News Archive for May 2018

"The Good Shepherd Liturgy"

Mission Together celebrates 175 years with schools in the Archdiocese of Southwark at Aylesford Priory.

A sunny Aylesford Priory was the setting for Mission Together’s Good Shepherd liturgy on 23rd May 2018. A record number of pupils – over 1,200 – from across the Archdiocese of Southwark, gathered to celebrate being ‘children helping children’. They were joined by Bishop Pat Lynch and Missio National Director, Fr Anthony Chantry, who led the children in prayer, assisted by Fr Philip Baptiste and Aylesford Prior, Fr Francis Kemsley.

Southwark pupils celebrate the Good Shepherd Mass at Aylesford Priory

Each year schools supporting Mission Together, the Pope’s official children’s charity for overseas mission, unite to celebrate a year of prayer and sharing. Through scripture, reflections, song and dance, pupils share faith with one another, demonstrate their talents and remember that God’s love is for sharing with everyone, everywhere. This year is particularly special for Mission Together as schools mark 175 years of children around the world living out its motto: ‘children helping children'. 

When Mission Together was founded in France in 1843 by Bishop Charles de Forbin‐Janson he gave children the challenge of saying one prayer every day and giving a small coin every month for children living in poverty overseas. Since then the task has remained the same: to pray and to share. This year’s message from Pope Francis for the Mission Together children around the world reminds them: ‘When we give, we follow Jesus. When we follow Jesus we find peace and joy’.

Last year schools in Southwark raised over £8,500 for Mission Together. Thanks to them, children around the world who are living in poverty, learn that they are not forgotten. They know that there are children overseas who care about them, share with them, and who pray to God for them. This gives them hope for a better future.

Mission Together have expressed their heartfelt thanks to the children of Southwark for their generosity and joyful participation. In addition they would like to offer their thanks to all education staff and parents who helped prepare the young people with their performances as well as Aylesford Priory staff who assisted with the smooth and sucessful running of the day.

For further information on the work of this charity and the excellent resources available to schools and teachers, please visit:

Congratulations to our Jubilarians

180522 - Jubilarians Lunch

On the 22nd May 2018 at the Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St George, Archbishop Peter presided at a Mass of thanksgiving for the many years of ministry of those who are celebrating significant anniversaries of their ordinations to priesthood and diaconate

180522 - Jubilarians Lunch

Fourteen Jubilarians and their guests joined Archbishop Peter for the celebration of Mass and for lunch in Archbishop's House

180522 - Jubilarians Lunch

Please keep all our Jubilarians and fellow clergy in your prayers

Diamond Jubilarians
Reverend Canon Colm Acton
Most Reverend Michael Bowen
Reverend John Hartley
Reverend Canon Francis Mooney
Reverend Patrick Murtagh

Golden Jubilarians
Reverend Canon David Caine
Reverend Patrick Cannon
Reverend Monsignor Edward Hill
Reverend James Hurley
Reverend Canon Thomas McHugh

Ruby Jubilarians
Reverend Monsignor Canon James Cronin
Reverend Michael Jones
Reverend William Keogh
Reverend Luke Marappillil
Reverend Canon Alan McLean
Reverend Canon John O'Toole
Reverend Canon Edward Perera

Silver Jubilarians
Reverend Deacon John Boughton
Reverend Patrick Feyisetan
Reverend Deacon James Hayes
Reverend Deacon James Sheahan
Reverend Julian Shurgold
Reverend Patrick Udotai
Reverend Deacon Gerald Watkins

Blessing of the new roof in Woolwich

In 1841 Father Coles opened a subscription list in order to raise funds to build the new church in Woolwich; the Church was designed by Augustus Pugin, and built on land donated by the government of the day

180518 - Woolwich Blessing of Roof

On 26 October 1842 the foundation stone was laid by Dr Griffiths, Bishop of the London District. Exactly a year later the new church was opened by the retired Bishop Dr Morris (formerly Bishop in Mauritius). The planned tower was never built, although Canon Monk had a special fund for it as late as 1950

180518 - Woolwich Blessing of Roof

With the construction bill finally paid, the first anniversary of the dedication of the church was solemnly celebrated on 27 October 1844. The Masses were well attended by 4,000 Catholics in Woolwich, with the Catholic solders from Woolwich barracks marching down for the 9:30 Mass.
Nothing lasts forever, over the last 20 plus years the roof had been leaking causing damage to the fabric of the building, and repairs costs mounted up.  The inner cladding of the roof started to fall down and netting had to be put up in the church to protect the congregation.  Father Michael Branch made the decision a new roof was needed and fund raising began.


The cost was enormous because of the size of the building and the fact it is a grade 2 listed building, lottery funding was sought and a £200,000 grant was awarded.  Specialist builders were approached and PAYE was awarded the contract to replace or repair the time damaged stonework and the roof with the work taking almost a year.

180518 - Woolwich Blessing of Roof

On Friday 18th May Archbishop Peter Smith came to Woolwich to bless the new roof during a Mass and it is hoped that with Archbishop Peter’s blessing and God’s help the beautiful church will stay dry for another 175 years.
More photos on the RCSouthwark Diocesan Flickr page

Click here for more history of St. Peter the Apostle - Woolwich

A Service of Thanksgiving

180518 - Thanksgiving Service for donated bodies for medical research

On Friday 18th May 2018 The Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St George hosted a service of thanksgiving for those who have donated their bodies for medical education, training and research

180518 - Thanksgiving Service for donated bodies for medical research

This was the first time this annual event had been held in the Cathedral and was dedicated to all those who donated their bodies during the past year and who have thus contributed, even after death, to the benefit of future generation.

180518 - Thanksgiving Service for donated bodies for medical research

180518 - Thanksgiving Service for donated bodies for medical research

This generous act was acknowledged by the staff and students at Brighton + Sussex Medical School, Imperial College London, King's College London, Queen Mary University of London, St George's University of London and University College London

180518 - Thanksgiving Service for donated bodies for medical research

Music was provided by the Conductor and Choir of King's College London accompanied by the Director of Music of the Cathedral, Mr Norman Haper.
The Ushers were from Brighton and Sussex Medical School

180518 - Thanksgiving Service for donated bodies for medical research

The final blessing was given by Canon Richard Hearn - Dean of the Cathedral

More photos on the RCSouthwark Diocesan Flickr page

Diocesan Eucharistic Adoration Committees launched for Southwark

Two groups of lay people, sent as delegates by parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Southwark, have been in formation and training during the past three months as part of the development of Diocesan Eucharistic Adoration Committees during this year of the National Eucharistic Congress.

These were organised and conducted by Brendan Cleary of the Apostolate of Eucharistic Adoration at the invitation of Archbishop Peter Smith, with the support of the bishops and priests of the Diocese.

The two Diocesan Committees were comissioned at Masses offered by Bishop Patrick Lynch at St Anselm's, Tooting Bec, for London South, and by Bishop Paul Mason at The Hermitage, West Malling, for the Kent Pastoral Area on Saturday 5th May 2018.

These Adoration Committees are equipped and trained to set up a system of viable weekly Adoration in parishes of the Archdiocese, subject to the invitation of parish priests.  Where a previous system of Adoration exists in a parish, the task undertaken will be strengthen and expand it.

A substantial numbers of parishes of the Archdiocese have promptly requested a future weekend presentation, or renewal, from one of the diocesan teams, at a date to be agreed.  It is expected that there will be a great uptake from still more parishes in the weeks ahead and contact teams are now available to respond to parishes at they make contact.

Application forms are available to parishes through their bishop's office:

Kent Adoration
The Secretary, The Hermitage, More Park, West Malling, Kent ME19 6HN

South West Adoration
Send to: 95 Carshalton Road, Sutton, Surrey SM1 4LL

South East Adoration
Send to: Park House, 6a Creswelll Park, Blackheath, London SE3 9RD

Mass for new Catholics

On Saturday 12th May 2018 at 11 am the Mass for new Catholics took place at St George's Cathedral.  A congregation of those who entered the Church over the Easter period gathered to celebrate their Faith.


Readings were given by Dr Mark Nash and Pierpaolo Finaldi of the Centre for Catholic Formation and Archbishop Peter Smith gave the homily in which he offered the newly baptised and confirmed these words:

'We can never predict what we will meet on our journey
of faith, but we believe that throughout our journey the
Holy Spirit is with us at every moment, leading us and
guiding us, often in hidden ways. As we heard in the
reading from the Acts of the Apostles, the Holy Spirit
empowered St. Paul to remain faithful despite his
looming martyrdom in Rome'.

The Archbishop went on to say that through the gift of the Holy Spirit, whose coming we will shortly celebrate at the Feast of Pentecost (Sunday 20th May) we may deepen our faith, awaken our strengths and ask for the inspiration to produce spiritual fruit that will last.

10th Anniversary Service for Jimmy Mizen

A full St George's Cathedral was host to a Memorial Service for Jimmy  Mizen, who lost his life 10 years ago following an altercation.

The Jimmy Mizen Foundation has been set up with the intention of building a legacy of peace in Jimmy's honour, and as Cardinal Vincent Nicholas, who is their Patron, has said

'Building a legacy of peace is a fine project. Yet like all grand projects it is made up of many small steps, many small bricks.  
A legacy is something lasting. It is, therefore, more than a
vision or intention.  It is a construction, something put
together so that it lasts.

During the service powerful words were offered by friends about the legacy, in particular about the three Good Hope Cafes that have been established with the intention of creating safe spaces for young people to grow up in.

Margaret, Barry and Danny Mizen reflected on the ten-year journey since Jimmy's death and spoke positively about plans for the next 10 years. The couple appealed for young people and communities to come together to stop violence, particularly in London.  

Archbishop Peter Smith spoke of the need to assure young people that they are valuable and precious in God's eyes and encouraged alll gathered to think of how we can show each other love, forgiveness and compassion.                                           

During the service, which was accompanied by music led by Canon Alan McLean, ten large candles were lit to represent each anniversary year.

After the service the congregation enoyed talking in the sunshine on the Cathedral forecourt, having been encouraged to meet the challenges facing us all in the pursuit of peace.

Abp Peter Smith talks to Sadiq Khan & a pupil from Notre Dame School whilst the Dean of the Cathedral, Canon Richard Hearn, talks to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick.

More photographs of this event are available our Flickr page

The Director of Education

I am pleased to announce the appointment of our new Diocesan Director of Education.  Following the recruitment process over the last few months, Dr Simon Hughes has been appointed as successor to Dr Anne Bamford.  We are expecting him to take up his post in late July.

Simon has many years of experience in Catholic education, having taught in Catholic primary and secondary schools.  More recently he has had great experience of working in higher education, leadership development and as an Ofsted Inspector.  You can find more details of his history and experience in the brief biography attached.

I would also take this opportunity to thank Stephen Bryan for his dedication and energy over the last year in his role as Interim Director.  I am most grateful to him and to all education staff for their hard work and dedication, particularly whilst awaiting the appointment of a new Director.
+Peter Smith
Archbishop of Southwark

Dr Simon Hughes' Biography

Annual Migrants' Mass 2018

DSC02729 On Monday 7th May 2018, the Dioceses of Southwark, Brentwood and Westminster, through their respective Justice and Peace Comissions, held a Mass at St George's Cathedral for all migrants and refugees. The Mass was preceeded at 10.45am by a colourful banner procession. Archbishop Peter Smith was the Principal Celebrant. He was joined by Archeparch Menghesteab Tesfamariam of Asmara, Erirea, Bishop Alan Williams of Brentwood, Bishop Paul McAleenan Auxiliary bishop in Westminster, Bishop Pat Lynch Auxilary bishop of Southwark, several priests and deacons, and almost 750 people in the congragation.

During the Mass a specially formed choir led the congregation in singing worship songs from around the world. At the beginning of the Mass Sean Ryan MBE of Caritas Salford spoke introducing Samara a recent refuge that Caritas is supporting. Just befor the Mass concluded Ansel Wong of the Windrush Foundation addressed the congregation.

Prayers at the Shrine of St Frances-Xavier CabriniBefore and after Mass many people visited the Shrine of St Frances-Xavier Cabrini. She spent much of her life bringing the Gospel to European migrants seeking a better life in America and founded schools orphanges, hospitals and social centres on an international basis.  She died in Chicago in 1917, was canonised in 1946 and made the Universal Patroness of Migrants in 1950 by Pope Pius XII.
For more photos visit our Flickr Page

Bishop Paul Hendricks visits The Friars - Aylesford

On Saturday 5th May 2018 Bishop Paul presided at the Mass for the pilgrimage for the Legion of Mary to the Friars in Aylesford

This was the first time the new blue vestments were used by the community and visiting clergy