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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12 to 19 November 2017

Here it comes again - do we take much notice of it ?

Interfaith awareness should be in our consciousness all the time, not just nodded to one week of the year. I am sure it is, but this annual week can be useful.

Some suggestions:

Include a prayer for people of other Faith Traditions in the Sunday Intercessions, mentioning local Faith Centres

Encourage parishioners to greet neighbours and colleagues, mentioning this is Inter Faith Week

Send a parish deputation with a greeting to a local mosque or temple

Highlight any families with interfaith connections

Weave interfaith awareness into the homily

Visit the Inter Faith Network website

Visit the inter-religious page of our own Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales

Think about appointing someone to be the parish contact and reminder for interfaith matters

Do get in touch for any clarification
Fr David Standley
Diocesan Committee for Inter-Religious Relations

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

AlthoughThe 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 enrol 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.

Arcbishop 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
headteacher. 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 travelled 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.
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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 worldeconomy. We give thanks to God and to Our Blessed Lady for the ongoing work ofmercy 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 workof 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 Ordinarly Ministers of Holy Commujnion 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, travelled 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 futher information please see The Independent Catholic News and
The British Province of Carmelites website

 Pilgrimage Visit of the Miraculous Relic Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe to St George’s Cathedral

The Miraculous Relic Image visited St George’s Cathedral on Friday, 28th July to Monday, 31st July 2017

1 (5)

The Service of Reception was led by Archbishop Peter Smith.

1 (10)

The Knights Of St. Columba were a vital part of the proceedings, always ensuring pilgrims’ safety and encouraging respect and dignity throughout.

Photos by Sean P Mulligan

More photos on the RCSouthwark Diocesan's Flickr page

Priesthood Ordination of Reverend
Paul Kyne by Archbishop Peter Smith

On the 15th July 2017 Reverend Paul Kyne was ordained a Priest by Archbishop Peter

2017 Priesthood Ordination: Homily

In a full Cathedral, Clergy, family, friends, and parishioners gathered to pray for Reverend Paul

2017 Priesthood Ordination: Litany of the Saints

After Mass Father Paul gave his First Blessing to Archbishop Peter and assembled congregation

2017 Priesthood Ordination

His First Mass was at his home parish, Brockley

2017 Priesthood Ordination

Father Paul is a past parishioner of St. Mary Magdalen, Brockley and past pupil of the Salesian College in Battersea.  His formation was at St John’s Seminary, Wonersh

2017 Priesthood Ordination: after Mass

His first appointment will be at the Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St George, Southwark in September

More photos on the RCSouthwark Diocesan's Flickr page

The Reverend Father Dominic Clovis

Dominic Clovis was ordained to the Priesthood on 10th June 2017.  He is the sixth child of ten and was born 1st September 1989.  He joined the Institute of the Incarnate Word after his A Levels and has been studying in Italy for the last eight years.

Having returned to the UK after his ordination, on Sunday 18th June, he celebrated his first Mass in the Extraordinary Form at St Mary’s Chislehurst, his home parish.
Father Charles Briggs, Parish Priest of St Mary’s Chislehurst said, “He has been serving Mass here since I arrived, many years ago.  He has been a great example to countless boys in the parish, both young and old. May God bless him in his ministry.”
The following Sunday he celebrated an Extraordinary Form Mass at St Bede’s, Clapham Park, where he took part in the Corpus Christi Procession.
Father Dominic will be exercise his ministry near Edinburgh in Scotland where the Institute of the Incarnate Word has four parishes.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Father John Lavery
who died on the evening of 26th July 2017

May he rest in peace

Funeral Details

The funeral will take place
at 10.30am on Saturday 29th July, at:
St Peter's Church
Great Georges Street South
Warrenpoint, Co Down, BT34 3NF.
(028 4175 9981)
Link to Parish Webcam

Ongoing Formation of Priests - Aylesford

On Tuesday 18th to Thursday 20th 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 then facilitated a series of presentations on some of the major areas of their work


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


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


Diaconate Ordination

Photo: Alexander Balzanella

Fr Gerard Mulvihill, Fr Philip Andrews, Fr John Diver, Bishop Terence Drainey, Rev. Francis Murphy, Fr Sean O'Connor, Fr Matthew O'Gorman and Fr David Howell.

On Wednesday 12 July, Southwark seminarian Francis Murphy was one of six students of the Venerable English College to be ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Terence Drainey (Middlesbrough).

The ordination took place at the Church of Our Lady of the Snows, in the English College's Villa Palazzola. Among those in attendance were Francis' parish priest, Fr Gerard Mulvihill (St Thomas More, Dulwich), and Vocations Director Fr John Diver (St Lawrence, Sidcup).

Ooberfuse inspire Greenwich students
to act on climate change

Critically acclaimed electric pop duo Ooberfuse have held a workshop for pupils at St Ursula’s Convent school, Greenwich, to encourage them to think about the importance of renewable energy.

The duo, who live in Woolwich, ran four sessions for students in Year Eight and Nine. Pupils began by learning about Power to Be, the aid agency CAFOD’s latest campaign on the importance of renewable energy for the world’s poorest communities. Ooberfuse then held a song writing workshop where students were encouraged to write their own lyrics on the importance of clean energy.

To finish the day Ooberfuse performed for an hour, during which students were invited to sing and showcase their work. The school hall may have been a contrast to the Ministry of Sound and the O2, where Ooberfuse have previously performed, but pupils and band alike had a fantastic time.

Hal St John and Cherrie Anderson formed Ooberfuse in 2010 and their music has taken them all over the world, from Madrid, where they played for two million young Catholics on World Youth Day, to Iraq, where they played at a refugee camp in Erbil. Social justice and inequality are strong themes in their music; they have written songs in aid of survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, for persecuted Christians in Iraq and Pakistan, and are soon to release a song on the plight of refugees.

It is this use of music to promote social justice, as well as their Catholic faith, which motivated them to get involved with CAFOD’s work and subsequently run the workshop at St. Ursula’s.

CAFOD’s Power to Be campaign encourages communities to lobby the World Bank, the global organisation which the UK partners with to fight worldwide poverty, to invest in local, renewable energy. Through the World Bank, the UK already invests in energy access to combat poverty but less than 3% of this spending goes towards renewable energy.

Through Power to Be, CAFOD is asking the UK’s representative at the World Bank, Melanie Robinson, to use her influence to ensure that children everywhere have the power to achieve great things and lift themselves out of poverty, without harming the planet.

Susan Elderfield, the Chaplain at St Ursula’s, said: “I don’t think we should forget the message of today; how we should look after the planet. Each one of us has a responsibility – from switching off the lights to getting involved with NGOs to becoming politicians. It’s our planet and our job to look after it.”

Bishop Paul Mason, the Bishop Promoter for the Apostleship of the Sea

Bishop Paul Mason, the Bishop Promoter for England and Wales for the Apostleship of the Sea gives an interview for Sea Sunday which this year was on Sunday 9th July 2017

He explains why it's so important for parishes and everyone one of us to support Sea Sunday and to pray for seafarers.

Bishop Paul Hendricks Blesses the new reception at
St Mary’s Catholic High School - Croydon

On Monday 26th June, St Mary’s was delighted to welcome Bishop Paul Hendricks to bless its new school reception area and to present badges of office to the new school's Student Leadership teams.

In addition, the school was also pleased to welcome Dr Maureen Glackin, Head of School of Education at St Mary’s University, Twickenham as a special guest for the day.

Bishop Paul led a special ‘Liturgy of the Word’ for all students in the school’s Sports Hall before presenting badges of office to the new Student Leadership teams, including the Head and Deputy Girls and Boys.

Before blessing the new reception, Bishop Paul also blessed the crucifix, statue of Our Lady and photographs of Pope Francis & Archbishop Peter which were then placed in the new facility.

Faith in Action Awards

On Sunday 25th June at the 9:00am Mass, Bishop Paul Mason presented Faith in Action certificates and badges to 40 of the young people at St. Francis - Maidstone from their Flame and Fledglings groups. This is a new national award awarded at different levels.

The young people have worked very hard during the past year on their journey of faith, including learning new prayers and litanies, raising awareness of the plight of Syrian refugees and the local homeless, leading the living Stations of the Cross, visiting care homes, the Cathedral and taking part in small pilgrimages.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Deacon Peter Rennie

who died on 27th June 2017

May he rest in peace

Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Father Peter Ryman

who died on 18th June 2017

May he rest in peace

Funeral Details

The funeral will take place at

Our Lady of Sorrows
The Friary
Friary Road
SE15 1RH

020 7639 0947

On Monday 17th July 2017 at 12 noon

His body will be received into the church
Sunday 16th July 2017 at 18.00

After Mass there will be a Holy Hour

Purple vestments are to be worn

Greenwich and Bexley Deanery
Corpus Christi Procession

Parishes from the Greenwich and Bexley Deaneries gather together for their annual Blessed Sacrament Procession in the ruins of Lesnes Abbey on Sunday 25th June 2017 led by Brother Martin Mikuskiewicz, parish priest of Our Lady of the Angels, Erith.


Clergy from the two deaneries were joined by other local Christian Ministers


Children who had recently received their First Holy Communion, young people who had recently been Confirmed and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion were given special places in the procession.


Lesnes Abbey is situated in the parish of St Benet, Abbey Wood. The abbey was founded in 1178 by Richard de Lucy, who, in 1170, had been complicit with Henry II in the murder of St Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury. He built the abbey within the boundaries of his Manor in reparation and, having assumed the religious habit, ended his days there and was buried in the Chapter House.


The abbey was a foundation of the Augustinian Canons within the Diocese of Rochester. It was closed in 1524 by Cardinal Wolsey to raise revenue to found a college in Oxford, but at Wolsey's fall in 1530 the site became the property of the King.


A collection was taken up by the Knights of Saint Columba, who had also marshalled and helped organise the event, for the Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice which is situated near Lesnes Abbey

Photos by Sean P Mulligan

More photos on the RCSouthwark Diocesan's Flickr page

Diaconate Ordination Amgad Gerges

On Monday 12th June 2017 Bishop Patrick Lynch ordained Amgad Gerges into the Permanent Diaconate at St. William of York - Forest Hill

170621 - Ordination of Deacon Amgad Gerges

170621 - Ordination of Deacon Amgad Gerges

Joining Bishop Pat was Father Tom Creagh-Fuller, parish priest of Forest Hill along with many priests from the Deanery, and Deacon Javier Elderfield

170621 - Ordination of Deacon Amgad Gerges

The Reverend Deacon Amgad was also join by his very proud family

170621 - Ordination of Deacon Amgad Gerges

Students studying for the Permanent Diaconate 

On Sunday 18th June 10 men who are studying for the Permanent Diaconate gathered in St Elphege Church, Wallington.  4 men received the Ministry of the Word and 6 men the Ministry of Acolyte from Bishop Paul Hendricks who was the main celebrant of the Mass

170610 - Ministry of the Word and Acolyte - Deacons

Please remember them in your prayers that they may be guided by the Holy Spirit in their Ministry

Photos by Sean P Mulligan

More photos on the RCSouthwark Diocesan's Flickr page

United Nations Arts Ambassador visited
St Mary’s Catholic High School

On Wednesday 7 June the United Nations Arts Ambassador Ibiyinka Alao visited St Mary’s Catholic High School to work with Year Seven on a project called ‘The Bag of Hope’

This is a global project which raises awareness of the rights of children.  The project raises funds for UNICEF and other organisations working with and supporting children and young adults and is completed by children from all countries, creating the largest decorated canvas bag in the world. This year  the project will attempt to beat the current Guinness World record for such a bag.  St Mary’s are privileged to be part of this initiative.

In an assembly with Mr Alao, the children were made aware of their rights to free education, to feel safe, to be fed, to receive healthcare and the right to help when you have been mistreated or abused.

Mr Alao shared much of his work with the students, telling us the stories that inspired them.

After meeting Mr Alao all of Year Seven moved to the Art classrooms to work on their own pictures to symbolise hope.  The students were most excited, and somewhat inspired when they were told that these will be displayed on the United Nations building in New York.

 For more information please see

Knights of St Columba from the Southern Provinces

170611 - KSC Pilgrimage to Aylesford

Sunday 11th June 2017 the Knights of St Columba from the Southern Provinces including Southwark joined together in pilgrimage to The Friars, Aylesford, also celebrating their patrons feast day which was on 9th June.

170611 - KSC Pilgrimage to Aylesford

The Mass was concelbrated by Monsignor Matthew Dickens and Father Innocent Abonyi, the KSC Southwark Provincial Chaplain.

170611 - KSC Pilgrimage to Aylesford

During the Mass over 30 Brother Knights were elevated to Knighthood degree by the Supreme Knight assisted by Brother Bertie Grogan who is the Supreme Director for Membership.

170611 - KSC Pilgrimage to Aylesford

This was the 51st Pilgrimage to Aylesford for the Knights and the welcome by the Carmelite community was up to it usual prayerful, and spiritual high standards.   Father Francis Kemsley blessed all the scapulars and religious items purchased at Aylesford.

170611 - KSC Pilgrimage to Aylesford

Photos by Sean P Mulligan

More photos on the RCSouthwark Diocesan's Flickr page

Annual Diocesan Marriage Anniversary Mass

Saturday 17th June 2017 the annual diocesan marriage Mass took place, with over 260 couples coming to the Cathedral to celebrate their milestone anniversaries and to renew their marriage vows. They were joined by family and friends, and so nearly 900 people were in the Cathedral 

2017 Annual Marriage Anniversary Mass

Archbishop Peter concelebrated Mass with Canon Richard Hearn and Fr Graham Preston, Episcopal Vicar for Marriage and Family Life and assisted by Deacon Philip Pond, part of the Marriage and Family Life Team and Deacon Gehad Homsey

2017 Annual Marriage Anniversary Mass

All couples renewed their wedding vows

2017 Annual Marriage Anniversary Mass

2017 Annual Marriage Anniversary Mass

The celebration continued in the Amigo hall with light refreshment

2017 Annual Marriage Anniversary Mass

The Marriage and Family Life Team have supplied the following statistics

Kent - 46 couples and 31 family members
SE - 114 couples and 159 family members
SW - 100 couples and 156 family members

The breakdown by anniversary:
60th - 22 couples
50th - 63 couples
40th - 37 couples
25th - 59 couples
10th - 34 couples
1st - 15 couples

Largest parish contingents:
KENT - Tunbridge Wells - 5 couples
SE - Sidcup - 11 couples
SW - Addiscombe - 10 couples

Largest family groups: 
Joyces of Mottingham and Fashesins of Battersea with 13 family members each

Longest married: 
Mr and Mrs Lane of Sidcup, 67 years
Mr and Mrs Pezzani of Rotherhithe, 68 years
Mr and Mrs Kwasniewski of Forest Hill, 69 years 

More photos on the RCSouthwark Diocesan's Flickr page

Presentation of Football Cups to the
Altar Servers team from Peckham

At the Southwark Altar Servers 40th Annual Rally on the 1st of May at The Friars, Aylesford Priory, both the Junior and Senior football tournament was won by the Altar Servers from Peckham


At that time there were no cups available to given to the winning teams so parishioners from Peckham purchased two cups to be presented to this year’s winning teams and then to subsequent winning teams


Archbishop Peter was delighted to present these cups to the teams on the 4th of June in Archbishop's House

More photos on the RCSouthwark Diocesan's Flickr page

Mass for New Catholics

The annual Mass for New Catholics took place on Saturday 3rd June 2017 at the Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St George. Archbishop Peter was the Principal Celebrant and preacher

170603 - Mass for New Catholics

This Mass - which is organised by the diocesan Centre for Catholic Formation - is the culmination of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) process, and ends the third and final period of the RCIA, which is called the ‘Period of Postbaptismal Catechesis or Mystagogy’

170603 - Mass for New Catholics

After Mass all were invited to a Question and Answer session with Archbishop Peter in Amigo Hall where refreshments were served.

More photos on the RCSouthwark Diocesan's Flickr page

Confirmation at the Cathedral

170604 - Confirmation in the Cathedral

On Pentecost Sunday, 4th June 2016, Archbishop Peter conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation on young members of the Cathedral parish in Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St George

170604 - Confirmation in the Cathedral

The Archbishop was joined by Canon Richard Hearn, Dean of the Cathedral, Father Oladele Craig, the Sub Dean of the Cathedral, Father Thomas Bakulumpagi, Assistant Priest of the Cathedral and Fr Ronald Kigozi a PhD student from Rome

170604 - Confirmation in the Cathedral

Thanksgiving and Celebration for Thirty Two years of the Institute of St. Anselm in the UK


On Monday 29th May 2017 Archbishop Peter joined the Director, Staff, and Participants of the Institute of St Anselm in thanksgiving and celebration for their thirty two years of the Institute of St. Anselm in the UK from 1985 to 2017 before the Institute moves to Rome


The Archbishop was the main celebrant with many priests from the diocese and beyond at the Mass at St. Anne’s Church, Cliftonville


After Mass the celebrations continued at a buffet lunch at the Institute of St. Anselm

Love your neighbour as yourself

Vigils For The Victims Of The London Bridge Terror Attacks

In a demonstration of unity yesterday evening, Archbishop Peter Smith stood alongside dignitaries, leaders of other faiths and the people of London at a Vigil for those who lost their lives in the terror attack at London Bridge and Borough Market on Saturday 3rd June

Vigils For The Victims Of The London Bridge Terror Attacks

Leading a short ceremony, the Mayor, Sadiq Khan said ‘our unity and love for one another will always be stronger than the hate of the extremists’.  All gathered  then observed a minute’s silence before laying flowers and writing messages of unity by City Hall.


Commenting on the events of last Saturday, Archbishop Peter Smith said ‘Our hearts go out to the innocent victims of this attack last Saturday evening. In a time of adversity the whole community has come together to support victims of crime with extraordinary generosity. 
In this we have a wonderful example of how to live out the second commandment
‘You must love your neighbour as yourself’

170605 - London Bridge Vigil

Please keep all affected by this tragic event in your prayers.

Shrine of St Augustine

On 3rd June the Grand Re-opening of St Augustine’s was celebrated by Archbishop Peter Smith with a service of blessing and Vespers. Bishop Paul Mason, area bishop for Kent also attend. Local choirs, St Ethelbert’s Primary School, and community groups associated with St Augustine’s took part. This marks the start of the re-use of St Augustine’s following restoration. Afterwards there was a celebratory reception in the gardens of the Divine Retreat Centre, across the road from St Augustine’s.

The Shrine of St Augustine, England’s newest shrine recalling England’s first missionary. Pugin’s magnificent personal church and burial place, dedicated to his patron St Augustine, became, on 1st March 2012, the official shrine commemorating the coming of the Gospel to the Anglo-Saxon peoples. St Augustine who landed near to Ramsgate, sent by Pope Gregory the Great in 597AD, is an inspiration for faith and evangelisation today. We invite pilgrims and general visitors to come to St Augustine’s to pray and worship, to enjoy the beauty of its architecture and to learn about the history of the early saints so closely connected with the identity of Christian England.

For more information please see

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.


For news prior to this entry please visit the
News Archive


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