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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8th December 2015 to 20th November 2016
Please click banner for the Diocesan Year of Mercy pages

Catholic Chaplain - Kings College London

Based at the Medical School at Guys Hospital, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Southwark is looking to recruit a Chaplain as part of the Kings College chaplaincy team.  Kings College London was founded as a Christian foundation and so has a strong Christian tradition.  All Christian chaplains at Kings have a responsibility to the whole Christian Community (staff and students) at the college and should develop initiatives to respond to needs within this community.   In addition they are required to take a multi-faith approach to pastoral care in the locations in which they operate.  The Anglican College Chaplain operates as the team leader for the whole chaplaincy team.

The remit of the role is broad and will include:
•    Ministering to the spiritual, catechetical and general needs of Catholic students and staff.
•    Organising and facilitating talks/lectures, social events, pilgrimages, retreats and other appropriate events.
•    Developing and delivering pastoral support for staff and students of all faiths and none.
•    Responding to crises

The ideal candidate will be a committed Catholic with a thorough understanding of the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church and be able to bring these to the life of the medical school at Guys.  Strong communication skills are essential and previous experience in a similar role is highly desirable.
This role is offered on a 4 or 5 days a week basis.  The role at Guy’s medical school will be 4 days a week.  An additional day may also be available at another south London site.  Actual days/hours of work will vary depending on the needs of the students/staff and events.  Flexibility is, therefore, essential.  Starting salary will be in the range of £26,000 to £28,000 per annum (pro-rated for part time) depending on experience.
If you would like to apply for this role or would like further information please contact Sarah Wood via email at
Closing date for this vacancy is 20th July 2016

Mass for Thanksgiving for the Queen's 90th Birthday

On Sunday 12th June 2016 Archbishop Peter joined the community of the  Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St George to celebrate the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II 


All of the Cathedral Clergy, Father Richard Hearn, Father Oladele Craig, Father Thomas Bakulumpagi and Father Stephen Haines concelebrated with the Archbishop


Deacon Daniel Weatherley, who is due to be ordained in July proclaimed the Gospel


Your Catholic Legacy Mass

Archbishop Peter Smith and Your Catholic Legacy celebrated a Mass in St George's Cathedral on 11th June 2016 to mark the end of the "Share a Prayer" campaign.

160611 - Your Catholic Legacy Mass - Cathedral

The Mass focused on giving thanks for the work of Catholic charities and praying for those whose the lives they change.

160611 - Your Catholic Legacy Mass - Cathedral

160611 - Your Catholic Legacy Mass - Cathedral

"Your Catholic Legacy", is a collection of Catholic Charities, including the Archdiocese of Southwark, who are working together to encourage people to include a legacy in their wills.

After Mass a reception was held in the Amigo Hall, and Barry and Margaret Mizen spoken about thier work for building peace and harmony in our world.

St Joseph's Primary School - Crayford
Celebrates 150th Years


On Thursday 9th June 2016 Archbishop Peter joined the community of St Joseph's Primary School in Crayford in the celebration of 150th Anniversary of the school


Archbishop Peter concelebrated Mass with Father Ignatius Edet, Canon Jeremiah Cronin and Father Peter Madden


Study Day for New Catechists

On Saturday 11th June 2016, 57 parish catechists and those interested in sacramental preparation gathered for a study day at the Centre for Catholic Formation (CCF), Tooting Bec.
The attendees, from each of the three areas of the diocese, some experienced and some new to catechesis, enjoyed lectures on the vocation of the catechist and the relationship of the sacraments to Christian living.


After a shared lunch, the group then had a whistle-stop tour through the different areas of sacramental preparation starting with the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, a model for all catechesis in the Church, Baptism preparation, first Holy Communion and Reconciliation and Confirmation. This section ended with a look at the Liturgy of the Word for Children, not strictly catechesis but a liturgy in which the Word of God is broken open for the children in our parishes.


Interesting discussions followed in the question and answer section and various general resources were recommended. Many of those who gathered for the day have asked for further sessions of a similar nature as well as training in their respective parishes. If a parish or a deanery wishes for local training or days of recollection for their catechists, readers or extraordinary ministers of holy communion, they are encouraged to get in touch with the Centre for Catholic Formation


Later in the year, the CCF will run the annual diocesan day for catechists on Saturday 24 September 2016 at the Cathedral and Amigo Hall. All of those involved in RCIA, sacramental preparation and children’s liturgy are encouraged to come to that day, participate in the Year of Mercy liturgy, the workshops and be commissioned, at Mass, by Archbishop Peter to catechize on his behalf. For more information visit

Blessing of the Sea in Ramsgate

The Mayors of Ramsgate, Broadstairs, and Margate, along with other dignitaries,and community groups attended the first ever ceremony of the Blessing of the Sea to be held in Ramsgate on Bank Holiday Monday at the end of May.
The ceremony was led by Fr Marcus Holden, Rector of St Augustine’s Shrine in Ramsgate. The ceremony was held during the annual St Augustine Week festival, which celebrates the legacy of Augustine of Canterbury who landed on Ramsgate’s shores in AD 597.
About a hundred people came out on a windy and cloudy day to witness the Blessing, taking place in Ramsgate for the first time. Scouts attended, and a Salvation Army trumpeter provided music. The choir of St Ethelbert’s Church, Ramsgate, sang.

Photo - Marie Muscat-King
The service began at the Obelisk in Ramsgate Royal Harbour with the National Anthem and prayers. Ramsgate’s Town Sergeant led the mayors and dignitaries, and the Cross led the ministers and people along the promenade to the beach. Fr Marcus Holden led prayers asking God’s blessing on those who work on the sea, and his protection for them, and the sea was sprinkled with holy water. Then a girl threw a bouquet of flowers into the sea. The procession made its way back to the Obelisk, where there was a final prayer.
The Blessing of the Sea in Ramsgate is especially connected with St Augustine of Canterbury, whose Shrine is the Augustus Pugin church in the town, because of St Augustine’s connection with the sea. He arrived by boat on the shores near Ramsgate in AD 597, and many of the medieval miracle stories about him are about rescuing sailors in the English Channel.

Wonersh seminarians learn about the
Church’s ministry to seafarers

It was a pastoral care lesson of a very different kind for a group of seminarians from St John's Seminary, Wonersh as they heard first-hand how the Church ministers to seafarers and fishers.
The men learnt about the work Catholic seafarers' charity Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) does in ports around the world and on cruise ships.
AoS development director John Green and AoS London officer Roland Hayes presented talks on 2nd June to the seminarians who came from Southwark, Portsmouth, Aberdeen, and as far away as Fairbanks, Alaska.
John and Roland were invited to speak to the group by Pastoral Director Fr Teyrnon Williams, who himself was an AoS port chaplain in Swansea for many years.

The presentations were part of the seminary's pastoral studies course looking at pastoral care in prisons, hospitals and ports.
John said, "They were surprised at the scale of shipping and the work the Church does to support seafarers, fishers and crew members of cruise ships.
“Seafarers play a vital role in our everyday lives bringing us the goods and services we need. AoS is the Catholic Church's maritime agency entrusted to look after their pastoral, spiritual and welfare needs."
On Sea Sunday on 10th July, churches around Great Britain and across the world will pray for and remember seafarers. Please support your parish's Sea Sunday appeal.

Caretaker for the
Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St George

St George’s Cathedral is looking for a Caretaker to assist with the physical running of the site.  This job is offered initially on a 12 month fixed term contract and will be responsible for opening and locking up of the Amigo Hall and Cathedral, preparing rooms for bookings, assisting with large scale events, maintenance and general cleaning.

The ideal candidate will live within easy access of the site and have previous experience in a similar role, be fit enough to lift and move heavy objects such as furniture and have excellent maintenance and cleaning skills. Some knowledge of basic Health and Safety and the ability to work flexibly are also essential.

Regular hours of work will be 30 hours per week including some evening and weekends.  Salary £10.00 - £11.50 per hour depending on experience.

If you would like to apply for this position please email a copy of your CV to by the closing date of 17th June 2016

Episcopal Ordination of Bishop Paul Mason

160531 Bishop Paul Mason

Archbishop Peter Smith presdided at the Episcopal Ordination of the Right Reverend Paul Mason on Tuesday 31st May 2016, the Feast of the Visitation, at St George's Cathedral

Episcopal Ordination Fr Paul Mason as Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark

The Archbishop was joined by twenty eight bishops, many priests and deacons, family and friends of Bishop Paul, and people from the diocese and beyond to celebrate the ordination

Episcopal Ordination Fr Paul Mason as Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark

In a wonderful celebration Fr Paul, having been formally been presented to the Archbishop, was consecrated and anointed as an Auxiliary Bishop for Southwark, and the Holy Father appointed him as the Titular Bishop of Skalholt

Episcopal Ordination Fr Paul Mason as Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark

After Mass the congregation met Bishop Paul in a reception in the marquee in the Cathedral grounds.

160531 +Paul Mason Ordination - Southwark

160531 Bishop Paul Mason

Further Pictures on Flickr: Bishops Conference Pages

More photos on the RCSouthwark Diocesan Flickr page - Photographic Services

Canon Frank O’Sullivan
95 Years Old - 60 Years a Priest

Canon Frank O'Sullivan is a retired priest living in the parish of Purley celebrated his 95th birthday and also 60 years of priesthood.

Fr Peter Murphy (Tonbridge), Canon Francis Moran (Thornton Heath), Fr James Nolan (retired), Fr Joseph O'Connor (Addiscombe), Fr Denis Paul (retired), Fr Pat Maloney (retired), Mgr Matthew Dickens (Vicar General), from l to r (bottom row): Fr Michael Gwinnel (retired), Canon Joseph Collins (retired), Canon James Pannett (Purley), Canon Francis O'Sullivan (retired), Bishop John Hine (Tenterden), Fr Paddy Cannon (Waddon), Fr John Bliss (Old Coulsdon), Deacon Tony Flavin (Assistant Chaplain, The John Fisher School, Purley), Fr Matthew O'Gorman (Purley)

To commemorate these two milestones he celebrated Mass in the parish for parishioners and guests and preached about his years of ministry and dependence on the Lord. Before the final blessing he reminded us of the words of St Paul from Ephesians 3: "glory be to Him who can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine."

The celebrations continued in the parish hall where guests enjoyed food and drink as well as music and cake! In proposing a toast Fr Matthew O'Gorman said that in his short experience of life in Purley and his short acquaintance with Canon Frank two words came to mind; kindness and encouragement.

The parish of John the Baptist expressed that they felt very lucky to have Canon Frank in their midst and we're truly grateful for his years of service and long may they continue!

Confirmation at Purley


On the 21st of May Archbishop Peter confered the sacrament of Confirmation on 41 young people in the parish of St John the Baptist Catholic Church - Purley


The candidates received instruction for the past ten weeks in small groups
but came together for their retreat and the Sacrament of Confirmation


90th Anniversary of Southwark Province of
The Knights of St Colomba

The Southwark Provice had their celebration on Sunday 22nd May 2016 begining with a Mass.  Archbishop Peter Smith, concelebrated with Father Innocent Abonyi, the Southwark Provinces', Provincial Chaplain, in Our Lady and All Angels, Erith

160522 - 90th Anniversary of Southwark Province

During the Mass his Grace thanked the Knights for their support given to the Cathedral and to the clergy over the last 90 years, and for the tremendous work done the Knights have done to support the Church and the Diocese in that time.

160522 - 90th Anniversary of Southwark Province

Knights of St Columba was formed in Southwark, on 22nd May 1926 and was formally named  Southwark Province.   It was the 12th Province in the country to be erected, after the Order received Papal approval and Blessing. The Province covers the whole of the Southwark Diocese, and has many Bishops, Priests and Deacons as Members of Honour

160522 - 90th Anniversary of Southwark Province

The celebrations continued at the Marriot Hote,l Bexleyheath, for a double celebration the 90th Anniversary and Brother Albert Lynch’s 99th Birthday.   Albert served 35 years as a Provincial Officer.  After the meal Archbishop Peter was presented with a cheque for £3,000 for the seminary fund.  In his acceptance speech Archbishop Peter acknowledged that each year the Knights of Southwark come to him with a cheque for the furtherance of our future clergy and thanked the Knights for looking to the future and for the prayers for vocations
160522 - 90th Anniversary of Southwark Province

Two Priest in the Archdiocese of Southwark
on the Guardian website

The Guardian has published a very interesting set of interviews with people who have followed various vocations

Photograph: Andy Hall for the Guardian

One of these interviews is with two priests in Southwark,  Father Wilfrid McGreal, O.Carm, Prior in Faversham and Father Leonard Tatt,  St Boniface, Tooting

60 Years of CHAS

On 19th May 2016 Archbishop Peter joined the Catholic Housing Aid Society celebrating their Diamond Jubilee in the Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St George


The Archbishop was joined by Father Richard Hearn, the Cathedral Dean and The Bishop of Rochester, The Right Rev James Langstaff

160519 - 60 Years of CHAS

Two women set up CHAS to make available deposits for families living in slums to be able to afford a decent home

160519 - 60 Years of CHAS

In 2003 CHAS merged with Churches National Housing Coalition and Housing Justice was born  Their work today is very much about encouraging churches to develop services for homeless people, as well as supporting them in upholding standards of excellence

Confirmation in the Cathedral

On the feast of Pentecost, when we recall the coming of the Holy Spirit, Archbishop Peter confirmed 36 young people from the Cathedral parish

160515 - Confirmation in the Cathedral


Concelebrating with the Archbishop was the Cathedral Clergy, Father Richard Hearn, Father Oladele Craig and Father Thomas Bakulumpagi


The Cathedral Girl's Choir led the singing


Mass for New Catholics

The annual Mass for New Catholics took place on Saturday 14th May 2016 at the Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St George. The Archbishop was the Principal Celebrant and preacher. He was joined by Fathers David Gibbon and Michael Lovell and was assisted Deacon John Greenwood 


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’.

160514 - Mass for New Catholics

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


More photos on the RCSouthwark Diocesan Flickr page


Between the 9th and 13th of May 2016 a hotel venue in West Sussex played host to what has been described as, “one of the most important and seminal events for the Catholic Church in the United Kingdom”. The comment comes from Fr Victor Vella, Parish Priest of Holy Innocents' parish, Orpington in Southwark diocese and organizer of the ‘Life in the Spirit Retreat for a New Pentecost’. Co-sponsored by Redemptorist Publications and Hayes & Finch, the Copthorne Hotel staged a week long pre-Pentecost priests’ retreat and welcomed the inspirational Fr Raniero Cantalamessa (Preacher of the Papal Household) as its lead speaker. With nearly a hundred priests in attendance the event was unprecedented in both its size and importance.

Reflecting on the event, delegates have described it as, ‘absolutely amazing’ and ‘sure to bear fruit in the life of the Church in this country’. A wonderful example of what can happen when the talents of the laity are harnessed, the event was organised and served by a team of volunteers who are members of the parish evangelisation cells in Fr Victor's parish. 

One attending priest said of the event that for those few days "the hotel became a monastery", with the hotel banqueting hall turned into a chapel and a conference suite into a sacred space for the talks. True to the ethos behind the event, priests came from a wide range of backgrounds - young and old, from established circles and from the New Movements. The event was a truly diverse one, with a number of African missionaries in attendance, alongside diocesan priests from Portsmouth, Southwark, Westminster and Scotland.

Although the aim of the event was to bring the priests into a deeper awareness of the power of the Holy Spirit, it was not an event organised by the Charismatic Renewal but held under the auspices of the Southwark diocese, where the gifts of the Holy Spirit were put at the service of the wider Church. The retreat was opened by Bishop Richard Moth and the closing Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Peter Smith.

Bene Merenti for a parishioner of
St. George’s Church, South Darenth, Dartford

On Sunday 8th May 2016,  Mrs Mary Sheppard, a parishioner of St. George’s Church, which comes under the pastoral and sacramental care of the main parish Church, St. Anselm, Dartford was awarded a Bene Merenti medal for the many duties she has undertaking for the Community of St George during the past fifty years
160508 - Bene Merenti Medal - St. George - South Darenth - Dartford

The Archbishop Peter was joined by Father Stephen Boyle, parish priest of St. Anselm, Dartford and Father Philip Glandfield who had been an Altar Server at St. Anselm during the time of Mrs Sheppard’s training
160508 - Bene Merenti Medal - St. George - South Darenth - Dartford

On the 23rd March 2011, Mrs Sheppard was awarded the Dartfordian Award for services to both the Church and Community.  This is a local Civic Award and a fitting acknowledgement of her extraordinary dedication, which included many years of service to the Scout Association and voluntary help to the local Catholic primary school

Renovated Chapel at
St Thomas More Catholic School Purley

On Thursday 5th May 2016 Bishop Paul Hendricks blessed the renovated Chapel at St Thomas More Catholic School, Purley

what the chapel looks like today

He was assisted by Father Mathew O 'Gorman, the Chaplain and served by St Thomas More students

Bishop Paul

The stained glass window shown in the photo was designed by two sixth former students.
The Head Boy and Girl led the bidding prayers and the readings.    

Margaret Mulchrone (Headteacher), Bishop Paul Hendricks,

HCPT 60th Anniversary Mass

On Monday 2nd May 2015 Archbishop Peter
concelebrated Mass with many other clergy to mark the Diamond Jubilee it’s founding in 1956 of the HCPT


The Jubilee was marked by a series of Masses on Monday 2nd May throughout the UK and beyond. They featured a similar liturgy to that being celebrated by HCPT Groups in Lourdes in 2016 and were also  held at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral; Swansea Cathedral; St Mel’s Cathedral, Longford (Ireland) and Carfin Shrine, Scotland. 
Further international Jubilee Masses are being planned for Jamaica, Poland, and the USA


Appropriately the theme for this year’s HCPT pilgrimages is ‘Thanks be to God’, with a focus on thanking Him for His love. Also for His inspiring HCPT to have used that love for the benefit of the tens of thousands of people who have enjoyed its life changing pilgrimages over the last 60 years.


HCPT will also join the Church in giving thanks for the Year of Mercy, a year in which Pope Francis calls on us all to reflect on the greatness of God’s mercy and love.


Mass for the Parish Gift Aid Organisers of the Dioceses

160490 - Gift Aid Mass

Archbishop Peter Smith celebrated a Mass on Saturday 30th April in The Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St George Southwark in thanksgiving for the work of the Parish Gift Aid Organisers within the Diocese

160490 - Gift Aid Mass

This is an annual celebration and was followed by the AGM and refreshments in the Amigo Hall

St. John Fisher - Kidbrooke


The Statue of Our Lady of Fatima, and the relics of Jacinta and Francisco were processed from Kidbrook Green to St John Fisher's Church, at 4:30pm on Saturday 7th May 2016 with an all-night vigil ending at 8pm on Sunday 8th May 2016 where pilgrims were given the opportunity to venerate the relics.  The night also consisted of talks and a film show.



After the Sunday evening Mass pilgrims were given the final chance to venerate the relics.  fter a short service the Statue and relics were processed out of the church before departing for its next stop leaving behind many blessings and uplifted pilgrims.


St Peter's Catholic Primary School

Pupils from St Peter's Catholic Primary School in West Ridge, Sittingbourne, Kent recently learnt about how Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) port chaplains live out the seven Corporal Works of Mercy in their ministry supporting seafarers.

AoS London Officer Roland Hayes gave an assembly at the school using AoS’ new Year of Mercy Schools Resource, produced with the help of The Pilgrim editor Greg Watts

The resource provides real-life and specific examples of how the charity’s chaplains live out the Catholic faith by providing spiritual and practical support to seafarers in need.
Seafarers are responsible for bringing up to 95% of the goods consumed in Great Britain, from mobile phones to bananas and cars to fridges.

In one example under the ‘Clothing the naked’ section in the resource, AoS Director of Development John Green says, “A number of Catholic parishes around the country support our work by providing seafarers with woolly hats, socks and other clothing.  These items might seem unimportant, but if you are at sea in freezing weather, they can really make a difference.”

The Year of Mercy Schools Resource can be found here

Launch of the Diocesan Good Samaritan Fund

Bishop Pat Lynch celebrated Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St George Southwark for the launch of the Good Samaritan Fund with the Secondary Schools of the diocses



Concelebating with Bishop Pat was Father Saju John SDB, Father James Clark, Monsignorn Phelim Rowland and Father Liam Gallagher


Year of Mercy Youth Event

On the 24th April over 300 young people and their parents and catechists gathered together at St George’s Cathedral for the afternoon in conjunction with the Jubilee event for young people in the Vatican.

The afternoon began in the Amigo Hall with Archbishop Peter who led everyone through the Holy Door.

160424 - Julilee of Mercy Service for Confirmation

Once in the Cathedral the Archbishop encouraged all in their lives of faith and to daily prayer

The afternoon contiuned with catechesis, testimony, prayer and music with a chance to meet other young Catholics

160424 - Julilee of Mercy Service for Confirmation

The afternoon finished with a Renewal of Baptismal Promises

160424 - Julilee of Mercy Service for Confirmation

After the service refreshments were served in Amigo Hall

Pilgrimage to Rome by the Confirmation Candidates of St. Thomas Parish, Canterbury 

A group of 120 people from St. Thomas’s Catholic Church, Canterbury was recently led on a pilgrimage to Rome by Fr. Valentine Erhahon. The objective was to enable a group of young people currently preparing for Confirmation and those having been confirmed in the last five years now on the Young Mentors Award Programme for Confirmation to meet our Holy Father Pope Francis to present two gifts to him and also experience living in a seminary so as to encourage vocations to the Priesthood and to the religious life and be inspired by this Holy Year of Mercy. 

160405 - Pilgrimage to Rome by the Confirmation Candidates of St. Thomas Parish, Canterbury

57 families accompanied their young members on the journey to Rome

160405 - Pilgrimage to Rome by the Confirmation Candidates of St. Thomas Parish, Canterbury

In preparation for the Pilgrimage, Fr Valentine created two gifts for the Holy Father, a painting and a drawing book of letters written by the parish children. The painting depicts the Pope watering a garden made up of the signatures of many people including 300 children and young people, individuals from the parish, seminarians, priests, Muslims and non-Catholics. From the signatures grows the Canterbury Parish Family Mercy Tree, producing the 14 corporal and spiritual works of mercy shown as fruits of the tree.  On the painting, there is a poem that recounts our salvation history and mission. The artist, Mrs. Charlotte Galt, painted the painting for the Holy Father. In addition Mrs. Nieves Castro organised over 70 children and young people to make drawings and letters for the Pope in anticipation of his birthday later this year.

160405 - Pilgrimage to Rome by the Confirmation Candidates of St. Thomas Parish, Canterbury

Later in July, Canon Anthony Charlton will lead a group of young people from St. Thomas’s Canterbury to the World youth Day in Poland to meet with the Holy Father.

Jubilee Year of Mercy - Pilgrimage Mass for the 
Knights of St Columba

The Knights of St Columba made a pilgrimage to the Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St. George, Southwark to pass through the Holy Door

160423 - Mass for Knights of St Columba

Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Peter

160423 - Mass for Knights of St Columba

Mass of St George - Cathedral

On Friday 22nd April 2016 Archbishop Peter joined The Chapter Canons at a Mass on the Vigil of the Feast of St George, followed by a reception in the Amigo Hall

160422 - Mass of St George - Cathedral

160422 - Mass of St George - Cathedral

160422 - Mass of St George - Cathedral

160422 - Mass of St George - Cathedral

The relics of St George were venerated

Les Walker receives the Diocesan Medal from Bishop-elect Paul Mason in Herne Bay

The parish of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Herne Bay recognised the faithful and joyful service provided, at the altar, by Les Walker, at the 11.15am Mass on Sunday 24 April. At the end of Mass, Bishop-elect Paul Mason presented Les with the Southwark Diocesan Fideliter Servienti (Faithful Servant) award.

Deacon Barry Walker (Les’ son), Les Walker and Bishop-elect Paul Mason

The Fideliter Servienti is an award that Archbishop Peter has established as a means of recognising the faithful work done by so many people in the diocese. Les, an altar server in the parish for over 30 years and a wonderful help to the younger members of the congregation, has certainly provided such work!
Les’ great grand daughters, Fr Charles CP, Les and Deacon Barry  

    RC Archdiocese of Southwark Archives         

The Rare Books Collection
Maria Cipollone is the volunteer caring for our rare books collection. As well as cleaning the books and ensuring that they are being stored in a way that will protect them, Maria is researching the background to the books and the collection to build a clear picture of what the Diocese holds. Below you will find Maria's account of the collection and her work.

Among the many treasures of the Archives, there is a small collection of manuscripts and rare books.

This is the title page of a liturgical book printed in Paris in 1555

Please see the southwarkdiocesanarchives.blogspot for more information

11am 23rd April 2016

Pope Francis appoints new Auxiliary Bishop
to Southwark Diocese

Pope Francis has appointed Father Paul Mason as the new Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark.  Fr Mason, a priest of the Archdiocese of Southwark, has been the Episcopal Vicar for Kent which comprises the Deaneries of Canterbury, Chatham, Dover, Gravesend, Maidstone, Thanet and Tunbridge Wells.

The Episcopal Ordination of Bishop-Elect Paul Mason will take place in Saint George’s Cathedral, Southwark, on 31st May, 2016 at midday, the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He will join Bishop Patrick Lynch and Bishop Paul Hendricks as Auxiliary Bishops of the Diocese of Southwark, succeeding Bishop John Hine.

Archbishop Peter Smith, Archbishop of Southwark said:
"I was delighted to hear the news that Pope Francis has appointed Father Paul Mason as an Auxiliary Bishop in Southwark. He has served this Diocese for many years, recently in working with me in the care of the people in Kent as my Episcopal Vicar to them, following Bishop John Hine’s move to Tenterden. I am very happy that the Holy Father has once again appointed a third auxiliary to Southwark, and I am sure that as Paul begins this new stage in his ordained ministry he will work with the clergy, religious and lay faithful of Kent with the same energy and enthusiasm he has demonstrated as a priest.”

Archbishop Peter Smith and Bishop Elect Paul MasonBishop–Elect Paul Mason said:
“Although I have been working as Episcopal Vicar for Kent for just over two years, I still experienced something of a seismic shift when the Nuncio, Archbishop Mennini, handed me a letter saying that Pope Francis wished to appoint me as Auxiliary Bishop for Southwark. Southwark is a wonderful Diocese with great energy and diversity where the clergy are not only very supportive but also a delight to work with.   
I look forward to continuing my ministry with Archbishop Peter and to do all I can to support and promote the Catholic Faith and help share the love and mercy of God, particularly to the people of Kent and the Medway.”

Mini Biography of Father Paul Mason
Born 6 November 1962 in North Shields, Tyne & Wear.
Attended St. Anselm’s Roman Catholic High School, North Shields, and Kings College London.
Worked in Turin for Olivetti and London for Hewlett-Packard until September 1992
Seminary Training:
Venerable English College, Rome,
Ordained Priest 25th July 1998
Assistant priest at Saint John the Baptist, Purley (1998 - 2001)
Full time Hospital Chaplain at St. Thomas’ & Guys Hospital Trust (2001 - 2012)
Pastoral Director, Allen Hall Seminary, & Director of Southwark Ongoing Formation (2012 - 2013).
Named as Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark by Pope Francis on 23 April 2016 with the Titular See of Skàlholt.

St Philomena's Catholic High School for Girls

Over 1400 pupils from St Philomena's High School for Girls - Carshalton gather in the Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St George on the 21st April 2016 to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Beatification of Blessed Marie Therese and the Transfer of Trusteeship to the Archdiocese of Southwark.  St Philomena's was founded by the Daughters of the Cross in 1893.
160421 - St Philomena Transfer of Trusteeship

160421 - St Philomena Transfer of Trusteeship

160421 - St Philomena Transfer of Trusteeship

160421 - St Philomena Transfer of Trusteeship

160421 - St Philomena Transfer of Trusteeship

St Winifred's Primary School - Lee

On Friday 15th April Archbishop Peter joined the community of St Winifred's Primary School in Lee to celebrate the amalgamation of St Winifred’s Catholic Nursery and Infant School and St Winifred’s Catholic Junior School

160415 - St Winifred Primary School

160415 - St Winifred Primary School

160415 - St Winifred Primary School

Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation 
Office Co-ordinator

The JPIC office at the Diocese of Southwark is looking for a new co-ordinator.  Based at Cathedral House in Westminster Bridge Road and reporting to the Chair of the JPIC, this job is responsible for all the administration associated with the promotion of JPIC issues.  This will include servicing all diocesan groups in their JPIC work through research, presentations and the production of materials; maintaining the JPIC database and website; producing the JPIC newsletter and other reports; liaising with and promoting associated bodies and networks and arranging conferences and other events.  The job holder will work with a support group who will help to give direction and aid effective performance in the role.  This is a part-time job, for around 22.5 hours per week.  Actual hours/days are flexible and will include some evening and weekend work.  Salary £27,000pa to £30,000pa, depending on experience, pro rata for part-time hours.
The ideal candidate will have a deep, personal commitment to the principles of justice and peace and a sound knowledge of social teaching in the Catholic Church.  They will be fully competent with general office IT systems such as databases, email and Word. In addition they will be confident working with the minimum of supervision and able to demonstrate both initiative and creativity.
If you would like to apply, please email your CV to by the closing date of 16th May 2016. 
Please note that we can only accept applications from candidates who have current permission to work in the UK.

Bishop Pat Lynch delivers the first talk in the
series of Saints of Mercy

On Thursday 8th April Bishop Pat Lynch spoke about St Damien of Molokai - The Leper Saint
The first of a serise of talks organised by the Centre for Catholic Formation during the Jubilee Year of Mercy

Bishop Pat explained that  Damien was a true companion to those with leprosy.  He looked at the ministry of Damien especially on the island of Molokai through the Gospel of Mercy and especially Luke’s story of Jesus’ journey with his two disciples to Emmaus.                      

Saints of Mercy

Six post-Easter talks on Thursdays, at the Amigo Hall, Lambeth Road, SE1 6HR.

Time 7.30pm until 9pm Entry is free, however, donations welcomed
Please contact to book a place

7 April
St Damien of Molokai "The Leper Saint" with Bishop Patrick Lynch,

14 April
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta "Caring for the Vunerable" with Rhoslyn Thomas from the SPUC

21 April
St Maria Faustina Kowalska "The Message of Divine Mercy" with Fr Andrzej Gowkielewicz, MIC

28 April
Pope John Paul II "A Passion for Mercy" with Pierpaolo Finaldi from the CCF

5 May
St Josephine Bakhita "A Life of Fortitude and Mercy" with Cecilia Suarez

12 May
St Padre Pio & St Leopold Mandic "Saints of the Confessional" with Fr Martin Mikuskiewicz, OFM Cap



An Easter Message from Archbishop Peter...


Fra Angelico
Resurrection of Christ and Women at the Tomb
Fresco - 1441 - Convento di San Marco, Florence

When we Christians celebrate Easter, we celebrate the fact that Christ is risen from the dead and that he lives in our hearts and minds through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, who is the Lord and giver of Life. In celebrating Easter we are celebrating life itself and life to the full. From the darkness of his death, the light of eternal life shone out in all its brightness when Jesus, the Light of the world, was raised to new life.

Our Easter faith is a joyful and exultant proclamation that there is a real meaning to life, a vitality to every day, a purpose to those efforts of loving which can at times tire our hearts and distress our spirit. We believe that the whole meaning and purpose of life lies in the gift of love - that
self-giving love which was at the heart of Christ's own life - a love that will never end.

We will know that Easter is real, that Christ lives, when we allow him to make our own lives sources of light and life for others; when our words heal and encourage; when our hearts come alive with compassion; when we stand firm for the value of life in all its aspects. Easter becomes a reality in our own lives when people are healed, consoled and strengthened by the life-giving love we show to each other, and especially to those in need. Easter is real when we become living signs and symbols of the presence of the risen Christ in our world, and of the values which he taught during his life on earth.

May the presence of the risen Christ in your lives bring you happiness and renewed strength this special Easter during the Jubilee of Mercy.

With my blessing and an assurance of my prayers,

Archbishop of Southwark

160327 - Easter Sunday

160327 - Easter Sunday

160327 - Easter Sunday

300316 - Easter Garden

300316 - Easter Garden

The Easter Vigil began with darkness. 

160326 - Easter Vigil

160326 - Easter Vigil

The candidates are baptized

160326 - Easter Vigil

The Solemn Liturgy of the Passion of the Lord was held in the Cathedral at 3.00

160325 - Good Friday

The Passion was read by Father Ola and members of the parish

160325 - Good Friday

The cross was then venerated

160325 - Good Friday

Holy Thursday is the commemoration of the Last Supper of Jesus Christ, when he established the sacrament of Holy Communion prior to his arrest and crucifixion. It also commemorates His institution of the priesthood

160324 - Mass of the Lords Supper

Jesus performed a final act of service for his Disciples, following the Passover meal. Arising from the table, He tied a towel about His waist and filled a basin with water. Then, one after another He washed the feet of each disciple. We too are called to serve others in a spirit of humility. Archbishop Peter washed the feet of 12 parishioners 

160324 - Mass of the Lords Supper

In this most holy of weeks the Chrism Mass provides us with a moment to gather as a diocese – bishop, clergy and people – to support and pray for one another, to remember and pray for the people of our diocese and beyond.

160323 - Chrism Mass

160323 - Chrism Mass

At the Chrism Mass priests of the diocese renew the promises they first made at ordination. As they gather with members of the faithful of the diocese they make their public commitment to the service of God, the Church and its people once more. The deacons and the people in turn offer their prayerful support of their priests and to the Archbishop.

160323 - Chrism Mass

While the Oil of the Sick, used for those who seek the anointing, and the Oil of the Catechumens, used for those preparing for baptism, are simply “blessed,” the Sacred Chrism is “consecrated”. All the priests present participate in the latter moment by extending their hands toward the vessel containing it as the bishop says the prayer of consecration.

160323 - Chrism Mass

160323 - Chrism Mass

160323 - Chrism Mass

160323 - Chrism Mass

The Oil of Chrism is used at baptisms, confirmations, the ordination of priests and bishops, the consecration of altars and the blessing of churches, where the walls are smeared with it in the shape of the sign of the cross. As part of the consecration of the Chrism, balsam is poured into the oil, which gives it a sweet smell intended to remind those who encounter it of the “odour of sanctity” to which those people and things who are marked with it, and by extension all of us, are called to strive for.

160323 - Chrism Mass

The Chrism Mass is the largest regular diocesan celebration held during the year. In this liturgy priests, deacons and people gather with the Archbishop for the blessing of the holy oils that will be used in parishes in the coming year – the oil of the sick, the oil of Catechumens and the oil of Chrism, from which the Mass receives its name.

160323 - Chrism Mass

160323 - Chrism Mass

Following the Mass the oils are brought in procession into Archbishop's House where the Deanery Oils Stocks are filled.

These are then taken back to the Dearies where the Parish Oil Stocks are filled and use throughout the Diocese

160323 - Chrism Mass

Archbishop Peter celebrated Palm Sunday Mass with the clergy and community of the Cathedral

160320 - Palm Sunday

160320 - Palm Sunday

160320 - Palm Sunday

160320 - Palm Sunday

Deacon Michael Gould retires as the Chair of Sacred Heart Govering Body after 25 years

Sacred Heart School and Parish marked the retirement of Deacon Michael Gould as the Chair of Governors at a Mass of Thanksgiving on Monday 14th March 2016

The principle celebrant was Bishop Patrick Lynch and he was joined by Father Victor, Father David, Father Paul and Father Gerry. The Sacred Heart Church was full with pupils, staff and invited guests. Deacon Michael's wife Joan was also a guest of honour

At the end of the service Bishop Pat presented Michael with the Southwark Diocesan Fideliter Servienti (Faithful Servant) award.
This is an award that Archbishop Peter has established as a means of recognising the faithful work done by so many people in the diocese.
The award is a token of the appreciation that the Archbishop and the Diocese has for the work that Michael has carried out

Mass was followed by a lavish afternoon trea and speeches from all the Heads of the Sacred Heart School who Michael had worked with.

A guard of honour was formed by the pupils of the Sacred Heart School from the church to the school hall

Three Diocesan Medals and a Farewell at the CCF

On Thursday 10 March, at the Centre for Catholic Formation, Tooting Bec, Archbishop Peter Smith celebrated Mass at which he presented three Diocesan Fideliter Servienti (Faithful Servant) Medals. Suzanne Evans, Lewis Horner and Colleen Quaranta have, between them, volunteered at the Centre for over 67 years.

160310 - Three Diocesan Medals and a Farewell at the CCF

Archbishop Peter established this diocesan award as a means of recognising the faithful work done by so many people in the diocese; work which could perhaps best be described as above and beyond the call of duty.

Also on this day, the Centre for Catholic Formation bade farewell to Dr Frank Keen, a diocesan employee for 16 years, who has been heavily involved with the Catholic Certificate for Religious Studies (CCRS). All at the Centre and those who know him from his work with the CCRS and the Rite of Election wish Frank all the best in retirement.

160310 - Three Diocesan Medals and a Farewell at the CCF

Jubilee of Mercy: '24 Hours for the Lord'

Many Catholic Churches through out the world joined '24 hours for the Lord' initiative which Pope Francis began in 2014, encouraging people to come and spend time in front of the Blessed Sacrament. In this Jubilee of Mercy there is a particular invitation to go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation;the Holy Father spent some time in St Peter's Rome exercising this important ministry.

The Cathedral took its part in the initiative, and there was prayer and adoration from 12.30pm on Friday 4th March; this special time came to a conclusion at the end of the Saturday 12.30pm Mass. Fr Paul Mason, Episcopal Vicar for Kent, will began the 24 hours by celebrating the 12.30pm Mass. Adoration then took place in the Cathedral, most of the time at the main Altar. Additional opportunities for the Sacrament of Reconciliation were made available from 8pm to midnight on the Friday, several visiting priests joined the Cathedral priests;
including Archbishop Peter and Bishop Paul Hendricks.

During the course of the night, on each hour, some brief reflection or prayer was led. The Reflections focused on the Works of Mercy, and provided thought provoking material to bring to prayer. The 'Night Shift' will concluded with Mass celebrated by Archbishop Peter at 9.30am.  The team from the Diocesan Youth Service laid on some extra opportunities to pray in a more hands on way. An example of this was the creation of a Mercy Icon which some of the young people who attended the '24 hours' helped to prayerfully paint. The finished Icon was received and blessed by Archbishop Peter during the morning Mass.

            The Mercy Icon

The Archbishop is grateful to the Cathedral Clergy, Staff and Parishioners for helping to make this possible, and particularly to the Southwark Catholic Youth Service (SCYS) for co-ordinating the 'Night Shift'.

Archbishop Peter, the SCYS team and the Mercy Icon after Mass.

The Holy Family - Thanet
24 Hours for the Lord

The Parish Church of The Holy Family – Thanet followed Pope Francis' invitation and spent 24 hours for the Lord

The exposition began at 10 am on Friday 4th March, with Stations of the Cross at 11.30 am followed by Friday's daily Mass.

The church then remained open having parishioners always in attendance with the exposed Blessed Sacrament until Exposition was concluded with Saturday morning Mass at 10 am.

'The 100 Best Stained Glass Sites in London'

St George's Cathedral has been featured in a newly published booking detailing the best stained glass sites in London

The book called 'The 100 Best Stained Glass Sites in London' is beautifully illustrated and contains a great deal of detail about each site. The author, Caroline Swash, presented a copy to the Dean of the Cathedral Fr Richard Hearn in front of the newly restored west window.

Whilst a very small amount of the original Pugin stained glass survived the war time bombing most of the stained glass dates from the late 1950s.
The east and west windows are by the Harry Clarke Studios in Dublin. The east window depicts the crucifixion, our Lord is surrounded by the saints, the west window is of the coronation of the our Lady.

The  two other major windows are in the north transept, commemorating the visit of Pope St. John Paul II in 1982, and in the east end above the Holy Door, a memorial to deceased members of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre. Both are by John Lawson of Goddard & Gibbs Studio.

Catenian Association Public Speaking Competition

On Thursday 25th February, Province 7 of the Catenian Association held the Southwark Regional Final of their Public Speaking Competition, which is open to 16 to 18 year old pupils attending Catholic Schools.  This event took place in the auditorium at St. Thomas the Apostle College (STAC), Nunhead

160225 -Catenian Public Speaking competition - St. Thomas the Apostle School - Nunhead

The ten participants from four local Catholic Schools, St. Thomas, St. Gregory’s, Sacred Heart and St. Michael’s, spoke for four minutes on a range of topics; some philosophical such as ‘True Riches’, others profound such as ‘What is God’s role in society’ and one which was whimsically entitled ‘Blue’.   All the speeches were delivered with professionalism; many of the speakers had no notes, while some only briefly glanced at what must have been nothing more than ‘headers’. 

160225 -Catenian Public Speaking competition - St. Thomas the Apostle School - Nunhead

The judges for the competition were Archbishop Peter Smith, Susannah Hardyman, founder and CEO of Action Tutoring and Dr. Joseph Spence, Master of Dulwich College and the Chair of the Adjudicators.
The difficult task of picking a winner from such talented individuals was explained by Dr. Spence, before he announced the winner and runner-up.
The winner, Jael Umerah-Makelemi from Sacred Heart School Camberwell, spoke about her favourite colour ‘Blue’ and what was going through her mind as she went shopping at her local supermarket.  Her speech had a ‘light touch’ and was delivered with great confidence making us care about what she was discussing.

The runner-up, Jeanie Purslow from St. Thomas’, spoke on the ‘thorny’ subject of, ‘Homophobia’, and gave us gentle as well as strong moments and arguments in making a case for tolerance.

160225 -Catenian Public Speaking competition - St. Thomas the Apostle School - Nunhead

Archbishop Peter and Peter Stevens (Province 7 Director) presented a shield and a voucher for £50.00 to Jael and to Jeanie an Amazon voucher for £35.00. Both worthy winners who will now be entitled to go forward to the National Finals at Manchester University in September.

160225 -Catenian Public Speaking competition - St. Thomas the Apostle School - Nunhead

Thanks was given to Mr. Connolly (Headmaster of STAC), the panel of judges, those who produced the literature, the caterers and the brass band and not forgetting the parents and those behind the scenes

The evening was a truly amazing event. Full marks to all who made it such a success and we look forward to next year’s competition with even more participants expected from Notre Dame, St Catherine’s and several others.

 Golden Anniversary – Worcester Park

Archbishop Peter joined the community of St. Matthias Worcester Park on Wednesday 24th February to celebrate the Golden Anniversary of the opening of the 'new' church


He also presend a Diocesen Award to Dorothy for 40 years committement to the Music Ministry in the parish, particually playing the organ at the morning Masses


The celebrations continued in the parish hall

160224 - Golden Anniversary – Worcester Park

Sad News from the Vincentians

Six senior seminarians died in a motor accident on Monday 22nd February 2016, at Enugu Nigeria RIP

Archbishop Peter will preside at a Requiem Mass for the repose of their souls on Thursday March 3rd  at 18.00 in the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows, Peckham - Vestments: White (Mass of the Resurrection)

Risen, in cinemas 18th March, tells the story of a Roman soldier investigating the mysterious disappearance of the body of Jesus of Nazareth. Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), a powerful Roman military tribune, and his aide, Lucius (Tom Felton), are tasked with solving the mystery of what happened to Jesus in the weeks following the crucifixion, in order to disprove the rumours of a risen Messiah and prevent an uprising in Jerusalem.

For more information please visit for a Special Resource for Churches and a Leader's Guide should anyone wish to use this as their Lenten project

Please click here to read a review of the fiilm

Lenten Day of Recollection

Father John Hemer, a Mill Hill Father who has worked in Pakistan, Kenya and Uganda led the Day of Recollection in Aylesford on 19th February organised by the On-Going Formation of Priests

160219 - Lenten Day of Recollection

160219 - Lenten Day of Recollection

Father Paul Mason took this opportunity to thank Mrs Anita Rebello, who has been the On-Going Formation of Priests' secretary for 12 years, for all her hard work as she has decieded to retire and presented her with a bouquet of flowers

160219 - Lenten Day of Recollection

Mrs Gill Reeves, Father Paul Mason's secretary will be taking over the role when Anita finishes.

160219 - Lenten Day of Recollection

Shrine of St Augustine - Ramsgate

BBC Radio 4 will broadcast live from the Shrine of St Augustine, Ramsgate, this weekend. The weekly programme Sunday Worship, with 1.5 million listeners, is coming to Ramsgate for the second week of Lent 2016. The broadcast will be at 8.10am, on Sunday 21st February 2016, on BBC Radio 4.

The service will be a 'meditation' with reflections from Robert Pugin Purcell, the great great grandson of Augustus Pugin (the architect who built the church as his personal church, and is most famous for designing much of the Houses of Parliament), as well as readings from the Bible and Bede's narrative of St Augustine's mission. Sister Mary Stephen of Minster Abbey will read a poem she has written for the occasion. There will be congregational singing, and music performed by The Victoria Consort under the direction of Thomas Neal.

The broadcast has the theme of 'Pilgrimage: Taking and Leaving'. This fits in well with St Augustine's growing association with pilgrimage.

In 2014-15 it launched the "Way of St Augustine" - a walking trail between Canterbury Cathedral and St Augustine's in Ramsgate. This follows the route
St Augustine took when he travelled to Canterbury from Thanet in 597AD. The route was launched in collaboration with Canterbury Cathedral, the Green
Pilgrimage Network, and Explore Kent. More information is available here:

A new DVD is co-presented by St Augustine's Rector, Fr Marcus Holden, called To Be A Pilgrim. This was launched in October 2015. It documents the fascinating sites and histories of the ancient Pilgrims' Way from Southwark to Canterbury. The route was made famous by Geoffrey Chaucer in his The Canterbury Tales. The DVD was produced by St Anthony Communications and is available here:

Members of the public are invited to join the congregation for the live national broadcast. Those wishing to attend should arrive at 7.45am. The church is located on the seaward side of St Augustine's Road, Ramsgate, and the postcode is CT11 9PA.

Rite of Election & Call to Continuing Conversion

This annual ceremony for those on RCIA courses in the various parishes and chaplaincies took place on Saturday 13th February at the Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St George, Southwark

160213 - Rite of Election

The Archbishop presided, assisted by Bishop Pat, Bishop Paul, the Episcopal Vicar for Kent, Father Paul, Monsignor Matthew, the Vicar General and Fr David, Director of the Centre for Catholic Formation, who organised the liturgy.  The Deacon was Rev'd Daniel Weatherley

160213 - Rite of Election

This year the names of 235 catechumens were read out by Bishop Pat, Bishop Paul and Father Paul according to their area during the Rite of Election, and their names were enrolled in the Book of the Elect

160213 - Rite of Election

160213 - Rite of Election

Catechumens are those preparing for Baptism, usually to take place at the Easter Vigil

160213 - Rite of Election

195 candidates also had their names read out during the Rite of the Call to Continuing Conversion.  Candidates are those, already Baptized, who are preparing to receive the final sacraments of initiation, Confirmation and Eucharist

160213 - Rite of Election

160213 - Rite of Election

Archbishop Peter thanked the Cathedral Dean, Father Richard and all the Cathedral staff

160213 - Rite of Election

The music was provided by the Diocesan Choir under Canon Alan McLean

160213 - Rite of Election
and the Altar Servers were from Holy Cross, Catford parish

160213 - Rite of Election

Peter Morrissey from Service for Deaf & Hard of Hearing People kindly signed the service

160213 - Rite of Election

Lent Begins at the Cathedral

Archbishop Peter imposed ashes during a Solemn Sung Mass at St. George's Cathedral on Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday Mass in St George Cathedral in Southwark

Fr. Richard Hearn, the Dean of the Cathedral, concelebrated and the gentlemen of the choir provided the music

Ash Wednesday Mass in St George Cathedral in Southwark

The marking of the forehead with the sign of the cross in ash reminds us of the penitential nature of the Lenten Season, a time when we should seek the Lord's mercy and forgiveness in those areas of our lives where we need His healing power.

Ash Wednesday Mass in St George Cathedral in Southwark

The ashes used come from palms used on Palm Sunday the previous year

Ash Wednesday Mass in St George Cathedral in Southwark

During Lent there will be an extra Mass at St George's Cathedral every evening at 6pm

Commissioning of Extraordinary Ministers of
Holy Communion at the Cathedral

On Saturday 6th February 2016 Father Paul Mason, Episcopal Vicar for Kent commisioned 52 people as Extraordinary Ministers Holy Communion

160206 - EOMOHC Commissioning Day

Father Paul Mason started the day with a talk on the Eucharist and this special Ministry by using a powerpoint presentation of different works or art

160206 - EOMOHC Commissioning Day

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

160206 - EOMOHC Commissioning Day

Father Paul concelebrated Mass along with the Monsignor Matthew Dickens and Monsignor Gerry Ewing, during which he commissioned the new Extraordinary Ministers and presented their certificates.

160206 - EOMOHC Commissioning Day

160206 - EOMOHC Commissioning Day

160206 - EOMOHC Commissioning Day160206 - EOMOHC Commissioning Day

160206 - EOMOHC Commissioning Day

160206 - EOMOHC Commissioning Day160206 - EOMOHC Commissioning Day

The Extra Ordinary Ministers came from 15 parishes from around the Diocese - Balham, Brockley, Charlton, Croydon, Dover, East Sheen, Farnborough, Kennington Park, Norbury, Peckham Rye, Purley, Walworth,
Welling, Wimbledon, Woolwich

A new Rector for St John’s Seminary, Wonersh

Archbishop Peter has announced the appointment of Father Brian Coyle as Rector of St John’s Seminary, Wonersh, in succession to Monsingor Jeremy Garratt.

Father Brian is currently Director of Human Formation at Wonersh.
He will take office on 4th July 2016.

Monsignor Jeremy Garratt will take up parish ministry in the diocese of Portsmouth in September.

Archbishop Peter said:
“I am delighted that Father Brian Coyle has accepted this very important ministry in the church. He brings a wealth of experience of priesthood, and having served at the Seminary for the last two years will already be familiar with St John’s.”

Monsignor Jeremy said:
“Under Father Brian’s leadership I am sure that St John’s will have a bright future.
It is very good news for the Seminary and for the church in this country.”

St John’s Seminary was established in 1891 as the diocesan Seminary for the then Diocese of Southwark. It accepts students from several dioceses in England and also from Wales and Scotland.

The dioceses of England and Wales are served by a total of six seminaries: two others in England, two in Rome and one in Spain.

33rd Head Teacher of St Joseph’s College Beulah Hill

On Wednesday 3 February Mr David Garrido was inducted by Bishop Hendricks as the 33rd head teacher of St Joseph’s College Beulah Hill.
Dr Ann Bamford, the diocesan director of Education, De la Salle Brothers, Sean, Ben and John, two local councillors, the deputy mayor Wayne Trakas-Lawlor, and Pat Ryan, former Thomas More Head Mr John Casey, Mrs Joana Hawthorne from St Chad’s, Sister Bernadette from Virgo Fidelis High, Mr Patrick Shields from St Mary’s High and Mr Sean Maher from Richard Challoner as well as current students, former students and their parents attended the celebraton, along with Mr Garrido's wife and sone

There were also guests from The British Home with whom the college  have an historical working relationship

The band and the choir were both in attendance and played a brand new Mass setting, The Mass of St Joseph’s College,  written by Head of Music, Mr Baxter for the occasion.

The psalm was read by Year Eight student Kaiden Cummins and his father, Patrick, who is a former student of the college.  There were seven altar servers including three six form students one of whom, Emmanuella, was our first ever girl server.

Mr Garrido was presented with the mission statement and key to the school by Mr Sweeney the chair of governors, Bishop Hendricks presented him with the Bible.  After Communion Jacqueline and Zachery sang Panus Angelicus.

The reception in the parlour was very well attended and all present agreed we are all looking forward to watching St Joseph’s College grow while in Mr Garrido’s care.

Mass for Missionary Society of St Paul

The Missionary Society of Society of St Paul celebrated its annual thanksgiving day, also known as MSP Day on the 29th of January 2016 at St George’s Cathedral, Southwark. It is a day set aside to invite friends, supporters and benefactors who join to celebrate the opportunity to share in Christ’s mission. It is also a special occasion to acknowledge the contributions of our friends and supporters. However, this year's celebration was capped with the formal inauguration of the Mission in the UK into a Region.

The UK Mission of the Society started in 2000 and in that year Fr. Addison Okpeh joined the Archdiocese of Southwark.

160129 - Mass for MSP

In 2002 Fr Eustace Durugbo (now the UK Mission Superior) and Fr Casmir Dike arrived to join Fr Addison in Southwark. Today the Society has nine priests in the diocese who have the care of seven parishes: Beckenham Hill, Deptford, Gravesend, Norbiton, Nunhead, Stockwell and Brixton

160129 - Mass for MSP

The Principal celebrant was Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark; along with Bishop Peter M Brignall of Wrexham and the auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham William Kenney. Also concelebrating were Fr Augustine Ogar, MSP the Vigar General of MSP who represented the superior general Very Rev Fr victor Onwukeme, MSP and also formerly read the address of inauguration; equally concelebrating were MSP priests from around the UK, diocesan and religious priests from various dioceses.

160129 - Mass for MSP

In his homily, Archbishop Peter, spoke of the great life that St Paul lived and his zeal in spreading the gospel to all people. He noted that the Missionaries of St Paul  following the example of Apostle Paul through their commitment to Missionary work in the UK have impacted positively on the Church. He appreciated the impact this missionary effort has had on the church in the UK and encouraged them to strive more in spreading this gospel Message that was initially brought to Africa by Missionaries from Europe

The Priests and all present received blessings from the Archbishop.
The Mass ended at about 8:15pm and all proceeded to Amigo Hall for refreshment and interaction.

Closing Mass of Year for Consecrated Life

300 Consecrated Women and Men - the Religious of the Archdiocese - accepted the invitation of Archbishop Peter to join him on a pilgrimage  and process through the Holy Door of the Cathedral on Tuesday,  2nd February, to mark the closure of the Year of Consecrated Life and the Jubilee of Consecrated Life during this Extraordinary Year of Mercy.   

Closing Mass of Year for Consecrated Life

The Procession started in the Amigo Hall with the blessing of Candles and processed through the Holy Door of the Cathedral

Closing Mass of Year for Consecrated LifeClosing Mass of Year for Consecrated Life

The Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple has been the Annual Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life, since it was instituted by Pope St John Paul II in 1997, hence the appropriateness of the day for this special celebration

Closing Mass of Year for Consecrated Life

The Archbishop in his homily thanked the Consecrated Women and Men of the Archdiocese for their contribution to the life of the Archdiocese in the past, at the present time and for their contribution in the future. He noted particularly the presence of Religious from Africa, India and Asia which we greatly appreciate

Closing Mass of Year for Consecrated Life

After Mass Father Jim Hurley, Episcopal Vicar for Religious, thanked Archbishop Peter for celebrating the Mass and Father Philip Glandfield, the Archbishop's Private Secretary for coordinating the celebration. 

He went on to thank Father Richard Hearn the Dean of the Cathedral and Father Ola and Thomas for their warm welcome to the Cathedral and for their assistance.

He also thanked the Area Vicars for Religious, Sister Patricia Heller, SSA, Sister Sheila Moloney, DMJ and Sister Elizabeth O'Hara for their hard work.

Closing Mass of Year for Consecrated Life

He acknowleged the enormous debt of gratitude to Canon Alan McLean for his part in planning   the celebration – 'we have been blessed by his giftedness in music and liturgical expression' he said  A note of thanks also went to the choir who enhanced the occasion.

Sister Anne Marie Niblock SND was thanked for her kind invitation to the Notre Dame School Cafeteria for refreshments following the Mass.  The students of Notre Dame School who assisted at the Altar and who acted in various capacities during the celebration were thanked also. Father Hurely said 'they were a very vivacious, thoughtful, confident and efficient group of young ladies and a great credit to the School'.

Closing Mass of Year for Consecrated Life

Finally, the words of Pope Francis were recalled, while addressing the Religious in St Patrick’s Cathedral, New York on his recent visit to the United States.   While these words were addressed specifically to the Religious Sisters present, we would like them to apply to both the male and female religious of the Archdiocese of Southwark:
“Where would the Church be without you?
Women and men of strength, ifghters, with that spirit of courage which puts you in the front lines in the proclamation of the Gospel
I thank you so much”

Southwark Priests meet The Pope

Monsignor Bill Saunders and Father Michael Scanlon, on a trip to Rome, were blessed to meet Pope Francis and exchange greetings and prayers with him

© L’Osservatore Romano

Monsingor Bill was there for the first of the official Jubilee events for those engaged in pilgrimage work and for Rectors of Shrines. There was  a three day conference at the end of which they had a special audience with the Holy Father who gave an address. Click here to download

Also present was Father Marcus Holden from the Shrine at Ramsgate and Father  Francis Kemsley from Aylesford as well as Matt Betts from the Shrine of St. Jude Faversham. Canon Edward Perera, the Southwark Pilgrimage Director to Loudes, was unable to attend.

The invitation came from Archbishop Fisichella via the Southwark diocese.

There were representatives of the Shrine at Lourdes as well as Mon John Armitage the Rector of the Shrine at Walsingham.

The group through the Holy Door of St Peter's Basilica together

© L’Osservatore Romano

Battersea West

On the feast of Don Bosco 30th January 2016 Archbishop Peter join the 
Salesian Community in Battersea on the opening of their new Salesian House

It was the final stage in a comprehensive re-development of the buildings and facilities in Battersea: first the new facilities attached to the Sacred Heart Parish, then the new build for St John Bosco College, and now a new home for the Salesian Community

160130 - Open of New Salesian House - Battersea

Along with Archbishop Peter, who blessed the new house, the principal guests at the opening ceremony were Fr Michael Casey SDB (Provincial of Ireland), Jane Ellison, MP for Battersea, Balham and Wandsworth, Cllr Mrs Tessa Strickland and Bishop Howard Tripp (retired)

160130 - Open of New Salesian House - Battersea

160130 - Open of New Salesian House - Battersea

The Centre for Catholic Formation

The Centre for Catholic Formation, Tooting Bec, hosted a successful study day on Saturday 30th January exploring the meaning and implications of the Jubilee Year of Mercy.  There was a large number of interested attendees, which enabled fascinating discussions to take place and thoughtful questions to be explored.  The day was opened with a time of prayer and reflection. 

160130 - CCF exploring the meaning and implications of the Jubilee Year of Mercy

Pierpaolo Finaldi (formation adviser for the South-east London area), in his lecture, explored the meaning of a Jubilee Year, what the Church is asking of us in this special time, and the Jubilee Year’s origins in the Old Testament. 

160130 - CCF exploring the meaning and implications of the Jubilee Year of Mercy

Sebastian Morello (formation adviser for the South-west London area) delivered a lecture on the theology of divine mercy. 

160130 - CCF exploring the meaning and implications of the Jubilee Year of Mercy

In the afternoon Mark Nash (formation adviser for Kent) delivered a workshop on encountering divine mercy in the Gospels, followed by a second presentation by Pierpaolo on the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. 

160130 - CCF exploring the meaning and implications of the Jubilee Year of Mercy

The day was brought to a close with a second period of reflection and prayer.  The event was much appreciated by the attendees, and many have asked for the talks to be repeated in their parishes.

The offer of similar talks and workshops on mercy, and training or input on other themes, is extended to all parishes, schools and deaneries in the diocese.
Those interested in booking talks and training should contact the Centre for Catholic Formation at Tooting Bec.

Churches Together in South London

Archbishop Peter Smith hosted a lunch with Bishop Paul Hendrick for the Churches Together in South London in Unity Week on Thursday 21st January 2016 in Archbishop's House

RC Archdiocese of Southwark Archives

Our Diocesan Archivist, Jenny Delves, has added to the Archives' blog

World War II: the requisition of iron railings
and one priest’s protest

In July 1940, Lord Beaverbrook, the Minister of Supply, launched a press campaign for the public to donate aluminium pots and pans to make fighter aircraft: "We will turn your pots and pans into Spitfires and Hurricanes, Blenheims and Wellingtons." The public responded by donating over 70,000 tons of aluminium, a good percentage of which was recycled in aircraft production. Beaverbrook also identified a need for heavier raw materials like iron and steel for munitions.

In 1941 the government passed an order compulsorily requisitioning all post-1850 iron gates and railings for the war effort, with a few exceptions made for items of particular historic interest, usually elaborate gates.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of 

Reverend Father Conleth Doyle, O.Carm

who died on Thursday 14th January 2016

His body will be received with Evening Payer at 6.30pm on 
Tuesday 19th January at Aylesford Priory

Funeral Mass on Wednesday 20th January, at 11.30am at Aylesford Priory, followed by burial in the Carmelite Community Cemetery

First Pilgrimage through the Holy Door

On Thursday 14th January the first Pilgrimage through the Jubilee Year of Mercy Holy Door at the Cathedral took place.  It was undertaken by the staff of the diocesan Centre for Catholic Formation.

160114 - The First Pilgrimage through the Holy Door

The pilgrims were first welcomed by the Cathedral Dean, Fr Richard Hearn at an introductory Liturgy in front of the Holy Door. 

160114 - The First Pilgrimage through the Holy Door

They then processed through the Door, and once inside the Liturgy continued with prayers and the Sprinkling with Holy Water. 

160114 - The First Pilgrimage through the Holy Door

The pilgrims then processed to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel for a period of Adoration.  Meanwhile, Confessions were heard by Fr Richard and by Fr Stephen Borg, OFM.Conv.  The pilgrimage was completed by participation in the 12:30pm Mass.

160114 - The First Pilgrimage through the Holy Door

The special Jubilee Year plenary indulgence is gained by passing through the Holy Door, making one’s Confession, receiving Holy Communion at Mass, and praying for the Holy Father’s intentions.

160114 - The First Pilgrimage through the Holy Door

Parishes, schools and chaplaincies have been invited by both the Archbishop and the Cathedral Dean to make Pilgrimages during the Jubilee Year of Mercy to the Cathedral, the mother church of the archdiocese.  Visits should be booked via email: 

All pilgrims will receive a special pack, which includes the pilgrimage Liturgy, the rite of Confession, a commemorative prayer card, and a St George’s Cathedral special edition of the CTS booklet Year of Mercy – Preparing for the Journey.

Wanted – Southwark Catholic Directory 1976 and 1987

The Diocesan Archivist, Jenny Delves, is looking for copies of the 1976 and 1987 Southwark Catholic Directories.

If you have a copy of either of these directories which you would be happy to give her, please could you contact her on

Please pray for the repose of the soul of 

Reverend Father Joseph Kelly, O.Carm

who died on Wednesday 6th January 2016

His body will be received with Evening Payer on 
Monday 11th January at Aylesford Priory

Funeral Mass at 11.30 on Tuesday 12th January  at Aylesford Priory, followed by burial in the Carmelite Community Cemetery

The Ascent Movement

The Ascent Movement has been renamed and will now be known as ‘Life Ascending‘, to mirror other branches of La Vie Montante in other countries, who use a similar name.

Alongside the change of name they have had a new identity together with a new logo

Click here for their website and more details

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


Elsewhere on this site:

The Mass is held each year in thanksgiving for the work of the Parish Gift Aid Organisers within the Diocese and then followed by the AGM and refreshments in the Amigo Hall