The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark covers the London boroughs south of the Thames,
the County of Kent and the Medway Unitary Authority

Archbishop Peter Smith

Our Archbishop is
Archbishop Peter Smith
who was installed
at Saint George's Cathedral on 10th June 2010

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Gathering in Liverpool 2018 - Adoremus

Southwark Prayer Card for Eucharistic Congress - prayer

The diocesan preparation for the Eucharistic Pilgrimage & Congress - Adoremus - taking place in September in Liverpool, continues. The latest element has been the creation and distribution of a Prayer Card for the diocese. This should soon be available in parishes and the diocesan team and Archbishop Peter encourage you to pick up a card and use the prayer over the coming months.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Bishop Francis Walmsley

who died on Tuesday 26th December 2017 

May he rest in peace

Funeral arrangements

Tuesday 23 January 2018
Cathedral Church of St Michael and St George
Queens Avenue

The interment will be at
Farnborough Abbey

A Christmas message from Archbishop Peter

The Nativity - Federico Barocci - 1597 - Museo del Prado, Madrid

In a busy world full of technological wonders, near constant distractions, and many situations of violent strife, the 'silent night' that we remember and celebrate at Christmas is a calming gift from God. We too with the angels give praise for the arrival of the Christ child over two thousand years ago, even as we anticipate his return. We too with the shepherds wonder at the splendid things that took place. We too with Mary and Joseph are invited to look upon the face of the baby Jesus, to love him as he loves us. As we do these things we must also listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit which encourages us to share this gift with all we meet.

I pray that God may bless you all and give you the gifts 
of his love, peace and joy this Christmas and throughout 2018.
Archbishop of Southwark

Archbishop Peter joined the parishioners, visitors and clergy of St George's Cathedral for Masses on Christmas Night and Christmas morning

171225 - Christmas Services

171225 - Christmas Services

171225 - Christmas Services

171225 - Christmas Services

Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Father Kevin Pelham

who died on Wednesday 20th December 2017

May he rest in peace

Funeral arrangements

Thursday 1st February 2018
8pm Vigil Mass preceded by the Reception of the body
  St Margaret's Church, Fir Tree Grove, Carshalton. SM5 4NG

Friday 2nd February 2018
12noon Requiem Mass
St Margaret's Church, Fir Tree Grove, Carshalton. SM5 4NG

updated 18/1/18

Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Father Roy Dunstan CRE
(member of the Canons Regular of Eltham)

who died on Sunday 17th December 2017

May he rest in peace

Funeral arrangements

Tuesday 16th January 2018
4.00pm Reception of the Body
Christchurch Priory

Wednesday 17th January 2018
11.30am Requiem Mass
followed by burial at Christchurch Priory Cemetery

Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Father Peter Madden

who died on Saturday 16th December 2017

May he rest in peace

Funeral arrangements:

St Paul's Catholic Church, Dover (CT16 1RU)
Reception of Body into the Church
Sunday 21st January 2018, prior to a Parish Mass at 5pm

Funeral Mass
St Paul's Roman Catholic Church Dover (CT16 1RU)
Monday 22nd January 12noon
Concelebrating clergy are asked to bring purple Diocesan vestments.

updated 28/12/17


Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Canon Anthony Ford

who died on Friday 15th December 2017

May he rest in peace

Canon Ford's funeral took place in St Augustine, Florida,
on Saturday 23rd December.
Bishop Paul Hendricks was able to attend to represent the Diocese.

A Memorial Mass will take place at
Our Lady Immacualte, Ewell Road
Tolworth KT6 7DG
on Friday 16th February 2018
at 12 noon
Concelebrating clergy are asked to bring white diocesan vestments

updated 17/01/18

Logo of St George's Cathedral Southwark

Cathedral Carol Service

Parishioners and visitors came together with the Cathedral Clergy for the annual Cathedral Carol Service on the 14th December at the Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St George

They were joined by The Very Reverend Andrew Nunn, Dean of Southwark Cathedral and Monsignor Matthew Dickens, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Southwark

171214 - Cathedral Carol Service

The combined Cathedral Choirs were joined by the The Museum Singers from the Imperial War Museum

171214 - Cathedral Carol Service

The Very Reverend Andrew Nunn gave a short reflection on the meaning of Christmas and Canon Richard Hearn, Dean of the Cathedral thanked all the choirs, the clergy and staff and especially all the volunteers at the Cathedral who work so hard all the year round

171214 - Cathedral Carol Service

The celebrations continued in the Amigo Hall with a vast array of food and drink

Christmas Music Festival at Sacred Heart Church Camberwell

On Wednesday 13th December 8 catholic schools from south east London came together at Sacred Heart Church Camberwell to celebrate the 4th edition of the the music festival.


The schools taking part were St. Joseph’s infant school Camberwell, St Francis primary school Peckham, St. Joseph’s primary school Camberwell, St Michael’s college Bermondsey , Notre Dame Girls school, Sacred Heart Secondary school, Virgo Fidelis Convent school and St Thomas the Apostle college.


Bishop Patrick Lynch was the special guest of honour and in his Christmas message, he encouraged the congregation to truly be the light of Christ in the world, since light is a rich symbol for Christmas. The birth of Jesus he said, brought light to our world.


Gathering in Liverpool 2018

The bishops of England and Wales will hold a National Eucharistic Pilgrimage and Congress in the Echo Arena, Liverpool, 7-9 September, 2018. 

Eucharistic Congresses are gatherings of clergy, religious and laity which promote an awareness of the central place of the Eucharist in the life and mission of the Church

The Congress themes:
1. Eucharist
2. Adoration
3. Scripture
4. Ecclesiology – the Church
5. Formation
6. Music
7. Mission

These 7 themes all linked to the centrality of the Eucharist, provide a very rich reservoir of material for reflection and discussion. They can be adapted by parishes so that the prime focus remains at parish community level. The impact of this Congress needs to be absorbed and consolidated in each of our parishes and schools because that is where it matters to every individual person.

Congress Prayer Cards have been sent to each parish so please take one and keep this Congress in your prayers

Loving God, help us to be open to the freshness of your Spirit. 

Fill us with enthusiasm for the Good News. 

Invite us into a deeper relationship with your Son, Jesus, truly present in the Eucharist. 

Make us more aware of where there is need for new life. 

Help us to reach out to those who feel lost or abandoned, those who are searching and questioning, those who have walked away from you and those who are eager to know your love. 

We ask this through Christ, Our Lord, Amen.

There will be separate prayer cards for primary and secondary schools – designed by the SCYS – available in the new year.

For future information please click here to go to the sidebar on the left

Catholic Children's Society Southwark Crisis Fund Advent Service


On Tuesday 5th December Archbishop Peter joined schools from around the Archdiocese of Southwark at their Advent Service in the Cathedral in aid of the Catholic Children's Society Southwark Crisis Fund

171205 - Catholic Childrens Society Crisis Fund

Dr Rosemary Keenan CEO of the Catholic Children's Society explained what the Crisis Fund means to families who are in need

171205 - Catholic Childrens Society Crisis Fund

After the children made their journey from The Annunciation the birth of Jesus

171205 - Catholic Childrens Society Crisis Fund

Archbishop Peter accepted gifts from the schools on behalf of the Crisis Fund

171205 - Catholic Childrens Society Crisis Fund

After the Blessing a signed Away in a Manger concluded the afternoon

171205 - Catholic Childrens Society Crisis Fund

171205 - Catholic Childrens Society Crisis Fund

Jubilarians at the Venerable English College in Rome

On 29th November three Southwark jubilarians were able to attend the annual Mass and celebratory meal hosted by the English College for jubilarian priests from across England and Wales.

Rev. Raymund Brennan, Rev. Peter Stodart and Rev. David Standley (R) with Southwark student Rev. Francis Murphy in the chapel of the English College

On the Solemnity of Christ the King, Archbishop Peter visited the parish of St Anselm at Tooting Bec

171126 - Diocesan Medal Tooting (4)

At the conclusion of the Solemn Mass, he presented the parish administrator, Mrs Martine Mercer, with the Diocesan Medal, which recognizes "Fidelity and Service" in the Church. Over the years, Martine has gone well beyond the call of duty in many things, but most especially in the assiduousness with which she has cared for the many sick clergy who have come to live in the parish.

171126 - Diocesan Medal Tooting

After Mass, there was a reception during which the Archbishop met with many of the parishioners. Archbishop Peter admired St Anselm's unique shop. Managed by Catechetical Co-ordinator, Tom Gately, St Anselm's shop has become quite a focal point within the wider community. Archbishop Peter commented that it was a wonderful vehicle for evangelization to the wider world.

171205 - Catholic Childrens Society Crisis Fund171126 - Diocesan Medal Tooting (2)

Archbishop Peter also visited the parish's "Caring Kitchen". Every two weeks, in the lower church hall, this apostolate run by parishioners provides a welcome and safe space for the lonely, marginalised, and homeless of the area; it's not just a place to enjoy food, but also somewhere to engage in conversation and fellowship. Whilst visiting, the Archbishop was quick to help serve food as he moved around the hall, chatting to the clients.

171126 - Diocesan Medal Tooting (1)

Archbishop Peter has written a Pastoral Letter to be read on the First Sunday of Advent 2017 - Sunday 3rd December  2017.

Advent "...offers us a real sense of hope, joy and encouragement as we continue our journey of faith to celebrate the Incarnation on Christmas Day."

"Advent is a 'wake up' call ... we hear Jesus too calling us to 'Stay awake, because you do not know the day when your master is coming.' "

All Nations Thanksgiving Sunday

On Sunday 26th November 2017 St Boniface - Tooting celebrated an All Nations Thanksgiving Sunday in the Parish. Bishop Paul Hendricks was the principal celebrant.

Around 750 parishioners from 43 nationalities came together at 10.30am Mass to give thanks to God for the year 2017, bringing their varied traditions and cultural in the liturgical celebration.

In the parish hall after Mass an All Nations Food Festival was held feeding around 900 people. There were 29 food stalls from different nationalities and cultural programmes.

Day of Recollection for Extra Ordinary Minister of
Holy Communion and Readers

On Saturday 11th November a day of recollection was held for Extra Ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and Readers in Bishop Thomas Grant School, Streatham.  

171111 - Eucharistic Minister and Readers BTG

Father Denis McBride CSsR led the day and the theme for the day was 'The Gospel of Mark' - believing in and following Jesus Christ strengthened by the Eucharist

171111 - Eucharistic Minister and Readers BTG

Bishop Pat Lynch thanked the Ministers and Readers saying 'The service you give is a very important contribution to the life of the parish'

171111 - Eucharistic Minister and Readers BTG

The day was well attended, as per previous years, and Bishop Pat thanked Deacon Roger Evans and everyone else involved for organising the day so successfully

171111 - Eucharistic Minister and Readers BTG

Father John Mulligan was also asked to attend to promote the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage and Congress in Liverpool next year
Click here for further details

171111 - Eucharistic Minister and Readers BTG

The day concluded with Mass

171111 - Eucharistic Minister and Readers BTG

National Youth Sunday 26th November this year's theme is 'Something to Say' are parishes and communities ready to hear?

      Knights of the Holy Sepulchre     

On Saturday 18th November 2017 Archbishop Emeritus Kevin McDonald KC*HS and Grand Prior of the Lieutenancy of England and Wales of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre invested a new knight, Father Michael Scanlon Parish Priest of Our Lady of Reparation, West Croydon

Congratulations Father Scanlon

Southwark Catholic Youth Service - AGM

The Southwark Catholic Youth Service held their Annual General Meeting for 2016 on Tuesday 7th November 2017 in Archbishop's House and was attended by various clergy from around the diocese, people working with young people and representatives from our youth groups.


John Toryusen, the Director of the Southwark Catholic Youth Service, presented the annual report (click here for copy) and emphasized the areas of development were around the 2018  Synod ‘Young People, The Faith and Vocational Discernment, and CYMFed Faith in Action Awards.  He also said 'the key point over the next year is to encourage parishes to engage with young people and take the time to listen'

Echoing Archbishop Peter Smith words:
‘Over this next year I would encourage all our parishes to make time to gather young people, to facilitate conversations, provide an opportunity to listen to young people and ask them to share their life experience, joys and struggles, their hopes and fears. Then we can reflect and pray along with the Church on how we respond. This may require us to explore different ways of engagement to share and pass on our faith and the message of the Gospel.’

Please click here for a suggested format for this is on the SCYS website


Please click here for the Faith in Action Website and more information


Monsignor Matthew Dickens, Trustee of the Archdiocese and member of the Management Committee thanked John and all the SCYS team for the huge amount of work they undertake on behalf of the Archdiocese

Anniversary of the Dedication of
The Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St George

Although the Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St George opened in 1848 it was not dedicated until 7th November 1894 when all of the building debts had been repaid


This year Canon Brian Coyle presided at the Mass that was attended by some of the Canons of the diocese and parishioners of The Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St George


This year there are two new Honorary Canons, Canon (Leo) Francis Mooney and Canon William Hebborn


125th Anniversary of St Anne Primary School Vauxhall

On Saturday 4th November Archbishop Peter Smith joined the community of St Anne Primary School in Vauxhall to celebrate their 125th Anniversary

171104 - 125th St Anne Primary School Vauxhall

The church was full of staff, both present and past, pupils and their families and parishioners from St Anne’s

171104 - 125th St Anne Primary School Vauxhall



On the 24th October 2017 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.


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


Please keep all our Jubilarians and fellow clergy in your prayers



Diamond Jubilarians
Reverend John O'Connor
Reverend George Webster SSC

Golden Jubilarians
Reverend Michael Adams
Reverend Roger Nesbitt
Reverend David Standley
Reverend Walter Walsh

Ruby Jubilarians
Reverend Raymund Brennan
Reverend Christopher. Keen
Reverend Monsignor Canon Martin Lee
Reverend Hubert Miranda
Reverend Provost Peter Stodart

Silver Jubilarians
Reverend Joy Alappat CMI
Reverend Deacon Dennis Barratt
Reverend Stephen Boyle
Reverend Deacon Patrick Callan
Reverend David Camilleri
Reverend Francis Kemsley O.Carm
Reverend Robert Ogbede cm

Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies
(CCRS) Awards 2017

Tutors on the Catholic Certificate of Religious Studies, friends and family came to congratulate the most recent group of CCRS graduates at the annual award ceremony at the Centre for Catholic Formation.

Mgr Matthew Dickens, Vicar General, presented the awards to the students who successfully completed the 6 core modules on the Old and New Testaments, Christian Morality, the Church, Sacraments and Jesus Christ plus 2 specialist modules on a variety of themes offered in Southwark.

The CCRS is a nationally recognised qualification and, in Southwark, is run at three locations: CCF, Tooting Bec; the Angelus Centre, Erith and St Margaret Clitherow, Tonbridge. One-year intensive, two-year and 8-term variants are available, though the modular format means students can benefit from great flexibility.

Should you wish to enroll on the CCRS please contact or look at our website for more information.

Our congratulations go to Honourine, Kylie, Halina, Michael, Julie, Wafula, Sr Susana, Alana, Emily, Ann, Maria, Brian and Matthew.

Archbishop Peter Smith visits the
National Shrine of Saint Jude

On Sunday 29th October Archbishop Peter celebrated the 2.30pm Mass, at the Shrine of Saint Jude, Faversham, which was concelebrated by Fr Kevin Alban, O.Carm., Prior Provincial of the Carmelites; Fr Brendan Grady, O.Carm., Chaplain at the Shrine; and Fr Francis Kemsley, Prior of Aylesford. Fr Kevin preached

After this special Mass, the Archbishop and Prior Provincial officially opened the small meeting room at the Shrine, and renamed it the Brother Anthony McGreal room.

Brother Anthony McGreal, O.Carm assisted the founder, Father Elias Lynch, O.Carm in establishing the Shrine of Saint Jude and the work of the Carmelite Press. His work with Father Elias created the groundwork for this special place – and the Apostolate continues sixty-two years later. Brother Anthony’s nephew, Father Wilfrid McGreal, O.Carm was in attendance for this special Mass and renaming of the room. Fr Wilfrid said a few words about his uncle – a truly great and hard-working man.

Eucharistic Pilgrimage and
Congress "Adoremus" - Liverpool 2018
7 - 9 September 

The bishops of England and Wales will hold a National Eucharistic Pilgrimage and Congress in Liverpool next year.

Eucharistic Congresses are gatherings of clergy,religious and laity which promote an awareness of the central place of the Eucharist in the life and mission of the Church. The last International Eucharistic Congress in England was held in 1908.

On Friday 7th September, there will be a Theological Symposium, with workshops for parish catechists, (especially for those involved in First Holy Communion programs), RE teachers, Hospital and Prison Chaplains, Seminary Communities and Extraordinary Ministers. The day runs from 10.00am to 6.00pm.Numbers for this are limited so places need to be booked when the booking process opens.

On Saturday 8th September, there will be a six hour stage led event with two key note speakers, various presentations with music, drama, prayer and adoration. This day is open to all and 10,000 people are expected.

On Sunday 9th September the Congress Masses will be celebrated at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral followed by an outdoor procession. The numbers for the Cathedral will be limited so these also require booking.

There are 5 themes now emerging for the Congress:
1. Scripture
2. Ecclesiology – the Church
3. Catholic Education/Formation
4. Music
5. Mission

There are 22 dioceses participating and Southwark is invited to send 570 delegates.

Anyone interested in attending please discuss with your parish clergy or
head teacher. Schools have difficulties as the Congress clashes with the first week of term but if a teacher or Re leader is unable to be released, a Foundation Governor could also be a very valuable delegate

Information evening
St Teresa’s Parish Centre
250 Bishopsford Road
Morden SM4 6BZ
Tuesday 7th November 2017 - 7.30 to 9.00pm

Congress Workshop for Southwark
The Kairos Centre, Roehampton.
Saturday 9th December 2017 - 9am to 1pm

Facilitated by: Fr John Farrell OP and Dr Bridie Stringer

Booking essential (catering)

Commissioning of Extraordinary Ministers of
Holy Communion at the Cathedral

On Saturday 14th October 2017 Bishop Pat Lynch commissioned 128 people as Extra Ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.


Bishop Pat started the day with a talk on the Eucharist and this special Ministry using the Emmaus story


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

160206 - EOMOHC Commissioning Day

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 DBS checks that need to be taken before staring this ministry and so therefore bringing together all the training that had been given in every parish


Bishop Pat presided at the Commissioning Mass along with Monsignor Matthew Dickens VG, during which he commissioned the new Extraordinary Ministers and presented their certificates.  Bishop Pat also thanked all the new Extraordinary Minsters from their commitment in answering the call to serve


The Ministers came from 34 parishes around the Archdiocese - Abbey Wood - St David, Ashford, Beckenham, Brockley, Bromley, Canterbury, Cathedral, Charlton, Deptford, Erith, Folkestone, Gillingham, Herne Hill, Kennington Park, Mitcham, New Malden, Norbury, Norwood West, Nunhead, Old Coulsdon, Pollard Hill, Purley, Rainham, Rochester, Sutton, Tooting ,Tooting Bec, Tunbridge Wells, Wallington, Walworth, Westerham, Wimbledon, Wimbledon Park, Woolwich and Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital Chaplaincy


St Ursula’s Convent School

10 students of St Ursula’s Convent School in Greenwich were commissioned by Bishop Pat Lynch as Extra-ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, assisted by Fr Kevin Robinson, parish priest, in Our Ladye Star of the Sea Church, Greenwich on the 29th September 2017

They were joined by Mrs Hamilton, Head teacher, Mrs Durrant and Ms Walker and the Ursuline Sisters in Greenwich plus five Ursuline Head teachers from Poland.

Wandsworth Deanery Mass for Schools and Colleges

A special Mass for the staff, governors and clergy of the eight Catholic schools and colleges in the Wandsworth Deanery was held at St Thomas a Becket Church on Thursday 5th October

Diocesan Day for Catechists

On Saturday 23 September, 164 catechists traveled from all corners of the Archdiocese for the Diocesan Day for Catechists. This annual event is designed to gather catechists at the mother church of the archdiocese for prayer,formation and fellowship. The catechists who attended represented 53 parishes – some from as far away as Dover.
The morning began with a keynote from director of the Centre for Catholic Formation, Dr Mark Nash. Mark’s talk reflected on the place of catechesis in the wider mission of the Church. Memorably, he said that catechists should not be called “volunteers”: rather, they are responding to the call that God has given them.

After lunch, participants were able to take part in a range of workshops over two sessions. Topics offered by CCF staff included Confirmation: getting young people involved; Themes in Children’s Liturgy; RCIA: Approaches to Mystagogy (the period of formation after baptism for adults received into the Church at Easter); Evangelisation and catechesis; and Prayer in the Family.

Outside speakers also offered other stimulating options. David Wills from Arundel and Brighton Diocese led a workshop on Parents: First and Best Teachers in the Way of Faith, and suggested resources for making this a reality in the parish. Experienced teacher Giovanna Finaldi led an extremely popular workshop on Methodology in Catechesis – Planning a session, engaging children and young people and getting your point across. Káren North, Training and Development Coordinator for Youth Ministry in the Archdiocese of Southwark, offered fascinating insights from her recent doctoral work, Why young people become actively engaged in the life of the Church.

The day was concluded with Mass during which Bishop Patrick Lynch, on behalf of the Archbishop, commissioned the catechists to continue to spread the Gospel and teach in their parishes.

The Centre for Catholic Formation looks forward to welcoming catechists again at the next Day for Catechists, Saturday 22 September 2018.

In the meantime, catechists are encouraged to make use of all the Centre has to offer, especially by keeping up with events through the On Offer, and parishes and deaneries are encouraged to book local training for catechists through the Centre.
To subscribe to our monthly email bulletin visit our website: or complete our online form at:

Stella Maris Mass Southwark 2017

On September 19th September Archbishop Peter Smith presided at a Mass organised by AoS in honour of its patron, Our Lady Star of the Sea,
Stella Maris, and attended by AoS supporters, volunteers, trustees, head office staff and parishioners.

Archbishop Peter said Mary's role as a sign of hope and as a guiding star for Christians,is revered as the guide and protector of all travellers and especially those seek their livelihoods on the sea.

“We offer this Mass for the contribution seafarers make to global trade and the world economy. We give thanks to God and to Our Blessed Lady for the ongoing work of mercy by the Apostleship of the Sea,” he said.

Stella Maris Mass Southwark 2017

Archbishop Peter said, “We thank God for all of you who support this work of mercy as volunteers, and those who help to provide the financial support without which this work of mercy could not continue. And we ask for the intercession of Our Blessed Lady, Star of the Sea, for all seafarers and for the flourishing of The Apostleship of the Sea as it come towards the centenary of its foundation in just over a couple of years’ time.”

Stella Maris Mass Southwark 2017

In the Southwark Archdiocese, AoS port chaplains and ship visitors support seafarers arriving at the ports of Dover, Gravesend and Northfleet among others.

Southwark parish wins
International Stewardship Award

At the International Catholic Stewardship Council conference in Atlanta, Father Doug Bull of Holy Cross, Catford accepted the International Recognition for Christian Stewardship Initiatives Award on behalf of his parishioners. Father Doug said: "Stewardship is not for the parish, but for every one in the parish.  It’s about each person’s relationship with God."

Father Doug Bull with Bishop Donald Francis Hanchon,
Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit and Teresa Keogh

Teresa Keogh, part-time adviser for Stewardship in the Archdiocese of Southwark has been working alongside the team from Holy Cross "Stewardship has given the parishioners the tools to recognise and develop their relationship with God. Every parishioner undertakes simple acts of prayer and spirituality. Giving of oneself in grateful response is at the heart of Holy Cross; everyone has recognised their giftedness and is using the gifts that God has chosen for them in the parish and in the world."

Canon John Weatherill, parish priest of Purley, has been instrumental in encouraging a diocesan focus on Stewardship. He expressed his delight in the recognition that Holy Cross has received: "Priests and lay people from the diocese have been attending the ICSC conference for a number of years and the idea that this spirituality can translate to an English context has been developing. Now we have a practical example which others can adopt and adapt into their own context. We are extraordinarily pleased that a Southwark parish has now been recognised internationally through this award."

Southwark Catholic Youth Service

On Saturday 10th September Monsignor Matthew Dickens, VG commissioned the Youth Ministry Team for the Southwark Catholic Youth Service.  The team were also commissioned as Extra Ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion for the length of time they remain with the Youth Service

170916 - SCYS Commissioning

Monsignor Matthew was assisted by Deacon Javier Elderfield, Chair of the SCYS Management Group

170916 - SCYS Commissioning

Please keep Nicole, Shannon, Emmanuela and Luke in your prayers as they serve the young people of the diocese

170916 - SCYS Commissioning

The staff and team were joined for Mass and dinner by members of the Southwark Catholic Youth Service’s Management Group

The Knights of St Columba

On Friday 15th of September Mr Michael Akinrele, Provincial Grand Knight and Mr Diego Gomes, immediate Past Provincial Grand Knight of the Province 12, Southwark, Knights of St Columba presented Archbishop Peter with a cheque for £2000.00 towards the Seminary Fund.

170915 - Presentation Knights of St Columba

The Archbishop thanked the Knights for their generosity towards the formation of priests.

170915 - Presentation Knights of St Columba

The Archbishop was also made an honour member of the Knights of St Columba

More photos on the RCSouthwark Diocesan's Flickr page

Celebrating the Beginning of the New School Year and saying Farewell to the Director of Education

170912 - Begining of School Year and Dr Bamford's farewell

On the 12th of September 2017 the Archdiocese of Southwark’s schools gather together in the Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St George to celebrate the beginning of the new school year

170912 - Begining of School Year and Dr Bamford's farewell

All Head teachers, Governors and School Chaplains were invited to renew their commitment to Catholic education


At the end of Mass each deanery was presented with a ‘prayer book’, which had been brought up in the offertory, for all the pupils and staff in the schools within that deanery compose a few original prayers. 

The final result should be 20 collections of prayers from all of the diocese  schools

170912 - Begining of School Year and Dr Bamford's farewell

The occasion also marked the farewell to the Director of Education, Dr Anne Bamford as she leaves to take up her new position as Director of Education with the City of London schools

170912 - Begining of School Year and Dr Bamford's farewell

Dr Anne Bamford said her goodbyes to staff and pupils, particularly thanking her family and the staff of the Education Commission for their help and support over the years.  She also thanked Archbishop Peter and the auxiliary bishops for their continuous encouragement and endorsement.  The Archbishop responded thanking Anne for all her hard work and dedication to her role

170912 - Begining of School Year and Dr Bamford's farewell

The celebrations continued with cup-cakes given to all who attended the Mass in Amigo Hall and after a ‘high tea’ for Dr Bamford in Archbishop’s House.

Archbishop Peter says farewell and thanks to
Canon John Weatherill

170911 - Canon John Weatherill Farewell

Archbishop Peter says farewell and thanks to Canon John Weatherill after a number of years working in the Finance Office


The staff and various people Canon John had worked with over the years gathered to wish him well

170911 - Canon John Weatherill Farewell

Canon John moves to his parish in Purley but continues to be the Episcopal Vicar for Finance

More photos on the RCSouthwark Diocesan's Flickr page

Vatican Decree on Holydays

With effect from the First Sunday of Advent 2017, two holydays of obligation are being reinstated. This decision was made by the Bishops of England and Wales, and has been confirmed by the Holy See.

The days are:

The Epiphany of the Lord — 6 January (transferred to the adjacent Sunday when it falls on Saturday or Monday)

The Ascension of the Lord — Thursday after Sixth Sunday of Easter

An English translation of the Decree, issued by the Holy See's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on 4 August 2017, approving the Bishops' request that the celebration of the solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord will be celebrated on its particular day, namely, forty days after Easter; the celebration of the Epiphany of the Lord on its particular day, namely, 6 January.

Vatican Decree on Holydays

CBCEW Decree on Holydays

Vatican Letter on Holydays

Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor

who died on the 1st September 2017

May he rest in peace

Cardinal Vincent Nichols announces the death of his predecessor Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor who died peacefully -  1 September 2017

I am writing to let you know the sad news that Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor died peacefully this afternoon, surrounded by his family and friends.
Please pray for the repose of his soul. Pray, too, for his family, and those many friends and colleagues from the Diocese and far beyond who mourn his loss.
Information about the funeral rites for the Cardinal will be circulated as soon as possible.

With my good wishes and prayers,
Cardinal Vincent Nichols
Archbishop of Westminster

The Catholic Church of England and Wales Website

Obituary Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor

Upgrading of our IT systems

Due to the IT systems being upgraded in Archbishop’s House, Cathedral House, the Finance Office and the Safeguarding Office there will be no network connection in Cathedral House and Archbishop’s House on 6th September and no network connection in Archbishop’s House on the 8th September.
The phone system should only be affected on the 11th and 13th September for a short period

Archbishop Peter Smith asks for prayers for
Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor

Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor is seriously ill in hospital and I would ask you to remember him very specially in your prayers.

In a letter sent yesterday to all the Bishops, Cardinal Vincent writes: "these loving prayers are a source of great strength and comfort as he calmly ponders on all that lies ahead, all in God's good time.

May the Lord strengthen him in faith and trust and may the prayers of the Church, which he loves so much, comfort and uphold him.”

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
Reception of Body - 16.00
Vigil Mass - 19.00
31st August 2017
Funeral Mass - 13.00
Our Lady & St Benedict
Minnis Road, Birchington
01843 841549

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
The Retreat, Sea Street
Herne Bay
01227 375095

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

The Diocesan Chancery

Southwark's Diocesan Chancery has revised and added information to its page on this site.

The Chancery forms for Marriage, Reception into full communion with the Church and the Commissioning of Extra-ordinary Ministers of the Eucharist are now available for priests and deacons to download from this page.

Please click on the logo above to visit this page.


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