Portsmouth Diocese e-News

Wednesday 22nd November 2017 - Issue 160 (2017/41)

Dear All,


I was away last week at Hinsley Hall in Leeds for a particular busy Bishops’ Conference. I then came back to three wonderful days: first on Friday a gathering with our newly ordained priests, then the Discipleship Day in Winchester on Saturday and then on Sunday the annual conference of deacons at Marwell Hotel. You can read more about these events below. Meanwhile, as the Liturgical Year runs to a close, I wish you a happy Feast of Christ the King this Sunday. Please join me, if you can, for the Youth Mass at 6.00pm here at the Cathedral on Sunday.


God bless you all.



To Jesus Christ Sovereign King


To Jesus Christ, our Sov'reign King,
Who is the world's salvation,
All praise and homage do we bring,
And thanks and adoration.

Christ Jesus Victor, Christ Jesus Ruler!
Christ Jesus, Lord and Redeemer!

Thy reign extend, O King benign,
To ev'ry land and nation,
For in Thy kingdom, Lord divine,
Alone we find salvation.

To Thee and to Thy Church, great King,
We pledge our hearts' oblation,
Until before Thy throne we sing,
In endless jubilation.


"When the end comes" - Scott Hahn reflects on Christ the King

Each week founder of the St Paul Center for Biblical Theology, the theologian and best-selling author, Dr Scott Hahn, offers a wonderful reflection on the readings for the coming Sunday.


This Sunday, the Solemnity of Christ the King, is the last Sunday in the Church's Year which is marked  with a vision of the end of time. The scene in the Gospel is stark and resounds with Old Testament echoes.


The Son of Man is enthroned over all nations and peoples of every language. The nations have been gathered to see His glory and receive His judgment. The King is the divine shepherd Ezekiel foresees in Sunday's First Reading, judging as a shepherd separates sheep from goats.


Each of us will be judged upon our performance of the simple works of mercy we hear in the Gospel this Sunday.


You can read his complete reflection for Christ the King - When the end comes - and sign up to receive the reflections each week by e-mail here   



I invite all young adults to join me on 26th November...   

This coming Sunday is National Youth Sunday and I would like to invite all Sixth Form and University Students, to join me for evening Mass at St John’s Cathedral at 6pm to celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King.  


Mass will be followed by a Pizza supper and social in the Cathedral Discovery Centre with talks from inspiring guest speakers: 


Isaac Withers from the Bishop's Conference of England and Wales; Former President of Birmingham University Cathsoc will speak on "Being a Catholic Student".


The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) will speak on "Discipleship on Campus"


This is a fantastic opportunity for young adults to network, connect to events locally and further afield, and communicate the things that they want to see happening in the Diocese. 


I look forward to seeing you there!


You can find our Youth Ministry Programme for the year here.




This Thursday, the fourth Thursday of November, people across the USA celebrate Thanksgiving. It is said to be the world’s biggest public holiday. I remember from my time at Boston College what a big day this is in the US calendar, with airports and traffic jammed as people try to get home to celebrate Thanksgiving with their families. It was at least as big an event as Christmas. The shops would lead up to the Thanksgiving Day with special sales events and discounts and then the day after - now dubbed Black Friday – shopping for Christmas would begin.


Thanksgiving began in 1621, when the Plimouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast, a day of giving thanks to God for the fruits of the harvest. Since then, the scope of the Thanksgiving celebration has widened into a day of thanking God for family, friends and fortune. It is a day when families try to get together. The celebrations centre on a traditional Thanksgiving dinner consisting of turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, cornbread and cranberry sauce, with pumpkin pie for dessert.


In the dioceses of the USA, many people attend Mass on this day, for which the Roman Missal provides special texts. Here is the Collect prayer from the Mass for Thanksgiving Day and another prayer to say.



Formation for Mission invite you to join them for Wednesday Webinars

The Formation for Mission Team is offering regular webinars, open to all adults in the diocese of Portsmouth.

A webinar is an online meeting to which anyone can register and participate through the internet. You need to have a good internet connection in order to participate, and to have the sound turned up on your device. You can log on to our webinars from your computer, tablet or phone, wherever you are.

Each week, the Formation fro Mission Team offers a ‘Wednesday Gospel Webinar’ to discover and study the following Sunday’s Gospel in the light of the Church’s teaching. These take place every Wednesday from 7 to 8 pm.


You can listen to previous webinars by subscribing free on iTunes here.



Advent is fast approaching...

Advent is our time in the Church to prepare for the birth of our Saviour at Christmas.
In order to make the most of Advent it's important that we not only use Advent to prepare for Christmas, but we take the time to prepare for Advent.

Here are a few ideas to help you make the most of this Advent:


Word on Fire Advent Reflections from Bishop Robert Barron


Pray more Advent Retreat


St Paul Center for Biblical Theology Advent course: The Bible and the Virgin Mary



Catholic Bible Sunday - 10th December (Advent Sunday 2)

A new resource pack has been created in partnership with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, with a variety of contributions supporting scriptural engagement in the Catholic community.
During Advent each year, the cycle of Scripture and prayer invites us to pray for openness to God’s Word. The theme for this year is ‘Welcome the Word’, and you will find here Scripture-focused materials that help each of us to explore Advent, Christmas and beyond, with a special focus on Bible Sunday, which occurs this year on 10th December.
The resource pack and some other resources are available here.


Share food and build friendship with people of all faiths and none...

Hope Not Hate Portsmouth invite you to an Interfaith Meal on Tuesday 28th November at 7pm to share food and build friendship with people of all faiths and none.


This will be a cold buffet pot luck/ American supper so please bring vegan or vegetarian food to share (this ensures, as best we can, that everyone is included in sharing the meal). They will also be asking for donations for the CAFOD's Rohingya Crisis Appeal.


The event is free and donation purely voluntary, if you can afford to give. Please do if you can, but if you can't, please bring the gift of your time and presence with them.


Venue: Cathedral Discovery Centre, St John's Cathedral, Bishop Crispian Way, Portsmouth



The Book of Wisdom

Last week, I was at Bishops’ Conference at Hinsley Hall in Leeds. Next door, in the Little Sisters of the Poor Nursing Home, lives Fr. Don Clements one of our excellent retired priests. Fr. Don, who was Parish Priest of Lymington until his retirement in 2010, is very active – he was supplying during the summer in Jersey – and he often preaches at the Mass, which is said daily in the home. He is a great devotee of the thought of Pope Emeritus Benedict and the theologian Hans Urs Von Balthasar. He gave me one of his brief reflections which he had just preached on the Book of Wisdom which we were hearing last week in the First readings at Mass. See here.


Preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation in 2018

As we move closer to next year's celebrations of the Sacrament of Confirmation, the Confirmation page on the website and the Confirmation Guidelines have recently been updated.


Bishop's Office is now the first and main point of contact for all arrangements for each celebration. General queries may be directed to Kirsten McGuire (Bishop's Personal Assistant) who has now confirmed the dates for each Pastoral Area with the respective Co-ordinating Pastor. Liturgy Planning forms and draft Orders of Service now go to Deacon Craig Aburn (Bishop's Executive Assistant).


Please pray for all our young people preparing to receive the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.


You can visit the Confirmation webpage to view the guidelines and other resources here


The Art of Dying well


During the month of November, we particularly remember and pray for the dead.  On the Art of Dying Well's Instagram memorial page, you can submit names/photos and or memories of people you have known who have died. You are invited to post, via the Art of Dying Well’s Instagram or Twitter platforms (@artofdyingwell), pictures or memories of your loved ones who are dying or who have already died. It is also a chance to remember those who you have not personally known, but who come to mind because they have no one else left to pray for them.  By tagging @ArtofDyingWell with #RememberThem, the photos/names will then be shared with five convents and abbeys who will remember and pray for those featured. In the video above, the Carmelites of Notting Hill speak about the #RememberThem initiative.


There is more information on the Art of Dying well on this website.



Diocesan Discipleship Day bears fruit!

Last Saturday over 100 parishioners from around the diocese attended the Fruitful Discipleship Day at Winchester Pastoral Centre.  It was a wonderful mixture of teaching, praying and hearing testimonies.


The day began with me sharing my vision and priorities for the diocese and I encouraged everyone to go out and bring people closer to Jesus Christ. You can read my talk here.


There were four talks by Katherine Coolidge of the Catherine of Siena Institute on Developing a Personal Relationship with Jesus, the Thresholds to become a Disciple, and becoming a parish of disciples who bear fruit.  There were also stories from 10 individuals from either parishes or Framework Teams who shared the fruits of their discipleship.  There was also a Holy Half Hour in the church praying through Jesus’s Call to St. Matthew and Adoring the Lord.


There were many conversations and connections made between the participants with new projects emerging during the day!  Many said that it had been a very valuable time to reflect on their own life and how they serve others.  There was a recognition that there is much new fruit emerging around the diocese and people would like to have future days to hear and share about the many ways to love others.


My thanks to Clare Simpson and the Called and Gifted Team who organised the day for us.


Read more 

Meeting with newly ordained priests

Last Friday I met with the priests of the diocese who have been ordained in the past few years for a time of prayer, formation and social gathering at St Dominic’s Priory in the New Forest.

Pictured with me are Fr JP Lyttle, Fr Rob Stewart, Fr Ansel D'Mello, Fr Ross Bullock and Fr Benjamin Theobold. Also present, taking the photo, was Fr Phil Carroll.


Please pray for all these priests in these early years of a lifetime of dedicated ministry to the people of our diocese.



Annual Deacons' Conference

This past weekend the Deacons of the Diocese gathered at Marwell Conference Centre near Winchester for their Annual Conference with the theme Deacons in Chaplaincy.


The conference began on Friday evening with a talk on the Deacon as Port Chaplain from Deacon Roger Stone from the Apostleship of the Sea. On Saturday there were talks from Deacon John Detain on the Deacon as Hospital Chaplain, Deacon Andy Philpott on the Deacon as School Chaplain and Deacon David Cahill on the Deacon as Prison Chaplain.


On Sunday morning I joined my Deacons and celebrated Mass for them followed by an update on the recent Convocation of Clergy from Fr Mark Hogan and a talk from me on Catholic Schools in the Diocese. You can read my talk here.


(Click on the photo for a larger version.)


My thanks to Fr Peter Hart and the Diaconal Formation Team for organising and facilitating the weekend.


If you would like to find out more about Ministry as a Deacon, please contact Fr Peter Hart, the Director of Diaconal Formation. 


World Day of the Poor celebration at the Cathedral

Combining our commemoration of Blessed Archbishop Romero's Centenary  with the Rise Theatre play  on the same weekend of the new World Day for the Poor added a  deep poignancy. The fast moving play combines scenes  of the life of Monseñor Romero,  showing him to be very human, with powerful words from his sermons - particularly relevant was his explanation for what it means when the Church calls for  a preferential option for the poor - much more than "sympathy" but think of those in need as "your own mother and sister."  The reception before and afterwards welcomed 14 charities both Catholic and local who shared information about their work and how we could all get involved  so that too could respond to the Pope's call to put "Love not in words but into Deeds"

There are some photos here.



Bracknell's Mini Vinnies!

At St Joseph's Primary School in Bracknell,  a  group of pupils (known as Mini Vinnies) recently set up a clothes bank for Bamenda. They encouraged families to donate football kits and sports attire. They  received an email to inform them of the safe arrival of the clothes and some photographs of the children wearing the items which has left  the school with a warm feeling in their hearts.


The Mini Vinnies are children aged between 7 to 11 (or younger) who, with the permission of their parents and the support of their School, are encouraged to embark on their first steps as possible 'Vincentians for life', essentially a child-led version of the SVP.


They meet every week to pray, learn about Saints and explore fundraising ideas and ways they can use their talents to help others.


Read more 

Crib Offerings

This year's Crib Offerings will be in support of the Friends of the Holy Land. 


See here for more information about their work or contact Deacon Iain McFirbhisigh.






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 often hear much Good News 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 by Friday for consideration for the following week's issue.


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



Bishop Philip's Engagements

Sunday 26th November

National Youth Mass and Reception, St John’s Cathedral, 6pm


Thursday 30th November – Friday 1st December

Clergy overnight gathering, Marwell



Forthcoming Events

Saturday 25th November

Wessex Theological Society Lecture:

"Luther on Conscience and Christianity: a Blessing and a Curse"


Read more


Saturday 25th November

Alton Day of Renewal
Alton Convent
Read more 
Friday 1st December
Vocation Discernment Retreat
Downside Abbey
Read more

Saturday 2nd December
Mass for the Community Sponsorship of Refugees
St George's Cathedral, Southwark
Read more

17th-28th September 2018
Trinity Pilgrimage to

Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania
Read more




Parish Administrator and Office Manager - Portswood, Southampton

10 hours per week (Days and times to be negotiated with the Parish Priest, but ideally to cover Tuesdays and Fridays and one evening per month)

A vacancy has arisen for the role of Parish Administrator and Office Manager to work in the parish office at Immaculate Conception Church, Portswood, Southampton. The role involves providing a full confidential administrative and secretarial service to the Parish Priest and the Immaculate Conception Parish, providing a sympathetic and efficient focal point for enquiries and administrative support. 

Closing date for applications: Friday 24th November 2017 (12 Noon)

Interview date: Saturday 2nd December or by arrangement in special circumstances



Administrative Assistant - Catholic Academies & Schools Office (CASO)

Part time -  14 hours per week (Thursday and Friday)


The Catholic Academies & Schools Office (CASO) in Portsmouth are looking to appoint an Administrative Assistant to support their work with the schools in the Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth. This will be an interesting and varied role and would be suitable for an existing Clerk to the Governors, or those with an interest in school administration.


Closing date for applications: Thursday 30th November 2017 (16:00)

Interview date: w/c 4th December 2017



Parish Secretary,  Bordon and Grayshott

Part time - 13.5 per week to be worked over 3 days, plus approximately 12 hours per year (taking minutes at 6 evening meetings). 


The Parish of Sacred Heart, Bordon and St Joseph, Grayshott, is seeking a skilled and enthusiastic person to be Parish Secretary. The role is to provide high quality support in all aspects of administration to the Parish Priest. Previous secretarial experience and broad computer literacy essential.


Closing date for applications: Wednesday 20th December 2017

Interview date: Tuesday 9th January 2018 (at Sacred Heart Church Hall, Bordon).


Parish Bookkeeper - 
Parish of Corpus Christi Wokingham

Part time - 6 hrs per week to be worked at times required ensuring effective financial administration of the Parish (Flexible working to be agreed).


The Parish of Corpus Christi in Wokingham is looking to appoint a part time Parish Bookkeeper to provide financial services to the Parish.


Commencement Date: As soon as possible


Closing date for applications: Monday 15th January 2018 (4.00pm)

Interviews will take place on: Wednesday 7th February 2018


Follow us on Social Media

I invite you to keep in touch in between issues of E-News by following my Twitter account.


You can also follow the Diocese on Facebook and Twitter.




Please pray for...

The repose of the souls of all who have died recently, especially Mary Heaps (Fr Christopher Heaps' Mother) and Reginald Glaysher (Fr Anthony Glaysher's Father) and for all those killed through acts of warfare, violence, terrorism and natural disaster. In this month of November, for all departed clergy and people of the diocese and for all the Faithful Departed. Requiescant in pace.


Archbishop Cornelius and the clergy and people of our twin diocese of Bamenda and an end to the troubles there.

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

All the sick clergy and people in our Diocese who are in need of our prayers.

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. 

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.  


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


Bishop of Portsmouth




Do you have an event to advertise or news item to share?

We receive a lot of adverts for events. If you would like to advertise an event, please fill out this form here

Subscribe to Portsmouth Diocese E-news
Keep up to date with what’s happening in the diocese. The diocesan e-news comes out on Tuesday most weeks – latest events, photos, videos.

(Under the terms of the Data Protection, the information provided on this form will be held in confidence and used for the purpose of diocesan communications and no other purpose).