News Archive for May 2017

Thanksgiving and Celebration for Thirty Two years of the Institute of St. Anselm in the UK


On Monday 29th May 2017 Archbishop Peter joined the Director, Staff, and Participants of the Institute of St Anselm in thanksgiving and celebration for their thirty two years of the Institute of St. Anselm in the UK from 1985 to 2017 before the Institute moves to Rome


The Archbishop was the main celebrant with many priests from the diocese and beyond at the Mass at St. Anne’s Church, Cliftonville


After Mass the celebrations continued at a buffet lunch at the Institute of St. Anselm

More photos on the RCSouthwark Diocesan's Flickr page

Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord
World Communications Day

"Communicating Hope and Trust in our Time"

This weekend we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension, when Jesus exhorts the Apostles to 'Go, make disciples of all nations'. It is therefore fitting that Sunday 28th May is also World Communications Sunday.
We pray for all those involved in spreading God’s word through communications and media, that they may help us to hear God’s loving messages for our world and individual lives.

Within our own Diocese we joyfully honour Christ's request to spread his Word, and are pleased to announce the official launch of our Diocesan Facebook page and Twitter account. We also welcome our new Communications Officer, Jo Driver, who took up her new role this month and wish her a fruitful and fulfilling ministry.

Statement by Archbishop Peter Smith
23rd May 2017

Following the events that took place in Manchester Arena yesterday evening I would like to extend my sincere condolences to all the victims of this attack, in particular, those traumatised by the unexpected loss of relatives and friends.  There are no words sufficient for the grief of losing a family member and the devastating nature of this event surely serves only to increase that pain.

Although nothing can prepare us for such loss, I pray that you will find consolation in each other, and peace in the knowledge that Christ is there for all of you at every moment in your lives, no matter what you face.  The Catholic community here offers its prayers for you and your loved ones today.

At this time, I encourage all people to renew their efforts to nurture respectful dialogue, with a view to fostering peace and trust in our communities. The answer is not in violence or arms, but in reaching out to others, openly discussing differences and endeavouring to forgive past actions.  It is by these measures that we have the opportunity bring about the light of understanding and avert animosity.

I would like to add my thanks to all those who have already expressed their gratitude to the emergency services for their swift action and care for those caught up in this tragedy.
With assurance of my prayers

Migrants Mass for
Westminster, Brentwood and Southwark

The Migrants' Mass has become an annual event and a feature of the Catholic Church's calendar. It's a Mass recognising the contribution of Migrant Workers and their families to UK society.

Migrants Mass for Westminster, Brentwood and Southwark Dioceses in the St Antony’s, Forest Gate.

The Mass, this year, took place at St Antony of Padua, Forest Gate on 1st of May, the Feast of St Joseph the Worker, the celebration is jointly organised by the dioceses of Brentwood, Southwark and Westminster - whose territories cover the London area.  It is supported by London Citizens, a community-based civil organisation whose membership includes many Catholic parishes, schools and agencies.

Migrants Mass for Westminster, Brentwood and Southwark Dioceses in the St Antony’s, Forest Gate.

The Mass provides the opportunity to celebrate the rich diversity in our communities and acknowledges, in the words of Bishop Patrick Lynch, that “the Church has benefited greatly from the faith and witness of migrant communities from all parts of the world – from Africa and Asia, from Eastern and Western Europe, from the islands of the Caribbean and more recently from South America. Our parishes have been enriched by the strong sense of community and commitment to family life within many of our migrant communities, by their love for the Scriptures, by their devotion to Our Lady and especially by their joyful participation in the celebration of the Eucharist”

Migrants Mass for Westminster, Brentwood and Southwark Dioceses in the St Antony’s, Forest Gate.

 Bishops issue General Election guidance
with encouragement to vote 

"As we approach the General Election on 8 June, we offer you these considerations." This is the beginning of the letter issued by the five Archbishops of England and Wales, including Archbishop Peter, on behalf of the English and Welsh Bishops. Distributed to Parishes in the week leading up to Sunday 21st May, the letter offers some key principles to guide consideration in the lead up to Polling Day. The letter also provides... "some questions you might consider yourselves and raise with candidates or those who seek your support."

The letter ends with a prayer:

Lord grant us wisdom to act always with integrity,
seeking the protection and flourishing of all,
and building a society based on justice and peace.

Crowning of the National Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima

Visit and Crowning of National Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima

As Pope Frances visited Fatima and canonised Jacinta and Francisco Marto last Saturday, 13th May 2017, Archbishop Peter crowned the National Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima in front of large congregation at Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St George

Visit and Crowning of National Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima

The Virgin Mary appeared to the siblings, along with their cousin Lucia, on 17th May 1917 and confided 3 secrets in them. The last secret was revealed when Pope John Paul II beatified the child-seers in 2000.

Visit and Crowning of National Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima

For further information please visit the World Apostolate of Fatima (England and Wales)

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
Commissioning at The Friars, Aylesford

On Saturday 2nd May 2015 Bishop Paul Mason, Auxiliary Bishop for Kent, and Monsignor Matthew Dickens, Vicar General, led the Commissioning Day.


Bishop Paul started the day with a talk on the Eucharist and this special Ministry


Monsignor Matthew Dickens presided at a period of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament.



After lunch Monsignor Matthew spoke of the role of the Extraordinary Minister and the rubrics, including the service of administering Holy Communion to the Sick and the essential requirements that need to be in place before staring this ministry and so therefore bringing together all the training that had been given in every parish


Bishop Paul presided at the Mass assisted by Monsignor Matthew Dickens, during which he commissioned the new Extraordinary Ministers and presented their certificates


54 Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion were commissioned from Beckenham, Charlton, Dover, Greenwich, Hythe, Kew,Gardens, Maidstone,
Maidstone South, Mitcham, Northfleet,Parkwood & Wigmore, Purley, Rainham, Stockwell, Sutton, Sydenham, Sydenham Kirkdale, Walderslade and  West Malling

170512 EMOHC

Concert with Friar Alessandro, Voice From Assisi

On 6th May 2017 Friar Alessandro Brustenghi sung at a charity concert in the Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St George to raise funds to support CAFOD’s East Africa Crisis Appeal and Caritas Bakhita House

A Concert with Friar Alessandro - Voice from Assisi

The musical director and pianist, Justin Harmer supported Friar Alessandro’s performance 

A Concert with Friar Alessandro - Voice from Assisi

and that of the supporting act, the soloist Jay Britton

A Concert with Friar Alessandro - Voice from Assisi

Archbishop Peter said I am delighted that Friar Alessandro has generously agreed to deliver a wonderful concert in the historic building of St George’s.  His vocation is a wonderful example of how we all can be inspired to live our faith and celebrate the joy of the gospel in the service of others.

A Concert with Friar Alessandro - Voice from Assisi

UK Pilar Father’s 25th Anniversary Mass

The Missionaries of St. Francis Xavier, popularly known as the Pilar Fathers, marked their 25 years in the UK this year with a celebration of Mass in Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St George on Sunday 7th May 2017

170507 - UK Pilar Father’s 25th Anniversary Mass

Archbishop Peter was the principle celebrant at Mass, joined by Bishop Howard Tripp, Monsignor Matthew Dickens VG, Fathers Lucas Rodrigues SFX, Anthony Manuel Fernandes SFX, and Patrick D'Souza SFX

170507 - UK Pilar Father’s 25th Anniversary Mass

The altar servers where from the parish of SS. Peter & Paul, Mitcham

170507 - UK Pilar Father’s 25th Anniversary Mass

170507 - UK Pilar Father’s 25th Anniversary Mass

Archbishop says medical help in
'hard cases' has its limits

Archbishop Peter Smith, has said that where medical treatment becomes disproportionate to any possible benefit, it is sometimes necessary to recognise the limitations of what can be done.

In these cases, proper palliative care for a sick person must be maintained, the archbishop said, while acknowledging that people are seeking to act with integrity and for what they believe to be their loved one’s good.

He was speaking in relation to the case of eight-month-old Charlie Gard, who has a rare genetic condition. Last month, a high court judge ruled that the boy’s life support should be withdrawn after specialists at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London told the court they believed it was time to stop providing life support.

The boy’s parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, want to fly Charlie to the United States for an “experimental” treatment, but the court found it “very unlikely” the medical trial would improve his condition. They said they were “devastated” and were expected to apply to the Appeal Court to re-examine the decision.

Referring to the “tragic situation” of the baby, Archbishop Peter said that while those who are responsible for the boy’s medical care in the United Kingdom believe they have done all they can to help him, “it is completely understandable that his parents should want to pursue every possible chance of extending his life”.

However, he added: “Sadly, prolonged terminal illness is part of the human condition. We should never act with the deliberate intention to end a human life …We do sometimes, however, have to recognise the limitations of what can be done, while always acting humanely in the service of the sick person until the time of natural death occurs.”

Clergy Support Fund Campaign
Leaving a Legacy

Having rolled out presentations across almost all parishes in the Diocese over the past 2½ years, we very are pleased to announce a Spring / Summer Legacy Programme, during which we are offering literature to all parishioners who would like to find out more about how they can say ‘Thank you’ to our clergy after a lifetime of service to the Catholic community through a gift in their Will. 

Although the material is specifically geared towards our cause, it will be helpful to anyone considering the possibility of a gift to charity, for which there can be significant Inheritance Tax benefits.

We have decided to proceed with this new phase after receiving a number of legacy enquiries and also having heard many times over the past few years how central the Catholic faith is to the lives of parishioners and how valued the inspiration and support of our priests has been over many years.  Introductory leaflets will be circulated in parishes shortly, or you can make a request for further information by completing this leaflet and sending it to the Campaign Office.  A Freepost envelope in integrated within the leaflet.  You can also visit our website for further information: Southwark Clergy Support Fund - Leaving a Legacy

We would like to assure everyone that we respect their privacy and that all enquiries will be handled in the strictest of confidence. 

For further queries please telephone the Diocesan Finance office:
020 7960 2500.