Friday, 13 July 2018

Pastoral Letter from Bishop Richard Moth for 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2018

Bishop Richard Moth

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Today’s Readings provide us with wonderful insights into the mystery of God’s purpose for us.  I invite you, both today and in the months ahead, to join me in reflecting on the mystery of the Father’s love as we look to the future of our Diocese.

The Second Reading, the ‘hymn of praise’ from the beginning of St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, sums up for us the wonder of our very existence.  We are brought together in Christ, through whom we are forgiven of our sins and in whom we find freedom.  All that we are is for the greater glory of God.  There is a real excitement in St. Paul’s words as he celebrates the fact that we believe and accept the message of Salvation and, in the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, find the freedom that comes from Christ.[1]

This is a joy so deep that it can be difficult to put into words.  As the “message of Christ finds a home in us”[2] we are enabled to find life in its truest sense – a life built on Christ and lived entirely in Him.  This life transforms us, our homes, our parishes and our places of work.   It is “life to the full”[3] – the destiny that Jesus tells us is ours and is the reason for His saving work.

This way of being is so wonderful – how could any of us turn away from it or reject its possibilities?  How could any of us wish not to share that life with others?  All of us must share in this Mission of bringing others to know Christ and the life He gives.

St. Paul’s sense of joy is to be lived out with purpose.  We see this purpose as Jesus sends out the twelve.  They travel light.  There is a real sense of movement in the words of today’s Gospel and we are caught up in the journey. We too, as individuals, as families, as parishes, as Diocese, are sent out by the Lord Himself to do a work so vital for our world that we dare not shrink from it. 

Yet, like Amos in today’s first reading, we may well not feel ready.  God’s choice of Amos was a surprise to him and to the people, for he was not from a family of prophets.  God called him to a new task in new places.  Amos could not refuse and God provides the words that he would say.

So it is with us. The call of Jesus in His Gospel is for every one of us.  His Real Presence in the Eucharist calls us to Him, to receive His Life, to adore Him and to share His life with others.  We “come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled Himself to share in our humanity.”[4]   The Sacraments and our lives of prayer enable us to become more and more like Him.  The relationship is real.  It is lived.

Just as Jesus spent time with His disciples, teaching them and forming them, so He calls us to be taught and formed by Him.  In this way, we become His people.  Then, with real purpose we become effective witnesses. 

In recent months, in parishes and deaneries, we have been considering the future life of the Diocese and this Mission to which we are called.  In the Autumn, the Pastoral Plan for the Diocese will be presented in each Deanery.  This is an important moment in the life of us all.  Pray for our Diocese, that this work may be truly blessed.

I ask you today to reflect on the Scriptures that we have heard proclaimed for us.  The sense of joy and wonder; the way in which God works in us, despite our frailties; the sense of real purpose in the lives of the disciples. Pray that this message will find a home in each one of us and in the whole family of our Diocese, that we truly be the people the Lord calls us to be: His disciples[5], His friends[6], His witnesses[7].

With every Blessing,

Yours sincerely in Christ,


Bishop of Arundel & Brighton

[1]     cf. Eph. 1:3-14.
[2]     Col. 3:16.
[3]     Jn. 10:10.
[4]     From the Offertory of the Mass, Roman Missal.
[5]     Jn. 8:31.
[6]     Jn. 15:14.
[7]     Acts 1:8.

Monday, 9 July 2018

Catholics ‘among most generous’ with gifts in Wills

New Missio sponsored Parish Hall in use
Catholics are among the most generous legacy donors, according to research, and are nearly three times as likely to have left a gift in their Will compared to the general population. And if they haven’t yet made a Will, Catholics are more than twice as likely to consider leaving a legacy gift.

However, other research shows that this generosity is not necessarily including legacies to Catholic causes. So a new campaign by Your Catholic Legacy is encouraging more Catholics to consider leaving a gift in their Will, to fund vital work by Catholic charities at home and abroad, and to make a real difference in people’s lives.

The campaign features stories of how Catholic charities are helped by legacy gifts, but could do so much more if every Catholic remembers to include their favourite Catholic causes when writing or updating their Will.

The stories demonstrate that people’s faith matters – and show how Catholics can choose to lay a foundation of faith for future generations by leaving a legacy gift.

A parish hall was built in a small, rural village in Myanmar with the help of legacy donations – and it’s a dream come true for the community.

Parish Hall before it was rebuilt by Missio gifr
The large, rectangular brick building, with its open windows, concrete floor and corrugated iron roof, might not appear that special, but it is transforming lives. It’s the only space big enough for large numbers of people to meet indoors, and it hosts meetings, catechism classes, self-help groups, development workshops, health clinics, drama and music sessions, feast day celebrations and vocational training.

Fr Anthony Chantry, National Director at Missio, visited the centre in the village of Mine Lunn and said, “When is a parish hall not a parish hall? When it becomes a sign of hope! Several hundred people crowded into the hall and sat on the ground. ‘Please thank the people in your country who have helped us,’ was the consistent message repeated in word, song and dance.”

He added, “Fundraising in poor communities is a very slow business. Through Missio, you give the extra push to help parish communities realise their dream of a sheltered space they can use to develop the lives of people.”

Your Catholic Legacy represents 27 causes and can help Catholics direct gifts in Wills to the charities they feel most passionate about. Even a modest gift can make a real difference.

Miranda Litchfield, Chairman of Your Catholic Legacy, added, “It’s heartening to see that Catholics are among the most generous donors in society and wonderful that they are generous to so many deserving causes. All we ask is that they also remember all the fine work done by Catholic charities.

“When you leave legacies to Catholic charities it means the things you care for in your life can continue for future generations. You’ll lay a foundation of faith that will touch the lives of many people around the world.”

To find out more call 020 7095 5370, email or visit

Thursday, 5 July 2018

St Joseph’s Specialist School & College and Artist in Residence, Louise Grundy exhibiting art and sculpture at Cranleigh Arts Centre

Sculpture from Louise
Students from St Joseph’s Specialist School & College Cranleigh and their current Artist in Residence: Louise Grundy, will be exhibiting art and sculpture at Cranleigh Arts Centre between 3rd -14th July.

Louise is a local artist who specialises in paper mache and sculptures of heads based on family history. For this exhibition, she has worked alongside of the students who have been influenced by her techniques. The artwork includes ideas and items that the students are passionate about. It is a fascinating exhibition as it reveals the influence between artist to student but also student to artist.

As part of the Artist in Residence role, Louise has made sculptures specifically relating to the school, creating Saint Joseph, Saint George and Saint Patrick which have been installed in the school Chapel.

During Louise’s time at St Joseph’s the students have
made Dragons and other creatures, and in her own work, Louise has made a series of gangster sculptures based on 1920's Australian's arrested in Sydney.

Come and visit our Exhibition at Cranleigh Arts Centre, 3rd– 14th July

Monday, 2 July 2018

Sea Sunday - Ship Visitors' Stories

AOS Ships Visitor sharing Easter Eggs with a Ship's Crew
This month [July 8] the Church celebrates Sea Sunday when we are asked to support Apostleship of the Sea’s work with seafarers. Greg Watts meet two of its ship visitors on the south coast.

“I knew very little about the maritime world and wasn’t aware of the conditions in which seafarers operate. I was also unaware of how many goods imported to the UK come by ship,” says Irene Chapman.

Irene is one of Apostleship of the Sea’s (AoS) volunteer ship visitors, working alongside Rev Roger Stone, a permanent deacon in Arundel and Brighton who is chaplain to the ports on the Sussex and Hampshire coast.

She became a ship visitor eight years ago after hearing a talk in her parish on Sea Sunday about how AoS provides pastoral care and practical help to seafarers.

Having worked in commercial management and higher education, she knew nothing about the maritime world and that so many of the goods we rely on – cars, fridges, computers, fuel – come to Britain by sea.

“One of my first impressions when I began visiting ships was how very hard the crew work and incredibly cheerful they remain,” she recalls.

She was surprised by the size of some of the ships and how dangerous being a seafarer is. Few of us would fancy being on board a ship being tossed about in the middle of the ocean in a ferocious storm hundreds or thousands of miles from land

Irene mostly visits car transporters, general cargo carriers, and gas tankers docked at Fawley.

Seafarers can be at sea for months, Irene has learned, which means they have little contact with their families and miss out on important moments such as births, their children’s first day at school, and Christmas.

“One sentence from a seafarer which has remained with me was, ‘I have no memories.’ He was referring to the fact that he had missed his children’s birth, their growing up, their parties and their graduation ceremony. Because he was working at sea, he could not be there to share any of these.”

Another ship visitor working on the Sussex and Hampshire coast is Mary Thakrar. Much of her time is spent visiting ships in Southampton. Unlike Irene, she already knew a lot about the tough life of seafarers, having once lived on a cargo ship.

When she became a ship visitor, she was struck by how the maritime industry had changed since her time at sea.

“In those days, most of the seafarers I met were English and their pay and conditions were decent. That’s not the case nowadays,” she says.

Many of the seafarers on she meets are from parts of the world such as the Philippines and Goa. The reason they go to sea and undertake one of the most dangerous jobs in the world is to support their families back home.

Because many ships are only in port for a few hours, seafarers have little time to have a change of scenery or buy essential supplies.

This is where AoS often helps, providing mobile phone top-up cards, warm clothing in the winter, arranging transport to local shops and even for a priest to visit a ship to celebrate Mass on board.

“I have met older seafarers who have spent years at sea to give their children better lives by funding higher education for them,” says Mary. “Many also work to fund medical treatment for their family. We often take these for granted, but in many countries you have to pay for them.”