News Archive for 2014 - April

Anselm's Catholic School, Canterbury
50th Anniversary Celebrations

The staff, pupils and friends of the Catholic Secondary School in Canterbury, dedicated to St Anselm, are this year celebrating the 50th anniversary of the opening of the School. They attended their annual School Mass in Canterbury Cathedral on Wednesday 30th April, at which Archbishop Peter Smirth was the principal celebrant. The School were joined by many guests including the Lord Mayor of Canterbury, the Mayor of Canterbury and the Mayor of Hythe, as well as local clergy, parents and past pupils.

The Deacon proclaiming the Gospel

Archbishop Peter delivering his homily

Mr Walters, Headteacher, speaking at the end of the Mass

Further Pictures on the Diocesan Flickr Page

Link to School website

Solemnity of St George 2014

The Solemnity of St George was transferred to Monday 28th April this year, as the 23rd fell within the Easter Octave. Archbishop Peter joined the Cathedral Parish and the Canons of the Cathedral for a Mass on that evening.

2014 - Solemnity of St George: Archbishop Peter with the Cathedral Canons

During the Mass three new Chapter Canons were formally installed.
Canon Anthony Charlton received the profession of faith from the new Canons on behalf of the Provost (Canon Tom McHugh) who was unable to be present.

2014 - Solemnity of St George: Archbishop Peter with the Cathedral Canons
(Left to right: the three new members of the chapter kneeling:
Canon Edward Perera, Canon Luke Smith and Canon John Weatherill; seated: Canon Anthony Charlton (Secretary to the Cathedral Chapter), with Deacon Jim Shehan standing)

Click here for Further photographs

Easter 2014

Giovanni Bellini
The Resurrection of Christ (detail) 1475-79
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

A happy and blessed Easter

Bishops offer Easter Day Masses in Prisons

On Easter Sunday Bishop Patrick offered Mass in HMP Belmarsh and Bishop Paul offered Mass in HMP Wandsworth.
Fr Paul Mason, Episcopal Vicar for Kent, offered Mass in two of the prisons on the
Isle of Sheppey.

In Southwark diocese there are fifteen prisons ranging from Young Offenders' Institutes to High Security Prisons.

Holy Week and the Chrism Mass

Archbishop Peter celebrated the Easter Triduum and the morning 
Mass on Easter Sunday in St Georges Cathedral, Southwark. 

Some photographs of the Liturgies can be seen on Flickr:

Good Friday,     The Easter Vigil,     Easter Sunday Morning

140416 - Chrism Mass

The Chrism Mass is the largest regular diocesan celebration held during the year. In this liturgy priests, deacons and people gather with the Archbishop for the blessing of the holy oils that will be used in parishes in the coming year – the oil of the sick, the oil of Catechumens and the oil of Chrism, from which the Mass receives its name.

While the Oil of the Sick, used for those who seek the anointing, and the Oil of the Catechumens, used for those preparing for baptism, are simply “blessed,” the Sacred Chrism is “consecrated”. All the priests present participate in the latter moment by extending their hands toward the vessel containing it as the bishop says the prayer of consecration.

(S) Southwark Chrism Mass-1-34
The three jars of oil after the blessing and consecration.

The Oil of Chrism is used at baptisms, confirmations, the ordination of priests and bishops, the consecration of altars and the blessing of churches, where the walls are smeared with it in the shape of the sign of the cross.

As part of the consecration of the Chrism, balsam is poured into the oil, which gives it a sweet smell intended to remind those who encounter it of the “odour of sanctity” to which those people and things who are marked with it, and by extension all of us, are called to strive for.

The Chrism Mass also provides an opportunity for the priests of the diocese to renew the promises they first made at ordination. As a group of ministers gathered with members of the faithful of the diocese they make their public commitment to the service of God, the Church and its people once more.  The  deacons and the people in turn offer their prayerful support of their priests and to the Archbishop.

(S) Southwark Chrism Mass-1-25
© Mazur/

In this most holy of weeks the Chrism Mass provides us with a moment to gather as a diocese – bishop, clergy and people – to support and pray for one another, to remember and pray for the people of our diocese and beyond.

Photos on the Diocesan Flickr page

More photos of the Southwark Chrism Mass
on the Flickr page of the Bishops' Conference

Born for This

CJM’s 'Born for This' was presented by Southwark Catholic Youth Service and the Order of the Carmelites in partnership with Catholic Secondary Schools at the Aylesford Priory on Saturday 5th April and St George’s Cathedral on Sunday 6th April.

It was a very moving and prayerful depiction of the Stations of the Cross which was valued by all present.

The shrine of St. Augustine of England, Ramsgate

The shrine of St. Augustine of England, Ramsgate, will open to visitors seven days a week from 1st April. This is made possible by volunteers from the Parish and from the Pugin Society, and is in addition to the daily worship that already takes place there.
The new opening times are 10am – 4pm every day. Daily Mass is held at 12pm, followed by devotions.
The new opening times will open up access to the church for the increasing number of visitors who come from around the world.
St. Augustine’s is developing an Education, Research, and Visitor Centre, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the new opening times are key to bringing more visitors to St. Augustine’s and to Thanet.
Rector, Fr. Marcus Holden, said, “Recently daytrippers visited from London, expecting such a major building to be open each day. Such an important place for England and the world – religiously, historically, and architecturally – should be open, and we are delighted to be able to meet this expectation.”
St. Augustine’s has several cultural events planned for this year, as well as numerous pilgrimages, and architectural and archaeological visits. In the last week of May the site is hosting the annual St. Augustine Week. In September, the site will host the inaugural Pugin Festival.
St. Augustine’s was designated a diocesan shrine of St. Augustine on
1st March 2012 by Archbishop Peter Smith, and contains one of two known relics of St. Augustine. This is the first shrine to the founder of English Christianity since his tomb at St. Augustine’s, Canterbury, was destroyed during the Reformation. 
St Augustine Ramsgate volunteers 2014-3

Archbishop Visits St Joseph's Primary, Surbiton

Archbishop Peter paid a visit to the Primary School in Surbiton to bless their new chapel. The pupils gathered for an assembly with hymns and scripture readings. Archbishop Peter explained to the children the reasons we have special places for prayer, and encouraged them to use their new chapel.

140404 - Blessing of the new Chapel at St Jospeh's Primary School - Surbiton

140404 - Blessing of the new Chapel at St Jospeh's Primary School - Surbiton
Archbishop Peter speaking to the children
(the entrance to the new chapel can be seen on the left)

After the assembly Archbishop Peter spent some time with the School, visiting the pupils in their class rooms.
Futher photos of the Assembly on the Flickr Page

Start of Parish Jubilee Year

The Parish of The Annunciation and St. Augustine, Beckenham Hill and Bellingham, have begun a special year of celebrations as they begin to mark the Golden jubilee of the dedication of the Church. Bishop Pat Lynch joined the parish and Fr Mark Odion for the Inaugural Mass of their Jubilee Year, together with other priests and deacons from the diocese.

140322 - Inaugural Mass to mark the beginning of the Jubilee Year of Beckenham Hill and Bellingham

140322 - Inaugural Mass to mark the beginning of the Jubilee Year of Beckenham Hill and Bellingham

140322 - Inaugural Mass to mark the beginning of the Jubilee Year of Beckenham Hill and Bellingham
Bishop Pat speaks with some of the parishioners
as the celebrations continue

The following day parishioners gathered for a Parish Stewardship Conference. This day helped those who attended to recognise their role as stewards of God's gifts; including "Time, Talents and Treasure."

140323 - Stewardship Conference at Beckenham Hill and Bellingham

For further photos of these events visit our Flickr Page:
    Inaugural Mass
    Stewardship Conference