in your community please get in touch with Naomi on the details below.

www.prisonadvice.org.uk

Parish.Action@prisonadvice.org.uk

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Funeral of Cardinal Cormac - Photos and story

Bishops in porcession past the coffin of Cardinal Cormac
(c)Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk 
The funeral of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, former Archbishop of Westminster, took place at at Westminster Cathedral today. Cardinal Vincent Nichols was chief celebrant. Archbishop George Stack gave the homily.

More than 1,200 people attended, among them the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby and former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, the former Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, Coptic Archbishop Angaelos, many politicians, including former Irish president Mary McAleese and Conservative MP Jacob Rees Mogg, together with 47 bishops and more than 250 priests.

Cardinal Cormac died on 1 September after a short illness. He was 85 years old. His body was first brought to the church of Our Lady of Grace in Chiswick, west London - the parish where he lived in his retirement - and then to Westminster Cathedral where he lay in state yesterday. The Cardinal's nephew, Patrick Murphy-O'Connor, said there were around 95 relatives present. Patrick paid tribute to his uncle's devotion to his family, saying he was "much-loved and he would do anything for his family."

Cardinal Cormac will be buried under the tenth Station of the Cross in the Cathedral - a place he chose himself.

Adam Simon from Arundel & Brighton Diocese who attended the funeral told Premier it was “a very reverential occasion”.

He said his lasting memory of the Church leader is that “He was beacon of light, a father like figure, a rock to us all. I have a photo of Cardinal Cormac he was blessing our children but he was blowing bubbles with them… that was the type of person that he was. He was a holy man but he was a human person and he was a friend to the family and to so many people.”

The Most Revd George Stack, Archbishop of Cardiff, preached the homily at the Funeral Mass of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor in Westminster Cathedral today.

One of Cardinal Cormac's auxiliary bishops serving the diocese of Westminster in the early 2000s, Archbishop Stack praised the late Cardinal and the ease with which he lived his vocational calling:

"He was comfortable in his own skin. He was aware of his failings, yet supremely confident in his calling. He was a gifted man who would have made a success of whatever career he chose. Medicine or music - maybe even golf or perhaps rugby like his brother! Yet from an early age he was convinced he should be a priest, like his two other brothers."

Archbishop Stack lauded how Cardinal Cormac put his skills at the service of the Church and society at large - his heart for Christian unity most apparent:

"He was able to reach out in meaningful and constructive ways to other churches. His membership and scholarly contribution to the conclusions of the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission. Much to his delight the fruits of his work were captured this year in the publication of all five ARCIC documents in one volume. His conviction that unity of mind and heart amongst the followers of Christ were not optional extras but sorely needed in a fragmented world."

Cardinal Cormac was often seen as a genial, friendly man. Archbishop Stack reflects further:

"His gift of hospitality. He took the words of Jesus seriously 'Love one another as I have loved you'. These gifts, and the generous way he used them, were expressive of the fact that he liked people and liked being with them. He drew the best from others and gave them nothing but the best of himself in return. But his was not superficial friendliness. He was convinced that people could and should share their faith and learn from the life experiences of others."

The homily also focused on where the Cardinal is to be buried - beneath the tenth Station of the Cross in the Cathedral. Archbishop Stack believes this shows us something of Cardinal Cormac's humility:

"This Station has a special lesson to teach us. Jesus is stripped of his garments. Our faith and devotion teach us that the seamless robe of his revelation of divine love, the integrity and compassion of Jesus, is torn away. The Jesus who stands before us naked and unashamed calls us to pay more attention to who we are rather than what we have so cunningly conspired to be.

"Cormac knew well what it was like to have judgments questioned, decisions criticised, mistakes analysed. That 'stripping away' could easily have made him angry and cynical, causing him to retreat from the public arena. Yet he acknowledged his mistakes. He made no excuses. He said the most difficult words of all. "I’m sorry". He learned a huge lesson and proceeded to establish the most robust safeguarding mechanism possible, a model for other institutions. Humility and action were part of the robe that he wore."

Read Archbishop’s Stack’s homily in full here: Cardinal Cormac was a priest to his fingertips -www.indcatholicnews.com/news/33308

You can see photos of the Funeral on the Catholic Church of England & Wales Flickr site - https://www.flickr.com/photos/catholicism/albums/72157686518137433/with/37015576216/

Story:

Jo Siedlecka, CCN and Premier

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Icon of the Holy Family Written for Holy Family Church, Reigate

Sr. Aelred beside the icon
A beautiful icon has been presented to Reigate church in Nativity of the Lord parish to be hung in the new hall alongside the church.

“Written” by St. Aelred Erwin, a Benedictine nun from the ancient Abbey of St. Mildred at Minster in Kent, and donated in memory of Sheila and Ted Bentall by their family. 

It was anointed, in the presence of family and friends, by Bishop Richard. He explained that icons are very different from statues. The purpose of a statue is to remind us of the saint to whom we are praying. Icons are the product of much prayer and fasting too; hence they are written as result of contemplation and spiritual experience rather than being the product imagination. They lead us deeply into heavenly presence. This is why rather than being blessed they are anointed with chrism on the back in recognition of their holiness.

The icon shows the child Jesus holding the hands of Mary and Joseph in front of the Holy Family Church, Reigate, and above the entrance, the Holy Spirit descending in the form of a dove.

Text and photo, Ann Lardeur

Friday, 1 September 2017

Once a tourist, now a humanitarian worker: Woking parishioner reflects on his recent trip to Syria

Alan second from left with CAFOD staff member and partners
Whilst most Woking residents are heading off on their summer holidays, a parishioner from St Dunstan's, Woking, Alan Thomlinson, who works for the aid agency CAFOD, has just returned from a week in Syria.

This was Alan’s second trip to Syria; his first was as a tourist in 2010, when he visited Damascus with his wife. They enjoyed their trip so much that they intended to return to explore the rest of the country, but their plans were curtailed by the start of Syria’s brutal civil war.

Seven years later and Alan was visiting Syria in a very different capacity. As the Emergency Programme Manager for CAFOD’s Syria response, he travelled to the coastal city of Latakia to visit nearby projects supporting displaced Syrians. Latakia is a government stronghold and currently the security situation is, when compared to the rest of the country, relatively stable.

“It was quite surreal. Women and families were out on the street and it was very cosmopolitan. Restaurants and cafes were open and it felt safe walking around. I was WhatsApping my wife photographs of the hotels and cafes and she was surprised by how normal it looked.

“Syria is a very cosmopolitan society, a mix of religions and cultures, Islamic, Christian, regional and Mediterranean. Visiting Syria you see that diversity, but with the news you just see war and fighting, so you can be tripped up into thinking that’s what Syria is like – but the people are incredibly hospitable; when we visited some internally displaced people, who had nothing, they were offering us tea and snacks.”

Whilst on the surface the situation in Latakia seemed – ostensibly - ordinary, Alan described how quickly he started to see the poverty and the great need for humanitarian assistance. The project Alan visited is run by our local church partner and supported by CAFOD, assisting 2000 displaced families with rental support, health care services and essential items, including food.

“I visited four families on house visits and it was shocking to see the conditions they lived in. One family was living in the cellar of a block of flats, which was not really fit for human habitation. It was very gloomy and the family talked about the number of cockroaches and rats that bothered them at night. There were two young girls, around nine and ten, studying for exams, who were complaining of constant headaches from studying in such darkness.”

To date, the UN estimates that the conflict has killed over 310,000 people and 14.9 million are in need of urgent humanitarian aid. CAFOD has been working with local church partners in Syria since 2012, ensuring that people affected by the crisis have food, relief supplies and safe places to stay. CAFOD is also supporting Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey.

However desperate the situation is at present, Alan has hope for Syria’s future: “I definitely hope to return as a tourist, but it’s likely I will return there with my job first. Hopefully the conflict will end as soon as possible and give the Syrian people a chance to rebuild their lives, livelihoods and homes.”

To find out more and to donate, please visit www.cafod.org.uk/syria



Monday, 28 August 2017

A very special Couple at St. Clement’s, Ewell

Lil and Mike cutting the cake
The parish of St Clement's, Ewell recently celebrated the 80th birthdays and 55th wedding anniversary of two of its stalwarts, Lil and Mick Ryan. They have been active in the parish for well over 40 years. The Saturday evening Mass was dedicated to them and Fr Graham Bamford, the parish priest invited them to renew their marriage vows. It was easy to see that they are loved and appreciated by us all.

After Mass the church hall was bursting with close on 100 people: their son Mike, friends and parishioners. We tucked into a hog roast with numerous accompaniments. The food table was groaning! For once Lil was not allowed to organise or contribute to the event. This was a first, as every single gathering at St Clement’s has seen Lil at the helm: in the kitchen cooking and serving, setting up her stall at the parish fairs, being the mastermind behind the jumble sales – you name it, Lil did it!

Lil and Mick chose the music they would like to be played in the background and as the evening advanced their favourite Irish tunes came into their own. There was silence as our lovely songbird, Betty Lynch, began to sing “The Fields of Athenry” and then an enormous wave of voices joined in the choruses.

Finally Lil and Mick cut the cake (or cakes – one for their birthdays and one for their wedding anniversary). It was a truly lovely evening and a great tribute to two wonderful people.



Story Charlotte Gregory Picture Lesley Squibb

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Arundel & Brighton Priest Receives International Award

Derek Pollard (left), Fr Jonathan How (centre), Joao Armando Gonsalves - Chairman of the World Scout Committee (right) © Enrique Leon (WOSM)
Fr Jonathan How, Parish Priest of Sacred Heart, Cobham, Surrey and a priest of the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton, has been presented with the Bronze Wolf Award, the highest award for adults in World Scouting, for his contribution in the area of spiritual development and Interreligious Dialogue in scouting.

In particular Fr Jonathan had been responsible for the Religious and Spiritual Programme at the 2007 World Scout Jamboree in the UK and for its subsequent development and growth. He has also helped the movement in its important work in Interreligious Dialogue.

Fr Jonathan said "Scouting is a major international movement with over 50 million members from all over the world and from every religion and none. It is a real privilege to be able to support their efforts to create a better world through the spiritual and religious development of their members.

“I was quite shocked when I received a letter last month telling me about the award. They are really rare - in fact the list of recipients is short enough that there is even a Wikipedia page of them. Most of us know how much Scouting is part of our lives, and we try to beaver away quietly, but it's only when someone tells us that we realise how much our scouting is part of other people's lives too and that our efforts have been noticed.”

Bishop Richard Moth, Fr Jonathan’s Bishop and Liaison Bishop for Scouting said “This award is a testimony to all that Fr Jonathan gives to Scouting and to his witness to so many young people and the leadership of Scouting round the world. It is well deserved.”

Scouting began in 1907. The first Catholic Scout group was founded in that same year. Fr Jonathan is National Catholic Scout Chaplain.

The World Organisation of the Scout Movement has 50 million members from 169 Member Organisations, one of which is The Scout Association in the UK.

The Award was presented at the World Scout Conference in Baku, Azerbaijan on 18 August 2017.

Photo: Derek Pollard – Chairman of the World Scout Committee (left), Fr Jonathan How (centre), Joao Armando Gonsalves (right) – © Enrique Leon (WOSM)

Pictures at Flickr (page 2) https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldscouting/albums/72157683414934223 Photo © Enrique Leon (WOSM)

The presentation is on YouTube at 1hr15 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCrMViI7E8A bring life.”

Monday, 21 August 2017

Bishop Richard asks for prayers for Cardinal Cormac seriously ill in hospital

Cardinal Cormac in Lourdes preaching at a Mass for A&B Diocese
Bishop Richard has written to all parishes this morning asking for prayers for Cardinal Cormac, former Bishop of this diocese asking for prayers for him as he is seriously ill in hospital. He writes:

Dear Fathers and colleagues

Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor is seriously ill in hospital and I would ask you to remember him very specially in your prayers.

In a letter sent yesterday to all the Bishops, Cardinal Vincent writes: "these loving prayers are a source of great strength and comfort as he calmly ponders on all that lies ahead, all in God's good time. May the Lord strengthen him in faith and trust and may the prayers of the Church, which he loves so much, comfort and uphold him.”

As we all know, Cardinal Cormac holds this Diocese in great affection and will, I know, value the prayers of us all at this time.

With every blessing,

+Richard

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Reuben from Adur Valley Runs for Charity Again

Reuben Selby is one of the long term altar servers at Mass at Christ the King, Steyning in the Parish of Our Lady Queen of Peace, Adur Valley.

Last year he ran the Brighton Marathon for Cancer Research with a finishing time of 3 hours and 22 minutes.

This year he is running the Berlin Marathon to raise funds for MIND a charity that provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. Every year one in four of us will experience a mental health problem. Reuben says he wants to play a part in increasing awareness of mental ill health and in reducing the stigma that is so often attached to it.

He is hoping to better his time this year and has been putting in many hours of training to achieve this.

He also wants to increase the amount of donations for his chosen charity and asks that people who wish to kindly donate go to his Just Giving Fund Raising Page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/reuben-selby2

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Happy Feast of the Assumption!

The Assumption of the Virgin by Bartolome Esteban Murillo (Wikiart)
Happy Feast of the Assumption of Mary, the Mother of God into Heaven. She is the patroness of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton.

The Catholic Church teaches as dogma that the Virgin Mary "having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory". This doctrine was dogmatically defined by Pope Pius XII on 1 November 1950, in the apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus by exercising papal infallibility.

It is a Holy Day of Obligation in England & Wales.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Jubilarian Priests Celebrate with Bishop Richard Moth at Arundel Cathedral

Bishop Richard with 5 Jubilarians
Fr Stephen Ortiger OSB, Fr Chris Spain, Fr Tony Collins, Fr Kieron Gardiner and Fr Charles Jeffries joined Bishop Richard and other priests at Arundel Cathedral to celebrate their jubilees of ordination from 50 years to 25 years. Ad Multos Annos!

Monday, 7 August 2017

Bishop Richard at Lourdes with A&B Diocese helpers
Pilgrims including Bishop Richard have now returned from the annual Arundel & Brighton Pilgrimage to the Marian Shrine in Lourdes.

You can see all the video podcasts from Bishop Richard in Lourdes on the Diocesan Vimeo site.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Read New Deacon's Own Story on his Recent Ordination

Deacon Tristan Cranfield
I was ordained to the diaconate at Villa Palazzola on 12th July, by the Bishop of Middlesbrough, Terrence Drainey, along with five other men from the Venerable English College. By tradition, the ordinations take place at the College's summer residence, Villa Palazzola, which is located just outside Rome, in a solitary, but picturesque spot on a cliff-top overlooking Lake Albano. The church is small, dedicated to Our Lady of the Snows. The weather was anything but snowy, however, the fierce Roman sunshine making the ordination Mass itself a rather uncomfortably warm affair! Despite the distraction of the heat, it was still a beautiful occasion - more beautiful than I had imagined it would be.

I suppose that, as a seminarian, you are concentrating so much on preparing for future priestly ministry that you can easily overlook the phase that all priests must pass through as a deacon. I say, "pass through", but technically speaking, this is incorrect: in fact, a man ordained as a deacon remains one even if and when he becomes a priest later. In this way, he is conformed to Christ the "Servant" (the literal meaning of the word "deacon") and remains so for his whole life. 

Thankfully, having made a good retreat and having had plenty of time over the last few months to reflect on the particular nature of the diaconate meant that on the day, my brothers and I were able to concentrate well on the meaning of what was going on in the various parts of the Ordination rite: the promises of obedience and celibacy, the prostration and Litany of the Saints, the laying on of hands, the prayer of consecration, and the investiture with stole and dalmatic. As with any liturgy, then, it was all the more meaningful and powerful in opening our eyes to God's presence in the rite, and in the Mass, because we were well prepared to take part in it.

The celebration that followed the Mass was wonderful too: lunch in the garden of the Villa with a few members of family and friends, including several priests of our own diocese. It was a such a joy to celebrate with them, just as it has been to come back to the diocese this summer and begin exercising my ministry here. I'll be spending the following academic year back in Rome for one last time, finishing studies in preparation for final ordination to the priesthood in 2018. Please pray for me, and for my brother seminarians from A&B during this time, and for more vocations to the priesthood.

Photos Canon Tim Madeley

Deacon Tristan with his parents

Deacon Tristan with A&B Seminarian Tom Kent

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

The Oldest Flower Arranger in the Diocese?

Bob, oldest flower arranger in the Diocese?
Ninety Years ago a sweet chubby faced boy was baptised down the road from St Paul’s Church at the Priory, Haywards Heath. Why there and not the church? St Paul’s had yet to be consecrated. The parents took some time working out what to name their new born baby, but eventually settled on ‘Robert Clement Tunks’. Despite their best efforts to add a bit of class to the family, for most of his life he has been known simply as ‘Bob’.

He cannot remember when he became the official flower arranger at St Paul’s Church ‘It must have been in the early 1970s and I have never stopped!’ reflected this specialist. Most parishioners do not know St Paul’s Parish without this stalwart. To celebrate Fr Vlad gave him a special blessing, thanking him for his never ending ministry in proclaiming the Glory of God. Parishioner, Ann Herbert, presented him with a special bouquet of flowers. Although at ninety he is still known as a sharp-eyed regional judge with the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (NAFAS), he was too polite to score this gift!

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

30 years of baking raises over £35,000 for charity

Elizabeth Wallace with some cakes at St Dunstan's, Woking
Woking resident and Arundel & Brighton Diocese parishioner, Elizabeth Wallace, is celebrating over three decades of baking cakes for charity every month, raising an estimated £35,000.

Elizabeth’s baking odyssey began back in 1986. Her mother had died two years previously and the terrible Ethiopian famine of 1984 was still fresh in her mind. One of Elizabeth’s friend’s suggested that she did something to help both her recover from the loss of her mother, and those in need overseas. “I can cook and I like to bake, so that’s how it all began!”

Elizabeth set up a cake stall after mass once a month, at the parish of Our Lady of Christ, Kingfield, Surrey which she and her husband of 45 years, Kevin, were members of. As well as selling cakes contributed by parishioners, they held sponge competitions and Elizabeth stayed motivated by the enthusiasm of other parishioners.

Elizabeth said:

“The Bake Off hadn’t even started then. Mary Berry eat your heart out! One of the reasons I kept going was that it made other people join in, and there have been some amazing examples of generosity. There was one lady who died a couple of years ago who donated £20 every month!”

When they moved to St. Dunstan’s, Woking, Surrey Elizabeth kept on baking; her commitment to standing in solidarity with those in the developing world has never failed.

“You don’t stop,” Elizabeth said. “The world is still in need and we can’t just be reactive to big crises, we have to take the initiative too. And you can’t just walk away, because you feel you’re betraying the people you’re supporting. These aren’t just people on pieces of paper, these are people who you’re praying for.”

After almost thirty years as the organiser of the CAFOD cake stall, Mary handed over the running to two other St Dunstan’s parishioners, Ruth Whiddett and Lin Mason, in 2014. Elizabeth described the choice to stand down as a hard decision to make, but one which felt right. Inspired by her American mother’s recipes, Elizabeth still bakes delights such as cookies every month for the stall, adding to the mounds of freshly baked bread, homegrown fruit and delicious homemade cakes.

“The girls took over and run the stall with their children and it’s going really well. It’s gone from strength to strength and they make wonderful cupcakes! It’s very popular and we regularly run out of what we’re selling!”

Elizabeth has now been baking cakes every month for CAFOD for 31 years. Since its inception in 1986 it has raised an estimated £35,000 – a phenomenal sum.

Elizabeth is modest about the amount that she and the others who helped at the stall have made. “We’re just normal people and that’s our strength,” she said.

The money raised by Elizabeth and all those involved in the stall helps those living in extreme poverty to reach their full potential, regardless of religion or culture, by equipping them with the skills and opportunities to live with dignity, support their families and give something back to their communities.

CAFOD representative in Woking, Martin Brown, said:

“Elizabeth’s dedication to CAFOD is inspirational. Her commitment to helping those in need is remarkable, especially as it so much more than skin deep – she truly cares about the people she is helping as individuals, not just statistics. We are so thankful to her and all those who have been involved in the cake stall over the years, including the new organisers Ruth, Lin and Agata.”

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Arundel Man Ordained a Deacon in Rome on the Road to Priesthood

Deacon Tristan Cranfield (front left) post-diaconal ordination with 5 other men ordained
at the same time by Bishop Terence Drainey
On Wednesday 12 July in the church of Our Lady of the Snows, Villa Palazzola, Rocca di Papa, Rome in Italy Tristan Cranfield from Arundel & Brighton Diocese, and indeed from the Cathedral town of Arundel itself, was ordained by Bishop Terrence Drainey to the diaconate along with four other men from English Diocese and one from Sweden.

Tristan is currently a seminarian at the Venerable English College and studying at one of the Catholic Universities in Rome. Following his ordination as a Deacon he will spend sometime in a parish in the Diocese this summer before returning to Rome for his final year of study and priestly ordination in Arundel Cathedral in 2018.

We wish him well in his diaconate year and every prayer as he proceeds to priesthood and as they say in Rome 'Ad multos annos vivat!'

Monday, 10 July 2017

Paul Bilton Ordained a Deacon for Diocese of Arundel & Brighton


Bishop Richard Moth lays hands on Paul during his ordination to the diaconate
On a warm summer’s evening in St Paul’s Catholic Church, Haywards Heath at 5pm on Sunday 9th July, Rt Rev Richard Moth, Bishop of Arundel & Brighton Diocese ordained Paul Bilton, a parishioner of St Paul’s, to the diaconate.

A full church saw him ordained for service in the church in Haywards Heath and the local area. He was joined not only by his wife, Helen but also his daughter, Maria and two sons, Leo and Isaac, other family, parishioners of St Paul’s as well as many friends from across the Diocese and elsewhere.

Bishop Richard was joined by 18 deacons who welcomed Paul into the Diaconate. These included Deacons Gerard Irwin and Dave Turner who are already Deacons in the parish. They were also ordained on 9th July in 2006 and 2011 respectively, and his parish priest, Fr Martin Jakubas was also ordained priest on 9th July in 1983. There were also 8 other priests present who concelebrated at the Mass.

The idea of becoming a deacon was first planted in Paul’s mind by his then parish priest when he lived in London in the early years of married life. He didn’t actually hear “the call” though until he was recovering from illness in 2008. Having reached a point in life where it started to look possible in practical terms, he approached his current parish priest about this in 2012. After a period of selection and discernment his studies began in earnest in Autumn 2014.

Born in Yorkshire, Paul after leaving school, studied History at Girton College, Cambridge in the mid 1990s. Whilst there he developed a love of studying Scripture particularly when studied in ecumenical groups. It was also at Cambridge that he met Helen, his wife, when they were both trustees of a small children’s charity.

Paul and Helen have been married for 18 years. They moved to Haywards Heath from London when they were expecting their first child and have now lived there for over 15 years.

Paul is a qualified accountant and has worked as a civil servant, finance manager and consultant. He currently works for the National Audit Office but from August he will be starting a new job as Bursar at Worth School.

Paul said “I am very much looking forward to finding out what God has in store for me as I embark on his new adventure in the diaconate, and am very grateful to all those who have supported me to get this far.”

Bishop Richard during his homily at the ordination, reflecting on the Gospel reading for the Mass from St Matthew said to Paul: “Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest.’ Indeed, so many people in the world today are overburdened, and they will look to our new Deacon, Paul to help them with their burdens.”

He went onto say: “Jesus gives us a model of simplicity and humility and Paul, this must be your model, a humble servant of the Lord for others, that they might copy you and become humble servants of the Lord.”

The ordination was followed by a wonderful reception in the local School Hall where Deacon Paul was warmly received by family, friends, clergy and parishioners.

Photo credit ©Focus Photography 2017

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

A&B Deacon, Roger Stone Asks Us to Support Seafarers this Sea Sunday, 9 July

Deacon Roger Stone with Seafarer
As Catholics, we take the sacraments and our local parish for granted. But if you are a Catholic seafarer, then you can go for months without any contact with the life of the Church. This is where Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) comes in.

AoS is unique in being the only Catholic agency serving the maritime industry. This month [July 9] is Sea Sunday, when the Church asks us to pray for seafarers and support the work of AoS, whose chaplains and ship visitors provide practical and pastoral help in ports around the coast of Britain.

The world of the seafarer is a hidden one, and it is one that might appear to have little bearing on our lives. Most of us are far more familiar with airports than ports.

Yet around 90% of the goods imported into the UK arrive by sea. This includes everything from bananas and computers to coffee and cookers.

One of the tasks of Rev Roger Stone, AoS port chaplain to Southampton and a number of ports on the south coast, is to try and meet the spiritual needs of the Catholic seafarers he encounters.

An example of this was when earlier this year the Polish captain of a tanker ship said he was keen to go to Mass and also receive the sacrament of reconciliation.

“Mass was being celebrated in a church five minutes' drive from the terminal, but I drove him into Southampton so he could attend a mass in Polish and celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation in his native tongue,” said Roger.

“He was really relieved to be able to go, On the way back to the ship he commented that we did all this just for one person. It was quite clear to me that the Holy Spirit led me to that ship, to him, and required me to help him to receive just what he needed.”

Roger makes seafarers aware of the Stella Maris application, which they can download onto their mobile phones or other devices. This gives them access to daily readings, reflections and much more throughout their time on board. He also shares the gospel of the day on his Facebook page.

He is impressed by the faith of many of the seafarers he meets. He saw an example of this during Lent this year. “On some car ships I visited, the Indian crews from Kerala and Tamil Nadu refrained from meat and fish for the whole of Lent. They only ate vegetables and rice. This was a real sacrifice for them because their work is physically demanding at the best of times and going without does caused them some difficulty.”

Life at sea is tough. Seafarers work long hours for little pay and see very little of their families back home. In some cases, they can be at sea for weeks or even months.

“Because the seafarers are away from home for so long, and it’s very difficult for them to get off the ships, then I go onto the ships to welcome them and see if we can help them with practical and spiritual support,” Roger said.

On one occasion, he added, a Filipino seafarer came up to him and started crying. “One of the seafarers came up to me and just leaned on to me and cried because he was missing his family so much. And all I can really do is be there for him. Everybody is welcome. Everybody deserves and receives the ministry that I can offer. I’m only sharing God’s love, and that is very powerful.”

www.apostleshipofthesea.org.uk

Friday, 23 June 2017

Celebrate Conference Brighton 15-16 July




As the summer approaches, we strongly encourage you to deepen your faith by attending the Brighton Celebrate weekend on the 15th and 16th July at Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School in Hove.

People of all ages and denominations are welcomed but we especially encourage families to attend together. This year we are offering a 50% discount to families new to Celebrate.

To get an idea of what to expect at Brighton Celebrate this year here is a short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79Xh_UiEJVQ

Brighton Celebrate is a non-residential Catholic Conference for people of all ages full of great teaching from ecumenical speakers, workshops, praise and worship. Mass will be celebrated on both days and there will be opportunities for confession and prayer ministry.

Several streams for young people will run throughout the weekend for all age groups including separate streams for children, teenagers and young adults. In the busy and hectic world we live in today we all know how difficult it is to find time for spiritual refreshment. Brighton Celebrate offers a perfect opportunity to come together as a family to deepen our relationship with God and build His church on earth.

For more information and to book your places click here: https://www.celebrateconference.org/brighton/

Friday, 16 June 2017

Fire at St John the Baptist Church, Kemptown, Brighton

Fire Service at St John the Baptist's
On Thursday night, 15 June a fire was set in St John the Baptist's Church in Kemptown, Brighton causing damage to the Sacristy and its roof as well as minor damage to the back of the church along with smoke damage in the church itself . Fortunately no one was hurt and the damage was not too extensive but St John's will be closed this weekend 17/18 June whilst the clean up takes place.

Services will take place this weekend as follows: Saturday Evening Vigil Mass at 6pm in the Parish Hall and Sunday Morning Mass at 11am in the Table Tennis Club next door.

Parishioners thank God no one was hurt and are extremely grateful for the work of the Fire Service in putting the fire out and stopping the fire spreading further. They are also touched by the kindness of the Table Tennis Club who have been willing to allow them access so they are able to celebrate Mass this Sunday.

St John the Baptist is an important church in the history of the Catholic Church in Sussex. It was the first Roman Catholic church built in Brighton after the process of Catholic Emancipation in the early 19th century removed restrictions on Catholic worship. Located on Bristol Road, a main road east of the city centre, it is one of 11 Catholic churches in Brighton and Hove.The Classical-style building, which was funded by Maria Fitzherbert and completed in 1835, It has been listed at Grade II* by English Heritage for its architectural and historical importance.

It was consecrated on 7 July 1835 and opened on 9 July 1835. Many of the 900 Catholic churches opened in England since the 1791 Roman Catholic Relief Act had not been consecrated by that stage, so St John the Baptist's was only the fourth new church to be consecrated in England since the Reformation in the 16th century.

Maria Fitzhebert a twice-widowed Catholic, began a relationship with the Prince Regent (and secretly married him in 1785 in a ceremony which was illegal according to the Act of Settlement 1701 and the Royal Marriages Act 1772). She accompanied the Prince Regent whenever he visited Brighton, and had her own house. Maria Fitzherbert died in 1837 and was buried at the church. A memorial stone and sculpture were placed in the nave.