News Archive for 2008 - June and July

EPS offers Foundation Degree in Pastoral Theology

In a new initiative, Education for Parish Service is offering a Foundation Degree in Pastoral Theology starting this October. The course is being run in collaboration with Saint Mary's College, Twickenham, and is part of the Education for Parish Service programme.

The two-year training, based at the Christian Education Centre, Tooting Bec, will provide formation for pastoral ministry within a parish setting.


Archbishop Kevin's message to WYD08 pilgrims

To the Southwark Contingent at World Youth Day, Sydney 2008:

Be assured of the thoughts, prayers and good wishes of the whole diocese as you join young people from all over the world to meet Pope Benedict and to be united with him and one another for this special occasion. It is marvellous that Bishop Paul is able to keep us updated about the events. Look after yourselves, enjoy your time and bring back a blessing for the diocese.

With warmest greetings to you all.

Archbishop of Southwark

Southwark pilgrims arrive at Sydney Airport

Please click here to read the WYD08 Southwark Pilgrims' Diary

Another new priest for Southwark - Fr Shaju Varkey

Monsignor Jeremy Garratt congratulates Father Shaju

Deacon Shaju Varkey was ordained to the priesthood on Saturday, 12th July 2008, by the Bishop of Irinjalakuda, Kerala, the Right Reverend Mar James Pazhayattil, at St Mary’s Church, Thazhoor, Kerala.

Around 3500 people and 46 priests were present at the ordination - 16 from the UK - including Monsignor Jeremy Garratt, the Rector of St John’s Seminary, Wonersh, where Father Shaju  studied, together with Father Gerard Bradley, Director of Spirituality at Wonersh. Students from Saint John's Seminary also attended.

Father Shaju has been appointed to St Peter’s, Woolwich.


Photos of Father Shaju's ordination


Archbishop Kevin blesses new school facilities

Archbishop Kevin with Dr Dilys Wadman and Tom Cahill, Head of
the Richard Challoner School

Archbishop Kevin has now returned to the diocese but it will be a couple of months before he takes on his full schedule of duties.

On Wednesday, 9th July 2008, he visited the Richard Challoner School, New Malden, to bless and officially open its new facilities and chapel.

A short report and more photos of the occasion

Sharing the Gifts of People with Disabilities

Bishop Paul presided over a Day of Celebration held at Aylesford Priory on Sunday, 6th July 2008. The theme of the day was Be like Jesus, share God in the World. People with differing abilities gathered to share their gifts and experience liturgy and scripture together.

A page with a report and photos of the day


The Holy Father inaugurated the Year of Saint Paul at the ecumenical celebration of First Vespers of the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul at the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls on Saturday, 28th June 2008.

Pope Benedict lights the candle that will burn throughout the
Jubilee Year

Pope Benedict and the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, visit the tomb of Saint Paul before Vespers

Pope Benedict gives the homily
Photos: Centro Televisivo Vaticano (CTV) - Vatican Television Centre

On Sunday, 29th June 2008, to mark the beginning of the Jubilee Year in our diocese, Bishop John offered Mass at Saint Paul's Church in Meopham and Solemn Vespers was sung at Aylesford Priory. The whole parish of Saint Matthias, Worcester Park, joined at the Richard Challoner School for Mass to celebrate the start of the Pauline Year.

Please click here for photos from Aylesford, Meopham and Worcester Park

Please visit our 'Year of Saint Paul' section by clicking here

Balham Deanery revives Corpus Christi Procession

Hundreds of people turned up on Sunday 22nd June to attend a Corpus Christi Procession led by Bishop Paul in Nightingale Square, Balham. Fr Stephen Langridge, the Dean, spoke of his pleasure at seeing such large numbers and also of the significance of the event: “We have been talking for a long time about the importance of greater collaboration in the Deanery and today’s event is a concrete sign of our working together. Apart from being a great occasion, it fosters a sense of unity in our Deanery which is composed of otherwise somewhat disparate parishes”. It is hoped that the Deanery Procession will become an annual event.

Balham Deanery is also currently looking into ways in which it can reach out more effectively to the young people of its parishes and recently held a day for all those involved in youth ministry in its parishes.


Christian Education Centre - 40th Anniversary

A reception was held at the Christian Education Centre in Tooting Bec on Thursday, 19th June 2008, to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the opening of the Centre in 1968. Eighty guests met to mark all that had been achieved and to look to the future with confidence.

Father John O'Toole, Director of the CEC, on the threshold of the next forty years with a copy of the booklet 'Celebrating 40 Years of the Christian Education Centre in the Archdiocese of Southwark 1968-2008'

More news and photos of the occasion

A new priest for Southwark - Father Cornelius Boyle

Father Cornelius Boyle with Bishop Patrick and Father Michael O'Dea

Father Cornelius Boyle was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Patrick at the Church of the Faithful Virgin (Virgo Fidelis), Upper Norwood, on Saturday, 14th June 2008. Father Cornelius came to the parish from Ireland at the age of three over fifty years ago and is the first priest to be ordained at the parish in its 150-year history.

More photos of the occasion

Eight accepted to start priestly training in September

Valentine Erhahon speaking with Sam Davey, a first-year student at
Wonersh currently on pastoral placement at the Cathedral parish

Eight applicants for the Southwark diocese have been accepted to start their training for the priesthood at seminaries this September.
Father Stephen Langridge, the Diocesan Vocations Director, said that he was confident that this growth in numbers is the fruit of increased prayer for vocations across the diocese - especially Eucharistic Adoration.

Starting at St John's Seminary, Wonersh:
Valentine Erhahon
Godfrey Holdstock
Gerry Keohoe
Stephen Penna

Starting at the Pontifical Beda College, Rome:
Alan Burgess
Gareth Thomas

Starting at the Venerable English College, Rome:
Matthew O'Gorman

Starting at the English College, Valladolid:
Dermott O'Gorman

Please pray for them and for all who are training for the priesthood for our diocese - especially Deacons Con Boyle and Shaju Varkey, who are to be ordained to the priesthood this summer.

(posted 11-06-08)

Please click on the underlined links to visit the seminaries' websites

Holy Father receives new CTS Bible from Bishop Paul

On Wednesday, 4th June 2008, after the General Audience in St Peter's Square, Bishop Paul, Chairman of the Catholic Truth Society, met the Holy Father and presented him with a boxed edition of the CTS New Catholic Bible, published six months ago and soon to be reprinted due to popular demand. This presentation echoes that of 1956, when Pope Pius XII was presented with the CTS’s Douay Bible.

Bishop Paul was accompanied by Fergal Martin, CTS General Secretary, and Piero Finaldi, Editor, who were closely involved in the development and completion of this Bible.

The Holy Father expressed great interest in the Bible, which is designed to support closely the liturgical and sacramental life of the Church, and encouraged the CTS in its important work of evangelisation and education.

More photos of the occasion

Visit the Catholic Truth Society's new website