Portsmouth Diocese e-News

Wednesday 11th April 2018 - Issue 178 (2018/14)


Dear Friends,


Happy Easter! I hope and pray that you have had a sense of the Lord’s joyful presence this Easter! I now look forward to all the Confirmations that will be taking place over the next weekends here at the Cathedral. Please pray for all the young being confirmed that they may truly be intentional disciples of the Lord filled with the Holy Spirit. It is always a great joy at the end of the Confirmation Mass sending out the newly confirmed on mission across the Diocese. May the Lord poor out afresh on us all the Spirit of the Risen Christ. 


Pax tecum. 



Be a People of Life – a new Pastoral Letter

This weekend, I have sent out a Pastoral Letter to be read at all Masses across the diocese – the twentieth since I became bishop. It is called ‘People of Life’. I find it thrilling that we human beings, formed of body and soul, live at the intersection between the two realms of creation, physical and spiritual. In this Letter, then, I return to a theme we have discussed before, namely what it means to be human, created by God, fallen through sin but redeemed in Christ. We live in an era when many false ‘anthropologies’ (theories about what humanity is and how to be happy) are put about in society. Some of these seem easy and attractive, but they cannot deliver true freedom and happiness. In the Letter, I try to offer some thoughts on the sanctity of human life, the struggle against evil and how as Catholics we might engage positively and constructively with our society (rather than always seeming to say ‘no’!). I know some of you may find this Letter a bit controversial, but I hope you will take away from church a copy to read and reflect on at home. Oremus!




A Free Gift from the Bishop!

This week, thanks to a Herculean effort by Fr. PJ Smith and his team, the wonderful Knights of St. Columba are distributing across the Diocese 20,000 copies of a free gift from me to you. It’s a small booklet called Bringing People Closer to Jesus Christ through His Church. I hope you like it! It comprises prayers and reflections, and lays out a pastoral vision that I would like everyone in the Diocese – clergy, faithful and consecrated - to work towards over the next few years so that we may truly engage as disciples of Christ in the work of mission and new evangelisation. Moreover, I hope that all our schools and parishes, parish groups, Evangelisation Strategy Teams, Framework and Pastoral Area teams will take up this booklet and use it as the basis for their prayer and pastoral planning. I was very pleased at the good reception there was for the Christmas gift I sent of Matthew Kelly’s Rediscover Jesus: An Invitation. I very much hope you will like this new, but different and much more concise, booklet. Do let me know what you think.




Scott Hahn on the Third Sunday of Easter

In next Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus teaches His Apostles how to interpret the Scriptures.

He tells them that all the Scriptures of what we now call the Old Testament refer to Him. He says that all the promises found in the Old Testament have been fulfilled in His Passion, death, and Resurrection. And He tells them that these Scriptures foretell the mission of the Church—to preach forgiveness of sins to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

God has brought to fulfilment what He announced beforehand in all the prophets, Peter preaches. His sermon is shot through with Old Testament images. He evokes Moses and the Exodus, in which God revealed Himself as the ancestral God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He identifies Jesus as Isaiah’s suffering servant who has been glorified.

Read the complete reflection for this coming Sunday by theologian and best-selling author, Dr Scott Hahn - and sign up to receive the reflections each week by e-mail here.  




Gaudete et Exsultate

This week, the Holy Father published an Apostolic Exhortation, that is, an important teaching document, called Gaudete et Exsultate (‘Rejoice and Be Glad’). It is about sanctity. It is the first ever papal document to be devoted solely to holiness and on the need for every Christian to become a holy person. I’ve only just begun reading it myself but I sense it is already a real classic and I recommend it to you.


Gaudete et Exsultate has five chapters:

(1) the Call to Holiness;

(2) Two Subtle Enemies of Holiness;

(3) In the Light of the Master;

(4) Signs of Holiness in Today’s World; and

(5) Spiritual Combat, Vigilance and Discernment.


The Pope begins by reminding us that every Christian, each one of us, is called to become a saint (3-34). Today, there are subtle temptations that can lead us astray from this, especially Gnosticism and Pelagianism (35-62). Our model is always Jesus Christ, Who lays out for us the programme in the Beatitudes (63-109). In today’s world, we need to overcome anxiety, negativity and sullenness, and the self-contentedness bred by consumerism and individualism by our perseverance, patience and meekness, by joy and a sense of humour, by boldness and passion, by uniting in community and by constant prayer (110-157). He reminds however us that the “Christian life is a constant battle. We need strength and courage to withstand the temptations of the devil and to proclaim the Gospel” although this “battle is sweet, for it allows us to rejoice each time the Lord triumphs in our lives” (158: cf. 159-175).


You can download Gaudete et Exsultate here. 



Mass XII 'Pater Cuncta' 

Before Easter, we began exploring the eighteen Mass settings given collected in the Kyriale and so we take up the itinerary again during Eastertide. Mass XII is called Pater cuncta (perhaps ‘Father of the whole world’, as I cannot find the trope on which this title is based). Like last time, this is another Mass setting ascribed for use on Sundays through the Year. Some have suggested this setting goes back to Bishop Fulbert of Chartres (d. 1028) who lived in the 10th century and was previously a teacher in the Cathedral school there. The Kyriale however puts it as 12th century. Anyway, here we have another Kyrie that would surely be well within the range of most musicians and most congregations. It’s in Mode VIII and is quite simple to sing. The recording here adds the Gloria too.








Join us for the Wednesday Webinar this Wednesday 7 - 8pm

The Truth of Scripture - 3rd Sunday of Easter, Year B: Luke 24:35-48


On the evening of Easter Sunday, Jesus appears to his disciples. He shows them at once the living reality of his risen humanity, and the truth of Scripture, which foretold this.


Seeing Jesus and listening to Him with the disciples, we open our eyes to the truth of the Resurrection and to the truth of Scripture. We meet the Word of God.


How can we make sense of the Scriptures today? Can the risen Christ help us to understand his Word, as he helped his disciples on that first Easter Day?


We’ll reflect on:
Faith: Did the resurrection truly happen? Can we put our faith in it?

Hope: How can the Scriptures help us to live in hope?  

Love: What is the risen Lord inviting us to do today?


Sign up for the webinar here or catch up via the recording if you are unable to join us.



Parish Safety reps meet this Saturday

The Safety and Welfare of our clergy, parishioners, visitors and contractors is very important and this is an invitation to offer a day's training to those parishioners who have already volunteered or who are willing to volunteer for the role of the "Parish Safety Representative" and would like to receive some training. There may be more than one person (male or female) who is willing to volunteer and this would be encouraged. The cost of the training will be borne by the Diocese. The role of the Parish Safety Representative is not an onerous one and neither is it complicated. The role does not require any specialist knowledge other than common sense and it is not going to put any volunteer in a position where they are held liable or where they can be prosecuted. The role is open to both men and women and does not require any specialist health and safety knowledge, and the role will not be time consuming.


68 volunteers have already completed the training day and the feedback has been excellent and all have found the day to be very enjoyable.


The next training day will be held on Saturday 14th Apeil from 10am-4pm at St Bede's Church, Popley Way, Basingstoke, RG24 9DX. To help with overall administration and catering arrangements could you please notify Pauline Clarke if you have any volunteers who would like to attend: pclarke@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk



Why not visit Gosport to experience NightFever this month?

The next NightFever event at St Mary’s Gosport will be held on Saturday 28th April starting at 7.30pm following 6pm Mass.


NightFever is a very special evening we are not only able to follow Christ’s call to “Reach out to others,” by inviting passers-by to come and light a candle and to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament, but we too have the opportunity to spend time with Jesus in a beautiful atmosphere.  


Why not be part of the evening for as little or as long as you wish, all are very welcome. Please do go along, taste and see.


If anyone would like further information, please contact Mike Slater on 02392 554537 or contact the Parish Office 02392 580119 and please keep NightFever in your prayers.  



Rosary on the Coast - 29th April

Don't forget to try and take an active part in this exciting initiative. There are a number of venues within our diocese where you can take part, including inland parishes if you are unable to get to the coast.

Rosary on the Coast is an initiative of the Lay Faithful across the British Isles inviting the faithful of our nations, with the support of our clergy and Bishops, to a Day of Prayer for Faith, Life and Peace which will surely be pleasing to the Holy Spirit, and to Our Blessed Mother. The Rectors of our two National Marian Shrines (Walsingham & Our Lady of the Taper) in England and Wales have given Rosary on the Coast their full backing and encouragement. 


You can find lots of information on their Facebook page and website where you can also read the Briefing Document for the event.



Join me for the Diocesan Eucharistic Conference on Saturday 5th May

Please join me on Saturday 5th May at 10.30am when the Diocese will be holding its very own Eucharistic Conference.  The day will begin with praise and worship at the New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth led by Focus the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, a group of people from the ‘States’ who are passionate about changing the world and helping others to live a life of purpose and the Youth 2000 live band.  We will then be able to listen to the most amazing inspirational speaker’s Fr Stephen Wang, Senior Chaplain to London Universities in the Diocese of Westminster and author of many CTS publications, Pippa Baker who has worked in advertising, is involved in leadership within the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) and lives in a community house striving to live a life of hospitality and prayer.


After lunch (please bring a picnic with you) there will be the opportunity to participate in a workshop of your choice and then gather for Adoration and Mass at St John’s Cathedral, which will I will celebrate. 


Please do come and join with others from throughout the Diocese for what promises to be the most awesome day.  Admission to the Theatre is FREE, but entry is by ticket only, so do be sure to book yours now by emailing congress@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk by phoning 07780221686 or via Eventbrite here.


Click the image to download and display a poster for the event.



Divine Renovation: Where to start

Father James Mallon’s best-selling book has stirred up a vision and passion for parish renewal across the globe. But how do you actually make the transformation happen in your parish?


Join Fr James and other parishes on the Divine Renovation journey on Wednesday 9th May for a practical day that will include times of prayer and worship led by Youth 2000.


The day is free of charge, but lunch will not be provided.


Click here to book your place.



Preparing children for First Holy Communion 

We continue our series of short videos showcasing the new First Holy Communion programme, I want to make my Home in you, recently published by Redemptorist Publications which I commend to you for use in our parishes. This programme integrates evangelisation and catechesis through the use of Scripture and beautiful silhouettes. In this third part of the video series, Sr Hyacinthe demonstrates to a group of Catechists how to run a session of the course. Click the image on the left to watch the video.


There are two training days for the programme coming up:

Saturday 12th May, 9.30am-3pm at St Bede's Church, Popley Way, Basingstoke, RG24 9DX.

Thursday 24th May, 7.30 pm at Annunciation Parish Hall, 218 Charminster Road, Bournemouth. BH8 9RW.


E-mail Sr Hyacinthe: ffm@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk if you would like to attend either of these days.     



Sherry Weddell will be here on 18th and 19th May

I am delighted to say that we will be welcoming Sherry Weddell to our diocese for two days.  Sherry is the author of the Called and Gifted process, and such well known books as Forming Intentional Disciples.  She has over 20 years of experience of helping 500 parishes on 5 continents.   She doesn’t come to the UK very often and so this is quite an opportunity to learn from her wisdom and experience, and I am looking forward to being there during the day on Friday.


There are three separate events:


1. On the morning of Friday 18th May she is speaking to Clergy only about their role in parish renewal.

2. On the afternoon of Friday 18th, between 2pm and 7pm, she will be speaking about how each lay person can help their parish become more outward focused and “missionary” in its culture and its activities.  This will obviously be of particular interest to anyone is part of a parish council, Evangelisation Strategy Team, leadership group, but it is also very suitable for anyone who is not currently involved with their parish, but feels that maybe they would like to help in some way in the future, using their own specific charism.  Sherry will talk about the 4 critical areas for parish renewal and she will share practical and concrete steps to make this happen.   There will also be a wonderful chance to hear from a few parishes in our diocese who are very actively working on parish renewal at the moment. 

3. On Saturday 19th May, between 9.30am and 4.30pm, Sherry will be speaking to anyone who would like to develop their relationship with the Lord and respond to His call to be an active disciple and apostle.  She will talk in detail about the five thresholds that every person goes through in their journey to be a true disciple of the Lord, using examples and materials that she has gathered over the last few years since she published her ground-breaking book on this subject.  As well as helping each person personally, this will be really useful for every catechist, parent and person who is encouraging and accompanying others on their spiritual journey.  Again, we will hear from a few parishes in our diocese, and have discussion time.

All events are free and separate, and are being held at the Basingstoke Country Hotel, near Junction 5 of the M3.  You do need to book a place as there is limited seating and you can do this through this link.   


If anyone would like to stay overnight on the 18th at the hotel, we have negotiated a special rate of £55 for a single room and £60 for a double room, bed and breakfast.  On Friday tea-time, we will be offering a buffet supper, and would be grateful for a £5 donation at the time.  On Saturday please can you bring a packed lunch.  We will provide coffee and tea at the breaks.  



Share the Journey - how to practically help refugees

Responding to Pope Francis's call to promote a "Culture of Encounter" and Caritas Internationalis call to "Share the Journey", CAFOD and Caritas Diocese of Portsmouth are co-sponsoring a conference on refugees on the 12th May in St Edward the Confessor Church in Chandlers Ford. 

In line with the Caritas Internationalis mission, the conference will be entitled "Share the Journey". During the conference you will see what we can practically do as a diocese and parish to assist refugees including sponsoring and housing refugee families. Please register at Eventbrite here or contact kgallagher@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk


For more information, see here.




Join the Walk for Life

The Portsmouth Area Life group is looking for people to enjoy a day out at the seafront whist raising money for Life Pregnancy Matters telephone helpline.
A sponsored walk (1.5 miles) is being organised from Canoe Lake to Clarence Pier on Saturday 26th May, starting at 2pm and ending with a picnic on the common. Everyone is welcome and the event is particularly suitable for families with children, or even babies in pushchairs.
For more information and to register and collect a sponsorship form please contact Mrs Rosalie Cuthbert, Chair on 02392 793085 / 07535 599688 or email rosaliecuthbert21@yahoo.com  


Fanning the Flame Summer Camp

This summer, from 20th - 24th August, the Fanning the Flame Catholic Mission will once again be running their Summer camp for 10-25 year olds in the New Forest. I was there last summer and it was a great day with everyone really enjoying it. There was good crowd of youngsters from all over the Diocese. The weather helped and we had an outdoor Mass. 


Wherever you are in your Catholic faith, come and be refreshed and renewed in God’s love for you! 


For more information and booking forms visit the Fanning the Flame website or e-mail: ftfcm1995@gmail.com


For a poster see here.




I invite you to celebrate your wedding anniversary with me...

Are you celebrating a 25th, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th or any anniversary over 60 years this year?


If so I would like to invite you to join me at a special celebration Mass. This will take place at St Bede’s Church in Basingstoke on Saturday 30th June 2018.


It is a wonderful occasion to celebrate and witness to Marriage. If you would like to come, please visit the anniversaries website for more information and to register.


O God, Creator of all things, who in the beginning made man and woman that they might form the marriage bond,  bless and strengthen the union of your servants, that they may show forth an ever more perfect image of the union of Christ with his Church.

Through our Lord Jesus your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. 




Caritas Schools Dragons' Den event 

The 2018 Dragons' Den event for schools in the Diocese took place at St Bede's on Thursday 22nd March. Six schools took part, bidding for a share of a £2,500 investment fund. Each school presented a charitable project designed to benefit their local community and give both students and staff a practical way of expressing their faith. Each bid had to show clear links to the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, have clear benefits to those in need, be sustainable and clearly costed.


Four primary schools took part and two secondary schools from as far afield as Bournemouth, Fareham, Andover and Reading. Bishop Challoner school in Basingstoke took part for a record third time and for the first time, children from a reception class (St Walburga's) took part and charmed the panel into supporting their bid!


Read more and view lots of photos from the event here.



St Mary's students journey to Westmister

Fr Michael Peters writes...


St. Mary's Independent School (Southampton) Student Council invited our local Member of Parliament to visit and speak to the pupils last year and in return recently invited them to visit him one morning during Holy Week. To complete the day, the students also accepted an invitation to visit Westminster Cathedral. The two venues had one common appearance: both were partly covered: the former with renovation scaffolding and the later with shrouds covering the statues in keeping with the Holy Week liturgy. Former Portswood parishioner, Father Martin Plunkett (ordained for the Westminster Diocese) is now  Sub-Administrator of the Cathedral, and he kindly gave us a full tour along with two  of the resident guides. The sacristy (where this photograph was taken) was of particular interest-as one pupil remarked 'It's as big as our church at home!' We paused to pray at the tomb of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor. He also had a personal connection with our school because he was once the (Portswood) Parish Priest before becoming the Rector of the English College in Rome.



The Sacred Three Days at the Cathedral

Once again, we enjoyed a wonderful celebration of the Sacred Triduum at the Cathedral.
The Triduum is the Sacred Three Days: the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, the celebration of the Passion on Good Friday, the descent into hell on Holy Saturday and the glory of the resurrection at the Easter Vigil. The Triduum in effect is a single celebration, the Liturgy of the Passover, the Passing-Over of Jesus from death to life, from earth to heaven. By this Passing-over, Jesus transforms human life and He makes that transformation available to us, in and through His Church.  


For lots of photos and my Easter homily, see here.




Focus on... Clare Simpson

Clare Simpson is the Leader of the Called and Gifted Team.


Clare writes...


I am the Leader of  the Called and Gifted process and it has been a real joy and privilege to have been involved in this work since the start, nearly 5 years ago.  I have seen so many parishioners discern how the Lord is working in their lives and the particular ways they can love and serve others.  I have heard many deeply moving stories about parishioners’ faith journeys and cried and laughed many times with them!  I have seen quite a lot of people change their job or their situation, so that they can live a more authentic God-centred life.   I also love working with each member of the Called and Gifted team who are mature disciples, using their charisms in incredible ways, and who have become good friends.


Before this role, I worked as a volunteer in two parishes: - Beaconsfield (near London) and now in the Abingdon parish.  I have run the Alpha Course for 15 years and in fact it was at the leader training conference in London 15 years ago that I experienced a deep infilling of the Holy Spirit which changed my life’s direction and started my personal relationship with the Lord.  I initiate small faith sharing/growing groups and prayer groups after each Alpha course.  I particularly loved a weekly group for 50 children who weren’t at a Catholic school where we both taught faith and had fun, and then did the same with the parents.  I have helped lead two Sion Community missions and seen the big effect they have had on my two parishes - little by little you see people growing in faith and looking more outward, and signs such as those waiting for Confession each week changing from say 2 people to 15 people.  I have realised that prayer is the foundation and activity comes later.


My background is large businesses.   I did an MBA at Manchester Business School, where I met my husband.  I then joined British Rail to help with privatisation and then became the Station Manager at Kings Cross which I loved, though it had unique challenges.   I then became a management consultant specialising in change management.  I worked for an American company which had global clients so I worked abroad until we had our first child.  I then trained as a business coach and worked part-time, quite often on the phone.   Our children are now at University and I have more freedom to work in a wider area, though I always love being with my Abingdon parish friends.


The Diocese is currently seeking a Deputy Team leader to assist Clare with the important work of the Called & Gifted Team, see Vacancies section, Ed.



Bishop Philip's Engagements     

Tuesday 10th April 

Meeting Head of Called & Gifted, Bishop’s House

Meeting Focus Missionaries, Bishop’s House


Thursday 12th April 

Bishop’s Council, Bishop’s House


Friday 13th April 

Schools and Academies Department Meeting, Bishop’s House

Meeting Oeconomus, Bishop’s House


Saturday 14th April 

11am: Confirmation Mass, St John’s Cathedral


Monday 16th – Thursday 19th April 

Bishops’ Conference, Spring Plenary Meeting, Leeds


Friday 20th April 

Discernment Conference, Douai Abbey



Diocesan Prayer Intentions

Each day of the year the liturgical calendar gives us a variety of seasons and celebrations of saints. These are outlined in the Diocesan Ordo along with a daily prayer for a diocesan intention. I would like to encourage you to add these intentions to your daily prayers.      

Sunday 25th March

PALM SUNDAY of the Passion of the Lord

Diocesan Prayer: For a deeper love of the Passion of Christ


Monday 9th April
THE ANNUNCIATION OF THE LORD, solemnity [transferred]
Diocesan Prayer: Parish of the Annunciation, Netley Abbey


Tuesday 10th April
of the 2nd Week of Easter
Diocesan Prayer: Community of Our Lady of the Annunciation & The Martyrs of Japan,

Saint-Martin, Jersey


Wednesday 11th April
St Stanislaus, Bishop & Martyr, memorial
Diocesan Prayer: Sisters of St Lucy (Filippini) in the Diocese


Thursday 12th April
of the 2nd Week of Easter
Diocesan Prayer: Association for Latin Liturgy


Friday 13th April
of the 2nd Week of Easter
or: St Martin I, Pope & Martyr, optional memorial
Diocesan Prayer: Communities & Schools in the Jersey Pastoral Area/Parish


Saturday 14th April
of the 2nd Week of Easter
Diocesan Prayer: Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child


Sunday 15th April
Diocesan Prayer: Parish Finance Committees

Monday 16th April
of the 3rd Week of Easter
Diocesan Prayer: Diocesan Trustees & Finance Council


Tuesday 17th April
of the 3rd Week of Easter
Diocesan Prayer: The Neocatechumenate in the Diocese


Wednesday 18th April
of the 3rd Week of Easter
Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St. Joseph, Havant (consecrated 18.4.1907)


Thursday 19th April
of the 3rd Week of Easter
[Winchester: St Alphege, Bishop, Martyr, memorial - Diocesan supplement]
Diocesan Prayer: Parishes, Communities & Schools in the Havant Pastoral Area


Friday 20th April
of the 3rd Week of Easter
Diocesan Prayer: All who go on pilgrimage


Saturday 21st April
St Anselm, Religious, Bishop, Doctor of the Church, optional memorial
or: of the 3rd Week of Easter
Diocesan Prayer: Evangelisation of this country


Sunday 22nd April
National Prayer Cycle: Vocations to the priesthood, the diaconate and the religious life
Diocesan Prayer: Community of the Good Shepherd, Kennington


Forthcoming Events

Saturday 21st April

Holy Land Pilgrimage information session

Immaculate Conception & St Joseph Church, Christchurch

Read more 


Saturday 21st April (N.B. Change of date)

Alton Day of Renewal

Alton Convent

Read more


Saturday 28th April 

Liturgy Matters

St John's Cathedral Portsmouth

Read more


Sunday 29th April 

Rosary on the Coast

Read more


Saturday 5th May 

Diocesan Eucharistic Conference

New Theatre Portsmouth

Read more


5th-7th May

Prayer in the Feminine Voice

St Anne's Brockenhurst 

Read more


Wednesday 9th May

Divine Renovation: where to start

HTB Onslow Square, London SW7

Read more


Saturday 12th May

"Lift up your hearts" - A Workshop  Singing the Mass

Holy Family, Redbridge Hill, Southampton

Read more


Saturday 12th May

Share the Journey - how to practically help refugees

St Edward the Confessor, Chandlers Ford

Read more


Saturday 26th May

In Praise of Him - an evening of Sacred Music

St John's Cathedral Portsmouth

Read more


Wednesday 4th July
Feast day of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati
Celebration event at St Patrick's Soho
Read more


29th-30th September

Southampton Celebrate

St George Catholic College Southampton

Read more


18th—22nd October 2018

Catholic School Leaders’ Pilgrimage to Medjugorje

Read more



Job Opportunities 

Deputy Leader, Called and Gifted Team, Diocese of Portsmouth

The Deputy Leader will be responsible for much of the Called and Gifted process in the Diocese. They will work closely with Clare Simpson, the current Team Leader, to learn and take on a significant portion of her current work.  The job’s activities will range from organising the three stage process in parishes through to developing relationships with participants and parish leaders so that the charisms and fruits of the process can be shared and developed in parishes and the Diocese.  The job will involve working flexibly with some Saturdays and evening work around the Diocese. It is essential that the successful candidate is a car owner and driver.  The job is a part time position of 3 days a week, with salary of £15,300 (Please note: this is an initial 6 month contract with a view to extending this period). 


Closing date for applications: Wednesday 25th April

Interview date: end of April

Commencement date: as soon as possible after appointment



Parish Administrative Secretary and Pastoral Assistant, 
Immaculate Conception Church, Portswood, Southampton

A vacancy has arisen for the role of Parish Administrative Secretary and Pastoral Assistant to work in the parish office at Immaculate Conception Church, Portswood, Southampton. 


Hours of work – 18-20 per week – (Days and times to be negotiated with the Parish Priest but ideally to cover Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and one evening per month)


Commencement Date: from 1st June 2018


Closing date for applications: Friday 13th April (12 Noon).

Interviews:  Saturday 28th April or by arrangement in special circumstances


Further information



Please pray for...

All who are to be baptised and confirmed this Eastertide.


The work of the New Evangelisation across the diocese that we may all play our part in bringing people closer to Jesus Christ through His Church.


The repose of the souls of all who have died recently and for all those killed through acts of warfare, violence, terrorism and natural disaster, 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, for an end to the troubles there.

The Unity of all Christians in doctrine, life and worship.

The Canonisation of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, Patron of our Youth.

Vocations to all states of life and ministry in the Church, especially to the Sacred Priesthood, Diaconate and Religious Life, for all our students currently in formation for ordination.

The work of all Evangelisation Strategy Teams across our Diocese and the Holy Spirit's guidance on the formation of the new Diocesan Pastoral Council.

Those entering the "Called and Gifted" process and for the work of the Called & Gifted Team.

The work of our Marriage and Family Life Team.

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 and for an equitable share of the world's resources. 

All those suffering in the world through hunger, disease, persecution and natural disaster, for all refugees and victims of modern slavery and human trafficking.

The work of the Apostleship of the Sea, Caritas Diocese of Portsmouth, Caritas Jersey, CAFOD and those with whom they work.


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



Do you have some good news to share?

I would like to encourage all readers to send in items for the e-News 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 by Friday for consideration for the following week's issue to: executiveassistant@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk 


Please send news as plain text and images as attachments rather than embedded in a document.


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



Follow us on Social Media

Don't forget you can keep in touch in between issues of e-News by following my Twitter account.


You can also follow the Diocese on Facebook and Twitter.





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