News Archive for July 2018

Howzat for a game of cricket?

On Sunday 8th July 2018 an extraordinary cricket match took place between St Peter's Cricket Team, which consists of Catholic Priests, Deacons and Seminarians normally based in Rome, supported by the Pontifical Council for Culture and Sport, and a team of Officers, Prisoners and Non-operational staff from HMP and Young Offenders Institution Isis.  

The match was won by the St Peter's Cricket Team by 15 runs, but in an extraordinary turn of events, not to mention a wonderful display of generosity, the Captain of the Vatican Team, Deacon Kapila, gifted the trophy to the Isis Team, explaining: 'In all the matches we have played, we have found playing with the Isis Team most rewarding and humbling and we are going to treasure this experience for the rest of our lives'.

As well as the match itself, the teams shared Mass and a buffet. Approximately 160 people attended the event, which demonstrated how faith and sport play a vital role in the rehabilitation of prisoners and can help reduce re-offending. The day enabled the teams to share their faith, and passion for cricket.  It also allowed many prisoners to engage with their rehabilitation by taking up roles of leadership and responsibility in organising the event.  

Staff and prisoners worked together to ensure the smooth running of the day, which also allowed them to share their own particular skill. From the Quay Orderlies who prepared the buffet and cricket cake to those who designed and made the Trophies in Upcycling (see photograph below),all had a gift to share.

We congratulate both teams on their cricket and specifically the staff and Prisoners of Isis for organising a very successful day of faith and sport.

Ongoing Formation of Priests - Aylesford

From Tuesday 24th to Thursday 26th of July, as part of the Ongoing Formation of Priests programme for newly ordained priests of the diocese, newly arrived priests from overseas, and for those taking up parish priest appointments for the first time, a number of priests met at Aylesford to learn more about the workings of the Diocesan Chancery

They met with the Diocesan Chancery Team who facilitated a series of presentations on some of the major areas of their work.  

The groups spent time together in prayer and celebrated Mass on each of the days. There was also an opportunity for questions and discussion

There is also a course presented by the Finance Office, the Education Commission and the Safeguarding Office to help comprehend the Diocese as an organisation.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of 

Monsignor Leo White

who died on Tuesday 31st July 2018

May he rest in peace

Funeral arrangements

Requiem Mass
Monday 20th August at 18.30
St. Bede's Church
58, Thornton Road, Clapham Park, SW12 0LF

His body will then be flown back to Malta for burial in the family vault

Concelebrating clergy are asked to bring Purple Diocesan vestments


The closing date for submitting applications to the CCF in order to attend the National Eucharistic Congress has passed, but parishioners can still apply online via

The closing date is Tuesday 31st July 2018, so please try to complete and submit your form and payment this weekend.

Human Trafficking Awareness & Livelihood Projects

Following a recent update from the CBCEW Santa Marta Group, we are very pleased to say that there has been a great deal of successful activity with regard to combatting human trafficking in Edo State, from where 90% of those trafficked from Nigeria to the UK originate.

Looking after crops

The Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, who are working within the Archdiocese of Benin on a Human Awareness Programme, have continued to spread word of the pitfalls and dangers of trafficking by delivering presentations at schools and parishes. Since last Spring they have reached almost 2,000 people, the majority of whom are Roman Catholic. The Catholic Church is well established in Nigeria and is therefore in a good position to provide support on the ground.

Tanks at the newly established sustainable fish farm

Furthermore, significant progress has been made in Edo State with the Human Livelihood Programme, which seeks to provide employment on a local basis so that the promise of work abroad offered by traffickers is less appealing. This often includes offering training local people in work skills.  
A sustainable fish farm now complements the other cottage industries in baking, weaving, crop farming and sewing that have already been established.

We wish all in Edo well for these new endeavours and ask Southwark parishioners to pray for the essential work that Santa Marta are undertaking in order to drive out modern slavery.  

If your parish would like to find out more about how it can help combat human trafficking, or to arrange a parish talk, please contact Bishop Pat Lynch via these contact details.

A recently acquired vehicle, purchased in order to transport goods

Planning the day's work

With grateful thanks to Fr Mark Odion of CBCEW Santa Marta Group
for these images.

Ordination to the Priesthood

Last Saturday 21st July 2018, Archbishop Peter ordained two seminarians to the Priesthood in St George’s Cathedral, Southwark. The day was blessed by radiant weather, which matched the joyful anticipation of the congregation.

Both family and friends of Louie Kitt and Francis Murphy filled the Cathedral, alongside a significant number of priests, many of whom have played an important role in their formation and study.  Included in this number were The Rev. Monsignor Philip Whitmore, Rector of the Venerable English College in Rome and Canon Brian Coyle, Rector of St John’s Seminary in Wonersh. 

During the Liturgy of the Word, the congregation listened to a passage from St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, which exhorted all gathered to ‘lead a life worthy of your vocation… and do all you can to preserve the unity of the Spirit’. 

The Gospel passage for the service was
John 21.15-17, in which Jesus asks Peter whether he loves him, to which he replies ‘Lord you know everything, you know that I love you.’ Peter is then lovingly exhorted by Jesus: ‘Feed my sheep’.

Archbishop Peter delivers the Homily

In his homily, Archbishop Peter directly addressed the candidates.  He reminded them that it is always God who takes the initiative: ‘You did not choose me, no, I chose you’, and encouraged them not to worry as to why God may have made that choice, or to be afraid of weakness, as experienced by the Apostles when they fled from Jesus in his greatest hour of need, but rather to be ‘dependent on that personal encounter with God in prayer ‘ and to have a continuing conversion of heart, as urged by Pope Francis.

The Rite of Ordination followed directly after, during which the candidates were presented and duly examined by the Archbishop through a series of questions.  A promise of obedience was then given.

The ordinands prostrate themselves as the Litany of Saints is sung

At this point, the ordinands prostrated themselves in front of the altar whilst the Litany of Saints was sung by a cantor, thereby imploring heaven to pour out its gifts and requesting all holy men, women and Saints of God to ‘bless these chosen men, make them holy and consecrate them for their sacred duties’.

The Sacrament of Holy Orders was conferred by the laying on of hands by the Archbishop and other clergy assembled, followed by a solemn prayer of consecration. The new priests are were duly presented with a stole and chasuble and their hands anointed. The Cathedral Choir sang ‘Veni Creator Spiritus in Mode VIII which commences:

Veni Creator Spiritus,
mentes tuorum visita,
imple superna gratia,
quae tu creasti, pectora.

Come Holy Ghost, Creator, come,
from thy bright heav'nly throne;
come, take possession of 
our souls,
and make them all thine 

The Robing of  the new priests

Family members of Fr Kitt and Fr Murphy presented the Eucharistic Gifts and the Archbishop led the clergy in offering a kiss of peace to the two new priests.  Among their number was Fr Paul Kyne, who was ordained in the Cathedral the previous year.

Fr Paul Kyne welcomes Fr Francis Murphy to the Priesthood

A luminous moment took place in the Liturgy of the Eucharist when, as the new priests and fellow clergy consecrated the gifts, a shaft of sunlight pierced through a high window in the Cathedral, beaming directly down onto the Altar.  It was a moment of transcendent beauty in the Cathedral.

A shaft of light illuminated the Sanctuary during the Consecration

Archbishop Peter lifts the consecrated host

Following a word of grateful thanks from the Archbishop to all responsible for bringing this service of ordination to fruition, a solemn blessing and dismissal was proclaimed and Father Kitt and Father Louie proceeded to give their first blessings in the side chapels of the Cathedral, 

Please remember Fr Louie Kitt and Fr Francis Murphy as begin their new life as priests of the Diocese of Southwark.

Left to Right: Mgr Philip Whitmore, Fr Francis Murphy, Abp Peter Smith,
Fr Louie Kitt, Canon Brian Coyle

For  additional photos of this Ordination service, please visit the CBCEW Flickr Site here

With grateful thanks to Marcin Mazur for these images

Please pray for the repose of the soul of 

Deacon David Pease

who died on Tuesday 17th July 2018
May he rest in peace

Funeral arrangements

Reception of Body
Wednesday 8th August at 16.00
St. Patrick's Church
Hector Street, Plumstead, SE18 1AQ
020 3722 7573

Funeral Mass
Thursday 9th August at 11.30
St. Patrick's, Hector Street

Concelebrating clergy are asked to bring White Diocesan vestments

Southwark Catholic Youth Services

2018-07-21 17.31.49

On Saturday 21st July 2018 Monsignor Matthew Dickens joined the community of St Vincent's in Whitstable, the retreat centre of the Southwark Catholic Youth Service, along with some of the Friars from Aylesford and the youth services' management committee to celebrate a Mass in thanksgiving for another very successful year.
The team at St Vincent’s receive gifts as a token of thanks for all the hard work they had put into this year.
2018-07-21 18.12.52

John Toryusen, director of the youth service was also thanked by Monsignor Mathew on behalf of the Archbishop and Trustees for all the commitment he has shown during a very demanding time


The celebration continued with a buffet party in the centre

More photos on the RCSouthwark Diocesan Flickr page

Mass of Thanksgiving for the 60th Anniversary of the Re-opening of St George's Cathedral

 On Saturday 14th July 2018, a special Mass  was offered at St George’s Cathedral in  thanksgiving for the 60th Anniversary of the  re-opening of the church after it sustained  significant bomb damage in World War II.

 Welcoming the congregation, Canon Richard  Hearn, Dean of the Cathedral, offered some  insight:

 “On the night of 14th April 1941 an incendiary  bomb landed on the roof St George’s Cathedral  and it started a fire. By morning the mother church of the diocese was a smouldering shell. On 4th July 1958 this rebuilt cathedral was opened and once more St George’s was at the heart of the diocese.

We gather today to give thanks to God for those who made that possible 60 years ago and to give thanks for the part that the cathedral, and those who have ministered here, has played the life & mission of the Church”

Archbishop Peter was joined by many concelebrants who had served at the Cathedral, including Fr Gerry Flood, who was at the original procession into the newly restored church in 1958 and still continues to serve as a parish priest in Southwark Diocese. Also present were two former Deans, Canon Jim Pannett and Canon John O’Toole, the latter of whom offered the homily at the invitation of the present Dean.

Following the Gospel Reading of Matthew 16. 13-19, Canon O’Toole spoke of the need to find balance between the physical building and spiritual life of the church.

He then went on to describe Cathedral ‘heroes’,  from the architect of the original church, A.W.N. Pugin, to Provost Thomas Doyle, who commissioned it.

Others mentioned were the architect who restored the Cathedral, Mr Romilly Craze, as well as Archbishops Amigo and Cowderoy, who had oversight of its rebuilding. 
In particular, Canon O'Toole referred to Archbishop Cowderoy's words at the re-opening of St George's Cathedral:

'But while we recall the past to be our inspiration and to teach us its lessons, we must emphasise the past has gone.  We are not here as a sort of medieval survival, but as part of the living Church of the living God... It is as members of that Church, chosen and living stones, that we rejoice today.'

Later in the service, the full Cathedral Choir sang Locus Iste by Anton Bruckner.  The text, which is written in Latin, is traditionally sung at the celebration of a church's dedication:

Locus iste a Deo factus est, inaestimabile sacramentum,
irreprehensibilis est.

This place was made by God, a priceless sacrament,
it is without reproach.

At the end of the service, Archbishop Peter thanked all assembled for attending the Mass and encouraged the congregation to join in singing the final hymn ‘The Church’s One Foundation’ before the final blessing.


A memorable occasion came to a fitting conclusion as all clergy gathered in the Sacristy.  In particular, the present Dean and two former Deans, who who, in their own way, have lived part of the Cathedral's rich and varied history.


Canons John O'Toole, Richard Hearn (present Dean) and Jim Pannett
Deans of St George's Cathedral, Southwark

For additional photos click here

Bishop Paul Mason appointed Bishop of the Forces

It has been announced today (Monday 9th July) that Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Paul Mason as the next Bishop of the Forces. Bishop Paul was ordained as a Bishop in May 2016, and appointed to be an Auxiliary Bishop in the diocese.

Episcopal Ordination Fr Paul Mason as Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark
Bishop Paul Mason with Archbishop Peter

On his new appointment, Bishop Paul commented:
‘Although sad to be leaving my adoptive diocese, the new role the Holy Father has asked me to take on as Bishop of the Forces is one I accept with much enthusiasm. Supporting the men and women of the British Armed Forces, and their families, is a very important apostolate in the life of the Church and one which I will be doing my best to pass muster’

On hearing the news Archbishop Peter said:
“I was delighted to hear that after a gap of three years without a Bishop of the Forces, Bishop Paul Mason has been appointed to that office by Pope Francis. As the Archbishop of Southwark, however, I was sad to learn that the Diocese will have to lose the valuable and very effective ministry of Bishop Paul. The men and women of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces will gain the blessing of a truly committed and dedicated bishop. Their gain is our loss, a loss that will be greatly felt in the Diocese, especially by the Catholics in Kent. I pray that Bishop Paul’s ministry in the Bishopric will be as fruitful as it has been in Southwark.”

Assuring Bishop Paul of the wholehearted support and prayers of the chaplains and faithful of the forces, the Apostolic Administrator of the Bishopric of the Forces, Fr Michael Fava expressed his joy and thanksgiving for the appointment of Bishop Paul following a 3 year period of sede vacante and stated ‘Together we look forward to furthering the Church’s mission of new evangelisation as we strive to work in the cause of peace

Bishop Mason will take up the official duties of the Bishop of the Forces in the autumn of 2018 following his installation in the Cathedral Church of the Bishopric, St Michael & St George’s Cathedral, Aldershot and all at Southwark Diocese wish him well for this new chapter in his ministry.

Ordination of Deacons in Southwark Diocese

On Saturday 7th July 2018 at St George's Cathedral, Archbishop Peter Smith Ordained six men into the Permanent Diaconate.  Our warmest congratulations go our to Oluwole Alayo, Anthony Wentworth, Carlos Lozano, Garrett Cullen, Antonio Almeida and Paul Said.

Despite being an exceptionally hot day, families and friends filled the Cathedral.  Its coolness meant that congregation could relax and fully appreciate the service. It was clear from the smiles of the new deacons that this was a most joyful occasion.

We continue to pray that our new deacons will be richly blessed in their ministry as they undertake God's work with their fellow clergy, religious and laity throughout Southwark.