The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark covers the London boroughs south of the Thames,
the County of Kent and the Medway Unitary Authority

Archbishop Peter Smith

Our Archbishop is
Archbishop Peter Smith
who was installed
at Saint George's Cathedral on 10th June 2010

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Please pray for the repose of the soul of 

Father Peter Lessiter

who died on Saturday 8th September 2018

May he rest in peace

Funeral arrangements

Thursday 20th September 2018 at 12.00pm

Mount Carmel
Lodge Lane
EX13 5RT

To be followed by burial in Axminster Cemetery

Concelebrating Clergy are asked to bring purple diocesan vestments

Bishop Paul Mason: Bishop of the Forces

Congratulations to Bishop Paul Mason, who was installed as Bishop of the Forces in the Cathedral Church of Saint Michael and St George in Aldershot on Wednesday 12th September 2018.

The Bishopric of the Forces stands apart from other dioceses in that it is not bound by geographical limitations but comprises of anywhere in the world that United Kingdom military personnel are present.

Its aim is to provide operational, spiritual and pastoral support, primarily for Catholic servicemen and women, but also to their families and anyone who turns to them for support. It is intended to be a source of hope, comfort and solace, as well as offering pastoral and sacamental ministry. 

Following the appointment of Bishop Richard Moth to the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton, the Forces have greatly looked forward to the appointment for a new Bishop for over 3 years and a large gathering of Clergy of many denominations, as well as Forces personnel, joined to celebrate the Installation Mass of Bishop Paul last Wednesday, which began with reading of the Mandate from the Holy See.  Click here to view.

Bishop Paul Mason receives his Crozier as Bishop of the Forces

During the Mass, Archbishop Peter invited Bishop Paul to be seated in the Cathedra (Bishop's Seat) in the Cathedral Church of the Forces and he was duly handed his Crozier (staff), symbolising his authority to lead his flock as a Good Shepherd of Christ. The Crozier features the Arms of the first Miltary Bishop, Bishop William Keatinge, who was appointed in 1917.

The Cathedral of Ss Michael and George has some unique features such as the Cross above the altar, which stands out against the traditional stone and mosaic walls. It was fashioned from metal scraps of aeroplanes in which RAF personnel lost their lives. The building is also unusual in that it is believed to be the only one for which Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone and the trowel that she used is built into the foyer of the church.

During his sermon, Bishop Paul recalled that whilst undertaking service as a Hospital Chaplain, many of the patients he visited had explained that their illness was the best thing that had happened to them.  He went on to elucidate that many felt it was a moment of reckoning which had finally allowed them to wake up out of their comfort zone.. an issue which any of us, in any walk of life can face, whether in work, in a marriage or even in the spiritual life. 'A chaplain can help piece things together', he advised, with spiritual and practical assistance helping to bring about a sense of peace. He went on to cllarify that sometimes we need explosions in our life and to feel that burning need for change, and that Jesus comes not to bring peace at these times, but division! When it is revealed to us that we have become complacent in our lives, it is often not welcome, but it is needed in order to find our passion and zeal.

Bishop Paul summed up his sermon by saying that Jesus can makes us emnities with our comfort zones and a mediocre way of life, but this is the way to find our place in life and to be called to what and who we are supposed to be.

Many gathered for Bishop Paul Mason's Installation as Bishop of the Forces.

As the service concluded Bishop Paul thanked all those gathered, which included Dignitaries, the Forces, Archbishop Peter, the chiildren's choir that had travelled from Kent and Fr Michael Fava, who was appointed as Administrator of the Forces by the College of Consultors whilst awaiting the appointment of a Bishop.

Archsibishop Peter stated during the service that Southwark's loss is the Forces' gain'. Whilst it is true that we will miss his dynamic leadership, inspiring sermons, his support of the faithful and many organisations in Kent, not to mention his sporting ways, we wish Bishop Paul much happiness and great fulfillment in his new role as Bishop of the Forces.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of 

Father John Mulligan

who died on Thursday 6th September 2018

May he rest in peace

Funeral arrangements to follow


The Eucharistic Congress and Pilgrimage to Liverpool

As we approached the Congress, we received the sad news of the death of our much-loved parish priest and Co-ordinator, Fr John Mulligan. To have lost him on the eve of his great opus of work in preparing us all to attend Adoremus seemed hard to comprehend.  He was a dynamic leader and great inspiration to us all, always in a good mood and dedicated to keeping everyone buoyant and informed.  As Southwark Delegates, we instinctively knew that the best way to honour his life and work was, as he would have said, to 'Get on with it', because we all knew that he believed the Congress would be the seed which would bear much fruit.

 To view the tribute paid to Fr John Mulligan at Adoremus,
click here.

Bishop McMahon welcomes everyone in Echo Arena to the Congress

There was so much on offer in Liverpool from day one. A warm welcome to the Echo Arena from Archbishop Malcolm McMahon started the proceedings, leading to a lead to a full programme of talks, workshops, prayer, worship, a dynamic youth congress and a complementary parallel programme of events which took place alll around the City.  

It is hard to pick out any one element, but on the Symposium Day, Bishop Paul Mason and Fr Paul Douthwaite from CBCEW offered a talk on Sacraments for those who are serving time in prison or an extended period in hospital, and how they are are united with the worshipping church.  Click here to download information on this talk.

Bishop Robert Barron

Bishop Robert Barron inspired us all on Saturday with his two keynote speeches which helped the Congress to see the mystery and wonderment of the Mass.  To Listen to his talks, visit here.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Nichols spoke to the young people about the use of their mobile phones for good and Katie Prejean's humour ('I took a selfie with Pope Francis') and passion set hearts on fire at the Youth Congress as she told them 'God does not need you... he wants you!'.

Meanwhile, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow from Mary's Meals offered a thought provoking address and his words 'things can change when people spend time in front of the Eucharist' very much came to rest in minds of delegates during the course of the weekend. 

Key speeches can be heard on the CBCEW website

Katie Prejean set hearts alight with her passionate talk
and ready humour at
the Adoremus Youth Congress

Adoration took place at the end of the programme on Saturday, during which the atmophere was electric: in an arena of several thousand people it would have been possible to hear a pin drop.

Adoration on Saturday afternoon at the end of the Congress Day

A wide range of evening events took place in the city from a Gospel Concert to Nightfever, Messy Church, a sing-along of famous Liverpool songs, a talk on the immigration history of the North West, a display on Eucharistic Miracles and the showing of an episode of the Bafta award- winning Northern drama, 'Broken', folllowed by an interview with its writer, Jimmy McGovern.

A carpet of flowers was donated to the Metropolitan Cathedral in Liverpool by Arundel and Brighton Diocese, in celebration of Adoremus

On the final day, Mass was offered at the stunning Metropolitan Cathedral in Liverpool.  A key feature of this contemporary building is stained glass, from which the radiant light helps to create an other-worldly atmophere of transcendence, perhaps most especially when the accomplished Cathedral Choir sings.

Following two morning Masses, celebrated respectively by Archbishop McMahon and Cardinal Vincent Nichols, a procession of the Blessed Sacrament took place through the streets of Liverpool. Regrettably, the heavens opened and a downpour of rain followed, but this proved to be no deterrent to the faithful as people in houses and shops came out to see and hear an extraordinary witness of faith.

By the time the procession of thousands of combined clergy and delegates had returned to the steps of the Cathedral, spirits had not been dampened and the sun gradually came out to greet the pilgrims!  It was an extraordinary day and moreover, an inspirational event for Catholics of all ages.

Canon Alan McLean will now take forward the work begun by Fr John Mulligan in Southwark and we look forward to continuing the journey together.

Our thanks must go to all clergy and delegates from Southwark for the tremendous effort made over many months to prepare for the Congress and for the work you willl now go on to do.

Finally our thanks must go to Liverpool Archdiocese for generously hosting Adoremus and to the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales for this exceptional occasion on which we can now build a legacy in our local parishes, schools and the wider community.

For more pictures of the Congress, visit here.

Southwark Metropolitan Marriage Tribunal (SMT)

The SMT is looking to recruit a new administrator to join their team.  This is a full time position which will be involved in all aspects of administration for the First Instance tribunal. 

Excellent administrative, organisational and IT skills are essential as is the ability to work in a team.  

Some knowledge of the work of the tribunal would be advantageous but not essential as full training will be given. 

You must have good attention to detail and empathetic communication skills. 

First interviews will be held in week commencing 17th September.

If you would like more information or to apply please email

Adoremus.'s almost time!

Over 200 pastorally committed Southwark delegates will be attending the Liverpool based Adoremus Congress between 7 - 9 September 2018. Meanwhile, the hardworking Southwark Centre for Catholic Formation has vended an additional 80 tickets beyond the designated diocesan allocation for the Friday Symposium Day programme. Thank you to all priests, religious and laity for your tremendous support of this national Eucharistic Congress. Particular thanks must go to Fr John Mulligan, who as Congress Coordinator for Southwark has prepared us all so well.

For those who cannot travel to Liverpool, you can take part by attending Adoration, Benediction, Confession or a wide range of services that many Southwark parishes will be offering between now and next Sunday. For a list please click here and select the 'Getting Involved' tab.

Furthermore, there will be a live stream of the events in Liverpool on Shalom TV and the Catholic Bishops Conference news website. The Centre for Catholic Formation also hopes to stream the event.

Please take a moment pray for the success and future legacy of the Congress, which we hope will bear much spiritual and pastoral fruit in our parishes and the wider community.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of 

Father Donald Minchew

who died on Thursday 16th August 2018

May he rest in peace

Funeral arrangements

Saturday 1st September 2018 at 12.00pm

The Faithful Virgin
143, Central Hill
Upper Norwood  SE19 1RT

Clergy who wish to attend are invited to sit in choir,
cotta and black stole if they wish to receive Holy Communion

Adoremus Update

Don't forget to check our Southwark Adoremus website for details of services and activities at Deanery, Parish and Community level.  Please press the 'Getting Involved' tab to scrolll down for information.

Dover will be holding a Deanery service to pray for the success of the Congress between 4 - 5pm on Saturday 2nd September at St Paul's Church, Dover, whilst various parishes will hold Adoration during the course of this week, leading into the Adoremus weekend on 7 - 9 September. Please explore what your local church may be offering at this time, either on the website or in your newsletter.

Archdiocese Pilgrimage with the Catholic Association Lourdes 2018

The Lourdes Basilica and Sanctuary

On Friday 24th August 2018 Archbishop Peter led the Southwark diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes.

Fr Ed with banner

Canon Edward Perera (Pilgrimage Director) and Charlotte McCaugherty (one of the team of the SCYS) with the Southwark Banner 
prior to a torchlight procession

They travelled with The Catholic Association which has organised pilgrimages to Lourdes for over a hundred years. While preserving the diocesan identity, Southwark Pilgrims will be part of a larger group and have the opportunity to meet people from Clifton, Northampton and East Anglia dioceses, schools, and organisations throughout the country.

Grotto Mass
Pilgrims make their way to the Grotto for Mass with Archbishop Peter

We journey to Lourdes in response to an invitation of Our Blessed Lady to go there in Procession, to give praise to God Our Father, to meet him in the Eucharist and to make known his Kingdom here on earth. Mary invites us to go to Lourdes to pray, to contemplate the mysteries of the Rosary, which Pope Paul VI called 'a synthesis of the whole Gospel'

Bishop Paul and Archbishop Peter Grotto Mass
Archbishop Peter celebrates Mass at the Grotto, where Our Lady appeared to Bernadette Soubirous (St Bernadette) in 1858

The Pilgrims remember the whole Diocese in their prayers and worship and ask the whole Diocese of pray for them in return

Grotto Mass2

With thanks to the Southwark Catholic Youth Service for these images

Listen here to Archbishop Peter's thoughts on Lourdes
(with thanks Clifton Diocese)


Adoration in Deaneries, Parishes and the Wider Community

In two weeks, Archbishop Peter Smith and a delegation of several hundred clergy and laity from Southwark Diocese will attend Adoremus, the Eucharistic Congress and Pilgrimage, which will take place in Liverpool.

A number of Southwark parishes have indicated that they wish to join with the Congress on a local basis and will therefore offer Adoration and Benediction, whilst others will hold a Holy Hour and Confessions mainly (but not exclusively) between 7th - 9th September 2018.

In our hectic lives and amid busy schedules, this is a wonderful opportunity for everyone to spend a little time praying and listening peacefully to Our Lord in the the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.

Find out where you can attend Adoration in Southwark Diocese by visiting the Adoremus Website and accessing the 'Getting Involved' tab. The list is growing daily, so please do check back for regular updates.


Information regarding the forthcoming National Eucharistic Congress has been posted in the Southwark Diocese Adoremus site.  Details include tickets and access, workshops, information packs, dress code and future meeting dates after the Liverpool Pilgrimage.

Please ensure that you view this information if you are attending personally or are sending delegates from your parish. Thank you.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of 

Father Philip Mathias

who died on Friday 3rd August 2018

May he rest in peace

Funeral arrangements

Requiem Mass

Tuesday 4th September 2018 at 12.00pm
St. Elizabeth of Portugal
The Vineyard
TW10 6AQ
020 8940 2439

Concelebrating clergy are asked to bring Purple Diocesan vestments

Pilgrimage of the Sick at Aylesford Priory

The annual Pilgrimage of the Sick, with the 
Society of Our Lady of Lourdes, took place at Aylesford on Sunday 12th August.  The Pilgrimage was led by Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams, Nuncio to Britain. 

The Sacrament of the Sick took place during the Mass and the traditional Lourdes-style blessing of the sick was offered in the afternoon. 

The Mass celebrated the transferred Solemnity of the Assumption of Our Lady which the Aylesford Shrine is also dedicated.

Aylesford has permission to use bleu vestments on major feast days of Our Lady and the vestments seen in these photographs were commissioned this year.

During the afternoon, Archbishop Edward spoke of Our Lady being a great support and comfort to the sick and elderly.

A Rosary Procession and Benediction took place during the afternoon, during which the Eucharist was displayed to all gathered in and around the Shrine.

The Carmelite Friars were also very much in evidence during the day in their distinctive habit. Their history at Aylesford dating back to the Thirteenth Century.

Speaking to the pilgrims after the service, many expressed their contentment at having experienced a very spiritually uplifting day and, feeling happy and blessed, were ready to make the journey home. 

Howzat for a game of cricket?

On Sunday 8th July 2018 an extraordinary cricket match took place between St Peter's Cricket Team, which consists of Catholic Priests, Deacons and Seminarians normally based in Rome, supported by the Pontifical Council for Culture and Sport, and a team of Officers, Prisoners and Non-operational staff from HMP and Young Offenders Institution Isis.  

The match was won by the St Peter's Cricket Team by 15 runs, but in an extraordinary turn of events, not to mention a wonderful display of generosity, the Captain of the Vatican Team, Deacon Kapila, gifted the trophy to the Isis Team, explaining: 'In all the matches we have played, we have found playing with the Isis Team most rewarding and humbling and we are going to treasure this experience for the rest of our lives'.

As well as the match itself, the teams shared Mass and a buffet. Approximately 160 people attended the event, which demonstrated how faith and sport play a vital role in the rehabilitation of prisoners and can help reduce re-offending. The day enabled the teams to share their faith, and passion for cricket.  It also allowed many prisoners to engage with their rehabilitation by taking up roles of leadership and responsibility in organising the event.  

Staff and prisoners worked together to ensure the smooth running of the day, which also allowed them to share their own particular skill. From the Quay Orderlies who prepared the buffet and cricket cake to those who designed and made the Trophies in Upcycling (see photograph below),all had a gift to share.

We congralutate both teams on their cricket and specifically the staff and Prisoners of Isis for organising a very sucessful day of faith and sport.

Ongoing Formation of Priests - Aylesford

From Tuesday 24th to Thursday 26th of July, as part of the Ongoing Formation of Priests programme for newly ordained priests of the diocese, newly arrived priests from overseas, and for those taking up parish priest appointments for the first time, a number of priests met at Aylesford to learn more about the workings of the Diocesan Chancery

They met with the Diocesan Chancery Team who facilitated a series of presentations on some of the major areas of their work.  

The groups spent time together in prayer and celebrated Mass on each of the days. There was also an opportunity for questions and discussion

There is also a course presented by the Finance Office, the Education Commission and the Safeguarding Office to help comprehend the Diocese as an organisation

Please pray for the repose of the soul of 

Monsignor Leo White

who died on Tuesday 31st July 2018

May he rest in peace

Funeral arrangements

Requiem Mass
Monday 20th August at 18.30
St. Bede
58, Thornton Road
Clapham Park
SW12 0LF

His body will then be flown back to Malta for burial in the family vault

Concelebrating clergy are asked to bring Purple Diocesan vestments


The closing date for submitting applications to the CCF in order to attend the National Eucharistic Congress has passed, but parishioners can stilll apply online via

The closing date is Tuesday 31st July 2018, so please try to complete and submit your form and payment this weekend.

Human Trafficking Awareness & Livelihood Projects

Following a recent update from the CBCEW Santa Marta Group, we are very pleased to say that there has been a great deal of succesful activity with regard to combatting human trafficking in Edo State, from where 90% of those trafficked from Nigeria to the UK originate.

Looking after crops

The Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, who are working within the Archdiocese of Benin on a Human Awareness Programmme, have continued to spread word of the pitfalls and dangers of trafficking by delivering presentations at schools and parishes. Since last Spring they have reached almost 2,000 people, the majority of whom are Roman Catholic. The Catholic Church is well established in Nigeria and is therefore in a good position to provide support on the ground.

Tanks at the newly established sustainable fish farm

Furthermore, significant progress has been made in Edo State with the Human Livelihood Programme, which seeks to provide employment on a local basis so that the promise of work abroad offered by traffickers is less appealing. This often includes offering training local people in work skills.  
A sustainable fish farm now complements the other cottage industries in baking, weaving, crop farming and sewing that have already been established.

We wish all in Edo welll for these new endeavours and ask Southwark parishioners to pray for the essential work that Santa Marta are undertaking in order to drive out modern slavery.  

If your parish would like to find out more about how it can help combat human trafficking, or to arrange a parish talk, please contact Bishop Pat Lynch via these contact details.

A recently acquired vehicle, purchased in order to transport goods

Planning the day's work

With grateful thanks to Fr Mark Odion of CBCEW Santa Marta Group
for these images.

Ordination to the Priesthood

Last Saturday 21st July 2018, Archbishop Peter ordained two seminarians to the Priesthood in St George’s Cathedral, Southwark. The day was blessed by radiant weather, which matched the joyful anticipation of the congregation.

Both family and friends of Louie Kitt and Francis Murphy filled the Cathedral, alongside a significant number of priests, many of whom have played an important role in their formation and study.  Included in this number were The Rev. Monsignor Philip Whitmore, Rector of the Venerable English College in Rome and Canon Brian Coyle, Rector of St John’s Seminary in Wonersh. 

During the Liturgy of the Word, the congregation listened to a passage from St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, which exhorted all gathered to ‘lead a life worthy of your vocation… and do all you can to preserve the unity of the Spirit’. 

The Gospel passage for the service was
John 21.15-17, in which Jesus asks Peter whether he loves him, to which he replies ‘Lord you know everything, you know that I love you.’ Peter is then lovingly exhorted by Jesus: ‘Feed my sheep’.

Archbishop Peter deilivers the Homily

In his homily, Archbishop Peter directly addressed the candidates.  He reminded them that it is always God who takes the initiative: ‘You did not choose me, no, I chose you’, and encouraged them not to worry as to why God may have made that choice, or to be afraid of weakness, as experienced by the Apostles when they fled from Jesus in his greatest hour of need, but rather to be ‘dependent on that personal encounter with God in prayer ‘ and to have a continuing conversion of heart, as urged by Pope Francis.

The Rite of Ordination followed directly after, during which the candidates were presented and duly examined by the Archbishop through a series of questions.  A promise of obedience was then given.

The ordinands prostrate themselves as the Litany of Saints is sung

At this point, the ordinands prostrated themselves in front of the altar whilst the Litany of Saints was sung by a cantor, thereby imploring heaven to pour out its gifts and requesting all holy men, women and Saints of God to ‘bless these chosen men, make them holy and consecrate them for their sacred duties’.

The Sacrament of Holy Orders was conferred by the laying on of hands by the Archbishop and other clergy assembled, followed by a solemn prayer of consecration. The new priests are were duly presented with a stole and chasuble and their hands anointed. The Cathedral Choir sang ‘Veni Creator Spiritus in Mode VIII which commences:

Veni Creator Spiritus,
mentes tuorum visita,
imple superna gratia,
quae tu creasti, pectora.

Come Holy Ghost, Creator, come,
from thy bright heav'nly throne;
come, take possession of 
our souls,
and make them all thine 

The Robing of  the new priests

Family members of Fr Kitt and Fr Murphy presented the Eucharistic Gifts and the Archbishop led the clergy in offering a kiss of peace to the two new priests.  Among their number was Fr Paul Kyne, who was ordained in the Cathedral the previous year.

Fr Paul Kyne welcomes Fr Francis Murphy to the Priesthood

A luminous moment took place in the Liturgy of the Eucharist when, as the new priests and fellow clergy consecrated the gifts, a shaft of sunlight pierced through a high window in the Cathedral, beaming directly down onto the Altar.  It was a moment of transcendant beauty in the Cathedral.

A shaft of light illuminated the Sanctuary during the Consecration

Archbishop Peter lifts the consecrated host

Following a word of grateful thanks from the Archbishop to all responsible for bringing this service of ordination to fruition, a solemn blessing and dismissal was proclaimed and Father Kitt and Father Louie proceeded to give their first blessings in the side chapels of the Cathedral, 

Please remember Fr Louie Kitt and Fr Francis Murphy as begin their new life as priests of the Diocese of Southwark.

Left to Right: Mgr Philip Whitmore, Fr Francis Murphy, Abp Peter Smith,
Fr Louie Kitt, Canon Brian Coyle

For  additional photos of this Ordination service, please visit the CBCEW Flickr Site here

With grateful thanks to Marcin Mazur for these images

Please pray for the repose of the soul of 

Deacon David Pease

who died on Tuesday 17th July 2018

May he rest in peace

Funeral arrangements

Reception of Body
Wednesday 8th August at 16.00
St. Patrick
Hector Street
SE18 1AQ
020 3722 7573

Funeral Mass
Thursday 9th August at 11.30
St. Patrick
Hector Street

Concelebrating clergy are asked to bring White Diocesan vestments

Southwark Catholic Youth Services

2018-07-21 17.31.49

On Saturday 21st July 2018 Monsignor Matthew Dickens joined the community of St Vincent's in Whitstable, the retreat centre of the Southwark Catholic Youth Service, along with some of the Friars from Aylesford and the youth services' management committee to celebrate a Mass in thanksgiving for another very successful year.
The team at St Vincent’s receive gifts as a token of thanks for all the hard work they had put into this year.
2018-07-21 18.12.52

John Toryusen, director of the youth service was also thanked by Monsignor Mathew on behalf of the Archbishop and Trustees for all the commitment he has shown during a very demanding time


The celebration continued with a buffet party in the centre

More photos on the RCSouthwark Diocesan Flickr page

Mass of Thanksgiving for the 60th Anniversary of the Re-opening of St George's Cathedral

 On Saturday 14th July 2018, a special Mass  was offered at St George’s Cathedral in  thanksgiving for the 60th Anniversary of the  re-opening of the church after it sustained  significant bomb damage in World War II.

 Welcoming the congregation, Canon Richard  Hearn, Dean of the Cathedral, offered some  insight:

 “On the night of 14th April 1941 an incendiary  bomb landed on the roof St George’s Cathedral  and it started a fire. By morning the mother church of the diocese was a smouldering shell. On 4th July 1958 this rebuilt cathedral was opened and once more St George’s was at the heart of the diocese.

We gather today to give thanks to God for those who made that possible 60 years ago and to give thanks for the part that the cathedral, and those who have ministered here, has played the life & mission of the Church”

Archbishop Peter was joined by many concelebrants who had served at the Cathedral, including Fr Gerry Flood, who was at the original procession into the newly restored church in 1958 and still continues to serve as a parish priest in Southwark Diocese. Also present were two former Deans, Canon Jim Pannett and Canon John O’Toole, the latter of whom offered the homily at the invitation of the present Dean.

Following the Gospel Reading of Matthew 16. 13-19, Canon O’Toole spoke of the need to find balance between the physical building and spiritual life of the church.

He then went on to describe Cathedral ‘heroes’,  from the architect of the original church, A.W.N. Pugin, to Provost Thomas Doyle, who commissioned it.

Others mentioned were the architect who restored the Cathedral, Mr Romilly Craze, as well as Archbishops Amigo and Cowderoy, who had oversight of its rebuilding. 
In particular, Canon O'Toole referred to Archbishop Cowderoy's words at the re-opening of St George's Cathedral:

'But while we recall the past to be our inspiration and to teach us its lessons, we must emphasise the past has gone.  We are not here as a sort of medieval survival, but as part of the living Church of the living God... It is as members of that Church, chosenand living stones, that we rejoice today.'

Later in the service, the full Cathedral Choir sang Locus Iste by Anton Bruckner.  The text, which is written in Latin, is traditionally sung at the celebration of a church's dedication:

Locus iste a Deo factus est, inaestimabile sacramentum,
irreprehensibilis est.

This place was made by God, a priceless sacrament,
it is without reproach.

At the end of the service, Archbishop Peter thanked all assembled for attending the Mass and encouraged the congregation to join in singing the final hymn ‘The Church’s One Foundation’ before the final blessing.


A memorable occasion came to a fitting conclusion as all clergy gathered in the Sacristy.  In particular, the present Dean and two former Deans, who who, in their own way, have lived part of the Cathedral's rich and varied history.


Canons John O'Toole, Richard Hearn (present Dean) and Jim Pannett
Deans of St Geoge's Cathedral, Southwark

For additional photos click here

Bishop Paul Mason appointed Bishop of the Forces

It has been announced today (Monday 9th July) that Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Paul Mason as the next Bishop of the Forces. Bishop Paul was ordained as a Bishop in May 2016, and appointed to be an Auxiliary Bishop in the diocese.

Episcopal Ordination Fr Paul Mason as Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark
Bishop Paul Mason with Archbishop Peter

On his new appointment, Bishop Paul commented:
‘Although sad to be leaving my adoptive diocese, the new role the Holy Father has asked me to take on as Bishop of the Forces is one I accept with much enthusiasm. Supporting the men and women of the British Armed Forces, and their families, is a very important apostolate in the life of the Church and one which I will be doing my best to pass muster’

On hearing the news Archbishop Peter said:
“I was delighted to hear that after a gap of three years without a Bishop of the Forces, Bishop Paul Mason has been appointed to that office by Pope Francis. As the Archbishop of Southwark, however, I was sad to learn that the Diocese will have to lose the valuable and very effective ministry of Bishop Paul. The men and women of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces will gain the blessing of a truly committed and dedicated bishop. Their gain is our loss, a loss that will be greatly felt in the Diocese, especially by the Catholics in Kent. I pray that Bishop Paul’s ministry in the Bishopric will be as fruitful as it has been in Southwark.”

Assuring Bishop Paul of the wholehearted support and prayers of the chaplains and faithful of the forces, the Apostolic Administrator of the Bishopric of the Forces, Fr Michael Fava expressed his joy and thanksgiving for the appointment of Bishop Paul following a 3 year period of sede vacante and stated ‘Together we look forward to furthering the Church’s mission of new evangelisation as we strive to work in the cause of peace

Bishop Mason will take up the official duties of the Bishop of the Forces in the autumn of 2018 following his installation in the Cathedral Church of the Bishopric, St Michael & St George’s Cathedral, Aldershot and all at Southwark Diocese wish him well for this new chapter in his ministry.

Ordination of Deacons in Southwark Diocese

On Saturday 7th July 2018 at St George's Cathedral, Archbishop Peter Smith Ordained six men into the Permanent Diaconate.  Our warmest congratulations go our to Oluwole Alayo, Anthony Wentworth, Carlos Lozano, Garrett Cullen, Antonio Almeida and Paul Said.

Despite being an exceptionally hot day, families and friends filled the Cathedral.  Its coolness meant that congregation could relax and fully appreciate the service. It was clear from the smiles of the new deacons that this was a most joyful occasion.

We continue to pray that our new deacons will be richly blessed in their ministry as they undertake God's work with their fellow clergy, religious and laity throughout Southwark.

Civic Honour Medal Presentation

Fr Michael Scanlon with the Mayor of Greenwich, Christine May (left) and Deputy Mayor, Clllr Mick Hayes (right)

On Thursday 28th June 2018, Fr Michael Scanlon, Parish Priest of Our Lady of Reparation and Dean of Croydon, was presented with a medal which was created in acknowledgement of receiving the Freedom of the Royal Borough of Greenwich in 2013.  The medal shows the Borough's Coat of Arms and the date on which it was received.  Others who received the same honour that day in 2013 include Prince Philip as well as Doreen and Neville Lawrence.

The original honour was awarded for work in the community whilst serving as Parish Priest at St Peter's RC Church in Woolwich for 18 years. During this time Fr Scanlon was involved as Ecumenical Borough Dean and worked closely with the Town Hall on regeneration of the area.

Many congratulations Fr Michael!

Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Father Sean Hearty

who died on Saturday 2nd June 2018

May he rest in peace

Funeral arrangements

Reception of Body
Wednesday 4th July at 17.30
Good Shepherd
Dunley Drive
New Addington

Vigil Mass
Wednesday 4th July at 19.30
Good Shepherd
New Addington

Funeral Mass
Thursday 5th July at 12 noon
Good Shepherd
New Addington

followed by burial at West Norwood Cemetery

Concelebrating clergy are asked to bring White Diocesan vestments

Appointment of Director of Music 

at Saint George's Cathedral

We are delighted to announce that Jonathan Schranz has been appointed as the new Director of Music for St George's Cathedral, Southwark. 

Jonathan is a graduate of Churchill College, Cambridge and of the prestigious Royal Academy Choral Conducting course.  He currently enjoys a diverse conducting career and is an Associate Conductor for the National Youth Choirs of
Great Britain.

The Dean of St George's said of the appointment "Jonathan will bring a great deal to the role and I am confident that he will build upon the great work that his predecessor Norman Harper has done both in developing the choir and enhancing the music tradition at St George's Cathedral".

Jonathan will commence his role in January 2019 and we look forward to welcoming him.

Mass in Celebration of Marriage

'The Courage to be Happy'

Last Saturday, 16th June 2018, in St George's Cathedral, Archbishop Peter Smith and Southwark Clergy offered a Diocesan Mass in celebration of Marriage. Couples who are marking significant anniversaries this year, whether their 1st, 25th, 50th or beyond were invited to attend.

Couples, many of whom were specially attired for this celebratory service, heard readings from the book of Tobit, the first letter of John and the Gospel reading was the well-known passage from Wedding of Cana. (John 2. 1-11)

During the bidding prayers the congregation prayed for married couples throughout the world, especially those in areas affected by conflict and experiencing poverty, those considering marriage, alll separated and divorced, for young families and for those struggling with sickness.

During his homily, Archbishop Peter said 'True love gives rise to very practical demands and consequences'. He went on to quote Pope Francis:
'I am asking you to rebel against the culture
that sees everything as temporary and that ultimately
believes you are incapable of true love...
so have courage to swim against the tide...
and also the courage to be happy'.

He concluded the homily by asking all present to pray for those whose marriages have broken down, explaining that Pope Francis would want us to enfold them with love and compassion, not making any judgements but doing what we can to support them and bring healing.

Following the homily, couples were invited to renew their vows, saying the following words:

I renew with all my heart
the vows that I have made:
that you are my lawful wedded wife / husband,
to have and to hold
for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish
till death do us part.

At the end of the service the couples and their families received a blessing and were encouraged to 'be witnesses in the world to God's love'.

The Cathedral's Director of Music brought the service to a joyous conclusion by playing the popular Wedding March by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy.

Archbishop Peter met with couples outside St George's Cathedral 
after the Mass

Many couples and their families were specially dressed for the occasion

Several couples asked for their wedding rings to be blessed...

and brought family of all ages with them in order to join in
the celebration

Our grateful thanks go to Marcin Mazur from the CBCEW
for these images. To see more click here.

For further information:

Southwark Marriage and Family Life
Fr Graham Preston (Episcopal Vicar)
72 Paradise Street, London SE16 4QD
Tel: 020 7237 2969

World Meeting of Families
On August 21-26 the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) will take place in Dublin. Its highlight is a visit by Pope Francis. During the WMOF, an important and joyful international gathering, there will be a wide-ranging progamme of talks and workshop. That’s in addition to exhibitions, cultural events and musical performances.
For more information visit the website:

Centre for Catholic Formation: Golden Jubilee Lectures

On 19 June 1968, Archbishop Cyril Cowderoy opened the Centre for Catholic Formation with the aim of providing Catholic formation and training to the people of Southwark.
Consequently the CCF willl be celebrating their 50th anniversary.  The next lecture will take place on Friday 8th June, when Dr Caroline Farey will explore 'The Catechetical Journey'.  This will be folllowed on Thursday 14th June with a talk on GK Chesterton, delivered by Canon John Udris, who is the priest appointed to look after the cause for Chesterton's Canonisation.

Doors will open at 7 pm for a 7.30 pm start and refreshments will be available. All are welcome and admission is free.

Please click here to find out additional Golden Jubilee talks this June.

A Jubilee Mass of thanksgiving will be celebrated on Saturday 23rd June at 3.30 pm in St Anslem's  RC Church, Tooting Bec. Archbishop Peter Smith will be the Principal Celebrant.                                                         

St. Columba - Southern Provinces Pilgrimage
to Aylesford


Archbishop Peter Smith led the Knights of St. Columba, Southern Provinces Pilgrimage, to Aylesford.  The Knights came from five different Dioceses to their 52nd Pilgrimage to Aylesford. 


At the end of the Mass the Archbishop blessed the newly restored ceramics of the angels in the shrine.  The ceramics were originally made by Adam Kossowski and were restored by the local potters Billy Byles and Alan Parris from Aylesford Pottery. 

180610 - KSC Pilgrimage Aylesford

The Carmelite community are in the process of undertaking a major restoration of the Shrine, beginning with the roofs and the overflows.  Recently the Shrine, which was built by Adrian Gilbert Scott in the late 1950s/early 1960s, was granted Grade 2* listing.

More photos on the RCSouthwark Diocesan Flickr page

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Archbishop Peter has written a Pastoral Letter to be read at all Masses in the Diocese on the solemnity of Corpus Christi, the 3rd June 2018.
A PDF version of this letter is available by Clicking Here.
In his letter the Archbishop reminds us that the "Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ is perpetuated and remembered pre-eminently in the Eucharist".

He reflects also on the forthcoming Eucharistic Pilgrimage and Congress "Adoremus". This national gathering will take place in Liverpool later this year, 7th - 9th September. It is hoped that all Parishes in the Diocese will be represented at the Eucharistic Congress; recognising that not everyone can attend, only representatives, Archbishop Peter writes:

I invite and encourage every parish, every school and every community in the Archdiocese to engage with and explore the Congress themes because they all lead us into a deeper encounter with Jesus of Nazareth. I hope that as many parishes, schools and communities as possible will devote some time to prayer and Adoration in the coming months and especially during the Adoremus weekend in Liverpool, so that our deliberations in Liverpool and our reflections here at home are united together in prayer.

Click here and visit the Diocesan "Adoremus" page for details and for information about preparations here in Southwark. 

"Click here" to visit the National news, information and resouces page of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.

"The Good Shepherd Liturgy"

Mission Together celebrates 175 years with schools in the Archdiocese of Southwark at Aylesford Priory.

A sunny Aylesford Priory was the setting for Mission Together’s Good Shepherd liturgy on 23rd May 2018. A record number of pupils – over 1,200 – from across the Archdiocese of Southwark, gathered to celebrate being ‘children helping children’. They were joined by Bishop Pat Lynch and Missio National Director, Fr Anthony Chantry, who led the children in prayer, assisted by Fr Philip Baptiste and Aylesford Prior, Fr Francis Kemsley.

Southwark pupils celebrate the Good Shepherd Mass at Aylesford Priory

Each year schools supporting Mission Together, the Pope’s official children’s charity for overseas mission, unite to celebrate a year of prayer and sharing. Through scripture, reflections, song and dance, pupils share faith with one another, demonstrate their talents and remember that God’s love is for sharing with everyone, everywhere. This year is particularly special for Mission Together as schools mark 175 years of children around the world living out its motto: ‘children helping children'. 

When Mission Together was founded in France in 1843 by Bishop Charles de Forbin‐Janson he gave children the challenge of saying one prayer every day and giving a small coin every month for children living in poverty overseas. Since then the task has remained the same: to pray and to share. This year’s message from Pope Francis for the Mission Together children around the world reminds them: ‘When we give, we follow Jesus. When we follow Jesus we find peace and joy’.

Last year schools in Southwark raised over £8,500 for Mission Together. Thanks to them, children around the world who are living in poverty, learn that they are not forgotten. They know that there are children overseas who care about them, share with them, and who pray to God for them. This gives them hope for a better future.

Mission Together have expressed their heartfelt thanks to the children of Southwark for their generosity and joyful participation. In addition they would like to offer their thanks to all education staff and parents who helped prepare the young people with their performances as well as Aylesford Priory staff who assisted with the smooth and sucessful running of the day.

For further information on the work of this charity and the excellent resources available to schools and teachers, please visit:

Congratulations to our Jubilarians

180522 - Jubilarians Lunch

On the 22nd May 2018 at the Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St George, Archbishop Peter presided at a Mass of thanksgiving for the many years of ministry of those who are celebrating significant anniversaries of their ordinations to priesthood and diaconate

180522 - Jubilarians Lunch

Fourteen Jubilarians and their guests joined Archbishop Peter for the celebration of Mass and for lunch in Archbishop's House

180522 - Jubilarians Lunch

Please keep all our Jubilarians and fellow clergy in your prayers

Diamond Jubilarians
Reverend Canon Colm Acton
Most Reverend Michael Bowen
Reverend John Hartley
Reverend Canon Francis Mooney
Reverend Patrick Murtagh

Golden Jubilarians
Reverend Canon David Caine
Reverend Patrick Cannon
Reverend Monsignor Edward Hill
Reverend James Hurley
Reverend Canon Thomas McHugh

Ruby Jubilarians
Reverend Monsignor Canon James Cronin
Reverend Michael Jones
Reverend William Keogh
Reverend Luke Marappillil
Reverend Canon Alan McLean
Reverend Canon John O'Toole
Reverend Canon Edward Perera

Silver Jubilarians
Reverend Deacon John Boughton
Reverend Patrick Feyisetan
Reverend Deacon James Hayes
Reverend Deacon James Sheahan
Reverend Julian Shurgold
Reverend Patrick Udotai
Reverend Deacon Gerald Watkins

Blessing of the new roof in Woolwich

In 1841 Father Coles opened a subscription list in order to raise funds to build the new church in Woolwich; the Church was designed by Augustus Pugin, and built on land donated by the government of the day

180518 - Woolwich Blessing of Roof

On 26 October 1842 the foundation stone was laid by Dr Griffiths, Bishop of the London District. Exactly a year later the new church was opened by the retired Bishop Dr Morris (formerly Bishop in Mauritius). The planned tower was never built, although Canon Monk had a special fund for it as late as 1950

180518 - Woolwich Blessing of Roof

With the construction bill finally paid, the first anniversary of the dedication of the church was solemnly celebrated on 27 October 1844. The Masses were well attended by 4,000 Catholics in Woolwich, with the Catholic solders from Woolwich barracks marching down for the 9:30 Mass.
Nothing lasts forever, over the last 20 plus years the roof had been leaking causing damage to the fabric of the building, and repairs costs mounted up.  The inner cladding of the roof started to fall down and netting had to be put up in the church to protect the congregation.  Father Michael Branch made the decision a new roof was needed and fund raising began.


The cost was enormous because of the size of the building and the fact it is a grade 2 listed building, lottery funding was sought and a £200,000 grant was awarded.  Specialist builders were approached and PAYE was awarded the contract to replace or repair the time damaged stonework and the roof with the work taking almost a year.

180518 - Woolwich Blessing of Roof

On Friday 18th May Archbishop Peter Smith came to Woolwich to bless the new roof during a Mass and it is hoped that with Archbishop Peter’s blessing and God’s help the beautiful church will stay dry for another 175 years

More photos on the RCSouthwark Diocesan Flickr page

Click here for more history of St. Peter the Apostle - Woolwich

A Service of Thanksgiving

180518 - Thanksgiving Service for donated bodies for medical research

On Friday 18th May 2018 The Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St George hosted a service of thanksgiving for those who have donated their bodies for medical education, training and research

180518 - Thanksgiving Service for donated bodies for medical research

This was the first time this annual event had been held in the Cathedral and was dedicated to all those who donated their bodies during the past year and who have thus contributed, even after death, to the benefit of future generation.

180518 - Thanksgiving Service for donated bodies for medical research

180518 - Thanksgiving Service for donated bodies for medical research

This generous act was acknowledged by the staff and students at Brighton + Sussex Medical School, Imperial College London, King's College London, Queen Mary University of London, St George's University of London and University College London

180518 - Thanksgiving Service for donated bodies for medical research

Music was provided by the Conductor and Choir of King's College London accompanied by the Director of Music of the Cathedral, Mr Norman Haper.
The Ushers were from Brighton and Sussex Medical School

180518 - Thanksgiving Service for donated bodies for medical research

The final blessing was given by Canon Richard Hearn - Dean of the Cathedral

More photos on the RCSouthwark Diocesan Flickr page

Diocesan Eucharistic Adoration Committees launched for Southwark

Two groups of lay people, sent as delegates by parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Southwark, have been in formation and training during the past three months as part of the development of Diocesan Eucharistic Adoration Committees during this year of the National Eucharistic Congress.

These were organised and conducted by Brendan Cleary of the Apostolate of Eucharistic Adoration at the invitation of Archbishop Peter Smith, with the support of the bishops and priests of the Diocese.

The two Diocesan Committees were comissioned at Masses offered by Bishop Patrick Lynch at St Anselm's, Tooting Bec, for London South, and by Bishop Paul Mason at The Hermitage, West Malling, for the Kent Pastoral Area on Saturday 5th May 2018.

These Adoration Committees are equipped and trained to set up a system of viable weekly Adoration in parishes of the Archdiocese, subject to the invitation of parish priests.  Where a previous system of Adoration exists in a parish, the task undertaken will be strengthen and expand it.

A substantial numbers of parishes of the Archdiocese have promptly requested a future weekend presentation, or renewal, from one of the diocesan teams, at a date to be agreed.  It is expected that there will be a great uptake from still more parishes in the weeks ahead and contact teams are now available to respond to parishes at they make contact.

Application forms are available to parishes through their bishop's office:

Kent Adoration
The Secretary, The Hermitage, More Park, West Malling, Kent ME19 6HN

South West Adoration
Send to: 95 Carshalton Road, Sutton, Surrey SM1 4LL

South East Adoration
Send to: Park House, 6a Creswelll Park, Blackheath, London SE3 9RD

Mass for new Catholics

On Saturday 12th May 2018 at 11 am the Mass for new Catholics took place at St George's Cathedral.  A congregation of those who entered the Church over the Easter period gathered to celebrate their Faith.


Readings were given by Dr Mark Nash and Pierpaolo Finaldi of the Centre for Catholic Formation and Archbishop Peter Smith gave the homily in which he offered the newly baptised and confirmed these words:

'We can never predict what we will meet on our journey
of faith, but we believe that throughout our journey the
Holy Spirit is with us at every moment, leading us and
guiding us, often in hidden ways. As we heard in the
reading from the Acts of the Apostles, the Holy Spirit
empowered St. Paul to remain faithful despite his
looming martyrdom in Rome'.

The Archbishop went on to say that through the gift of the Holy Spirit, whose coming we will shortly celebrate at the Feast of Pentecost (Sunday 20th May) we may deepen our faith, awaken our strengths and ask for the inspiration to produce spiritual fruit that will last.       

10th Anniversary Service for Jimmy Mizen

A full St George's Cathedral was host to a Memorial Service for Jimmy  Mizen, who lost his life 10 years ago following an altercation.

The Jimmy Mizen Foundation has been set up with the intention of building a legacy of peace in Jimmy's honour, and as Cardinal Vincent Nicholas, who is their Patron, has said

'Building a legacy of peace is a fine project. Yet like all grand projects it is made up of many small steps, many small bricks.  
A legacy is something lasting. It is, therefore, more than a
vision or intention.  It is a construction, something put
together so that it lasts.

During the service powerful words were offered by friends about the legacy, in particular about the three Good Hope Cafes that have been established with the intention of creating safe spaces for young people to grow up in.

Margaret, Barry and Danny Mizen reflected on the ten-year journey since Jimmy's death and spoke positively about plans for the next 10 years. The couple appealed for young people and communities to come together to stop violence, particularly in London.  

Archbishop Peter Smith spoke of the need to assure young people that they are valuable and precious in God's eyes and encouraged alll gathered to think of how we can show each other love, forgiveness and compassion.                                           

During the service, which was accompanied by music led by Canon Alan McLean, ten large candles were lit to represent each anniversary year.

After the service the congregation enoyed talking in the sunshine on the Cathedral forecourt, having been encouraged to meet the challenges facing us all in the pursuit of peace.

Abp Peter Smith talks to Sadiq Khan & a pupil from Notre Dame School whilst the Dean of the Cathedral, Canon Richard Hearn, talks to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick.

More photographs of this event are available our Flickr page

The Director of Education

I am pleased to announce the appointment of our new Diocesan Director of Education.  Following the recruitment process over the last few months, Dr Simon Hughes has been appointed as successor to Dr Anne Bamford.  We are expecting him to take up his post in late July.

Simon has many years of experience in Catholic education, having taught in Catholic primary and secondary schools.  More recently he has had great experience of working in higher education, leadership development and as an Ofsted Inspector.  You can find more details of his history and experience in the brief biography attached.

I would also take this opportunity to thank Stephen Bryan for his dedication and energy over the last year in his role as Interim Director.  I am most grateful to him and to all education staff for their hard work and dedication, particularly whilst awaiting the appointment of a new Director.
+Peter Smith
Archbishop of Southwark

Dr Simon Hughes' Biography

Annual Migrants' Mass 2018

DSC02729 On Monday 7th May 2018, the Dioceses of Southwark, Brentwood and Westminster, through their respective Justice and Peace Comissions, held a Mass at St George's Cathedral for all migrants and refugees. The Mass was preceeded at 10.45am by a colourful banner procession. Archbishop Peter Smith was the Principal Celebrant. He was joined by Archeparch Menghesteab Tesfamariam of Asmara, Erirea, Bishop Alan Williams of Brentwood, Bishop Paul McAleenan Auxiliary bishop in Westminster, Bishop Pat Lynch Auxilary bishop of Southwark, several priests and deacons, and almost 750 people in the congragation.

During the Mass a specially formed choir led the congregation in singing worship songs from around the world. At the beginning of the Mass Sean Ryan MBE of Caritas Salford spoke introducing Samara a recent refuge that Caritas is supporting. Just befor the Mass concluded Ansel Wong of the Windrush Foundation addressed the congregation.

Prayers at the Shrine of St Frances-Xavier CabriniBefore and after Mass many people visited the Shrine of St Frances-Xavier Cabrini. She spent much of her life bringing the Gospel to European migrants seeking a better life in America and founded schools orphanges, hospitals and social centres on an international basis.  She died in Chicago in 1917, was canonised in 1946 and made the Universal Patroness of Migrants in 1950 by Pope Pius XII.
For more photos visit our Flickr Page

Bishop Paul Hendricks visits The Friars - Aylesford

On Saturday 5th May 2018 Bishop Paul presided at the Mass for the pilgrimage for the Legion of Mary to the Friars in Aylesford

This was the first time the new blue vestments were used by the community and visiting clergy

Greenwich Deanery Clergy celebrate
Fr Jim Kirby’s ministry

The Greenwich Deanery Clergy gathered on Sunday 29th April 2018 in fraternity and thanksgiving for the ministry of Fr Jim Kirby on the occasion of his retirement. Bishop Patrick presented Fr Jim with a cheque of £1000 from the Greenwich Deanery.

180429 - Fr Jim Kirby Retirement

Tributes to Fr Jim followed by Bishop Patrick Lynch and the Dean of Greenwich, Fr Richard Plunkett. Both highlighted Fr Jim’s holiness and outstanding priestly ministry in the Archdiocese of Southwark, especially as Parish Priest of St Joseph’s, Shooters Hill

180429 - Fr Jim Kirby Retirement

Fr Jim will enjoy his well earned retirement in his beloved Ireland. His successor Fr Seba, former chaplain to the Tamil Community in the UK, was among the gathered clergy.

Archbishop Peter at the Friars - Aylesford

180428 - +Peter visit to Aylesford

On Sunday 29th April Archbishop Peter joined the community at the Friars to celebrate Mass

180428 - +Peter visit to Aylesford

Rosary on the Coast

 Archbishop Peter Smith has endorsed Rosary on the Coast, which at the time of writing has 321 locations around the UK coast and inland participating in a service at 3 pm on Sunday 29th April 2018.  The aim is to encourage a re-flourishing of faith, respect for life and peace in the British Isles.  It follows successful similar events in both Poland and Ireland.

Archbishop Peter said of the event:

“Rosary on the Coast encourages us to join with others
in deep meditation on the mysteries of the Incarnation
as seen through the eyes of Our Blessed Lady reminding
us to look, as she does, with eyes of love on all creation
in its diversity and richness, remembering that we are all
equally held in Our Father’s love.  All the stages of life
from birth to death are gifts of His Grace, to be cherished
and enjoyed.

O Holy Mother of God pray for us sinners, now and at the
hour of our death.”

For those that wish to attend a service there is an interactive map of locations taking part, including many in and around Southwark Dioces. For this informatiion and more details about Rosary on the Coast, Click here.

St George's Cathedral

 On Monday 23rd April St  George's Cathedral  honoured its Patronal Feast  Day and celebrated the  Solemnity of St George.  Friends and Parishioners  joined the Archbishop,  Chapter Canons and  Cathedral Clergy for Mass in  the evening. A relic of St  George was placed in St  George's Chapel and this  was venerated with  reverence by both clergy and laity directly after the Mass. A lively and enjoyable reception followed afterwards in Amigo Hall.

The following morning the Good Samaritan Mass took place, at which Archbishop Peter thanked those assembled for raising money during the year for the Crisis Fund, which is administered by the Catholic Children's Society in Westminster. He explained that the fund exists to help families in need and that supporting those in need enables us to eminently fulfill the second Great Commandment to 'love your neighbour as yourself'. The Archbishop elucidated that the parable of The Good Samaritan offers a perfect example of a person who takes care of someone he does not know, but to whom he is compelled to offer help through compassion

The Good Samaritan: (Luke 10.25-37)

More photos can be viewed online of these and other events.  Click here.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Father Michael Murphy

who died on Wednesday 11th April 2018

May he rest in peace

Funeral arrangements

Funeral Mass

Wednesday 23rd May 2018 at 12.30pm

St George's Cathedral
Lambeth Road
020 7928 5256

Vocations Sunday: 22 April 2018

Sunday 22nd April is the World Day of Vocations.  A vocation to the priesthood, diaconate or relgious life is one of listening and careful discernment. The calling may come suddenly in a moment of great clarity and certainty but more often that not develops gradually over a period of time. As the Pope explains in his Vocations Day Message for 2018:

'The Lord continues to call others to live with him and to follow him in a relationship of particular closeness. He continues to call others to serve him directly. If he lets us realize that he is calling us to consecrate ourselves totally to his kingdom, then we should have no fear! It is beautiful – and a great grace – to be completely and forever consecrated to God and the service of our brothers and sisters.'

If you feel you may have a calling to priesthood, diaconate or relgious life and would like to discuss or explore the matter, please talk to your priest in the first instance.  Alternatively, please speak to a member of the Vocations Team through Fr John Diver, Diocesan Director of Vocations, on 020 8300 2480, e-mail:

We ask all Southwark parishioners to pray for vocations and for those discerning their vocation throughout the year, but especially this weekend.

Prayer for Vocations

God our Father, you made each of us
to use our gifts in the Body of Christ.

We ask that You inspire people
who you calll to priesthood and consecrated life
to courageously follow Your will.

Send workers into Your great harvest
so that the Gospel is preached,
the poor are served with love,
the suffering are comforted,
and Your people are strengthened by the sacraments.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Social Justice and the Common Good

On Saturday 21st April 2018, as part of their Annual Study Day, the RC Southwark Commission for Christian Unity will hold a joint event with the Justice, Peace and Ingregrity of Creation Department of Southwark Anglican Diocese. The theme will be 'Social Justice and the Common Good' and will focus on issues that affect us all, in particular, homelessness, peace and the environment.

There will be a range of speakers from Pax Chriisti, CSAN, Housing Justice and Cafod Southwark, amongst others. Bishop Paul Hendricks will also attend the day and give the closing speech.

All are very welcome at St Hugh's Anglican Church on Crosby Row SE1 between 10 am - 3 pm for a thought provoking and rewarding day of talks and discussion. To book please email: 

Sharing in His Life: CCF Lecture Series

On Thursday 19th April at 7 pm in Amigo Hall, Mark Nash, the Director of Southwark's CCF (Centre for Catholic Formation) will be holding a talk entitled 'Eucharist and the Mission of the Church'.  

This is the second in a series of five lectures called 'Sharing in his Life', which centres around the Eucharist.  

As we prepare for Adoremus, the National Eucharistic Congress which will take place in Liverpool this September, these lectures are an opportunity to learn more about this key aspect of our Faith. The lectures will also be a helpful aid to all parish delegates that have been asked to attend the Congress, with a view to rolling out the fruits of Adoremus in their own parish, schools and wider community.

For further information on the series visit the CCF website.

Find out how to get to St George's Cathedral and Amigo Hall


Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester
Visits Woolwich

Father Michael Branch, parish priest of St Peter's the Apostle, Woolwich, and the South East Area Bishop Pat Lynch, were delighted to welcome the Duke of Gloucester last Wednesday, 11th April. 
The Duke's visit marked the completion of work to replace 175-year-old roofslates and tons of weathered stonework on this historic church, the oldest of three London Catholic churches designed by Augustus Pugin. 

Members of the parish heritage group led the Duke on a tour of the church interior, including a newly-formed exhibition.  As a former architect himself, the Duke also took a close interest in photographs of the church refurbishment work, discussing these with the architect and the representative of the main contractor. 

All wearing hard hats, the party went on to the upper hall of Pugin Place, the adjacent community centre, originally designed in 1858 as the parish school by Edward Pugin, eldest son of Augustus.  His splendid hammer-beam roof was admired in spite of the risk from the fragile 160-year-old plaster between the rafters. 

The Duke wished the parish well in their efforts to raise funds for the refurbishment of this hall, to restore it for community use.
Afterwards Fr Michael said “It was great to have the importance of our parish history and heritage recognised by this royal visit.  The Duke also gave a wonderful morale boost for our efforts to bring Pugin Place back into full community use”.

Be a Voice for Migrants

On Monday 7th May 2018, St George's Cathedral, Southwark, will host a Mass for Migrants at 11 am with a preceding Banner Procession from 10.45 am. This is a lively and colouful service which jointly celebrates the diversity of Westminster, Brentwood and Southwark Dioceses. Archbishop Peter Smith will be Principal Celebrant this year.

The first music rehearsal for the Mass  will take place on Saturday 14th April from 2 pm - 5 pm in Amigo Hall, Lambeth Road SE1.

If you enjoy singing and would like to lend your voice to this special service please contact the Music Co-ordinator for the Mass, Frances Novillo: Email: or Tel: 07714 204 201.

You do not need to be able to read music but we would be grateful if you could let Frances know in advance if you plan to attend the rehearsal.

For further information please follow this link:

Adoremus Talk

On Thursday 12 April 2018 the eminent New Testament scholar and acclaimed author, Fr Nicholas King SJ, will give a talk in preparation for Adoremus, the National Eucharistic Congress that will take place in Liverpool this September.

The theme of the talk will be 'Scripture and Eucharist - Get a Life!'  It will
take place at 7.30 pm in the Parish Centre at
Sacred Heart RC Church, Edge Hill, Wimbledon SW19. All are very welcome.
For more details on Adoremus click here

Apostolic Exhortation: Gaudete et Exsultate

On the Feast on the Annunciation of the Lord, when we are called upon to 'become partakers of His divine nature', Pope Francis has promulgated a new Apostolic Exhortation concerned with the call to holiness entitled Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and be Glad).  

As Pope Francis explains 'Holiness is as diverse as humanity; the Lord has in mind a particular path for each believer, not just the clergy, the consecrated, or those who live a contemplative life. We are all called to holiness, whatever our role, by living our lives with love and bearing witness, and in the everyday turning to God.'... Holiness keeps you faithful to your deepest self, free from every form of enslavement, and bearing fruit for our world.  

To watch a short video explaining the nature of the Exhortation folllow this link

Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign in Nigeria

We have received a wonderful update from the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Archdiocese of Benin, Nigeria.  

They report that 7,864 adults and young people in parishes, schools and a variety of outstations in the Archdiocese of Benin have attended their presentations about the dangers of human trafficking in the past two months alone.

This welcome news has been made possible as a result of the generosity of Southwark Parishioners, CBCEW Santa Marta Group and a number of private donors in our Diocese who have helped to raise £45,000 in order to increase awareness of Human Trafficking, which Pope Francis has described as 'an open wound on the body of contemporary society'.

Thank you to all who have supported the Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign in Nigeria, thereby helping to stem this cruel cycle of exploitation.  If you would like to find out more visit:

The Manna Centre

 On the morning of Thursday 5th April,  Monsignor Matthew Dickens, the Vicar  General of the Archdiocese of Southwark,  paid a visit to the Manna Centre at its newly  refurbished premises in Melior Street. The  Manna Society has run the Centre since  1982, supporting homeless people in the  heart of London. It was founded by  Nannette Ffrench who saw the plight of the homeless people in and around London SE1 and wanted to do something to help them.  Following a discussion with Bishop Henderson, one of the Auxilliary Bishops of Southwark at the time, a property was found and a building at 6 Melior Street, SE1, was given freely by the Diocese.

The Manna Day Centre is now based at 12 Melior Street, London SE1 3QP and is open from 8.30 am to 1.30 pm, seven days a week, 51 weeks a year.

Today the Centre continues to help between 120 - 150 homeless and disadvantaged people every day by providing breakfast and lunch, meals, showers, clothing, housing, welfare advice, medical care and access to computers.  About 50 % sleep rough, 25% are in socially rented accommodation and the remaining 25% are in a hostel or stay with friends. What they all share in common is poverty and often loneliness.

The Centre is always looking for support. From a financial point of view, assistance is needed to help defray costs, whilst clothing needs to be passed on to those who come to the Centre.  Volunteers are also required to help the Centre carry out its work.  

Further details can be read here about the work of the Manna Centre can be read here and you are warmly invited to visit the their website:

Easter Services

We wish you and your family a blessed Easter.  We have travellled together from Palm Sunday to the Crucifixion and now have the joy of experiencing the Resurrection.  As Pope St John Paul II once said 'We are the Easter People and Hallelujah is our song'.

We are pleased to share a smalll number of photographs from Holy Week at St George's Cathedral, but more can be found by visiting our Flickr page.

Why not share photos of your own parish church at Easter on Twitter?  If you worship in Southwark, mention your church's name and area on the tweet and include @RC_Southwark in the text. Please ask the permission of your parish priest in the first instance.  Thank you!

Archbishop Peter and Canon Richard Hearn (Cathedral Dean)

A resplendent Cathedral on Easter Day

The Paschal Candle is lit and Exultet is sung at the Easter Vigil

St George's Cathedral Choir beautifully enhanced the Easter Liturgies

A full Cathedral, including a number of the Elect who came into the Church at the Easter Vigil

The Sub-Dean, Fr Ola Craig, and Cathedral Parishioners read the
Passion on Good Friday

Archbishop Peter Smith at the washing of feet on Maundy Thursday

Clergy process to the Sanctuary at the start of the Chrism Mass
Photo: M. Mazur

Archbishop Peter Smith blesses the Eucharistic gifts.  The three oils which are blessed and consecrated at the Chrism Mass stand before the altar. Photo: M. Mazur

The Archbishop gives the Homily on Palm Sunday, with Palms and the beautiful Crucifixion window in the background.  

Chrism Mass & Holy Week Services

Thank you to all who attended the Chrism Mass at St George's Cathedral on 28 March. Despite the initial inclement weather, both priests and laity kindly filled the Cathedral both physically and spiritually. The Chrism Mass is a solemn occasion but today was also full of joy and roof-raising singing!  A few related videos will appear on the RC Southwark You Tube account in the near future so please keep your eyes on our Twitter feed for announcements (link below the left hand picture of Archbishop Peter Smith). You can also view a record of the day's events on our Flickr page.

 If you would like to attend a Holy Week  Service but are not sure where your local  Catholic Church is located, please visit this link  to see the full list of parishes throughout  Southwark, or visit the Parishes list on the  right hand side of this page. Each church will  offer details on their website or have a  phone line on which services are listed.

Director of Education

Competitive salary and benefits
Full-time, permanent

The Edcuation Commission is currently looking to recruit a new Director of Education.
The Director of Education’s role is to promote and manage the educational work of the Archdiocese by providing effective leadership and direction to the Education Commission in the development and implementation of a strategy and on-going management of the team, which delivers on the Archbishop’s core principles of Catholic education. 
The core requirement for the role is experience of education resources and curriculum management within a comparable organisation, local authority, school or further education setting. It is also essential that the post-holder is able to bring a credible level of understanding of the beliefs and traditions that underpin the work of the Catholic Church in the UK and that inform the development of Catholic education in schools.
It will also be important to be able to see the bigger picture and bring an understanding of the accountabilities and pastoral role of the Diocese in the lives of the people and communities it serves beyond its schools.
This is a senior role within the Archdiocese and as such is expected to work collaboratively with all other senior managers within the Archdiocese to meet the requirements of the Trustees.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (No. 1173050) and is run by a Board of Trustees led by the Archbishop, who are responsible for determining the strategic direction of the Diocese. 

Application is by way CV and a Supporting Statement.
For an informal discussion about the role, please contact:

Simon Lloyd, Director, on 07961 988 523 or email 

Closing date: Tuesday 3rd April
Interview dates (TBC): Tuesday 10th April and Monday 23rd April

Director of Music

St George's Cathedral

The post of Director of Music at St George's Cathedral will fall vacant in January 2019 on the retirement of Norman Harper.  A highly qualified and experienced musician is sought to take charge of an active and successful Music Department.

Please click here for a Job Description
Enquiries and applications to

Closing date: Monday 7 May 2018.  Interviews from 21 May 2018.

Mass of Chrism

Holy Week 2018 begins on Sunday 25th March with the celebration of Palm Sunday. The annual diocesan gathering for the Chrism Mass will be on Wednesday 28th March, at St George's Cathedral, Southwark. The Clergy procession starts at approximately 11.15am, and the Mass begins at 11.30am.

It is during this Mass that the Archbishop will bless the Oil of the Sick and the Oil of Catechumens, and consecrate the Sacred Chrism. After Mass these Oils are taken back to all the parishes in the diocese for use during the coming year.
The Roman Missal describes this Mass, which the Archbishop concelebrates with his presbyterate as "...a manifestation of the Priests' communion with their Bishop" and so well-nigh 200 clergy will join this celebration, together with people from all over the Diocese.  
This public Mass is open to all and is usually very well attended, so seating may be limited.

Oscar Romero Feast Day

Pope Francis has recently approved a decree recognising a miracle which has been attributed to Blessed Oscar Romero. This has opened the door for the Salvadorian Martyr to be canonised.

Please join us for the forthcoming Mass at 12.30 pm on Saturday 24th March in Saint George's Cathedral, Southwark.

Archbishop Peter Smith will be the principle celebrant and Bishop John Rawsthorne will be preaching.
This event also offers an opportunity for all gathered to visit the Romero Shrine, which is located on the South Aisle of the Cathedral. All are welcome.

The River of Life: an Adoremus Concert

This concert is centred around the theme 'The River of Life.  

Water is an important symbol within the Sacraments and  also a key feature of the Diocese, bordered as it is by the sea and the River Thames. The concept will be an important part of how the Diocese is represented at the Adoremus National Eucharistic Congress and Pilgrimage to Liverpool in September this year.

Massed schools from around the Diocese, under the baton of Natalie Christian John, will take their audience on a journey from Lent to Easter. The programme will include pieces such as ' Now behold the Lamb' and a special arrangement of 'You raise me up'. Tickets will be £8 and will be available on the door.

Born for This

The Southwark Catholic Youth Chaplaincy and Aylesford Priory present 'BORN FOR THIS': a dramatised depiction of The Stations of the Cross and a great way to prepare for Easter.

Young people from across the Diocese will be taking part: please join them for this time of prayer and reflection. Admission Free.

 Papal Initiative: "24 Hours for the Lord"

9th and 10th March

This year Pope Francis is again inviting us join together to spend time before the Blessed Sacrament in his initiative '24 Hours for the Lord''. The 2018 theme is “With you is forgiveness” from Psalm 130:4.

Several churches in the diocese are arranging special time for Adoration on the 9th / 10th March, and offering the opportunity to "celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation in the context of Eucharistic adoration" as the Pope mentioned in his message for Lent 2018. Click Here for the current list of venues.

Young People and the 2018 Synod

This day is for adults that accompany young people and offers some insights to the preparation material for the Synod.  We will also look at how we engage with and support young people in our communities in a practical way. Workshops on the day will also provide some insight into the resources available. 

The day runs from 10:30am - 4:30pm. Please bring a packed lunch.

Please let know if you’re joining us, or call 01227 272900

For a timetable for the day, information on the Synod, including the
'Life to the Full' guidance booklet for young people, click here.

Human Trafficking Awareness and Livelihood Campaign

Our Diocesan newspaper, The Pilgrim, will soon be published and available shortly in parishes.  Amongst the features this month will be an article on Human Trafficking, which the Church is dedicated to ending.
Please click here to find out more about Southwark's response to this call.

The Diocesan Chancery

Southwark's Diocesan Chancery has revised and added information to its page on this site.

The Chancery forms for Marriage, Reception into full communion with the Church and the Commissioning of Extra-ordinary Ministers of the Eucharist are now available for priests and deacons to download from this page.

Please click on the logo above to visit this page.


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