News Archive for August 2014

50th Anniversary of the Dedication of the Church
in Beckenham Hill and Bellingham

On Sunday 31st August 2014 Archbishop Peter Smith joined the parish of Beckenham Hill and Bellingham  to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the decation of the church.
310814 - Beckenham Hill and Bellingham Golden Jubilee
Two parishioners, Dennis Simmonds and Joseph Sullivan, were presented with Diocesan medals for their exceptional service to the church.
310814 - Beckenham Hill and Bellingham Golden Jubilee
The Deputy Headteacher of St Augustine's Primary School also received a leaving present with grateful thanks

310814 - Beckenham Hill and Bellingham Golden Jubilee

More photos of the occasion on RCSouthwark's Flickr page

Papal Blessing for Charity Founders in Margate

Canon Edaid
Doreen and Ron Rolfe together with Eileen Teahan, Doreen's sister, each received a Papal Blessing from Pope Francis in recognition of their charity work for ‘Ed-Aid’, supporting Catholic schools in The Gambia, which began in 1989. The special scrolls were presented by Canon Luke during his final Saturday evening vigil Mass in the Parish of Ss Austin & Gregory with St Anne, Margate, on 30th August 2014. These blessings were arranged by David Shaw, pictured right, who took over the day-to-day management of Ed-Aid last year.
Ron DoreenEileen
Doreen recalls that Ed-Aid was founded after they had taken a holiday in the small West African country where after Mass they met with the parish priest of the church in the capital Banjul, who took them to visit some of his Catholic schools. Doreen at that time was living in Hitchin, Herts., and did voluntary work with the local bishop’s education team and was a member of the National Justice and Peace team. She and husband Ron were appalled by what they saw; the lack of even the most basic equipment needed to educate the Gambia's children. On their return to the UK they determined to do something to help so began the charity Ed-Aid. With encouragement from their parish in Hitchin, Ed-Aid quickly began to make a difference for school children in this small English-speaking country. Twenty-one years ago the family moved to Margate and transferred much of the operation aspects of the charity to Thanet. Doreen’s sister Eileen then returned from teaching in Canada and joined them, together they managed to acquire some warehouse space, at a very reasonable price, from a local farmer in which to store, sort and pack the goods which they then ship to The Gambia in containers filled with all the necessary items to aid their education. In addition, Ed-Aid has been responsible for raising many thousands of pounds to repair schools, rebuild classrooms, build teacher accommodation, toilet blocks, etc., as well as providing equipment, for general education and to train students in practical subjects to help make life easier as they progress to adulthood. To make sure that Ed-Aid is working well in the Gambian schools, close contact is kept with the Gambian Catholic Education secretary and when possible Ed-Aid makes a visit. Summing up her experience in founding and working for the charity Doreen said: "It's been fantastic". After twentyfive years of overseeing the whole Ed-Aid operation the sisters and Doreen's husband have handed over the management of the charity to David Shaw, former Headmaster of Holy Cross Secondary School, Broadstairs.
Group 2
Ed-Aid has always had a fantastic number of helpers but are always looking for further help! We not only appreciate financial support but also collections of new or nearly new educational items from sewing needles to reams of paper, spades to packets of chalk are always welcome.
For more information contact the charity through their website:

Lourdes 2014

Sunday International Mass

Southwark ProcessionSouthwark Procession

Pilgrimage Grotto Mass

Sunday: Torch Light Procession

Anointing Service

More photos of the occasion on RCSouthwark's Flickr page

Bishop Patrick Lynch voices concern after
migrants rescued from shipping container

“It is becoming increasingly apparent that vulnerable men, women and children are being exploited by criminals all over the world,” says Bishop Patrick Lynch on the finding of migrants in Tilbury Shipping Container

Our thoughts and prayers are with those who experienced terrible suffering trapped in a shipping container discovered at Tilbury docks, on Saturday, 16 August 2014. It is hard to comprehend the appalling conditions that they would have endured during their journey to the UK.

We commend the police, for the sensitive way they handled this tragic situation and applaud the emergency services, the NHS, local authority and the Sikh community for their rapid response.

We hope that the ongoing investigations will determine quickly whether the people are victims of human trafficking or vulnerable migrants seeking protection.

It is becoming increasingly apparent that vulnerable men, women and children are being exploited by criminals all over the world and that we must respond compassionately to their cries for help.

We support the Home Secretary in her commitment to making Britain a hostile place for human traffickers, and hope that the criminals in this case are speedily brought to justice.

Bishop Patrick Lynch Migrants Bishop,
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales

Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Father Michael Gibbons

who died on 5th August 2014
in Lyons, France 

His Funeral Mass will be held on
Monday 22nd September at 12 noon at the
Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St George
Lambeth Road SE1 6HY
May he rest in peace