News Archive for 2013 - September

St Michael's, Chatham - 150th Anniversary

On Sunday, 29th September 2013, Father Christopher Baker, parish priest, and parishioners of St Michael the Archangel, Chatham, welcomed Archbishop Peter to their parish to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the opening of their church.

Archbishop Peter presided at the evening Mass ... he also planted a tree in the church grounds in remembrance of the past and looking forward with hope to the future.

More photos of the occasion on RCSouthwark's Flickr page


The Friars, Aylesford
Saturday, 28th September 2013

The joyful liturgy was tinged with sadness that Bishop John, Auxiliary Bishop for Kent and the Medway Unitary Authority since 2001, is to retire at the end of this year.

Archbishop Peter presided at the Mass of Thanksgiving and paid tribute to Bishop John's pastoral ministry and his tireless promotion of Marriage and Family life within the diocese and nationally.

Among the concelebrants were Archbishop Emeritus Michael, who ordained Bishop John as Bishop of the Titular See of Beverley in February 2001, Bishop Paul, Bishop Emeritus Howard and priests from around the diocese. Of the deacons that were present, Deacons John Letley and Michael Kennedy assisted at the Mass. Canon Alan McLean directed the choir and orchestra - many of the musicians coming from the Kent area. Knights of St Columba ushered and formed the guard of honour.

There were many parishioners from West Malling in the congregation - Bishop John thanked them for all their help.

The Entrance Procession

Felicity O’Brien, secretary to the Archbishops Emeriti, reads the first reading

Canon Alan McLean with the orchestra and choir

Concelebrating priests

Archbishop Peter introduces Father Paul Mason, whom he has appointed as Episcopal Vicar for Kent and the Medway Unitary Authority on Bishop John's retirement at the end of this year

Archbishop pays tribute to Bishop John

Deacons and concelebrating priests

Bishop John gives the homily

Sister Ann Hine (centre), Bishop John's sister, and Lorna Feltham (right),
Bishop John's secretary, brought the gifts to the altar at the Offertory

The Eucharistic Prayer

President Frank Savage of Province 7 of the Catenian Association paid tribute to Bishop John and gave him a gift

We keep Bishop John in our grateful prayers.

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

Catenian Reflection with more good photos

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


Clergy Appointments and News

Announced September 2013


The Archbishop has made the following appointments:

Father Barry Hughes as Parish Priest of St Michael and All Angels, Farnborough in succession to Father Paul Fennessy

Father Paul Fennessy as Parish Priest of English Martyrs, Strood, in succession to Father William Keogh who is retiring

Father Brendan Carmody SJ as Parochial Administrator of the parish of St Mary of the Crays, Crayford. Father John Ryan MBE has retired as the Parish Priest

Father Habteghiorghis Ukbay Neghasi OFM Cap as Parochial Administrator of the parish of St Simon and St Jude, Streatham Hill, in succession to Father Adrian McKenna-Whyte.


Portrait to hang in the Venerable English College

The Friends of the Venerabile have commissioned a portrait of Mgr Nicholas Hudson, Rector from 2004 until 2013, to hang in the corridors of the Venerable English College.

It was painted by Michael Noakes, whose work has included acclaimed portraits of the Queen and members of the Royal family, Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor.

It was unveiled by Cardinal Cormac, himself a former Rector, at a reunion of the Friends on Saturday, 14th September 2013, in London. The Cardinal paid tribute to Mgr Nicholas' work as Rector.

Mgr Nicholas is spending the rest of the year on sabbatical as chaplain at a L'Arche community in Northern France, before taking up his new appointment as parish priest of the Sacred Heart, Wimbledon, early in the new year.

Report on the CCEW News and Media web site

Michael Noakes' protrait of Archbishop Emeritus Kevin


Seminaries begin the new academic year

St John's Seminary, Wonersh

At the start of the new academic year, the seminaries are welcoming back their students. The fourteen Southwark men already in training for the priesthood are joined by four new students this month:

Gregory Treloar - Gregory used to serve Mass at the Blackfen parish. During a gap year he lived at the Vocations Centre where he helped decorate the chapel and bedrooms. He has started the propaedeutic year at the Royal English College, Valladolid in Spain;

Tomasz Margol - Tomasz came to England from Poland to join his brother and sister who already worked here. He attended Mass in Norbury while working at a care home in Streatham before joining the team at the Vocations Centre. He has started his first year at Wonersh;

Robert Francis Moir - Robert is originally from the West Country. He became a Catholic while living in the Chislehurst West parish. He has  started his first year at Wonersh, having spent the past year at Valladolid;


Keith Sylva - Keith was an Anglican clergyman in Croydon. He has just started a course at Wonersh, specially designed for those who were previously in Anglican ministry.

We thank them and all our seminarians for their generosity is answering God's call and keep them in our prayers.



Please return to our Year of Faith page, where we have started to post details of our Year of Faith events for the Autumn season. Click here or on the link on the right sidebar.


Richard Challoner Mass and Papal Award

On Friday, 20th September 2013, the staff and students of the Richard Challoner School, New Malden, gathered at St George’s Cathedral for their annual Feast Day Mass at which Bishop Paul presided. The concelebrating priests were Bishop Howard, Canon John O’Toole (a former member of staff), Canon Frank O’Sullivan, Canon Tony Charlton, Fr Kevan Hayden and Fr Kurt Barragan (a former pupil). Deacon Tony Flavin assisted at the Mass.

During the Mass, the Challoner Choir performed some wonderful music, including the 'Gloria’ from Dvorak’s 'Mass in D' and ‘Benedictus’ from Karl Jenkins’ 'Armed Men'.

At the end of the Mass, Bishop Paul presented the Bene Merenti to Mr Thomas Cahill, the Headteacher, for his significant contribution to Catholic Education.

Over his 25 plus years at the school, Tom has overseen the successful raising of the reputation of the school, has developed the school’s Catholic ethos and has ensured the significant inclusion of students with special educational needs.

More photos of the presentation on Richard Challoner's web site

(posted 28-09-13)


Vatican Radio interviews Father Paul Mason

Father Paul Mason is the Director of the Ongoing Formation of Priests programme in our diocese and is the Pastoral Coordinator and Formation Advisor at Allen Hall Seminary.

He also works with the Apostleship of the Sea as a cruise chaplain and in this capacity he has been interviewed by Vatican Radio.

Visit the Apostleship of the Sea web site which has a link to this interview


Centenary of the Oratory of St Francis de Sales

The Oratory of St Francis de Sales at Hartley is probably one of the most original Catholic churches in the country. It is a timber and thatched barn, built in the 17th century, which was attached to the neighbouring Middle Farm. It was converted into a church by the owner Miss Beatrice Davies-Cooke in 1913. It is a Grade II listed building.

Father Alex Saba, parish priest, and parishioners celebrated the centenary of their church over the weekend of 20th/21st September 2013.

Bishop John presided at the Vigil Mass on the Saturday ...

... and Archbishop Peter presided at Mass on the Sunday morning after a period of Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.

More photos of the occasion on RCSouthwark's Flickr page


Wandsworth's Schools at Year of Faith Mass

Year 4 of Wandsworth Borough's Primary Schools together with pupils from St John Bosco College gathered with Archbishop Peter at St George's Cathedral on Wednesday, 18th September 2013, to offer a Mass in celebration on the Year of Faith. Local priests concelebrated at the Mass.

Deacon Michael Kennedy reads the Gospel

More photos of the Mass on RCSouthwark's Flickr page

(posted 24-09-13)


International Mass at Sydenham Kirkdale

On Sunday, 15th September 2013, Archbishop Peter joined Father Peter Mansfield, the parochial administrator, and clergy and parishioners at The Church of the Resurrection of Our Lord, Sydenham Kirkdale, to preside at the parish's International Mass.

More photos of the occasion on RCSouthwark's Flickr page

(posted 24-09-13)



Romero Cross Blessed in St George's Cathedral

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On Thursday, 19th September 2013, Archbishop Peter presided at an Ecumenical Service of Prayer with the blessing and dedication of the Romero Cross and Memorial at Saint George's Cathedral.

The Cross was commissioned by The Archbishop Romero Trust in conjunction with the Cathedral and CAFOD. It contains two memorials of Archbishop Romero, who was martyred while celebrating Mass on 24th March 1980 in the chapel of The Divine Providence cancer hospital in San Salvador. The memorials are a piece of the blood-stained alb he was wearing at the time and his skull-cap.

The Cross was designed and painted by the renowned Salvadoran artist, Fernando Llort, who was present at the ceremony along with the Salvadoran Ambassador, HE Werner Matías Romero, Archbishop Romero's brother, Gaspar, and members of the El Salvador and Spanish-speaking communities. Hymns at the service were in English and Spanish.

Bishop John Rawsthorne of Hallam and the Romero Trust, Bishop Alan Hopes of East Anglia, Bishop Richard Moth of the Forces and Bishop Howard, Auxiliary Emeritus in Southwark, attended the service and one of the ecumenical representatives was the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster. who read the Gospel.

Monsignor Ricardo Urioste, 88, who had been Archbishop Romero's Secretary and Vicar General in San Salvador, gave the homily.

The Cross was also dedicated to the memory of Bishop Michael Evans, who died at the age of 59 of cancer in July 2011. Bishop Michael of East Anglia was a Southwark priest, who was much loved as parish priest of Tunbridge Wells, before his elevation to the episcopacy. Bishop Michael was a great admirer of Archbishop Romero and a co-founder of the Romero Trust. Canon John O'Toole, the Cathedral Dean and a friend of Bishop Michael, gave a tribute to him.

After the service, there was a reception in the Amigo Hall, during which the Salvadoran Ambassador said: 'So, with the presence of the Romero cross, this place will truly be a 'pedacito de El Salvador' - a little piece of El Salvador – here in the centre of London.'

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Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster, reads the Gospel

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Mgr Ricardo Urioste gives the homily

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Archbisop Romero's skull-cap

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Archbishop Peter blesses the Cross

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Canon John O'Toole gives his tribute to Bishop Michael Evans

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Archbishop Peter greets Archbishop Romero's brother, Gaspar

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The Salvadoran Ambassador, HE Werner Matías Romero,
speaks at the reception

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Archbishop Peter with the Salvadoran Ambassador, Gaspar Romero and Fernando Llort

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Canon John O'Toole with Fernando Llort

Order of Service (.pdf)

Homily by Mgr Ricardo Urioste (.pdf)

Tribute to Bishop Michael Evans by Canon John O'Toole (.pdf)

Address by HE the Salvadoran Ambassador (.pdf)

Prayer used by Archbishop Oscar Romero

More photos of the occasion on CCEW Flickr page

More photos of the occasion on RCSouthwark's Flickr page


Richmond Borough's New Catholic Secondary School

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On Thursday, 19th September 2013, Archbishop Vincent Nichols and Archbishop Peter jointly blessed and officially opened the St Richard Reynolds Catholic College - the only Catholic Secondary School in the London Borough of Richmond. The College has its own Primary School, which also opened at the beginning of this academic year. Initial intake was 120 enrolled into the High School and 30 in the Primary. When it is operating at full capacity the school will provide places for 1,050 secondary school students and 210 primary school children.

The highlight of the occasion was an open-air Mass at which Archbishop Vincent presided and Archbishop Peter, Archbishop George Stack of Cardiff, Biishop Richard Moth of the Armed Forces, Bishop John Sherrington, Auxiliary in Westminster and local clergy concelebrated with an estimated 1,000 in the congregation.

Although the college is located in the Westminster diocese it has many Southwark parishes in its catchment area - the River Thames flows through the London Borough of Richmond and forms the natural boundary between the dioceses of Southwark and Westminster.

The college is dedicated to Saint Richard Reynolds, one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, who is a local saint. He was a Bridgettine monk of Syon Abbey, the site of which is barely 2½ miles from the college. He was martyred at Tyburn on 4th May 1535 for denying the King's supremacy.

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At his induction by Archbishop Vincent, the Principal, Mr Richard Burke,
was given the keys of the school. He was presented with a Bible by
Fr Bernard Boylan, the Dean of Upper Thames, and a Daily Missal by
Mgr William Saunders, the Dean of Mortlake

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The Archbishops jointly bless the commemorative plaque

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More photos of the occasion on the CCEW Flickr page

More photos of the occasion on RCSouthwark's Flickr page

News on the Diocese of Westminster web site

Short video from the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames

Visit the St Richard Reynolds Catholic College web site


Vatican Radio has announced the blessing of the Romero Cross containing part of the blood-stained alb that Archbishop Oscar Romero was wearing when he was murdered as he celebrated Mass on 24th March 1980.

Archbishop Peter will bless the Cross during an Ecumenical Prayer Service in St George's Cathedral this Thursday, 19th September, at 6:00 pm - all are warmly welcome.

The Vatican Radio report can be seen here. It contains a link to a short interview (5½ minutes) with Canon John O'Toole, the Cathedral Dean.

Or you can also listen to the interview by using the mp3 player below. 

Further details on The Archbishop Romero Trust web site


Bishops and Seminarians - pilgrims at Walsingham

On Saturday, 14th September 2013, the bishops of England and Wales were joined by their seminarians on pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham  in Norfolk (established in 1061), sometimes referred to as 'England's Nazareth'.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster presided at the concelebrated Mass. And later in the day the bishops and seminarians gathered for Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction.

Archbishop Peter was present as was Bishop Richard Moth, Bishop of the Forces.

May Our Lady of Walsingham intercede for our bishops and our seminarians - and for an increase in vocations to the priesthood.

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Text of Archbishop Vincent's homily on CCEW News and Media web site

More photos of the pilgrimage on the CCEW Flickr page

Visit the web site of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham


Bekenham Hill finds cause for celebration

On Saturday, 31st August 2013, Bishop Patrick joined Father Mark Odion MSP, parish priest, and parishioners of The Annunciation and Saint Augustine, Beckenham Hill and Bellingham, to celebrate the 49th anniversary of the opening and consecration of their church.

The Mass was followed by a reception in the church grounds.

And eight days later, on Sunday, 8th September, the parish was celebrating again ... this time their annual International Mass - always a prayerful and joyful occasion.


Cathedral Mass and Vigil for Peace

While Pope Francis led the Prayer Vigil for Peace in Saint Peter's Square, Archbishop Peter offered the Saturday evening Mass on 7th September 2013 at Saint George's Cathedral and gave the homily

After Mass, the Archbishop joined the people to pray for peace before the Blessed Sacrament. The Dean, Canon John O'Toole, presided at the Exposition and Benediction.

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


100,000 at Vigil for Peace in St Peter's Square

On Saturday, 7th September 2013, over 100,000 people joined Pope Francis for the Vigil for Peace in Saint Peter's Square from 7:00 pm until 11:00 pm.

The Pope greeted the crowd and the 'Veni Creator Spiritus' was sung, followed by the Lourdes hymn as four Swiss Guards carried the Icon of Our Lady, Health of the Roman People, from the obelisk in the centre of the square to the sanctuary. The Rosary was prayed with readings from the poetry of St Therese of the Child Jesus.

Pope Francis gave his reflection and the Blessed Sacrament was exposed for adoration. A passage from St John's Gospel was read (20:19-29) in which the risen Jesus appears to his disciples and greets them with the words 'Peace be with you'. After a period of silent prayer and music the Holy Father gave the Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament.

The full text of Pope Francis' homily at the Vigil on Vatican Radio's site


Home Mission Sunday - 15th September 2013

Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton is the Chairman of the Bishops' Conference Department for Evangelization and Catechesis. He calls for Home Mission Sunday to focus on prayer and encouragement for the return of the estimated four million baptised Catholics who have lost contact with the Church.

Please browse the Home Mission page on the CCEW News and Media site, where there are suggestions and resources and the Press Release


Archbishop Peter has emailed parish priests welcoming Pope Francis' initiative and asking that they spread the word about the Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace this Saturday. Please share information about the Day with your family and friends.

The Archbishop will be present at a prayer vigil before the Blessed Sacrament on Saturday evening in the Cathedral following the 6:00 pm Mass and concluding with Benediction at 8:00 pm, united in prayer with Pope Francis and those gathered in St Peter's Square.

He asks that this bidding prayer be used during the Masses over the weekend:

For peace in Syria and throughout the world.
That the prayers of people of faith, may encourage leaders of nations and peoples to abandon warfare and violence, and to turn to peaceful dialogue to resolve differences.

Pax Christi have published some prayers for peace in Syria which can be downloaded here (.pdf)


Pope Francis: Pray for Peace in Syria this Saturday

Speaking before the recitation of the Angelus on Sunday, 1st September 2013, Pope Francis called for a day of prayer and fasting for peace in Syria, the Middle East and throughout the world this Saturday, 7th September.

He also invited 'each person, including our fellow Christians, followers of other religions and all men of good will, to participate, in whatever way they can, in this initiative.'

He condemned the use of chemical weapons: 'With utmost firmness I condemn the use of chemical weapons: I tell you that those terrible images from recent days are burned into my mind and heart. There is a judgment of God and of history upon our actions which are inescapable! Never has the use of violence brought peace in its wake. War begets war, violence begets violence.'

Pope Francis, who opposes armed intervention in Syria, asked for 'a peace based on dialogue and negotiation, for the good of the entire Syrian people.'

He added: 'I repeat forcefully: it is neither a culture of confrontation nor a culture of conflict which builds harmony within and between peoples, but rather a culture of encounter and a culture of dialogue; this is the only way to peace.'

Full text of Pope Francis' Angelus appeal for peace on Vatican Radio's web site


Bishop Patrick offers Mass at St Matthew Academy

On Wednesday, 4th September 2013, Bishop Patrick offered Mass at Saint Matthew Academy, Belmont Hill, for Year 7 and their parents on the first day of their academic year.

Bishop Patrick is photographed after the Mass with some of the Year 7 pupils below.


Visit St Matthew Academy web site


Archbishop Oscar Romero Cross and Memorial

Archbishop Peter will preside at a Service of Prayer and Dedication at St George’s Cathedral, on Thursday, 19th September 2013, at 6:00 pm.

During this ecumenical celebration he will bless the new memorial Cross in honour of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador who was ‘a voice for the voiceless’ and who was assassinated while celebrating Mass on 24th March 1980.

The Cross and the associated Romero Space will be dedicated to the memory of the late Bishop Michael Evans who was a priest of this diocese. His ministry as Bishop of East Anglia was inspired by the example of Archbishop Romero who was a role model for him.

All are very warmly invited to this celebration. Light refreshments will be served afterwards in the Amigo Hall.

Further details on the Archbishop Romero Trust web site