News Archive for 2010 - June

Archbishop Peter receives the pallium

Saint Peter's Basilica, the Vatican
Tuesday, 29th June 2010
The Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul

The Holy Father presided at Mass in St Peter's Basilica on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, the day when, traditionally, he confers the pallium on the Metropolitan Archbishops whom he had appointed during the year.

Durinig the Mass, the pallia were brought from the Confession of St Peter, the sunken chapel beneath the high altar of the Basilica above the necropolis in which St Peter was buried.

The Pope's exhortation on giving the pallium:
To the glory of God and the praise of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the apostles Peter and Paul, and of the Holy Roman Church, for the honour of the Churches, which have been placed in your care, and as a symbol of your authority as metropolitan archbishop: We confer on you the pallium taken from the tomb of Peter to wear within the limits of your ecclesiastical provinces.

And then the prayer of blessing:
May this pallium be a symbol of unity and a sign of your communion with the Apostolic See, a bond of love, and an incentive to courage. On the day of the coming and manifestation of our great God and chief shepherd, Jesus Christ, may you and the flock entrusted to you be clothed with immortality and glory. In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Father conferred the pallium on 38 Metropolitan Archbishops, including Archbishop Peter and Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham, who will welcome the Pope to his diocese for the Beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman at Cofton Park on Sunday, 19th September.

After the Mass, a lunch-time reception for Archbishops Peter and Bernard and their guests was held at the Venerable English College hosted by the Rector, Mgr Nicholas Hudson.

In the evening HM Ambassador to the Holy See, HE Francis Campbell, hosted a reception for the Archbishops and their guests at the Embassy.

HE Francis Campbell, HM Ambassador to the Holy See,
with Archbishop Peter and Bishop John

Archbishop Peter took the opportunity of his visit to Rome to take his  Southwark seminarians out for a meal.

More photos of the occasion

A few photos from L'Osservatore Romano Photo Service will be added as soon as they are received


Archbishop Peter travels to Rome for the Pallium

Archbishop Peter has lost no time in getting to know his new diocese. In the two weeks following his Installation he has celebrated Sunday Mass in his new Cathedral, blessed a new parish centre, joined the celebration of a Centenary and confirmed 120 people. He has also greeted several ecumenical and other faith representatives.

Travelling around South London and Kent he has been busy reminding himself of the geography of the Southwark Diocese. He has been warmly welcomed by all the clergy and parishioners he has met.

On Sunday, 27th June 2010, he travelled further afield - to Rome. He is one of 38 Metropolitan Archbishops who will receive the pallium from the Holy Father on Tuesday, 29th June, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul.

Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham will also receive the pallium and Bishop John and several Southwark clergy will be there to witness the occasion.

The pallium, worn over the chasuble on the shoulders of the Pope and Metropolitan Archbishops, is a circle of white woolen weave with a lappet at the front and back and six black crosses.

It is an ancient symbol of the pastoral role of those who wear it, imitating the Good Shepherd who searches for the lost sheep (Matthew 18:12-14) and lays down his life for them (John 10:1-18). It also symbolises the unity of the Metropolitan Archbishops with the Pope.

We pray for our new Archbishop as he receives the pallium on Tuesday.

Brief notes about the pallium and related topics


A step closer to the Priesthood

Acolytes with the Rector, Mgr Jeremy Garratt, after the installation

On Friday, 25th June 2010, some of the students for the priesthood at Wonersh were installed to the ministries of Lector and Acolyte during Mass at which Mgr Jeremy Garratt, Rector, presided.

The Southwark students installed as Lectors were:
Valentine Erhahon and Daniel Weatherley.

The Southwark students installed as Acolytes were:
Valentine Erhahon and Thomas Lynch.

Another Southwark student, Jonathan Routh, was admitted as a Candidate for Holy Orders during Mass on Thursday (24th) evening at Wonersh, also presided over by Mgr Jeremy Garrett. A total of four seminarians were made Candidates for Holy Orders at the Mass.

We keep them and all students for the priesthood in our prayers.


Southwark youth to broadcast during papal visit

A new internet radio station fronted by Catholic young people has been launched. It is to cover the events of the papal visit and hopes to go on permanent transmission at the end of this year.

The project is the brainchild of Gerry Coates, the Catholic songwriter, who will be travelling to Rome this summer with pupils from St Anselm's School, Canterbury, and hopes to arrange an interview with the Holy Father during the visit.

Archbishop Kevin encouraged the idea and a project committee was formed, which includes Bishop Paul, Maureen Todd (Southwark Schools Commission), John Toryusen (Director of the Southwark Catholic Youth Service), Louise Perry (School Chaplain). Steve Hall (School Media Director) and Gerry Coates, the project manager.

The majority of the schools involved are in the Southwark diocese.

For more information visit the Heart Gives Unto Heart web site


Centre for Marian Studies moves to Roehampton

The Centre for Marian Studies has moved from the University of Wales, Lampeter, to Roehampton University. It will form part of the Digby Stuart Research Centre for Catholic Studies.

Dr Sarah Boss, who runs the Centre for Marian Studies has become a member of the Research Centre's management team. Professor Tina Beattie, a lecturer in theology and key member of the Research Centre, has welcomed the move saying: 'It means that Roehampton is becoming a real centre for Catholic study'.

Digby Stuart Research Centre for Catholic Studies


Focus on the spiritual care of the dying person

The Bishops' Conference of England and Wales has issued a booklet 'A Practical Guide to the Spiritual Care of the Dying Person'.

It was launched during the Faith in Health Conference in Liverpool on 25th June, 2010. The guide was written by various authors including Fr Paul Mason, Chaplain at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and a priest of the Southwark diocese.

It is published by the Catholic Truth Society.

Press Release on the CCEW web site

The document is also available in .pdf format from the CCEW web site


Minster Abbey hosts day for priests on prayer

On Wednesday, 23rd June 2010, Archbishop Peter joined clergy from the Diocese at one of the regular study days arranged by Mgr Gerry Ewing and the Diocesan Ongoing Formation Team. The day entitled ‘Contemplative Prayer: Even for secular clergy?’ was given by Rt Rev Hugh Gilbert OSB, Abbot of Pluscarden. The day set out to dispel the myth that contemplative prayer is only for the few, and explored the nature of contemplative prayer - and its relationship to the life and ministry of diocesan clergy.

The venue for the day was the Parkminster Barn of the Abbey at Minster, near Ramsgate, the home of a community of Benedictine Sisters. The initiative was the idea of the Sisters, as a contribution to the Year of the Priests, and several of the community joined two of the three sessions.

The day gave Archbishop Peter a chance to meet with clergy from the diocese, to see the work of the Ongoing Formation Team and to discover the hidden gem that is Minster Abbey.

A few more photos of the day


London's Slovakian Chaplaincy

On Tuesday, 22nd June 2010, the Constitution governing the activities of The Slovakian Chaplaincy in London was officially signed by members of the Chaplaincy Council, which includes Fr Jozef Vojtek, their Chaplain. Bishop Alan Hopes signed on behalf of the Westminster diocese and Canon James Cronin, co-ordinator of Ethnic Chaplains, signed on behalf of the Southwark diocese.

Fr Joseph arrived in London six years ago after the Slovakian Bishops Conference wrote to Archbishop Michael asking if a priest could come to work with the large number of young Slovakians in London following their accession to the European Union. Fr Joseph celebrates a Sunday Mass at Our Lady of La Salette, Melior St, Bermondsey, where the community has been welcomed by Canon Michael Cooley and which has become a real home to them.

On the same day, Bishop Alan Hopes and Canon James Cronin hosted a meeting of Ethnic Chaplains in the Amigo Hall. Archbishop Peter visited the meeting and joined the chaplains for lunch.


St Peter's, Westgate-on-Sea, celebrates its centenary

On Sunday, 20th June 2010, Archbishop Peter joined the parish of St Peter, Westgate-on-Sea, to celebrate the centenary of the parish.

From small beginnings in 1910, when the few parishioners attended Mass in the chapel of the Canonesses of St Augustine, the parish has grown and over 200 parishioners now attend Mass on Sundays. Their church was opened in 1964, when Benedictines from St Augustine's Abbey, Ramsgate, were caring for the parish. The parish was handed over to the diocese in 1984 and Fr John Slater was appointed to the parish in 1996.

Fr. Philip Glandfield (Archbishop’s Private Secretary), Fr. Brian McMahon, Deacon Daniel Mulcahy (Whitstable), Archbishop Peter, Fr. John Slater (Priest-in-charge at Westgate), Fr. Don Coleman (Moderator of Westgate Parish and Parish Priest at Our Lady and St. Benedict, Birchington)

More photos of the centenary at Westgate-on-Sea


The Bishops' Conferences of England and Wales and Scotland have launched a booklet in preparation for the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to England and Scotland, which is less than three months away.

The cover shows the official logo for the visit. 'Heart speaks unto heart' was the motto on the crest of Cardinal John Henry Newman, whom the Holy Father will declare 'Blessed' during his visit.

Copies of the 32-page booklet will be available in parishes. It can also be downloaded from the web site of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.


Download the booklet in .pdf format from the Bishops' Conference in England and Wales web site


Archbishop Peter offers Family Mass in his Cathedral

On Sunday, 13th June 2010, Archbishop Peter, the newly installed Archbishop of Southwark, presided and preached at the Family Mass in his new Cathedral, the Cathedral Church of St George.

Having been installed a few days earlier, the Archbishop was delighted to be able to celebrate Mass in his church for the people of the Cathedral Parish. The Cathedral Dean, Canon James Cronin, concelebrated the Mass and joined the Archbishop outside to meet the people afterwards.


Confirmations at St Joseph's, Bromley

On Saturday, 12th June 2010, two days after his installation as Archbishop of Southwark, Archbishop Peter was welcomed by Canon Tom McHugh, Parish Priest of St Joseph's, Bromley, and by the clergy and people of the parish, to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation to 33 candidates.


Celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage

On Saturday, 12th June 2010, at St George's Cathedral, 264 couples, who are marking significant anniversaries of their weddings this year, joined Bishop John for a Mass celebrating the Sacrament of Marriage.

Bishop John concluded his homily with these words:
'Today we thank you deeply for your faithful love for each other, and for all that it means to us who recognise that same love writ large in Jesus Christ. That same love challenges us through our Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, maybe Holy Orders, whatever the Lord has called us to. You as faithful married couples enrich our whole vision and understanding of what it means to be Christ’s Church - because together we are called to be a sign of God’s love for the world.'

After the homily, the couples renewed their marriage vows.

15 couples were celebrating their 60th anniversary (two of them their 65th); 65 couples their 50th; 58 couples their 40th; 73 couples their 25th and 55 couples their 10th. Many were joined by members of their families.

The largest contingent came from Thornton Heath with 15 couples attending. There were almost equal numbers from the South East London and South West London pastoral areas - 113 (SE) and 119 (SW) - with 32 from Kent. During the past two years the Mass has been held at Aylesford where numbers from the Kent pastoral area exceeded those from London.

The largest family present were the Gerreyns from Brockley, who were celebrating 50 years of marriage with 19 members of their family.

The altar servers came from Abbey Wood - St Benet's/Thamesmead South parishes, plus one young MC from Beckenham, whose parents were celebrating their 25th anniversary.

Congratulations to the couples who attended this celebration and to all those throughout the diocese who are celebrating significant anniversaries of their marriages this year.

Full text of Bishop John's homily (.pdf available)

Page of photos of the Mass in Celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage


Archbishop Peter blesses Dartford's new parish centre

On Friday, 11th June 2010, Archbishop Peter presided at Solemn Vespers at St Anselm’s Church, Dartford. After the service, the Mayor of Dartford, Cllr Pat Coleman, officially opened the newly-built parish centre, which is attached to the church, and Archbishop Peter led the prayers of blessing.

After the short blessing service, there was a reception in the new hall, during which children from the local Catholic Primary School, Our Lady’s, sang, the Dartford Choral Society sang, and a local Irish dancing group performed a number of dances.

More pictures of the opening and blessing of the new parish centre


Bishop Paul to lead Southwark Pilgrimage to Lourdes

Bishop Paul at the Lourdes Grotto in 2008

Bishop Paul will be leading the Southwark Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes this year. He is a seasoned pilgrim to the Shrine and looks forward to accompanying the Southwark pilgrims.

Bookings are being taken now for the Pilgrimage which runs from 20th until 27th August. You would be most welcome to join us.

Please click here or on the logo on the sidebar for our Lourdes 2010 section which includes details and booking forms.


The warmest welcome to our new Archbishop



Archbishop Peter Smith was installed as Archbishop of Southwark at St George's Cathedral on Thursday, 10th June 2010. He is the tenth bishop of Southwark and succeeds Archbishop Kevin McDonald, who resigned due to ill-health in December last year.


© Mazur/


© Mazur/


Archbishop Peter was born in Southwark and was ordained in Southwark. He was welcomed home at his Mass of Installation.

Along with Archbishops Emeriti Kevin and Michael, Bishops John, Patrick and Paul and Bishop Emeritus Howard, this joyful ceremony was attended by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the Archbishops of Westminster, Birmingham and Liverpool and most of the Bishops of England and Wales and Bishops from further afield, ecumenical and civic dignitaries, the priests and deacons of our diocese, with many from Archbishop Peter's previous diocese of Cardiff, and religious and laity from around Southwark.

During his homily, Archbishop Peter suggested that our prayer each day should be:
'Open my ears that I may hear.
Open my eyes that I may see.
Open my heart to receive your transforming and purifying Spirit.'

We welcome our new Archbishop with joyful gratitude to God and, conscious of the responsibilities of his office, we keep him in our prayers.

© Mazur/

© Mazur/

Archbishop Peter with Archbishops Emeriti Michael and Kevin
after the Installation Mass


Archbishop Peter's homily at his Mass of Installation

The Apostolic Letter of Authority from the Holy See

Full report of the Installation Mass with photos

More phtots of the Installation Mass

Photos taken at the reception

Press release from the Catholic Bishops' Conference web site

More photos on the Catholic Church's Flickr site