News Archive for 2014 - March

Pope appoints Mgr Nicholas Hudson
as new Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster

It has been announced in Rome today
(31st March) that the Holy Father has appointed Mgr Nicholas Hudson as an Auxiliary Bishop in Westminster, Titular Bishop of Saint Germans. The Bishop-Elect is currently Parish Priest of the Sacred Heart Parish, Wimbledon, having taken up the appointment in January, following on from his post as Rector of the Venerable English College, Rome.

Mgr Nicholas Hudson’s episcopal ordination will take place in Westminster Cathedral at 11am on Wednesday 4th June.

Archbishop Peter was very pleased when he heard news of the appointment and said:
"On behalf of the Bishops, clergy, religious and laity in the Archdiocese of Southwark, I offer my hearty congratulations to Mgr. Nicholas Hudson on his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop in Westminster.

I am very sorry that we will be losing him from Southwark but I know that Westminster will be very fortunate to have a new Auxiliary Bishop with a wide experience of dedicated priestly ministry over the past 28 years; in Canterbury Parish, at the Diocesan Christian Education Centre and as Vice Rector and Rector of the Venerable English College in Rome from 2000 until 2013. He will be missed especially by the parishioners of the Sacred Heart parish, Wimbledon, his home parish, to which he was appointed parish priest only this January. However, Southwark’s loss is Westminster’s gain - and will be very blessed to have him as one of their Auxiliary Bishops.

(Archbishop Peter with Mgr Nicholas)

I assure Mgr. Nicholas of our prayers and good wishes as he prepares to take up his Episcopal appointment in Westminster in the near future."

Mgr Nicholas Hudson said:
“I feel both honoured and humbled to have been appointed by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, as Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster. I will do everything in my capacity to serve and assist His Eminence Cardinal Nichols in his ministry as Pastor of the Diocese.
“Coming from the south side of the Thames, I have always felt at home in both Westminster and Southwark. I look forward now to getting to know the Diocese of Westminster very much better: the great number of clergy, laity, religious, parishes, schools, and colleges; the many people of other Christian denominations and of other faith traditions – and help them in our shared journey of faith.
“It is exciting to be a Catholic in this second year of the pontificate of Pope Francis.  I pray that I might emulate the Holy Father’s radical simplicity and outreach to those on the margins of society and of the Church.  Of all the many gifts received as a priest of Southwark most precious has been the privilege of knowing people with severe disabilities, who call us to make a place always for the poor at the heart of the Church. 
“As I prepare to cross the river, my heart is full of gratitude to my home diocese, not least the Parish of the Sacred Heart, Wimbledon, where I first received the Faith.  It has been a joy to serve there since January as parish priest: I am only sorry I cannot not stay there longer.  I thank my family; thank the priests and people of the parish where I was first a priest, in Canterbury; thank all those with whom I worked in the field of R.E. and Catechesis at the Southwark Christian Education Centre.  I would wish to thank as well the staff and students of the Venerable English College: years of helping to form future priests in Rome rekindled within me that sense of mission with which I first offered myself for the priesthood some twenty-seven years ago, a mission which I feel privileged now to share with the people and clergy of Westminster.”

In the Sacristy after Mass
Photograph after Mgr Nicholas' Induction Mass at Wimbledon
(left to right) Bishop Elect Nicholas, with Fr Dermott Preston SJ(Jesuit Provincial), Archbishop Peter Smith, Bishop John Arnold (Auxiliary in Westminster), Bishop Howard Tripp (Retired Southwark Auxiliary)

Recent News added to the website:

Below you will find several new items of recent news from over the last few weeks:
Presentation of Awards in Morden Parish
Opening of new Retreat Centre in Ramsgate
"Mark Cross" Reunion
New Deacon for Aylesford Carmelite Community
Induction of New Parish Priest at Tenterden

Please pray for our regular "Web Technician" who has been very seriously ill in hospital. Has improved slightly, but is still in hospital.
Mary and The Website Team

Induction of New Parish Priest at Tenterden

Archbishop Peter celebrated Mass in Parish of St Andrew, Tenterden, and inducted the new Parish Priest. Inductions are not unusual in the diocese, however this particular induction was a first for the Archbishop: the first time he had inducted a Bishop as a parish priest - Bishop John Hine.

140323 - Mass and Induction of Bishop John - Tenterten
Archbishop Peter (left) received Bishop John's commitment to the Parish

Following Bishop John reaching his 75th birthday last summer, he stepped down from his day to day responsibilities for the Kent and Medway areas of the Diocese. He did not, however, to completely retire, and so offered to look after Tenterden Parish, following the resignation on health grounds of Mgr Ted Hill.

140323 - Mass and Induction of Bishop John - Tenterten
After Mass (left to right):
Deacon Jolyon Vickers (Parish Deacon), Bishop John Hine (Parish Priest),
Archbishop Peter, Fr Paul Mason (Episcopal Vicar for Kent)
and Canon John Clark (Dean of the Maidstone Deanery).

New Deacon for Aylesford Carmelite Community

140319 - Ordination of Deacon Paul Jenkins
Fr Wilfrid (Provincial), Deacon Paul & Archbishop Peter after Mass

Br Paul Jenkins O.Carm. was ordained to the Diaconate by
Archbishop Peter during a Mass on the afternoon of 19th March, the Solemnity of St Joseph, in the Relic Chapel at Aylesford Priory.
Please pray for Br Paul, as he begins his diaconal ministry and continues his discernment for ordination to the priesthood.

140319 - Ordination of Deacon Paul Jenkins

For more pictures "click here" see our Flick page

"Mark Cross" Reunion

Mark Cross Reunion 2014
On Tuesday 19 March 2014, the Solemnity of St Joseph, there was a reunion of past students and staff of the former Junior Seminary,
St Joseph’s, College, Mark Cross.  Over 100 people gathered for the Reunion in the Amigo Hall, next to the Cathedral.  Following coffee
Tony Castle gave an outline of the story of Mark Cross.  Mass was celebrated in St George’s Cathedral at which Bishop Tripp presided along with Bishop Francis Walmsley (both former Mark Cross students from the 1940s) and some 20 concelebrants.  After lunch in the Amigo Hall Fr Peter Soper paid an affectionate tribute to Monsignor Westlake by recalling some of his words of wisdom in the style of the ‘Scratch Concerts’ well known to Mark Cross and Wonersh alumni.

Mark Cross Reunion 2014
The gathered Alumni,
including Fr Peter Soper standing in for the late "Monsignor Westlake"

The day was a great success and many have sent emails to express their thanks and appreciation for the reunion.  Bishop Tripp emailed to say;
It was a great turnout – and good to realize that so many appreciate the part played by St Joseph’s College  in their education, formation and development.”  

St Joseph’s College opened as a Junior Seminary on Friday 7th November 1924 and closed on Tuesday 16 June 1970.  During the 46-years of its existence it had only two Rectors – Monsignor Ernest Corbishley (1924-59) and Monsignor William Westlake (1959-1970).

In Monsignor Corbishley’s Journal for Friday 7 November 1924 he wrote the following:
The Junior Students from St John’s Seminary, Wonersh, arrived at their new ‘Alma Mater’ – St Joseph’s College – on Friday November 7th 1924 at 5.30pm. In spite of a definite guarantee that the electric lights would be installed by this date, the much desired light was not forthcoming and consequently the students had their first glimpse of their new ‘Alma Mater’ by candlelight.  St Joseph’s College opened with 73 students (twenty new students).”

Further photos on the Diocesan "Flickr" page

Opening of new Retreat Centre in Ramsgate

On Sunday 16th March, Archbishop Peter was invited to celebrate Mass at the opening of the new "Divine Retreat Centre" in Ramsgate. The new centre is a foundation of "The Potta-Divine retreat ministry" which is part of the renewal movement of the Vincentian Congregation of India (Marymatha Province), based on the spiritual traditions bequeathed by Saint Vincent de Paul. The opening follows the completion of the purchase of the site in Ramsgate formerly occupied by the Benedictine Monks (who moved to Chilworth, near Guildford).

Mass to Inaugurate and Bless the "Divine Retreat Centre" Ramsgate
Archbishop Peter delivering his homily

The Mass was celebrated in a large marquee which held the congregation of over 1,300 people (and, as can be seen in the photographs, a Tree). The Centre will also provide a home and studio for the European work of their Divine TV Ministry (a satellite and internet based service). Among those who joined the Archbishop for Mass were Rev. Dr. Paul Puthuva VC, Provincial Superior, Marymatha Province, Vincentian Congregation andf Mgr. John Armitage, Vicar General of Brentwood. After the Mass and the blessing of the building words of thanks and support were given by some of the Vincentian community and guests.

Mass to Inaugurate and Bless the "Divine Retreat Centre" Ramsgate
Mgr. John Armitage addressing the assembly after Mass

More photos on our Flickr page
More photos on the Divine Retreat Centre website
Link to an overview of the work of the Divine Retreat Centre

Presentation of Awards in Morden Parish

Archbishop Peter celebrated Mass in the Parish of Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus, Morden on Sunday 9th March, during which he presented four parishioners with awards in recognition of their dedicated service to the Parish and the local community. Margaret O’Donovan, David O’Connor, Winnie Mann and William Hanrahan, together with friends and family met with the Archbishop after Mass.

Mass at St Teresa's, Morden, and the giving of 3 Diocean awards and a Papal award
Archbishop Peter with the award recipients  and Fr John Mulligan.

Visit our Flickr page for more photographs of the Mass and presentation.

Sense and Nonsense on ‘Assisted Dying’

An Assisted Dying Bill to legalise assisted suicide is currently before Parliament. There is often confusion about what ‘assisted dying’ means. The Bishops' Conference has compiled a briefing note which explains simply and clearly what the issues are, and what the Church says. Copies of this short briefing note can be found on the Bishops' Conference website:

Upcoming International Conference in Rome
on Human Trafficking

Bishop Pat visited Fr Michael Branch and Parishioners in St. Peter's Parish, Woolwich, to bless a new picture of
St Josephine Bakhita, who was the victim of human trafficking, and to ask parishioners to pray for the success of the upcoming International Conference in Rome on Human Trafficking which will take place on April 9th and 10th.
It is expected that the Holy Father will himself will join the conference for a short period to meet the participants - some victims of human trafficking, some bishops from around the world and up to twenty heads of police from different countries.  We ask that you keep the success of the conference in your prayers.

In related news The Holy See signed a joint statment, which announced the goal of eradicating modern slavery and human trafficking across the world by 2020. Signed on the Feast of St Patrick, who was himself a slave for part of his life, the joint statement was issued on behalf of:
the Holy Father, Pope Francis;
the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Egypt Dr Mahmoud Azab;
the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend Justin Welby;
and the Walk Free Foundation.
The statement began "Modern slavery and human trafficking are crimes against humanity." Click here for the Vatican Press Release and full text.

Jubilee Celebrations
at Holy Family Parish, Sutton Green

On Sunday 2nd March Archbishop Peter joined the congregation of a packed Holy Family Church, Sutton Green, as they celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Dedication of their church building. Fr Julian Shurgold, the current parish priest, and Canon Luke Verhees concelebrated the anniversary Mass with the Archbishop.

Holy Family Church, Sutton Green during the Anniversary Mass

At the end of Mass Fr Barry Angus who had been parish priest when Archbishop Bowen dedicated the church, joined the Archbishop and parishioners as the celebrations continued in the Parish Hall.

Visit our Flickr page for more photographs of this day.

Archbishop Peter meets parishioners after Mass,
with Fr Julian Shurgold and Fr Barry Angus

National Week of Prayer and Awareness of Dementia (12 - 19 March)

With over 800,000 people in the UK diagnosed with having a form of dementia, raising awareness and enabling others to help in some small way can make such a difference. The organisers of this initiative recognise that response in recent years has been encouraging, and hope that this year on each of the days there will be times of prayer in parishes and schools throughout the UK and Ireland. We are all invited to get involved in the week of prayer 12-19th March 2014.
Archbishop Peter is supporting this initiative, and will celebrate the 12.30pm Mass in the Cathedral on Tuesday 18th March for “those who suffer from Dementia and those who care for them
Prayer and Awareness Week resources are available to download from the website of the "Pastoral Care Project"

"Today’s Mass" newsletter inserts

A new series of these popular newsletter inserts - written by Fr David Gibbons, Director of the diocesan Centre for Catholic Formation - is available for Lent 2014.  Simply click on the link on the left toolbar .  Alternatively, visit the ‘Downloads’ page of the CCF website or email the CCF office.  The insert for each Sunday can easily be copied and pasted into newsletters.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Father Patrick (Ambrose) McLoughlin

who died on 9th March 2014

His Funeral Mass will be 
in the Church of the Immaculate Conception,
Bonniconlon, Co Mayo
on Wednesday, 12th March, at 12 noon

May he rest in peace


A joyful step on the journey of faith

On Saturday, 8th March 2014, Archbishop Peter presided at the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion at Saint George's Cathedral.

Signing the Book of the Elect
One of the Catechumens Signing the Book of the Elect

The Cathedral was full as the almost 296 Catechumens, who will be baptised and the 211 Candidates, who will be received into full communion with the Catholic Church in their parishes at the Easter Vigil gathered with their god-parents, sponsors and families for this joyful occasion. They came from 82 parishes throughout the diocese.

The Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion is a highlight of the Church's year and the Archbishop was joined for the service by our Auxiliary Bishops, the Episcopal Vicar for Kent, the Vicar General and the Director of the Centre for Catholic Formation. The music was led by Canon Alan McLean and the diocesan choir and the altar servers were from the parish of Saint Bartholomew, Norbury.

Visit our Flickr page for more photos

During the Service
nside the full Cathedral during the Rite of Election

Outside the Cathedral after the Service
Archbishop Peter speaks to the people after the Rite of Election

Catholic MP Visits Diocesan Vocations Centre

On Saturday 22nd February Julian Brazier, the MP for Canterbury, who is a practising Catholic visited the Vocations Centre in Whitstable. After meeting the residents and a number of young men taking part in a vocations weekend, Julian had a chance to be shown round the centre before joining the group for lunch. In the get-together that followed he spoke encouragingly of the importance of the priestly vocation and also of the things that had led him to enter politics. We were impressed by his knowledge of the writings of Blessed John Henry Newman and some of the Fathers of the Church and were grateful to him for taking questions and coming up with some suggestions for things to study to help broaden our cultural awareness and understanding of the issues facing society today.

Vocation Centre February 2014

Archbishop Peter wrote  a Pastoral Letter for the Season of Lent which was to be read on Sunday 2nd March 2014.

In it he writes that Lent is: 'an opportunity the Church gives us every year for conversion and renewal - conversion of mind, heart and action
so that we can better fulfil the two great commandments: “You must love the Lord your God with your whole heart, mind and strength... You must love your neighbour as yourself.” (Mk 12:30-31)'

Full text of the Pastoral Letter (.pdf available)


Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Father Joseph Whooley

who died on 1st March 2014

His body will be received
on Wednesday, 19th March, at 7:30 pm
at Saint Francis Church,
126 Week Street, Maidstone, ME14 1RH (01622 756217)
followed immediately by a vigil Mass

His Funeral Mass will be offered there
on Thursday, 20th March, at 12 noon

May he rest in peace


Clergy Appointments and News

Announced March 2014

The Archbishop has made the following appointments: Episcopal Vicar for

Safeguarding - Father Graham Preston
Episcopal Vicar for Ethnic Chaplaincies - Canon John O'Toole