News Archive for 2012 - February


Dover Deanery honours local martyr

Blessed Roger ilcock was born in Sandwich, now in the Dover Deanery. He studied for the priesthood at Rheims and Valladolid and was ordained in 1597. He was arrested in 1600, condemned for being a priest and hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn on 27th February 1601.

On Monday, 27th February 2012, the 411th anniversary of his martyrdom, a coach left the Dover Deanery with pilgrims from Sandwich, Deal, Dover, Folkestone and Hythe to travel to Tyburn Convent, close to the site of the Tyburn gallows where 105 Catholic martyrs lost their lives. Bishop John was the principal celebrant at Mass there; he was also celebrating the eleventh anniversary of his episcopal ordination. After Mass, the Benedictine sisters gave an informative talk about the English Martyrs.

Accompanying the pilgrims were Fr Christopher Lindlar, Fr Samuel Medley SOLT, Deacon Ray Partridge and Deacon Gerald Watkins.

Visit the Tyburn Convent web site


Archbishop Peter visits Sacred Heart Parish, Battersea

On Sunday, 26th February 2012, Archbishop Peter made his first official visit to the Sacred Heart Parish, Battersea West. He was welcomed by Father Christopher Heaps SDB, the parish priest, Deacon Michael Kennedy and the parishioners who attended the morning Masses at which he presided and preached.

Among the concelebrants were Father Martin Coyle SDB, the Salesian Provincial in Great Britain, Father Albert Carette SDB, who was parish priest in Battersea (1972 - 1987), and members of the Salesian community in Battersea.

During his visit, Archbishop Peter re-dedicated the newly restored and re-positioned Baptismal font and blessed and dedicated the new Reconciliation room. He also blessed and opened the new Parish Centre.

The new Reconciliation room

The Archbishop was able to meet the parishioners after Mass and enjoy with them their new parish buildings.

Full report with added photos


Archbishop Peter presided at the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion at St George's Cathedral on Saturday, 25th February 2012.

At this joyful celebration, the Archbishop welcomed 518 people who will be baptised or received into full communion with the Church this Easter. They were joined by their godparents and sponsors and together filled the Cathedral, which was specially decorated for the occasion.

The Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion is a highlight of the Church's year and was attended by Bishop John, Bishop Paul and Mgr Matthew Dickens, the Vicar General and Chancellor.

Those for whom this was a significant moment in their journey of faith included 250 Catechumens, 231 Candidates and 37 people from the Ordinariate groups at Croydon and Maidstone.

Signing the Book of the Elect

A page of photos of the Rite (more photos added 01-03-12)


Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Canon Richard Quinlan KHS

who died on 23rd February 2012

A Vigil Mass will be offered
at Our Lady of Pity and St Simon Stock
Hazlewell Road, SW15 6LU
on Monday, 12th March 2012, at 7:30 pm.

His Funeral Mass will be offered there
on Tuesday, 13th March 2012, at 12 noon.

May he rest in peace


Outreach to those who no longer attend church



A resource day for parishes


Saturday, 3rd March 2012
10:00 am - 4:30 pm


Christian Education Centre
4 Southgate Drive
West Sussex RH10 6RP

Please book by emailing
or telephoning 0207 901 4818

Archbishop Peter writes: 'One of the key points of what Pope John II described as the ‘new evangelization’, also promoted by Pope Benedict, is the call to reach out to baptised Catholics who have no or little contact with parish life. There are very few Catholic families that are not affected by this reality, which can be a source of great anxiety and sorrow for parents and grandparents.

The “Crossing the Threshold” tour aims to give inspiration to people working in the area of ‘resting’ Catholics, and to point out practical resources. I would encourage you to join me in Crawley on 3rd March so that, supported by leaders in this area of ministry, we can share ideas and discern the way forward. I hope that every parish and religious house will accept this invitation and send a representative to the day.'

Please download the poster and visit the links on our Future Events page


Prison Advice and Care Trust Adopts New Logo

Pact, the Prison Advice and Care Trust, has put the cross at the heart of its fresh new logo. Designed by Marcus Carrigan, a parishioner at St Osmund's in Barnes, the logo aims to visibly highlight the charity’s Catholic roots. In addition, the new strapline for Pact - Prisoners Families Communities - A Fresh Start Together has been designed by the charity’s staff and volunteers and reflects the core of Pact’s work.

 Pact was founded in 1898 as the Catholic Prisoners Aid Society, and was renamed in the 1970s as the Bourne Trust. The charity works in prisons across the country, supporting ex-offenders through its Basic Caring Communities programme, and supporting prisoners’ children and families.

Visit Pact's web site


Archbishop Peter has written a Pastoral Letter in preparation for the Season of Lent, which was read in our parishes today, Sunday, 19th February 2012.

He writes: 'We cannot transform and change our lives for the better without God's help, and if we think we can, then we are deluding ourselves. And we need good friends to accompany us on out journey of faith, and encourage us to seek God's help. We are all in some way or another subject to incapacity, whether through sin and selfishness, or simply human weakness and fragility. If our lives are to be transformed and renewed, then we need the grace of the Holy Spirit and the support and encouragement of each other.'

When we find it difficult to be faithful to Jesus, or to live out our faith with consistency or to the full, the Archbishop encourages us not to hide away or keep our faith in God behind closed doors: 'The solution is to open our hearts to the love and compassion of the living God and ask him to help us to grow in holiness, to grow in union with him and each other. In that communion of life and love, we can then strive to live out our faith with courage and commitment, whatever the cost.'

He concludes: 'If I am realistic, I know I have so little to give him, yet in my heart of hearts, I also know and believe that the little I have, he can, and will, multiply in abundance.'

Full text of the Archbishop's Pastoral Letter (.pdf available)


Walk with Me - A Lenten Journey of Prayer

Many have valued previous editions of the 'Walk with Me' booklets of daily meditations for Advent and Lent.

The Southwark edition for this Lent has been published and is available in our parishes. It focuses on the theme of 'renewing the grace of our Baptism'.

In his introduction Archbishop Peter writes:
'Our faith is not merely giving an intellectual assent to the truths expressed in the Creed. Our faith, if it is to be authentic, must also be a living out of the implications of those Gospel truths. That means putting God at the centre of our lives, rather than ourselves and our desires.'


Mass for Scouts celebrated by Bishop Richard

© Mazur/

Bishop Richard (the Bishop for Scouting) offered Mass for the National Catholic Scout Federation in St George's Cathedral on Sunday, 12th February 2012.

© Mazur/

In his homily he spoke of St Damian of Molokai - the 'Leper Priest' - as an example of service to others. He said: 'Service is uncomplicated - it is the giving of ourselves for others. We may do this in different ways, but the one thing we must do is use our gifts and every one of us is called to do this. Don’t leave it to someone else!'

© Mazur/

Bishop Richard presented three girls with their certificates for completing the Baden-Powell Challenge.

© Mazur/

More photos and the text of Bishop Richard's homily on the CCEW Flickr page

News bulletin on the CCEW News and Media site


Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of
Familiaris Consortio

On Saturday, 11th February 2012, an event to celebrate thirty years of the document 'Familiaris Consortio' - the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope John Paul II on the role of the Christian Family - was held in the Amigo Hall. It was organised by the South East Region of Familias (the dioceses of East Anglia, Brentwood, Westminster, Southwark and Arundel and Brighton).

At the start of the afternoon nearly 100 people were gathered: married couples, young people, religious sisters, deacons, priests and bishops. The day began with an Introductory Session of three speakers: Archbishop Peter, Bishop John and Edmund Adamus.

Father Graham Preston, Marriage and Family Life Co-ordinator for Southwark, leads prayers to begin the afternoon and describes the event

Archbishop Peter speaks at the introductory session

Bishop John speaks at the introductory session. Bishop John is
Chair of the Bishops’ Committee for Marriage and Family Life

Edmund Adamus (Director for Pastoral Affairs, Diocese of Westminster) was the final speaker at the introductory session

This was followed by seven workshops, and each attendee had the opportunity to take part in two of them. The day ended with a plenary session.

More photos of the event on RCSouthwark's Flickr page

Visit the Familias web site

Download 'Familiaris Consortio' (.pdf 46 pages)


Celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

A dawn Mass on the feast for Irish pilgrims

On Saturday, 11th February 2012, thousands of Lourdes pilgrims braved the sub-zero temperature to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and the World Day of Prayer for the Sick. The day marks the anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady to St Bernadette in 1858.

Among the pilgrims were Monsignor William Saunders, who is Director of the Catholic Association, and Deacon Michael Kennedy, the Director of our Southwark Lourdes Pilgrimage. They were in Lourdes, together with other pilgrimage directors, to finalise details of this years' pilgrimages.

Bishop Jacques Perrier of Tarbes and Lourdes was principal celebrant at the International Mass in the St Pius X Basilica.

After the Mass, the Bishop prayed the Angelus at the Grotto.

It was then announced that the Holy Father had accepted the resignation of Bishop Jacques, who has reached the retirement age, and appointed Bishop Nicolas Brouwet, Auxiliary Bishop of Nanterre, as the new Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes. He will be received as Bishop in the St Pius X Basilica during Mass on Sunday, March 25, 2012.

Details of the Southwark Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes (24th - 31st August), which will be led by Bishop John, will be published shortly.

The Holy Father's message for the World Day of Prayer for the Sick


Saint John's Day at the Seminary

On Tuesday, 7th February 2012, the Seminary at Wonersh held its annual celebration in honour of its patron, Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist. Bishop John was the principal celebrant at the Mass at which Archbishop Peter and other bishops and priests concelebrated.

Bishop John reverences the altar at the beginning of the Mass

Some of the concelebrants


Archbishop's visit to Mongeham

Archbishop Peter outside the snow-capped church of St John

On a snowy Sunday, 5th February 2012, Archbishop Peter paid a visit at short notice to the Church of St John in the parish of Mongeham and Sandwich. The weather conditions unfortunately kept many away.

He attended the Ordinariate Mass at which Fr Christopher Lindlar presided.

Fr Christopher Lindlar of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham (priest in charge of Mongeham and Sandwich Parish), Archbishop Peter, and Deacon Gerald Watkins

Archbishop Peter offered the Parish Mass at St John's after which
Fr Christopher thanked him for his visit.

More photos of the visit of RCSouthwark's Flickr page


Bishop Patrick at St Peter's, Woolwich

Bishop Patrick visited Saint Peter the Apostle, Woolwich, twice within the course of a week.

On Friday, 3rd February 2012, he anticipated the World Day of Prayer for the Sick (11th February) by leading a Healing Service. In spite of bitterly cold weather, more than 500 attended the lunch-time Mass.

At St Peter's there is a special day for the Sick every First Friday of the month from 10:30 am until 4:00 pm. The day includes devotions, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, during which several priests hear confessions, and Mass for the Sick followed by Anointing of the Sick.
Between 500 and 600 people attend.

Bishop Patrick returned to the parish on Tuesday, 7th February, to lead a day in support of our overseas priests. Father Paul Mason, the Director of Ongoing Formation of Priests, also spoke during the day. Twenty-two priests attended.


Diocesan Disability Advisor to establish Consultancy

The Centre for Catholic Formation (formerly the Christian Education Centre) considers the inclusion of people with disabilities in the life of the Church to be an important element of its mission.

For the past twelve years Cristina Gangemi has been the advisor and co-ordinator for this diocesan outreach, promoting ways in which those with disabilities can be fully included within our communities and their gifts recognised and valued.

Cristina's aim has been to develop a culture of inclusion in every parish and every school in the diocese. Her other duties have included providing consultation to other dioceses and faith communities.

Cristina is to leave the Centre for Catholic Formation at the end of February to establish a consultancy - The Kairos Forum - with Prof John Swinton. She explains: 'Kairos is a Greek word which means 'A moment in time when all elements are in place for action to occur'. This is indeed a suitable name for this moment in time where the prophetic voice of disabled people can bring about transformative action in our communities.'

Her new role will allow her to use the experience she gained at the CCF to benefit others in many new places: religious communities, families and secular organisations. It will still be possible for any parish to continue to access her services through The Kairos Forum.

We thank her for her work in the diocese and wish her well in her new venture.

A short article by Cristina Gangemi (.doc)



Focus on Pastoral Care for Mental Health

This weekend (3rd - 4th February
2012), Bishop Richard Moth, lead bishop for the Mental Health Project of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, will address a conference at Hinsley Hall, Leeds, on Exploring Pastoral Support for Mental Health.

He will point to the pressures that will lead 1 in 4 to suffer a mental health problem at some stage in life, and ask delegates to: 'make Solomon’s prayer our own, asking for wise discernment as we strive to raise awareness [about mental health] in our dioceses, parishes and schools'.

The aim of the Mental Health Project is that: 'all our communities may truly become places of welcome and healing where every person can find the support and understanding they need, recognise the dignity that is theirs and find the joy of life lived to the full'.

Report on the CCEW News and Media web site

Visit the Mental Health Project web site

Update (06-02-12): Photos of the Conference on the CCEW Flickr page

Bishop Richard's homily at the Conference (.pdf)