News Archive for 2012 - April

Consecration of Cemetery in Crayford

On Friday, 27th April 2012, Bishop Patrick and Bishop James Langstaff, the Anglican Bishop of Rochester, consecrated the graveyard and blessed the new Memorial Gardens at St Paulinus Church, Crayford.

(posted 01-05-12)


World Day of Prayer for Vocations

Sunday, 29th April 2012, is the World Day of Prayer for Vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life. The Church is encouraged to pray earnestly for an increase of priestly and religious vocations. In Southwark, the day also gives the opportunity to contribute to the Ecclesiastical Education Fund for the training of priests.

And vocations was on the agenda of the Bishops' Conference meeting in Leeds last week ...

© Mazur/

Archbishop Peter, the Vice-President of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, chaired the Press Conference at the conclusion of the bishops' meeting at Hinsley Hall, Leeds.

One of the initiatives approved by the bishops which he announced is the National Vocation Framework - a three-year vision to proclaim the universal call to holiness by promoting a culture of vocation. The plan was outlined by Father Christopher Jamison OSB, Director of The National Office for Vocation. It will be launched at various centres throughout England and Wales: for London and the South the launch will be at St George's Cathedral on Wednesday, 7th November 2012.

© Mazur/

In essence, the Framework invites those who have been called to call others. This involves outreach to the unbaptised and the lapsed, as well as enabling those active in the Church to respond to their particular vocation. There are a variety of vocations through which the faithful may be sanctified, among them ordained ministry and consecrated life, marriage and single lay life.

Read more about the National Vocations Framework (.pdf)

News report on the CCEW News and Media web site

Visit the National Office for Vocations web site

At the Press Conference, Archbishop Peter also reported on the other issues which had been discussed by the bishops during their meeting. Audio files of his overview and the question and answer session can be found on the CCEW News and Media web site.

Press Conference following the BCEW meeting on the CCEW web site

More photos of the Press Conference on the CCEW Flickr page



Parish celebrates St Elphege's Millennium

Bishop Paul, Fr Paul Hough, parish priest, Mr Jacques Lambert
and some of the pupils and staff of St Elphege's Primary School

On Sunday, 22nd April 2012, Bishop Paul presided at Mass at St Elphege, Wallington, the only church in the diocese dedicated to the saint, to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of the martyrdom of St Elphege at Greenwich on 19th April 1012.

Among those present were members of St Elphege's Primary School.

Bishop Paul receives the gifts from the children















Bishop Paul gives the homily

Bishop Paul with the children around the altar for the 'Our Father'

(posted 27-04-12)


Confirmation at Marymount International School

On Friday, 20th April 2012, Bishop Paul conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation on eleven students at Marymount International School in  Kingston. Among those present were the school Chaplain, Fr Chris McAneny, who concelebrated at the Mass, families, staff and pupils. Music was led by the School Schola.

Bishop Paul, Fr Chris and the newly confirmed young people

Bishop Paul, Fr Chris, Mr Jacques Lambert (Bishop’s Private Secretary)
and the altar servers

(posted 27-04-12)


John Fisher School, Purley: Easter Week in Rome

Twenty-one boys, aged 12 - 17, from The John Fisher School, Purley and three members of staff including the Head Teacher, Mr Mark Scully, and School Chaplain, Fr James Clark, celebrated Easter Week on pilgrimage in Rome.

In a full programme, they offered Mass at St Peter's Basilica, St Paul's Basilica and at the Venerable English College; they toured the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps and the four Major Basilicas. They prayed as they climbed the Scala Santa.

They sat very close to Pope Benedict during the papal audience and, as it was only a few days before his birthday, they sang "Happy Birthday" to him, he turned and thanked them.

Inside St Peter's Basilica















Outside the Basilica of
St Paul Outside The Walls















In the Church of the Venerable English College

(posted 26-04-12)


Clergy Appointments and News



Archbishop Peter has made the following appointments:

Father Michael Leach as Parish Priest of Ss Philip and James, Herne Hill;

The parish of Our Lady of Grace, Charlton, has been entrusted to the care of the Holy Ghost Fathers (Spiritans) with

Father Uche Njoku, CSsP, as Parish Priest
Father Michael Ezenwammadu, CSsP, and Father Jude Nwachukwu, CSsP, as Assistant Priests;

Father James Campbell, SJ, as Assistant Priest at The Sacred Heart, Wimbledon.


The following Jesuit students have recently been ordained to the diaconate and will exercise their ministry in the diocese:

Deacon Jerri Melwin Dias, SJ, to the Jesuit Community in Wimbledon to exercise his ministry in the parish and among the Indian communities in Southwark;

Deacon Quoc Trieu Nguyen, SJ, to the Jesuit Community in Wimbledon to exercise his ministry in the parish;

Deacons John Du Hyun Kim, SJ, and Deacon Xavier Tharamel, SJ, to the Jesuit Community in Brixton Hill.


Father Ugochukwu Nnaji, MSP, is resident at The Assumption, Deptford, while awaiting a new appointment.


Father Shaju Varkey's Presbytery address at Our Lady of the Crays, Cray Valley, is now

2A Kent Road
St Mary Cray
The Presbytery telephone number is 01689 331489


The Korean Catholic Chaplaincy is now established in new premises in Sutton:

Korean Catholic Chaplaincy
104 & 106 Benhill Wood Road
Surrey SM1 3SR

The Chaplain Father Damien Lim resides at
106 Benhill Wood Road, Sutton, Surrey SM1 3SR
Telephone number: 020 8644 5204



Bishops' Conference meets in Leeds

The Bishops' Conference of England and Wales are meeting from Monday, 23rd, until Thursday, 26th April 2012, at Hinsley Hall in Leeds. Archbishop Antonio Mennini, the apostolic nuncio to Great Britain, will address them during the meeting.

It is expected that, among the topics that will be discussed, a National Vocations Framework - a plan to develop a culture of vocation - will be on the agenda, together with the Catholic involvement in the London Olympics.


Jesuit Missions Marathon team raises thousands

Congratulations to the team supporting Jesuit Missions who ran the London Marathon on Sunday, 22nd April 2012.

Of the 27 runners, supporting Jesuit projects across the world, Olly de Montfort (left) was first to cross the finishing line. Olly is the nephew of the late Tony Montfort, who was the Director of Jesuit Missions for almost 40 years. The oldest member of the team, Father Daniel O'Connor, a Columban priest, ran the course in less than three-and-a-half hours.

Among the runners were friends and relatives of the Wimbledon-based Jesuit Missions office - including four Wombles who live, of course, on Wimbledon Common!

Source: JM Marathon


Sevenoaks Deacon ordained for the Ordinariate

Deacon James Bradley, who was received last year into full communion with the Church as a member of the Sevenoaks Ordinariate Group, was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Alan Hopes, Auxiliary in Westminster, at St Patrick's Church in Soho on Saturday, 21st April 2012 in the presence of Monsignor Keith Newton, his Ordinary.

He was one of the two former Anglican deacons - the other being Deacon Daniel Lloyd of the Oxford Ordinariate Group - who were not previously ministering as priests in the Anglican Church.

Fathers James and Daniel with Bishop Alan Hopes
and Monsignor Keith Newton












Fathers James and Daniel give their first blessings to Mgr Andrew Burnham and
Mgr Keith Newton

Father James has been ministering as a deacon at The Holy Ghost, Balham, while continuing his studies for the priesthood. On Sunday, 22nd April, he offered his First Mass in that church. The parish priest, Father Stephen Langridge, gave the homily. Father James will continue to reside at Balham until the Summer.

We congratulate Fathers James and Daniel on their Ordination to the Priesthood and wish them every blessing and happiness.

Photos: Fr Ed Tomlinson and the Marylebone Ordinariate Group


Carmelites gather at Aylesford for AGM

©Johan Bergström-Allen /

The British Province of Carmelites held its Annual General Meeting at The Friars, Aylesford, during Easter Week from Tuesday, 10th until Friday, 13th April. About fifty members of the Carmelite family gathered. Bishop Patrick was invited to facilitate their discussions.

©Johan Bergström-Allen /
Bishop Patrick with Father Wilfrid McGreal OCarm, Prior Provincial

©Johan Bergström-Allen /
A plenary session

©Johan Bergström-Allen /
Enjoying a meal in the Pilgrims' Hall

©Johan Bergström-Allen /
Father Wilfrid presented Sylvia Lucas with a gift to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of her profession as a member of the Carmelite Third Order. Sylvia is the Schools Leadership Adviser on our diocesan Schools Commission. She is the Convenor of the London Carmelite Spirituality Group Carmel in the City.

Report of the AGM on the British Province of Carmelite Friars web site

Many more photos of the AGM on gbcarmelite' Flickr page

(posted 20-04-12)


Bishop Richard calls for more Military Chaplains

In response to a real shortage of military chaplains in all three Armed Services, Bishop Richard, the Bishop of the Forces, has asked servicemen and women and serving chaplains to fervently pray that more priests come forward to serve as chaplains.

He has written a pastoral letter to be read in service communities, and prayer cards have been distributed members of the armed forces, their families and chaplains.

Visit the Bishopric of the Forces web site to download Bishop Richard's pastoral letter and to read the prayer.

(posted 20-04-12)


Wallington at St Elphege's Millennium Celebrations

Photo: london se1 community website

Representatives from St Elphege's parish, Wallington, joined Bishop Patrick at Southwark Anglican Cathedral for the celebration of the millennium of St Elphege's martyrdom on Thursday, 19th April 2012.


Millennium of the martyrdom of Saint Elphege

Martyred at Greenwich on 19th April 1012

Saint Elphege is one of the many saints closely associated with the diocese of Southwark.

He was born in 954, at Little Weston, two miles from Bath. He entered the Benedictine monastery of Deerhurst in Gloucestershire and became a hermit at Glastonbury. He was appointed Abbot of Bath by St Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 976.

He was made Bishop of Winchester in 984. The Danes and Norwegians invaded Britain. Elphege was sent to King Olaf of Norway and confirmed him. Olaf promised not to invade again and returned to Norway. The introduction of Christianity to Norway is largely due to him.

In 1006 Elphege became Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1011 the Danes returned and sacked and burned Canterbury. St Elphege was taken captive to Greenwich. His captors demanded a ransom of £3000, but Elphege refused to allow his ravaged people to raise the money. When his captors demanded gold he is reported to have said to them 'The gold I give you is the Word of God.' His captors, drunk with wine and enraged at the ransom being refused, pelted Elphege with bones of oxen and stones, until one of them dispatched him with an axe. He was buried in St Paul's Cathedral and 11 years later, on the orders of King Canute, his body was taken for reburial at Canterbury. He was canonised by Pope Gregory Vll in 1078.

Celebrating the Millennium

On Thursday, 19th April 2012, Bishop Patrick will attend a service at Southwark Anglican Cathedral opening the Millennium celebration. A later service will be held at St Alfege Anglican Church in Greenwich, at the site of the martyrdom, at which the Archbishop of Canterbury will preach.

On Sunday, 22nd April 2012, Bishop Paul will preside at Mass at St Elphege, Wallington, the only church in the diocese dedicated to the saint. Mass will be offered in the local Anglican church of St Mary's, Beddington, on the actual feast, 19th April.

The Bishops of Winchester owned land and premises at Beddington and it is probable that by the late 9th century a wooden Saxon church existed on the site of St Mary's, so St Elphege will have known the area and offered Mass there. His predecessor as Bishop of Winchester, St Ethelwold, died at Beddington.

Masses to mark the Millennium will also be offered at St Thomas of Canterbury, Canterbury, and in the Greenwich parishes of Our Ladye Star of the Sea and St Joseph.  

A final word ...

St Thomas a Becket, when facing his own martyrdom in 1170, is reported to have said: 'I commend myself to God, to holy Mary, to blessed Denys, and St Elphege.'

Saint Elphege - pray for us


Clergy Appointments and News



Archbishop Peter has made the following appointments:


Father Paul Mason as the Director of Ongoing Formation of Priests. The Archbishop has also approved his appointment as Pastoral Director at Allen Hall Seminary, Chelsea;

Father Jesmond Pawley OFM Conv as Judicial Vicar;

Father Thomas Udie as Parish Priest of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Surrey Docks;

Father Shaju Varkey as Parish Priest of Our Lady of the Crays, Cray Valley;

Father Kevin Fitzgerald as Parish Priest of St Dunstan, Hersden;

Father Francis Lynch as Parochial Administrator of St Gertrude, Bermondsey;

Father Luke Marappillil as Parochial Administrator of St Osmund, Barnes;

Father Georges Mampillil MST as Chaplain to King's College Hospital;

Father Salvador Nicolas Bilono III and Father Eugene Britto IVD as Assistant Priests at St Anselm, Tooting Bec.


Archbishop Peter has also:

Merged the parishes of Margate and Cliftonville to form the new parish of Sts Austin and Gregory with St Anne, Margate, where Father Luke Smith is Parish Priest;

Established St Anselm, Pembury, (formerly part of the parish of St Justus, Paddock Wood) as a quasi-parish, where Father Edward Tomlinson, a priest of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, is Priest in Charge.


Father Dominic Allain is taking a sabbatical break.


Father William Agley has been seconded to the Vatican Curia to work in the Sacred Congregation for the Clergy. He was formerly the Diocesan Judicial Vicar and Parish Priest of Our Lady of the Crays, Cray Valley, and is now resident in Rome.



Six new Deacons for the Society of Jesus

On Saturday, 14th April 2012, Archbishop Peter presided at a Mass at the Sacred Heart Church, Wimbledon, during which he ordained six members of the Society of Jesus to the Diaconate.

Fr Dermot Preston SJ, the Provincial of the British Province of the
Society of Jesus, presents the candidates to Archbishop Peter

The candidates prostrate themselves during the Litany of the Saints

The candidates kneel as Archbishop Peter prays the Prayer of Consecration

The newly ordained deacons are presented with the Book of the Gospels

Deacon Jerri Melwin Dias SJ thanks all those involved on behalf of the newly ordained

Archbishop Peter with the six new Deacons

We congratulate the new deacons and keep them in our prayers:
Jerri Melwin Dias SJ, John Du-Hyun Kim SJ, Vincent Mulenga SJ,
Quoc Trieu Nguyen SJ, Juan Carlos Pallardel SJ and Xavier Tharamel SJ.

Many more photos of the Ordination on RCSouthwark's Flickr page

(posted 16-04-12)



For those in peril on the sea ...

INSPIRIT on BBC London 94.9
on Sunday, 15th April 2012, from 6:00 am until 9:00 am

This Sunday marks the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic and on this programme the Apostleship of the Sea will be reflecting on what life is like for modern day sailors and their chaplains.

Father Paul Mason has recently returned from an Apostleship of the Sea cruise chaplaincy. He will be interviewed during the programme at 8:40 am.



An Easter Message from Archbishop Peter ...


Fra Angelico
Resurrection of Christ and Women at the Tomb
Fresco - 1441 - Convento di San Marco, Florence

When we Christians celebrate Easter, we celebrate the fact that Christ is risen from the dead and that he lives in our hearts and minds through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, who is the Lord and giver of Life. In celebrating Easter we are celebrating life itself and life to the full. From the darkness of his death, the light of eternal life shone out in all its brightness when Jesus, the Light of the world, was raised to new life.

Our Easter faith is a joyful and exultant proclamation that there is a real meaning to life, a vitality to every day, a purpose to those efforts of loving which can at times tire our hearts and distress our spirit. We believe that the whole meaning and purpose of life lies in the gift of love - that
self-giving love which was at the heart of Christ's own life - a love that will never end.

We will know that Easter is real, that Christ lives, when we allow him to make our own lives sources of light and life for others; when our words heal and encourage; when our hearts come alive with compassion; when we stand firm for the value of life in all its aspects. Easter becomes a reality in our own lives when people are healed, consoled and strengthened by the life-giving love we show to each other, and especially to those in need. Easter is real when we become living signs and symbols of the presence of the risen Christ in our world, and of the values which he taught during his life on earth.

May the presence of the risen Christ in your lives bring you happiness and renewed strength this Easter.

With my blessing and an assurance of my prayers,

Archbishop of Southwark


Easter Morning Mass at the Cathedral

On Easter Sunday, 8th April 2012, Archbishop Peter presided at the
10:00 am Mass in St George's Cathedral. Canon John O'Toole, the Cathedral Dean, concelebrated. Music for the Mass was sung by the Cathedral Girls' Choir.


Canon John O'Toole reads the Gospel

Archbishop Peter gives the homily

Archbishop Peter presents Anthony,
one of the Cathedral's senior servers,
 with a merit award from the Guild of St Stephen

Archbishop Peter gives Easter eggs to 'God's little people'

Archbishop Peter with Anthony wearing his Merit medal

Full text of Archbishop Peter's Easter Sunday homily (.pdf available)

More photos of the Easter Morning Mass on RCSouthwark's Flickr page


On Holy Saturday, 7th April 2012, Archbishop Peter presided at the Easter Vigil in St George's Cathedral. He baptised ten adult catechumens and received one candidate into full communion with the Catholic Church. He confirmed them and two additional adults.

The Blessing of the New Fire

The Preparation of the Paschal Candle

The Easter Proclamation - The Exultet


The Archbishop administers the Sacrament of Confirmation

Full text of Archbishop Peter's Easter Vigil homily (.pdf available)

More photos of the Easter Vigil on RCSouthwark's Flickr page


Holy Saturday afternoon

On Holy Saturday afternoon, there was the traditional blessing of Easter food for the Polish community in Purley by Fr Gregory Verissimo. It was the first time this had taken place at St John the Baptist, Purley, and there was a good turn out of Polish parishioners and a few from other parishes in the area.

Families brought their baskets containing eggs, bread and festive baked goods, meat, sausages and other foods: bread - in memory of the bread with which Jesus fed those who listened to him and which he shared with his apostles at the Last Supper; meat and sausages - in memory of the Paschal lamb; eggs - a sign of the new life we share with the risen Christ.


Holy Saturday morning

Holy Saturday 7:30 am at St Mary's, West Croydon



© Mazur/

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you,
because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world


On Good Friday, 6th April 2012, Archbishop Peter presided at the Celebration of the Lord's Passion at St George's Cathedral.

This is the wood of the Cross ...

Veneration of the Cross

More photos of the Good Friday Liturgy on RCSouthwark's Flickr page



The Mass of the Lord's Supper

Thursday, 5th April 2012
Saint George's Cathedral

© Mazur/

Archbishop Peter presided at the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Maundy Thursday evening at Saint George's Cathedral. The concelebrants were
Monsignor Matthew Dickens, Vicar General, Canon John O'Toole, Cathedral Dean, Father Philip Glandfield, Father John Diver and Father Chukwuemeka Nnaji.

© Mazur/

© Mazur/
Father John Diver proclaims the Gospel

© Mazur/
The Washing of the Feet

© Mazur/

© Mazur/
Monsignor Matthew Dickens and Father Philip Glandfield

© Mazur/
Canon John O'Toole

© Mazur/
Procession to the Altar of Repose

© Mazur/
At the Altar of Repose
© Mazur/
Adoration at the Altar of Repose

© Mazur/

More photos of the Mass of the Lord's Supper on the CCEW Flickr page


24/7 screening from St Mary's, Croydon ...

The church of Our Lady of Reparation ('St Mary's'), West Croydon, has installed a camera focused on the sanctuary which provides live streaming 24/7 across the world wide web. It will therefore broadcast all services in the church. There is a short advert at the start of each viewing session.

Please click on the screen above to view the coverage. You will need Adobe Flash Player installed.

This is of great value to those who are unable to attend the Holy Week services or Sunday Mass. But in such a richly multi-cultural parish, it also enables relatives and friends who are abroad and are unable to attend in person to share in the baptisms, marriages and funerals of those close to them.

Holy Week Services at St Mary's:
Maundy Thursday: Mass of the Lord's Supper at 8:00 pm
Good Friday: Solemn Afternoon Liturgy of the Lord's Passion at 3:00 pm
Taizé Time of Prayer from 7:30 pm until 10:30 pm
Holy Saturday: The Easter Vigil at 8:00 pm (please note that the Blessing of the New Fire will not be covered as it takes place outside the church).

Sunday Mass times can be found in our online directory - please click here


... and from Lourdes

Please click on the screen above to view the coverage.

The camera is usually trained on the grotto 24/7, however other services are broadcast - especially the International Masses in the St Pius X Basilica.

There is a schedule of services on this page, but please remember that  Lourdes is an hour ahead of London, so it is necessary to log in an hour earlier than advertised. The coverage needs renewing every 15 minutes.



Wednesday, 4th April 2012
Saint George's Cathedral

Archbishop Peter presided at the Chrism Mass at Saint George's Cathedral on Wednesday, 4th April 2012. Of all liturgical gatherings, the Chrism Mass most eloquently expresses the unity of the whole diocese - lay people and religious, bishops, priests and deacons - with the Archbishop.

In the dining room of Archbishop's House, the deanery oil stocks
are ready to be filled after the Mass

During the Mass, over two hundred priests from diocesan parishes and religious communities renewed their commitment to priestly service.

Renewal of commitment

Archbishop Peter consecrated the Oil of Chrism and blessed the Oil of Catechumens and the Oil of the Sick - oils which will be received in each parish in the diocese during the Mass of the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday. They symbolise the pastoral and sacramental care which is at the heart of the Church's ministry. They will be used in the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders and in the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.

The Eucharistic Prayer

A few words from the Archbishop before the final blessing

The deanery oil stocks are filled. They will be taken back  to the
deaneries where the oil stocks for each parish will be filled.

After the Mass, the Archbishop hosted lunch for the clergy in the Amigo Hall.

Full text of Archbishop Peter's homily (.pdf available)

More photos of the Chrism Mass on RCSouthwark's Flickr page


Ordinariate Receptions at St Mary's, Croydon

Monsignor John Broadhurst, representing Monsignor Keith Newton, the Ordinary of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, presided at the Mass of Reception at St Mary's, West Croydon, on the evening of Tuesday, 3rd April 2012.

Mgr John, a former Anglican Bishop, received into full communion with the Catholic Church members of the Croydon Ordinariate Group, led  by Father Donald Minchew, former vicar of St Michael and All Angels with St James, Croydon. He was joined by his assistant priest, Father Ken Berry, and about 40 members from the St Michael's congregation and local parishes.

Fathers Donald and Ken are looking forward to their Ordination to the Priesthood within the Easter season.

The new Catholics were welcomed by Provost Joseph Collins on behalf of the priests and people of the parish. We add our own welcome and will keep them in our prayers.

More photos on the Personal Ordinariate Flickr page



On Palm Sunday, 1st April 2012, Archbishop Peter presided at the
11:30 am Mass at St George's Cathedral.

The Reading of the Passion


More photos of the Palm Sunday Mass on RCSouthwark's Flickr page