Portsmouth Diocese E-News

Tuesday 25th September 2017 - Issue 153 (2017/34)

Dear Friends,


Welcome to the Enews in this last week of September as we enter autumn. There is much happening across the Diocese, much to thank God for. Meanwhile, please remember in your prayers our sister diocese of Bamenda in Cameroon, especially Archbishop Cornelius, Auxiliary Bishop Bibi, the clergy, religious and faithful. There have been months of protests by Cameroon's Anglophone population against what they say is discrimination by the Francophone majority - see the story from BBC news here. Let us pray for a speedy and fair resolution of these difficulties.


Meanwhile, God bless you all this week.



Latest Pastoral Letter - Bringing People to Jesus through His Church


This past weekend I issued my latest Pastoral Letter, Bringing People to Jesus through His Church.


In it, I announced an eight-point plan for the Diocese, a vision statement of my hopes and aspirations for the next decade. (See article in last week's eNews here.) I have been discussing this vision with various groups and diocesan officers over the last year, as well as with the clergy at the Convocation of Clergy during the summer. It is a vision that builds on all that has gone before but which lays out lines and trajectories of development for the future. The immediate task will be for everyone, clergy and laity, and for groups, communities, parishes and schools, ESTs and Framework Teams to receive and reflect upon this vision. Each in their own work and in their own field, will then be invited to develop strategies that seek by God’s grace to implement the vision in their own contexts.


You can watch the video above, download an audio version here or read it here.


St Raphael the Archangel - pray for us

Later this week on 29th September, the Church celebrates the Feastday of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. It would be good day to go to Mass if you can.  Early next week on 2nd October, the Church celebrates the Memorial of our Guardian Angels. Over the last two weeks, I’ve been offering a brief catechesis on angels and this week I’d like us to think about St. Raphael, the Angel of the Lord sent to bring God’s healing. Indeed, the name Raphael means “God has healed.” 


For more on this, see here.




Academies Update

Earlier this week on Monday 25th September, our Schools and Academies Office issued an important update on the Academies Conversion Project for our publicly maintained diocesan schools. You can read it here. 


Some schools have begun conversion to academies as part of a Multi-Academy Trust, but the overall project is being paused as we await further developments from the Department for Education. Please pray for our schools and the splendid work they are doing as they seek to hand on the Faith to the children entrusted to their care.




40 Days for Life

As many of you will know, 2017 marks 50 years since abortion was made legal in the UK, which has seen the devastating loss of 9.0 million unborn human lives. For 50 years this unjust destruction of human life has been taking place on our doorsteps and is being funded by our taxes. 

In the year 2007, an international organisation called 40 Days for Life was formed to help bring about an end to abortion through the methods of prayer, sacrifice and street witness. Due to their campaigns, it is estimated that in the past 10 years, 13,305 unborn children have been spared from the evil of abortion alongside the closure of many abortion facilities throughout the world. And so this year, a 40 Days for Life campaign will be running in Portsmouth from 27th September until 5th of November – and you are cordially invited to support this battle for life work with your prayers and to get involved.
Read more 

Free Called and Gifted teaching day

The Called and Gifted team are running a free teaching day for anyone in the diocese on Tuesday 10th October from 9am to 5pm, in Portsmouth. The rest of the process (a private discernment Conversation, and three small group meetings) can take place in your parish or nearby.


Called and Gifted is a process that helps you understand your own calling and identify the specific charisms that the Lord has given you to share with others.  For more information and to read testimonies from those who have been through the process, or watch a video about it by Bishop Philip,  please visit the Called and Gifted webpage here.  


For more information and to register please e-mail Clare Simpson.


New Catechetical Resource launching in the diocese

This past Saturday, the Dominican Sisters of St Joseph were delighted to present and train enthusiastic catechists from our diocese for a fantastic new resource for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion coming out in November from Redemptorist Publications: “I Want to Make My Home in You” – a “Come Follow Me” catechetical resource from the Notre Dame de Vie Institute.  This resource engages children directly in the Sacred Scriptures, the proclamation of Salvation History, and in our Sacred Liturgy and Tradition, particularly the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist.


On Saturday, 14th October, this resource will be officially presented at the annual Diocesan Day for Catechists in Portsmouth Cathedral (10am-4pm).  This day is free and open to all – lunch is provided.  If you are interested in learning more about this wonderful resource and growing in your skills to transmit our amazing Catholic faith, please register.


You can register for the Catechists' Day here. 



Introducing the "Diocesan Dashboard"

Over the last two years, our diocesan Social Research Unit has been undertaking a special project with a company called Field Dynamics to establish a computerised data-base that collates data and statistics about the Diocese and about each and every parish, pastoral area and deanery. The data-base, called the “Diocesan Dashboard,” will be especially helpful for our diocesan administration and our Catholic Schools and Academies Office, as well as for Framework Teams such as Caritas Diocese of Portsmouth, and for parish, pastoral area and deanery Evangelisation Strategy Teams. It incorporates both internal and external data about the Diocese and indeed, will be an invaluable tool for anyone engaged in pastoral planning at any level. For instance, it could help planners determine where to build a new school or church, or the sorts of ethnic chaplaincy services to be provided or the types of mission and evangelisation strategies appropriate to the given demographics.
Read more 

Havant Organ Project

Are you interested in learning to play the organ or improving your organ skills?


Organist and pianist, Nicholas Gleed, has agreed to teach lessons at St. Joseph’s Church in Havant, which has offered the use of its organ.  Having studied Music with an organ scholarship at Cambridge, Nick headed music departments at King’s Canterbury, Durham School and Bedales before retiring from full-time school teaching last January.


Churches are always in need of organists to play for various services and events.  This is a great opportunity to study a fascinating instrument and its repertoire at all levels with an experienced performer, to have use of the organ at St. Joseph’s and possibly develop a career.


Minimum standard to start learning the organ is Piano Grade 4-5 ABRSM or equivalent in ability.


As both the church and Nick wish to promote local, affordable music study, lessons will be available for half an hour per week (or otherwise by arrangement) and charged at a reduced rate of £30 per hour. There will also be opportunities to perform in front of an audience.


If you are interested, please come to an initial meeting with Nick on Sunday, 1st October.


There will be a presentation at 2pm, followed by the opportunity to talk with Nick about your current abilities, wishes and aspirations.


If you cannot attend on 1st October, please contact the parish office to arrange an informal discussion with Nick. All enquiries to: St. Joseph’s Church, 134 West Street, Havant PO9 1LP. Tel: 02392 484 520 or e-mail.




Catechesis and Persons with Disabilities

This conference takes place in Rome 20th - 22nd October to help people with disabilities to fully engage in the life of the Catholic Church. You can read more about this here.  Let us look forward to the fruits of this conference in our Diocese.


You can contact Pastoral Care Services / Disability Fellowship  on 01730 262290 or via e-mail.




Christian Unity

Now is the time for Churches and Churches Together Groups to start planning their Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (18th-25th January 2018) services. This year the Caribbean churches have produced the material which uses Exodus 15, a song of triumph over oppression, as the motif of the Week of Prayer.

You can read more here.


A Day with Mary

St John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth held its third annual ‘Day with Mary’ on Saturday 23rd September. Started back in the 1980’s as a lay-driven apostolate and now held all over the south coast the days are an opportunity to respond to Our Lady’s request at Fatima: “Jesus wishes to make use of you to make me known and loved. He wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. I promise salvation to those who embrace it, and those souls will be loved by God like flowers placed by me to adorn His throne” (Fatima, June 1917).
You can read my Homily from the Mass and see some photos here



International Mass celebrating ethnic diversity in the diocese

It was a joy to welcome many faithful from across the diocese to our International Mass at the Cathedral, the mother-church of our diocese, organised for us by Fr. Claro and our Ethnic Chaplaincy team. The word catholic means universal and it was wonderful to see the catholicity of the Church, her universality of peoples in our Diocese of Portsmouth. There were people from the Philippines, from Asia and India, from Eastern Europe and South America. Did you know Catholics make up 1/6th of the world’s population, 1.2 billion members? In the UK we may be small, just 7%, but world-wide the potential for good is huge.  
You can read my Homily from the Mass and see some photos here




Independent Catholic Schools

On Monday 25th September, there was a gathering of the Heads and Principals of the 23 independent Catholic schools in the Diocese of Portsmouth with the Bishop and with Catherine Hobbs and Edmund Adamus from our Schools and Academies Office.


The meeting began with Mass at 11.00am in the Cathedral in St. John’s Chapel, with lively music led by musicians Sarah Keogh and Tom Sellars. During the Mass, Bishop Philip gave the following short homily based on Our Lord’s words from the Gospel of the day: “No one lights a lamp to cover it with a bowl. He puts it on a lamp-stand so that people may see” (Luke 8: 16-18) about the role of a Catholic school in the new evangelisation. See here.

Bishop Philip's Visit to the Portsmouth Naval Base

Last week, on Tuesday 19th September, Mgr. Andrew McFadden, the Principal Catholic Chaplain to the Royal Navy, arranged a formal visit for me to the Naval Base here in Portsmouth. After prayers in the beautiful Chapel of St. Anne within the base, I was received by Commodore Jeremy Rigby, who took me out on the harbour, where among many other things and a fascinating commentary, we could see the impressive new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth. For more, see here.


Celebrating Marriage and Significant Anniversaries in Jersey

The Catholic Church in Jersey recently held a Thanksgiving Mass for Marriage & Significant Anniversaries.  


This was a happy occasion held on Saturday 23 September in St Thomas' Church with Mass celebrated by Mgr Nicholas France with Fr Benjamin Theobold.  After his homily, Mgr France invited the couples to face each other for the renewal of commitment.   After the Mass all were invited to a reception in the hall to view the display of wedding photographs and enjoy refreshments.  


With thanks to Mary Cahill, Marriage and Family Life Co-ordinator, who kindly organised this special event.


You can view some photos from the celebration here.


Adoremus Centre update

Fr. John Lavers has now arrived on Alderney and is preparing for the arrival of the Marian Franciscan Sisters who will arrive on Saturday, 7th October, the Memorial of Our Lady of the  Rosary. As the sisters and Fr. John will be living by the Divine Providence of God, please consider supporting the Adoremus Centre with either your time, your talent or your treasure. For more information, contact Fr. John (jlavers@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk.).


The Centre has its own webpage.


If you wish to send a prayer request, you can do so by sending an e-mail.


If you wish to have a Mass offered, please send your Mass Intention (with a good will donation) to:

Adoremus Centre

The Catholic Presbytery

Parish of St. Anne and St. Mary Magdalen

Braye Road

St. Anne's


Channel Islands



Fr. John has vowed temporarily himself to take a vow of poverty, and to live by a Franciscan Rule of Life. As a symbol of this, he was invested with the habit of St Francis on Friday 15th September, the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, in the Bishop's Chapel.




Archbishop Romero Evensong at Westminster Abbey

Many congratulations to Chris Olding of St Bede's Basingstoke, who was in the congregation at Westminster Abbey for the ecumenical Evensong for the Archbishop Romero Trust to hear his specially commissioned hymn," God, you raise up true disciples" sung by the choirs and congregation. Chris is a Diocesan Organist and runs Wheatsheaf Music a non-profit publishing house for modern Catholic music.



Come, Holy Spirit

Ian Etheridge is an artist and craftsman who has created sanctuary furniture, including a presidential chair and lectern, for St Saviour’s Church in Totland. In 2016 Ian was commissioned by Fr Gerard Flynn to create a Sacrament House for the tabernacle at St Michael and All Angels Church in Leigh Park.  This year Ian has carved, from the same piece of English Oak, a prayer focus for the Paraclete Chapel at St Michael’s. 


Read more here.





Do you have some good news to share?

I would like to encourage all readers to send in items for the Enews about events in parishes, pastoral areas and schools about the many sacramental celebrations and general good news about people in the diocese.


I kept hearing much Good News when we were in Lourdes from many people - do share it with us so we can share it with others in the diocese.


Thanks, of course, to all who already contribute articles for the e-News on an occasional or regular basis.


Please e-mail all news items to: executiveassistant@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk 


If you have a Parish or Diocesan event to advertise, please complete this form.


Bishop Philip's Engagements 

Tuesday 26th September

Bishops Conference Department Meeting, London


Thursday 28th September 

Bishop’s Council Meeting, Bishop’s House, Portsmouth


Monday 2nd - Friday 6th October

Clergy Retreat, Douai Abbey


Forthcoming events     

27th September - 5th November

40 days for Life

Read more


Saturday 30th September

Solemn High Mass & Procession in honour of Our Lady of Walsingham

St Agatha's, Portsmouth

Read more


30th September - 1st October

Celebrate! Southampton

Read more


Monday 2nd October

Keys to the Kingdom - a retreat for all religious sisters

Divine Mercy Centre, Ramsgate

Read more


6th - 8th October

Newman Weekend - a Formation Weekend for young women 18-35

St Joseph's Convent, Grayshott

Read more


12th - 13th October

Fatima 100 years Later: A Marian Call For The Whole Church

Buckfast Abbey

Read more


Friday 13th October

Caritas Celebration Event

Holy Family Millbrook, Southampton

Read more


Saturday 14th October

Diocesan Day for Catechists

St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth

Read more


Saturday 14th October

The ‘Domestic Church’ or How can we live out our faith in our busy and chaotic home lives?

St Peter's Church, Winchester

Read more


Saturday 21st October

National Altar Servers' Mass

Westminster Cathedral, 2.30pm.

Read more


Monday 23rd October

Courage: Speaking the Truth in Love with Father Philip Bochanski

Holy Family Catholic Church, Southampton

Read more


Saturday 4th November

Diocesan Day for Children's Liturgy of the Word Catechists

St Bede's Basingstoke

Read more


Saturday 11th November

Demystifying Natural Family Planning Day

St. Michael and All Angels, Leigh Park

Read more


Saturday 18th November

Fruitful Discipleship in our Diocese


Read more


Saturday 18th November

Rise theatre company presents Romero: the Heartbeat of El Salvador

St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth

Read more


Sunday 19th November

Kerygma Retreat


Read more


Monday 20th November

Sharing our Faith with others

St Bede's Basingstoke

Read more



Employment opportunities

Parish Administrator
Our Lady Queen of Peace, Bournemouth
12 hours per week initially mornings Tuesday to Friday.

Closing date: 12 noon on Wednesday 11th October 
Interviews: will be held on Wednesday 18th October 

Parish Administrator
St Francis de Sales, Wash Common, Newbury
18 hours per week. Initially Wednesday to Friday, 9am – 3pm.

Closing date for applications: Friday 13th October
Interviews: Wednesday 18th October or by arrangement

Parish Secretary
St Swithun Wells, Estleigh

15 hours per week over three days
(preferably Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 09.30 to 14.30) 

Closing date for applications:  Friday 13th October 12 noon
Interviews: Friday 20th October. 

Parish Secretary (Fixed Term – 2 years)
Parish of Our Lady Peace & Bl Dominic Barberi, Earley.
30 hours per week (Days and hours by negotiation)
Closing date:  Monday 2 October (12 Noon)

Interviews will be held w/c Monday 16 October

Lay Chaplain
Oaklands Catholic School and Sixth Form College, Waterlooville
37 Hours per Week Term time only, plus one week

Closing Date: Friday 6 October
Interview Date: Week beginning 9 or 16 October 2017

Read more




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Please pray for...

The repose of the souls of all who have died recently band for all those killed through acts of warfare, violence, terrorism and natural disaster. Requiescant in pace.


For Vocations to the Priesthood, Diaconate and Religious Life, for all currently discerning their vocation and for those in, or soon to begin formation for ordination to the sacred priesthood and diaconate.

For all the sick clergy and people in our Diocese who are in need of our prayers, among them Bishop Francis Walmsley, formerly Bishop of the Forces.

Peace in the world and for those who govern the nations that they may do so wisely and justly.

All those suffering in the world through hunger, disease, persecution and natural disaster.

For all clergy moving to new appointments at this time and for their parishes.


Archbishop Cornelius and the clergy and people of our twin diocese of Bamenda.

The work of all Evangelisation Strategy Teams across our Diocese and for those entering the "Called and Gifted" process.

For the work of Caritas Diocese of Portsmouth and Caritas Jersey and those with whom they work.


All the faithful of the Diocese that they may share their time and talents for the the good of the Church and discern how God is calling them in a particular way to be more intentional disciples. 


Bishop Philip Egan

With all good wishes and an assurance of my prayers, 
In Corde Iesu


Bishop of Portsmouth

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