News Archive for August 2017

Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Canon Bill Clements KHS

who died on the 10th August 2017

May he rest in peace

Funeral details:
30th August 2017: 4pm Reception of Body; 7pm Vigil Mass.
31st August 2017: 1pm 
Our Lady & St Benedict, Minnis Road, Birchington, CT7 9SF

White vestments are to be worn
A sit down lunch will be provided for the clergy

Archdiocese Pilgrimage to Lourdes 2017

On Friday 18th August 2016 Bishop Patrick Lynch led the Archdiocese of Southwark on pilgrimage to Lourdes.

They traveled with The Catholic Association who has organised pilgrimages to Lourdes for over a hundred years. While preserving the diocesan identity, they will be part of a larger group and have the opportunity to meet people from other dioceses, schools, and organisations throughout the country

They go to Lourdes in response to an invitation of Our Blessed Lady to go there in Procession, to give praise to God Our Father, to meet him in the Eucharist, to make known his Kingdom here on earth. Mary invites us to go to Lourdes to pray, to contemplate the mysteries of the Rosary, the Rosary which Pope Paul VI called 'a synthesis of the whole Gospel'

The director, Canon Edward Perera, leads the first meeting of the Southwark Group along with Bishop Pat and Bishop Paul Hendricks, chair of The Catholic Association

The Pilgrims remember the whole diocese in their prayers and worship and ask the whole diocese of pray for them in return

Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Deacon James Foley

who died on the 2nd August 2017

May he rest in peace

The funeral will take place
at 10.00am on Monday 21st August 2017 in
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Sea Street, Herne Bay, CT6 8SP

Pilgrimage of the Sick - Aylesford

On Sunday 13 August, the Carmelite Community celebrated the transferred Solemnity of The Assumption of Our Lady with more than 600 pilgrims from the Society of Our Lady of Lourdes.  The mass was celebrated by the new Prior, Fr. Francis Kemsley and assisted by Fr. Michael Cox. 

At the mass there was the Sacrament of the Sick.  At Aylesford it is the tradition to use blue vestments on major feast days of Our Lady.  

The original medieval Church that the shrine is built upon was dedicated to the Assumption of the Glorious Virgin, in 1248.

Oscar Romero Centenary Mass

On Saturday, 12 August, five hundred people gathered in the Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St George to commemorate the 100th birthday of Blessed Oscar Romero.


Archbishop Peter was the main celebrant at the Mass and Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, who is the President of the Pontifical Academy for Life; Grand Chancellor of the St John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, traveled from Italy to deliver the homily


Archbishop Paglia is also the postulator of the cause for the canonisation of Archbishop Romero - the main person at the Vatican promoting Romero being formally recognised as a saint. Archbishop Paglia wore Archbishop Romero's pectoral cross.


In his homily, Archbishop Paglia spoke about Romero's life and enduring legacy. Reflecting on martyrdom, he challenged that 'This is the meaning of martyrdom. Love for Jesus and for the poor is greater than love for oneself', and as such it is something we are all called to live out.

Canon Alan McLean, with many members of the Most Holy Trinity Church, Dockhead, where he is parish priest, helped form the choir.


After Mass the celebrations continued in Amigo Hall where a toast was raised for Blessed Archbishop Oscar Romero


Click here to download Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia's homily via

More photos on the RCSouthwark Diocesan's Flickr page

Father Michael Adams celebrates
his Golden Anniversary

Father Adams 50th 14

On Sunday 9th July 2017 Father Michael Adams had a celebration Mass in thanksgiving for his Golden Jubilee to the Priesthood.

Father Adams 50th 12

Bishop Paul Mason was the main celebrant and was joined by many clergy, Father Michael's family and friends plus parishioners of St Augustine's RC Church and from other parishes that he has served over the last 50 years

Father Adams 50th 16

Shinto Priest joins Nagasaki Remembrance
at Aylesford Priory

For over 30 years people have gathered at Aylesford Priory on either 6th or 9th August to remember the uses of atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. People of other faiths or none have always been welcome to come and remember alongside the Catholics who organise the events. However, a special “flavour” was provided this year by their contributions to the liturgy.

Taishi Kato (加藤大志) is a young Shinto priest, undertaking a postgraduate course at SOAS in London. He is keen to give talks and presentations about Shinto while in the UK. He became licensed as a Shinto priest by following a one-year course at Kokugakuin University, immediately after graduating from Keio University. His family acquired the right of managing the the Hattori Tenjingu shrine in Osaka after it was ruined during the war, and his father is the current head priest

Taisho is pictured with Fr Francis Kemsley, Prior of the Carmelite Community at Aylesford, and Phil Kerton, co-ordinator of Justice and Peace activity in the Kent Area of the Southwark Diocese. Phil says, “These annual events stem from a remark made by the late Bishop John Jukes to the effect that, while we may not agree about how to remove the threat of nuclear war, we can agree to pray for guidance and remember what has happened in the past. We are especially grateful to the Carmelites for their consistent welcome at this historic place of prayer.”

(Shinto is the indigenous faith of Japan. It remains Japan's major religion, alongside Buddhism.)

Carmelite Shrine at Aylesford
awarded listed building status

The Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Saint Simon Stock at Aylesford Priory in Kent, a site of great significance for the whole Carmelite Order and for the Catholic community in England and Wales, has been granted listed building status

2017 marks 70 years of the practice of listing, which was introduced in the Town and County Planning Act in 1947 to protect important properties from destruction in the period of re-building and urban development after World War II. Today listed status is granted to buildings and sites which have special architectural, historical, or cultural significance

The Carmelites first came to Aylesford from Mount Carmel in 1242. Aylesford became important in the Carmelite Order's sense of identity and spirituality; it was here that the first General Chapter took place in 1247 which led to the Carmelite hermits becoming mendicants (begging brothers), and later legends claimed that it was here that the prior general of the Order, Saint Simon Stock, received a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary who blessed the scapular of his religious habit.

The medieval priory was a place of worship and study, offering hospitality to pilgrims travelling between London and Canterbury.

At the Reformation of the 1530s, the priory passed into private ownership, but continued to be known as "The Friars". The Carmelite Order was able to purchase back The Friars in 1949, and since then the priory has developed as a major site of pilgrimage for Catholics and Christians of other denominations, welcoming about a quarter of a million visitors each year

Throughout the summer months in particular, many thousands of people come to Aylesford either as a part of organised groups or simply because it is known as a holy place. Aylesford is a major place of pilgrimage for groups from the Archdiocese of Southwark

For further information please see The Independent Catholic News and
The British Province of Carmelites website