News Archive for 2013 - January

Archbishop Peter visits St Stephen's, Welling






On Sunday, 27th January 2013, Archbishop Peter visited the parish of St Stephen, Welling.

He presided at the 10:00 am Mass during which he blessed a new icon.

After a reception in the parish hall, the Archbishop spoke to the congregation at the end of the 11:30 am Mass

More photos of the visit on RCSouthwark's Flickr page 

(posted 08-02-13)


Missionary Society of Saint Paul
gathers at St George's Cathedral

Mission Superior, Fr Eustace Durugbo MSP, Archbishop Peter
and Mgr Brian Udaigwe (First Counsellor, Apostolic Nunciature)

On the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul, Friday, 25th January 2013, Missionaries of Saint Paul from eight dioceses in the UK joined Archbishop Peter for Mass in Saint George's Cathedral.

Father Eustace Durugbo MSP, the UK Mission Superior and Monsignor Brian Udaigwe, First Counsellor at the Apostolic Nunciature were among the concelebrants.

More photos of the Mass on RCSouthwark's Flickr page

Visit the MSP UK Mission web site 

(posted 08-02-13)


Archbishop Peter visits St Thomas the Apostle College

Archbishop Peter visited St Thomas the Apostle College, Nunhead, on Tuesday, 22nd January 2013, where he presided at Mass and blessed new and refurbished facilities including the Reception Area, Sports Hall and Classrooms.

He also blessed the new crucifixes which are to hang in the classrooms.

Archbishop Peter blesses the reception area

Reception in the hall

More photos of the occasion on RCSouthwark's Flickr page

Visit St Thomas the Apostle College web site 

(posted 08-02-13)


Holy Family Sisters leave Tooting after over a century

On Sunday, 20th January 2013, Archbishop Peter presided at a Mass of Thanksgiving in Saint Boniface Church, Tooting, for over a century's presence of the Holy Family Sisters in the parish.

The Sisters, who have been in the parish since 1904, have sadly had to close their convent there.


The Sisters have given a statue of Saint Emily de Rodat, their foundress, to the parish, which was installed at the end of the Mass.

Sister Irena Madej, Provincial of the Holy Family Sisters, with the
statue of St Emily de Rodat

More photos of the occasion on RCSouthwark's Flickr page

(posted 08-02-13)


Update 05-02-13:

Comment on the Second Reading
of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill

from Archbishop Peter Smith

"The Catholic Church continues to support marriage understood by society for centuries as the significant and unique lifelong commitment between a man and a woman for their mutual well-being and open to the procreation and education of children.

"Marriage is rooted in the complementarity of man and woman. For these reasons the Church opposes the Government's Bill to re-define marriage. Despite claims by supporters of the Bill that the central issue is one of equality, the Bill actually seeks to re-define marriage and will have consequences for society at large.

"It became clear during today's debate in the House of Commons that the government has not thought through a number of profound problems in the Bill raised by members of Parliament during the debate. It will be extremely important that the many concerns we and others have expressed will be fully and carefully considered during the next stages of the Bill's passage through Parliament."

Archbishop Peter's comment on the CCEW News and Media site

Update 29-01-13: The Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales has sent an in-depth briefing to Members of Parliament which serves as a useful explanation of the key issues relating to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill.

Information on the CCEW News and Media site with a link to the full document 

Link to original coverage


Lenten Journey of Prayer

The Southwark edition of 'Walk with Me', a journey of prayer for Lent, is now available in our parishes.

In his foreword, Archbishop Peter writes: 'As we open our hearts to allow the Holy Spirit to deepen our faith we open ourselves more fully to living out a life inspired by divine love; and as we imitate the love Jesus has for the whole human race, we gain a greater capacity to receive the gift of Faith. This circular motion leads us even closer to God who is love. As St Paul reminds us, 'So faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love' (I Cor. 13:13).'

A valuable resource for our journey of prayer through Lent.


Another Deacon on the path to Priesthood

The Bishop's Instruction

On Saturday, 26th January 2013, in the Lady Chapel of St George's Cathedral, Bishop Paul ordained Stephen Haines to the diaconate.

The Prayer of Consecration

Deacon Stephen with Bishop Paul and Canon John O'Toole

Deacon Stephen hopes to be ordained to the priesthood in the Summer. He is one of five deacons who are on the path to the priesthood: the others are Deacon Leonard Tatt (Pontifical Beda College), Deacon Samuel Davey, Deacon Valentin Erhahon and Deacon Thomas Lynch.

We keep them and all our seminarians in our prayers.

More photos of Deacon Stephen's ordination on RCSouthwark's Flickr page


Speak Out for Marriage

Archbishop Peter has met with sixty representatives from thirty-five British Catholic lay organisations concerned about the government's proposals to re-define marriage with its Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, published today and due to receive its Second Reading on Tuesday, 5th February.

He said that the Catholic bishops had met with the government over the past few months and although Ministers were committed to a 'quadruple lock' package to protect religious freedom, they admitted that they were not sure that these safeguards would stand up in court.

Furthermore the proposals were a threat to Catholic schools since Catholic teachers would be required to teach about same-sex marriage in the same terms as regular marriage.

Those attending the meeting, held under the auspices of the Catholic Union of Great Britain, were encouraged to support the bishops' campaign for sending post-cards opposing the re-definition of marriage to Members of Parliament.

Archbishop Peter's strong encouragement for this Campaign

A million of these post-cards have been sent to parishes throughout England and Wales. Archbishop Peter has requested that these be handed to parishioners as they leave Mass. He has stressed that 'It is vitally important that as many as possible send the postcards to their MPs.' Any surplus cards could be taken for friends and neighbours.

Please click on the image above for a .pdf of the card

The post-card asks Members of Parliament to vote against the Bill:

· Marriage between a man and a woman is the foundation of the family and provides the best circumstances in which to raise the next generation.
· This is why society has recognised marriage as having an identity distinct from any other relationship, however much love or commitment may be involved; marriage is about the common good.
· No mainstream political party promised such a radical change in its last election manifesto. There is therefore no mandate for it.

Coverage on the CCEW News and Media web site

Update 25-01-13 Archbishop Peter's comment on the introduction of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill


Update 30-01-13: Photos of the Ordination to the Diaconate of Samuel Davey and Thomas Lynch on 15th December 2012 on a linked page

Please click on the image


Our first new Priests of 2013

Archbishop Peter with Father Nicolas Von Malaisé (left) and
Father Stuart Meyer after the Ordination Mass

On Saturday, 19th January 2013, at St George's Cathedral, Archbishop Peter ordained to the priesthood two former Anglican clergymen, who became Catholics in the wake of Pope Benedict XVI's visit in September 2010. Father Nicolas Von Malaisé and Father Stuart Meyer have since been preparing for the priesthood at St John's Seminary, Wonersh.

For much of his career as an Anglican, Stuart was a hospital chaplain. His recent pastoral experience has been at St Anthony's, Anerley. After a spell as a school chaplain, Nicolas became vicar of an Anglican parish in an Islamic part of Birmingham. Since moving to the diocese, Nicolas has had pastoral experience working at St Joseph's, New Malden and Our Lady Immaculate, Tolworth.

Archbishop Peter with Deacons Samuel Davey and Thomas Lynch

Prostration during the Litany

The Laying-on of hands

The Anointing with Chrism

Presentation of the Bread and Wine

A few words from the Archbishop before the final blessing ...

The Archbishop receives the First Blessing from the new priests

We wish Father Nicolas and Father Stuart every blessing and happiness throughout their ministry in our diocese and keep them in our prayers.

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

(posted 26-01-13)


In January 2013, the Centre for Catholic Formation, the agency responsible for Catechesis and Adult Formation in the Archdiocese of Southwark, launched the ‘School of Faith’ study seminars on the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Held every Wednesday evening at the CCF, the evening includes a keynote study seminar given by visiting speakers who are leading experts in the area of catechetical study.

Now in its second week of the twelve week course, the ‘School of Faith’ has been a tremendous success with over 120 people attending the study seminar on 16th January, entitled ‘Man’s capacity for God’ given by Fr. Kevin Hale, from the Diocese of Brentwood.

Each week, participants come together from all over the Archdiocese and beyond, to hear insightful and inspiring lectures, to discuss and study the magisterium, and to pray for the mission of the Church in the spirit of ‘The New Evangelization’ in this ‘Year of Faith’.

Liam Connolly, from the Centre for Catholic Formation, described the reasoning behind this new study course. “The ‘School of Faith’ is a direct response to our Holy Father’s request for further in depth catechesis and adult formation, to better equip the lay faithful to fully engage in the New Evangelization. The positive response to this course illustrates beautifully the hunger so many people have for wholesome formation, and the thirst we all have which can only be satisfied by a greater understanding and appreciation for the teaching of the Church which is given to us in Sacred Scripture and Apostolic Tradition, and so comprehensively presented to us in the Catechism.”

The ‘School of Faith’ continues next Wednesday, 23rd January 2013, at 7:30 pm with Bishop Philip Egan, Bishop of Portsmouth.

Future speakers include: Archbishop Peter Smith, Bishop John Sherrington, Mgr. Keith Newton, Canon John Redford, Fr. Stephen Wang, Fr. Timothy Finigan, Fr. David Gibbons, Dr. Caroline Farey, and Sr. Judith Russi.

If you would like to register for the School of Faith or for more information, please contact the CCF or visit

Full text of Fr Kevin Hale's lecture (.pdf)

Download School of Faith Seminar Schedule (.pdf)


Update: Liturgy Music Planner -
updated to January - April 2013

Please click on the image or the link on the left sidebar


Update: Photos of Valentin Erhahon's
Ordination to the Diaconate on a linked page.
Please click on the image 


Update: Photos of the visit of Don Bosco's Relics
to HM Young Offenders' Institute, Feltham
on a linked page.

Please click on the image


A fond and grateful farewell ...

On Tuesday, 15th January 2013, the relics of Saint John Bosco were received at The Sacred Heart, Battersea West, a parish with a long association with the Salesians of Don Bosco.

The visit gave the chance for the Pilgrimage Team to express their joy and gratitude at the end of a hectic fortnight which brought blessings and happiness to thousands throughout Great Britain.

The Pilgrimage Team with the CYMFED candle

The Prayer around the Relics was joined by Archbishop Peter and Bishop Howard together with Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham, Bishop Philip Pargeter, Emeritus Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham, and Monsignor Keith Newton, Ordinary of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

A prayerful farewell around the relics led by Father Martin Coyle SDB,  Provincial of the Salesians in the UK

Archbishop Peter and Father Philip Glandfield

Bishop Howard

Deacon Michael Kennedy

More photos of the relics at Battersea on SalesianLink Flickr page

More photos of the relics at Battersea on CCEW Flickr page (final photos of the series)


Final Day of Pilgrimage of Don Bosco's Relics

Bishop Patrick with Deacon Michael Kennedy

Tuesday, 14th January 2013, was the final day of the twelve-day pilgrimage of the relics of Saint John Bosco in Great Britain.

Thousands of pilgrims came to pray before his relics in Scotland, England and Wales and on this final day Bishop Patrick celebrated Mass at St George's Cathedral, especially for the young people and children from Salesian Schools in the South of England.

Students view the display in the Cathedral

Prayer around the relics

Don Bosco's relics leave St George's Cathedral

More photos of the final day on the SalesianLink Flickr page


Relics of St John Bosco welcomed at the Cathedral

The relics of St John Bosco arrive at St George's Cathedral

On Sunday, 13th January 2013, the relics of St John Bosco were welcomed at St George's Cathedral by Canon John O'Toole, Cathedral Dean, and a crowd or mainly young pilgrims.

The casket had travelled from Westminster Cathedral by way of Feltham Young Offenders' Institute, where Mass had been offered. Fitting for the saint who has become known as 'the apostle of youth'.

Photos of Don Bosco's Relics at Feltham (uploaded 16-01-13)

Pilgrims file past the casket

Deacons Thomas Lynch and Samuel Davey with a group of young people

Archbishop Peter offered Mass for the pilgrims at 6:00 pm.

Archbishop Peter incenses the relics at the beginning of Mass

Archbishop Peter with Deacon Michael Kennedy

Father Martin Coyle SDB, Provincial of the Salesians in the UK

Many more photos on RCSouthwark's Flickr page

And many more photos on the CCEW Flickr page

Report on londonse1 community website


Another Deacon on the road to Priesthood

On Saturday, 12th January 2013, st St Joseph's, Bromley, Bishop Patrick ordained Valentin Erhahon to the Diaconate.

Deacon Valentin, pictured above after his ordination, was joined by friends from all over the world for the occasion. He will serve his Pastoral Diaconate at St Saviour's, Lewisham, and hopes to be ordained to the Priesthood in the Summer.

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

Linked page of photos uploaded 16-01-13


Church enriched by Migrants' Faith

In a message to mark the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, celebrated on Sunday, 13th January 2013, Bishop Patrick, lead bishop for migrants, said that 'The Catholic Church here in England and Wales is being continually enriched by the vibrant faith of immigrants from all over the world.'

'Our Church and our faith is being enriched by immigrants from all over the world:

  • by the joyful sense of celebration of our sisters and brothers from Africa,
  • by the deep sense of prayer and contemplation of our sisters and brothers from Asia,
  • by the strong devotion to Our Lady of our sisters and brothers from Latin America,
  • and by sense of dedication and steadfastness of our sisters and brothers from Eastern Europe.

We thank you for the ways you strengthen our faith and enrich our Church.'

Full text of Bishop Patrick's message


Induction of Parish Priest at Plumsted Common

The Profession of Faith

Bishop Patrick leads Father Steven to the presidential chair

On the evening of Friday, 11th January 2013, Bishop Patrick incucted Father Steven Fisher as Parish Priest of The Holy Cross, Plumstead Common.

Fr Richard Plunkett, Fr Jim Kirby, Fr Steven Fisher,
Fr Lloyd Shanthikumar IVD and Fr Michael Branch

The Choir of SS Ethelbert and Gertrude, Ramsgate and Minster,
(George Downar, director of music) with Bishop Patrick and Fr Steven

More photos of the Induction on The Holy Cross Flickr page


Sister Chiara publishes her autobiography

Sister Chiara Hatton Hall has had a long and close association with the Southwark diocese. As a Franciscan Missionary of the Divine Motherhood, she was a member of the communities at the FMDM's former convents in Clapham and Balham
and is a Judge at the Interdiocesan Tribunal of Second Instance of Southwark.

She has now published her autobiography - The Galloping Nun.

Her story is that of a socialite who became a Franciscan nun. Born into the Anglo-Irish aristocracy, presented at court and married to an army officer, Chiara set up a riding school for the international social elite. Her students included the young Princess Royal, Princess Anne.

At the age of 42, after the death of her husband, Chiara found her vocation as a religious. At the suggestion of an imaginative superior, she took up the reins again - this time to work for Riding for the Disabled, travelling the world to teach riding instructors how to bring confidence, self-respect and joy to mentally and physically handicapped adults and children. Now in her 80th year, Sister Chiara looks back on a life of dramatic contrasts that were ultimately reconciled by embracing the spirit of Saint Francis.

The Galloping Nun - available from Amazon


Salvatorians leave The Precious Blood, Borough

After caring for the parish of the Precious Blood, Borough, for three decades, the Salvatorian community has left and Archbishop Peter has entrusted the parish to the care of Fr Christopher Pearson of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Last Sunday, 6th January 2013, Father Richard Mway Zeng SDS offered  Mass which marked the end of the Salvatorians' association with the parish and his own tenure as parish priest. The Mass was followed by a farewell reception.

Father Christopher Pearson has led the Ordinariate group in South London, which has worshipped at the Church of the Precious Blood for almost a year.

Monsignor Keith Newton, Ordinary of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, will preside and give the homily at the 11:00 am Mass in the parish next Sunday, 13th January 2013.

Happily the Salvatorians are to remain in the diocese as Father Richard Mway Zeng has been appointed as parish priest of St Patrick's, Plumstead. He continues to be assisted in his ministry by Brother Paul Harris SDS.

Visit the new website of the Parish of the Precious Blood


Cathedral to host the relics of Saint John Bosco


The relics of Saint John Bosco have arrived in Great Britain as part of a world-wide pilgrimage leading up to the 200th Anniversary in 2015 of the saint's birth.

The saint's relics will be hosted at St George's Cathedral, Southwark, from Sunday, 13th January 2013, until Monday, 14th.

The programme for these days will be:

Sunday, 13th:     Reception of the relics at 3:30 pm
                         Mass celebrated by Archbishop Peter at 6:00 pm

Monday, 14th:     Opportunity to pray before the relics:
                          8:00 am - 12 noon and 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
The 12:30 pm Mass on Monday will be mainly for the Salesian Schools in the South of England.

The relics of Don Bosco - the bones and tissues of the right hand and
arm - have been placed within a wax replica of St John Bosco's body, which is enclosed in a casket.

Saint John Bosco is the founder of the Salesian Order and our best wishes and prayers are offered to the Salesian priests at Battersea West, to the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (Salesian Sisters) at Battersea West and Rotherhithe and to the staff and pupils of St John Bosco College at Wimbledon Common.

Visit the web site dedicated to the pilgrimage of Don Bosco's relics


New Vocations Centre to host Seminars
for Religious Congregations

On Tuesday, 15th January 2013, our new Vocations Centre in Whitstable will host the first of four day seminars designed to share contemporary developments in Vocations Ministry with members of Religious Congregations interested in promoting vocations to the consecrated life.

Father Christopher Jamison, OSB, Director of the National Office for Vocation, will be a guest speaker.

In recent years the Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors, which is chaired by Father Stephen Langridge, has developed a privileged understanding of the nature of Vocations Ministry today. Where it has been possible to translate this into action, those working in this ministry have seen a remarkable increase in the numbers of young men coming forward to consider the priesthood.

In many ways these insights are also applicable to religious vocations and the seminars seek to share them with men and women religious. It is hoped that together it will be possible to promote more effectively an awareness of the vocational dimension of Christian life in all their different apostolic activities with young people.

 The topics covered will be:

1 - From Recruitment to Discernment: Developing Models of Vocations     Ministry;
2 - The New Evangelization: Opportunities and Challenges;
3 - The Heart of the Matter: Discipleship Discerns Vocation;
4 - Taking Things Forward: From Vision to Action.

The seminar costs £50 per session or £150 for those who book all four sessions. Booking forms are available from the Vocations Office - email