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