News Archive for 2010 - July

Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Deacon Keith Morris

who was ordained Deacon in 1982

and who died on 31st July 2010

May he rest in peace


Archbishop Kevin: second hip replacement

Archbishop Kevin has successfully had his second hip operation and is currently convalescing.

He has made rapid progress, but is under instructions to take things at a steady pace for the next few weeks.

We wish him a speedy recovery and keep him in our prayers.

(posted 02-08-10)


Welsh Martyr honoured in London

An ecumenical service in Westminster Cathedral on Saturday, 17th July 2010, was the highlight of a Welsh pilgrimage marking the 400th anniversary of the martyrdom of St John Roberts.

St John Roberts was born in Trawsfynydd in North Wales in 1577. During his travels on the continent, he became a Catholic and a Benedictine and was ordained to the priesthood.

He mininstered to the victims of the Black Death in London and was imprisoned and deported several times.

In spite of the risks, he was detemined to return to England and eventually he was executed at Tyburn in 1610.

He was canonised by Pope Paul VI in October 1970 - one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.

Seldom has an occasion attracted so many bishops from the Catholic, Anglican and Orthodox Churches in England and Wales.

The service was led by Archbishop Vincent, Archbishop Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop Barry Morgan, Anglican Archbishop of Wales and Bishop Edwin Regan, Bishop of Wrexham.

Archbishop Peter, until recently the Archbishop of Cardiff, was also present, joined by many enthusiastic pilgrims from his former diocese and from the other Welsh dioceses.

More about St John Roberts and the Welsh Pilgrimage

News item from BBC Wales 


Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Deacon John Sampson

who was ordained Deacon in 2006

and who died on 16th July 2010

May he rest in peace


CAFOD's new head office is officially opened

On Thursday, 15th July 2010, CAFOD's new head office in the precincts of St George's Cathedral was officially opened by Archbishop Vincent Nichols. The aid agency has occupied the building since May after spending 28 years in inadequate office accommodation spread across three separate sites in Stockwell. Archbishop Vincent presented CAFOD's Director, Chris Bain, with a crucifix for the new building.

Among Southwark's representatives at the opening were Archbishop Peter, Bishop John, Mgr Matthew Dickens and Canon James Cronin, Cathedral Dean.

Those attending included the Chairman of CAFOD's Board of Trustees, Bishop John Rawsthorne who is the Bishop of Hallam, the Mayor of Southwark, Councillor Tayo Situ, and representatives from Catholic women's organisations including the National Board of Catholic Women, the Catholic Women's League and the Union of Catholic Mothers. Archbishop Vincent also gave a crucifix to each of these organisations in recognition of the part they played in establishing the agency.

CAFOD's beginnings came when the National Board of Catholic Women organised a Family Fast Day in response to a request from the people of the Caribbean Island of Dominica for help with a mother-and-baby healthcare programme. In 1962, the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales officially set up CAFOD - then known as the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development, but today is the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development.

The new building is called Romero House in tribute to Archbishop Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, who was assassinated while celebrating Mass for speaking out fearlessly against the repression of the Church in El Salvador, the oppression of the poor and the widespread violation of human rights. The thirtieth anniversary of his death was marked with Mass at the Cathedral in March this year.

The design of Romero House is both cost-effective and environmentally-sustainable in keeping with CAFOD's LiveSimply initiative. It has been given an 'excellent' rating by the Building Research Establishments Environment Assessment (BREEAM). Its ground heat pumps, solar thermal system and rain water collection tanks are designed to provide all the heating and cooling demands and half the hot water supply, saving 20% of energy and £6,000 each year.

Apart from the building’s green credentials, its design will help the staff (approximately 280) to work more effectively together and with overseas partners and will also enable the agency to strengthen its links with the local Church community.

More photos of the opening of Romero House

Visit CAFOD's web site

Watch CAFOD TV on YouTube


St Swithun's Church celebrates centenary

Bishop John with local priests in the hall before Mass. From left to right:
Fr James Hurley (St John the Baptist, Westerham), Fr George Webster (St Patrick's, Chislehurst), Fr Bob Mercer (St Swithun's Church, Bromley Common), Bishop John, Fr Paul Fennessy (St Michael's, Farnborough), Canon Tom McHugh (St Joseph's, Bromley) and Fr Bryan Wells (St James', Petts Wood)

St Swithun’s Church, Bromley Common, celebrated the centenary of its opening on Thursday, 15th July 2010 (St Swithun's Day). Bishop John presided at a special Celebration Mass at 7:30 pm to mark the occasion and Father Bob Mercer, the Parish Priest, concelebrated.

The church opened for worship on Whit Sunday in 1910. It was one of seven built to a virtually identical basic design - four walls and a roof - from a legacy left by a Miss Ellis. Bishop (later Archbishop) Peter Amigo decided to use the money to build churches for the poorer Catholic communities in the diocese. St Swithun’s is the only church of the seven to remain virtually unaltered.

The Bromley Common area had developed to provide homes for people employed in the local gasworks and brickworks and for agricultural labourers - mainly immigrants from Ireland or from the continent. The Catholic community was widely scattered throughout the area which, before falling victim to the 'urban sprawl', included isolated villages divided from each other by landed estates and great country houses.

St Swithun's was initially served from St Joseph's, Bromley - the priests often making the journey on foot for the one Sunday and occasional weekday Mass. Bishop (later Archbishop) Cyril Cowderoy made the area into a 'mission' and in 1977 Archbishop Michael Bowen erected it into a properly constituted parish. The church was consecrated in May 1985.


L'Osservatore Romano photos of the Pallium Mass

Photos have started to come through from the Osservatore Romano photo service of Archbishop Peter receiving the pallium from the Holy Father in St Peter's Basilica on 29th June, 2010, The Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul.

Photo: L'Osservatore Romano
The Holy Father places the pallium on the shoulders of Archbishop Peter

Photo: L'Osservatore Romano
The Holy Father talking with Archbishop Peter

Please click on each of the pictures above to view a larger version.

(posted 13-07-10)


Southwark and the Papal Visit

The first wave of information has now been released by the organisers of the pastoral side of the Holy Father’s visit to Great Britain. The most up-to-date details can be found at the official website:

The Southwark Diocese has been given the opportunity to send PILGRIMS to two events on the Pope’s itinerary: the Prayer Vigil at Hyde Park during the afternoon and evening of Saturday, 18th September, and the Papal Mass at Cofton Park, Birmingham, on the morning of Sunday, 19th September, during which Cardinal John Henry Newman will be beatified.

An allocation of Pilgrim Passes has been made to Southwark Diocese for these events, and our allowance has been divided into quotas for each parish. Arrangements will be made in each parish for the distribution of the Passes. This may have been announced during the weekend of 11th July, or will be made known soon. Security is an issue for the organisers. Those wishing to attend either of these events have to be known within or to their local parish.

Our website will be updated as further information is made available. 

(posted 12-07-10)

Recent Press release from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales


Sharing the gifts of all ...

The annual diocesan festival 'Sharing the gifts of people of all abilities' was held on Sunday, 11th July 2010, at The Friars, Aylesford. The theme for the day was 'follow the law, follow in love'. Bishop Paul joined in the prayers and activities, presided at the Mass and gave the homily.

For many this joyful celebration is a highlight of the diocesan year.

More photos and a report on the day


Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Father John Kenny

who was ordained Priest in 1944

and who died on 9th July 2010

May he rest in peace


Invocation 2010 was held at St Mary's College, Oscott, from Friday, 2nd until Sunday, 4th July 2010. This national festival was organised for young people (aged 16 - 35) seeking to deepen their relationship with Christ, discern God's will for their lives and perhaps be open to the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood or religious life.

A message from the Holy Father encouraged 'all those present to continue to stay close to Our Blessed Lord as they strive to discern his will for their lives, and to put their trust in the power of the Holy Spirit who will give them the courage to say ‘Yes’ to the Lord’s invitation'. He sent
'to all the participants in Invocation 2010 and to their families and loved ones a special Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of abundant graces from Our Blessed Lord'.

The festival was a unique event in the life of the Church in England and Wales: it was the first national gathering for young people to discern their vocation, the first occasion which brought together all seminarians from the English and Welsh dioceses and the first event that all religious congregations, nationally, who have members in the same age range as the participants were invited to attend.

Over 41 of the 400 people who took part came from the Southwark diocese. Participants had the choice of staying in local hotels or B&B accommodation, of bringing their own tents or using one of the marquees.

Archbishop Peter presided at Mass at 12 noon on the Saturday, the Feast of St Thomas, Apostle. The homily was given by Fr John Hemer of the Mill Hill Missionaries. One of the themes in the homily was the need to make the apostle St Thomas’ declaration 'My Lord and my God' real in daily life; accepting Jesus as God is an easy decision to make, but to make him truly Lord of our daily lives is a struggle which can only be achieved with the help of the Holy Spirit.

© Mazur/

© Mazur/

Archbishop Peter joined the participants for lunch after the Mass.

© Mazur/
Fr Stephen Langridge, Southwark's Vocation Director, during
evening prayer on the first evening


St Mary's College, Oscott, houses the seminary for the Archdiocese of Birmingham, where Archbishop Kevin was Rector from 1998 until 2001, when he was appointed Bishop of Northampton.

The College was the location of the Synod of Westminster in 1852, during which Cardinal John Henry Newman preached his 'Second Spring' sermon.

Many more photos on the CCEW Flick'r page

Slideshow of the CCEW Flick'r photos

More on Invocation 2010 at the CCEW web site

Invocation 2010 official web site

Report from Independent Catholic News


Mass in the Syro-Malabar Rite at the Cathedral

Bishop Patrick was present at Mass in the Syro-Malabar Rite which was celebrated at the Cathedral on Saturday, 3rd July 2010.


Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Michael Power

formerly with the Catholic Education Service

who died on 2nd July 2010

May he rest in peace