News Archive for April 2018

Greenwich Deanery Clergy celebrate
Fr Jim Kirby’s ministry

The Greenwich Deanery Clergy gathered on Sunday 29th April 2018 in fraternity and thanksgiving for the ministry of Fr Jim Kirby on the occasion of his retirement. Bishop Patrick presented Fr Jim with a cheque of £1000 from the Greenwich Deanery.

180429 - Fr Jim Kirby Retirement

Tributes to Fr Jim followed by Bishop Patrick Lynch and the Dean of Greenwich, Fr Richard Plunkett. Both highlighted Fr Jim’s holiness and outstanding priestly ministry in the Archdiocese of Southwark, especially as Parish Priest of St Joseph’s, Shooters Hill

180429 - Fr Jim Kirby Retirement

Fr Jim will enjoy his well earned retirement in his beloved Ireland. His successor Fr Seba, former chaplain to the Tamil Community in the UK, was among the gathered clergy.

Archbishop Peter at the Friars - Aylesford

180428 - +Peter visit to Aylesford

On Sunday 29th April Archbishop Peter joined the community at the Friars to celebrate Mass

180428 - +Peter visit to Aylesford

Rosary on the Coast

 Archbishop Peter Smith has endorsed Rosary on the Coast, which at the time of writing has 321 locations around the UK coast and inland participating in a service at 3 pm on Sunday 29th April 2018.  The aim is to encourage a re-flourishing of faith, respect for life and peace in the British Isles.  It follows successful similar events in both Poland and Ireland.

Archbishop Peter said of the event:

“Rosary on the Coast encourages us to join with others
in deep meditation on the mysteries of the Incarnation
as seen through the eyes of Our Blessed Lady reminding
us to look, as she does, with eyes of love on all creation
in its diversity and richness, remembering that we are all
equally held in Our Father’s love.  All the stages of life
from birth to death are gifts of His Grace, to be cherished
and enjoyed.

O Holy Mother of God pray for us sinners, now and at the
hour of our death.”

For those that wish to attend a service there is an interactive map of locations taking part, including many in and around Southwark Dioces. For this informatiion and more details about Rosary on the Coast, Click here.

St George's Cathedral

 On Monday 23rd April St  George's Cathedral  honoured its Patronal Feast  Day and celebrated the  Solemnity of St George.  Friends and Parishioners  joined the Archbishop,  Chapter Canons and  Cathedral Clergy for Mass in  the evening. A relic of St  George was placed in St  George's Chapel and this  was venerated with  reverence by both clergy and laity directly after the Mass. A lively and enjoyable reception followed afterwards in Amigo Hall.

The following morning the Good Samaritan Mass took place, at which Archbishop Peter thanked those assembled for raising money during the year for the Crisis Fund, which is administered by the Catholic Children's Society in Westminster. He explained that the fund exists to help families in need and that supporting those in need enables us to eminently fulfill the second Great Commandment to 'love your neighbour as yourself'. The Archbishop elucidated that the parable of The Good Samaritan offers a perfect example of a person who takes care of someone he does not know, but to whom he is compelled to offer help through compassion

The Good Samaritan: (Luke 10.25-37)

More photos can be viewed online of these and other events.  Click here.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Father Michael Murphy

who died on Wednesday 11th April 2018

May he rest in peace

Funeral arrangements

Funeral Mass

Wednesday 23rd May 2018 at 12.30pm

St George's Cathedral
Lambeth Road
020 7928 5256

Vocations Sunday: 22 April 2018

Sunday 22nd April is the World Day of Vocations.  A vocation to the priesthood, diaconate or relgious life is one of listening and careful discernment. The calling may come suddenly in a moment of great clarity and certainty but more often that not develops gradually over a period of time. As the Pope explains in his Vocations Day Message for 2018:

'The Lord continues to call others to live with him and to follow him in a relationship of particular closeness. He continues to call others to serve him directly. If he lets us realize that he is calling us to consecrate ourselves totally to his kingdom, then we should have no fear! It is beautiful – and a great grace – to be completely and forever consecrated to God and the service of our brothers and sisters.'

If you feel you may have a calling to priesthood, diaconate or relgious life and would like to discuss or explore the matter, please talk to your priest in the first instance.  Alternatively, please speak to a member of the Vocations Team through Fr John Diver, Diocesan Director of Vocations, on 020 8300 2480, e-mail:

We ask all Southwark parishioners to pray for vocations and for those discerning their vocation throughout the year, but especially this weekend.

Prayer for Vocations

God our Father, you made each of us
to use our gifts in the Body of Christ.

We ask that You inspire people
who you calll to priesthood and consecrated life
to courageously follow Your will.

Send workers into Your great harvest
so that the Gospel is preached,
the poor are served with love,
the suffering are comforted,
and Your people are strengthened by the sacraments.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Social Justice and the Common Good

On Saturday 21st April 2018, as part of their Annual Study Day, the RC Southwark Commission for Christian Unity will hold a joint event with the Justice, Peace and Ingregrity of Creation Department of Southwark Anglican Diocese. The theme will be 'Social Justice and the Common Good' and will focus on issues that affect us all, in particular, homelessness, peace and the environment.

There will be a range of speakers from Pax Chriisti, CSAN, Housing Justice and Cafod Southwark, amongst others. Bishop Paul Hendricks will also attend the day and give the closing speech.

All are very welcome at St Hugh's Anglican Church on Crosby Row SE1 between 10 am - 3 pm for a thought provoking and rewarding day of talks and discussion. To book please email: 

Sharing in His Life: CCF Lecture Series

On Thursday 19th April at 7 pm in Amigo Hall, Mark Nash, the Director of Southwark's CCF (Centre for Catholic Formation) will be holding a talk entitled 'Eucharist and the Mission of the Church'.  

This is the second in a series of five lectures called 'Sharing in his Life', which centres around the Eucharist.  

As we prepare for Adoremus, the National Eucharistic Congress which will take place in Liverpool this September, these lectures are an opportunity to learn more about this key aspect of our Faith. The lectures will also be a helpful aid to all parish delegates that have been asked to attend the Congress, with a view to rolling out the fruits of Adoremus in their own parish, schools and wider community.

For further information on the series visit the CCF website.

Find out how to get to St George's Cathedral and Amigo Hall

Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester
Visits Woolwich

Father Michael Branch, parish priest of St Peter's the Apostle, Woolwich, and the South East Area Bishop Pat Lynch, were delighted to welcome the Duke of Gloucester last Wednesday, 11th April. 
The Duke's visit marked the completion of work to replace 175-year-old roofslates and tons of weathered stonework on this historic church, the oldest of three London Catholic churches designed by Augustus Pugin. 

Members of the parish heritage group led the Duke on a tour of the church interior, including a newly-formed exhibition.  As a former architect himself, the Duke also took a close interest in photographs of the church refurbishment work, discussing these with the architect and the representative of the main contractor. 

All wearing hard hats, the party went on to the upper hall of Pugin Place, the adjacent community centre, originally designed in 1858 as the parish school by Edward Pugin, eldest son of Augustus.  His splendid hammer-beam roof was admired in spite of the risk from the fragile 160-year-old plaster between the rafters. 

The Duke wished the parish well in their efforts to raise funds for the refurbishment of this hall, to restore it for community use.
Afterwards Fr Michael said “It was great to have the importance of our parish history and heritage recognised by this royal visit.  The Duke also gave a wonderful morale boost for our efforts to bring Pugin Place back into full community use”.

Be a Voice for Migrants

On Monday 7th May 2018, St George's Cathedral, Southwark, will host a Mass for Migrants at 11 am with a preceding Banner Procession from 10.45 am. This is a lively and colouful service which jointly celebrates the diversity of Westminster, Brentwood and Southwark Dioceses. Archbishop Peter Smith will be Principal Celebrant this year.

The first music rehearsal for the Mass  will take place on Saturday 14th April from 2 pm - 5 pm in Amigo Hall, Lambeth Road SE1.

If you enjoy singing and would like to lend your voice to this special service please contact the Music Co-ordinator for the Mass, Frances Novillo: Email: or Tel: 07714 204 201.

You do not need to be able to read music but we would be grateful if you could let Frances know in advance if you plan to attend the rehearsal.

For further information please follow this link:

Adoremus Talk

On Thursday 12 April 2018 the eminent New Testament scholar and acclaimed author, Fr Nicholas King SJ, will give a talk in preparation for Adoremus, the National Eucharistic Congress that will take place in Liverpool this September.

The theme of the talk will be 'Scripture and Eucharist - Get a Life!'  It will
take place at 7.30 pm in the Parish Centre at
Sacred Heart RC Church, Edge Hill, Wimbledon SW19. All are very welcome.
For more details on Adoremus click here

Apostolic Exhortation: Gaudete et Exsultate

On the Feast on the Annunciation of the Lord, when we are called upon to 'become partakers of His divine nature', Pope Francis has promulgated a new Apostolic Exhortation concerned with the call to holiness entitled Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and be Glad).  

As Pope Francis explains 'Holiness is as diverse as humanity; the Lord has in mind a particular path for each believer, not just the clergy, the consecrated, or those who live a contemplative life. We are all called to holiness, whatever our role, by living our lives with love and bearing witness, and in the everyday turning to God.'... Holiness keeps you faithful to your deepest self, free from every form of enslavement, and bearing fruit for our world.  

To watch a short video explaining the nature of the Exhortation folllow this link

Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign in Nigeria

We have received a wonderful update from the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Archdiocese of Benin, Nigeria.  

They report that 7,864 adults and young people in parishes, schools and a variety of outstations in the Archdiocese of Benin have attended their presentations about the dangers of human trafficking in the past two months alone.

This welcome news has been made possible as a result of the generosity of Southwark Parishioners, CBCEW Santa Marta Group and a number of private donors in our Diocese who have helped to raise £45,000 in order to increase awareness of Human Trafficking, which Pope Francis has described as 'an open wound on the body of contemporary society'.

Thank you to all who have supported the Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign in Nigeria, thereby helping to stem this cruel cycle of exploitation.  If you would like to find out more visit:

The Manna Centre

 On the morning of Thursday 5th April,  Monsignor Matthew Dickens, the Vicar  General of the Archdiocese of Southwark,  paid a visit to the Manna Centre at its newly  refurbished premises in Melior Street. The  Manna Society has run the Centre since  1982, supporting homeless people in the  heart of London. It was founded by  Nannette Ffrench who saw the plight of the homeless people in and around London SE1 and wanted to do something to help them.  Following a discussion with Bishop Henderson, one of the Auxilliary Bishops of Southwark at the time, a property was found and a building at 6 Melior Street, SE1, was given freely by the Diocese.
    The Manna Day Centre is now based at 12 Melior Street, London SE1 3QP and is open from 8.30 am to 1.30 pm, seven days a week, 51 weeks a year.
    Today the Centre continues to help between 120 - 150 homeless and disadvantaged people every day by providing breakfast and lunch, meals, showers, clothing, housing, welfare advice, medical care and access to computers.  About 50 % sleep rough, 25% are in socially rented accommodation and the remaining 25% are in a hostel or stay with friends. What they all share in common is poverty and often loneliness.
    The Centre is always looking for support. From a financial point of view, assistance is needed to help defray costs, whilst clothing needs to be passed on to those who come to the Centre.  Volunteers are also required to help the Centre carry out its work.  

Further details can be read here about the work of the Manna Centre can be read here and you are warmly invited to visit the their website:

Director of Education

Competitive salary and benefits
Full-time, permanent

The Edcuation Commission is currently looking to recruit a new Director of Education.
The Director of Education’s role is to promote and manage the educational work of the Archdiocese by providing effective leadership and direction to the Education Commission in the development and implementation of a strategy and on-going management of the team, which delivers on the Archbishop’s core principles of Catholic education. 
The core requirement for the role is experience of education resources and curriculum management within a comparable organisation, local authority, school or further education setting. It is also essential that the post-holder is able to bring a credible level of understanding of the beliefs and traditions that underpin the work of the Catholic Church in the UK and that inform the development of Catholic education in schools.
It will also be important to be able to see the bigger picture and bring an understanding of the accountabilities and pastoral role of the Diocese in the lives of the people and communities it serves beyond its schools.
This is a senior role within the Archdiocese and as such is expected to work collaboratively with all other senior managers within the Archdiocese to meet the requirements of the Trustees.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (No. 1173050) and is run by a Board of Trustees led by the Archbishop, who are responsible for determining the strategic direction of the Diocese. 

Application is by way CV and a Supporting Statement.
For an informal discussion about the role, please contact:

Simon Lloyd, Director, on 07961 988 523 or email 

Closing date: Tuesday 3rd April
Interview dates (TBC): Tuesday 10th April and Monday 23rd April