Portsmouth Diocese e-News

Tuesday 25th September 2018 - Issue 198 (2018/33)


Dear Friends,

Prayers and best wishes from Rome where with the Bishops of England and Wales. I am staying for the Ad Limina (see item below and also my daily tweets). It was a joy yesterday after Mass at St Peter’s Tomb to meet up with Sr Hyacinthe and several catechists from the Diocese who had been in Rome over the weekend for a Catechetics Conference! Please pray for us all and for the universal Church this week. We’re looking forward to Friday when we will be meeting with the Holy Father, who these days is on a Visitation to the Baltic countries. Meanwhile I thank Deacon Craig for bringing together all of the news stories for this week’s  e-News. I wish you a blessed week ahead.




Asking your prayers

This Monday 24th September is the sixth anniversary of my ordination as the eighth Bishop of Portsmouth. I can’t believe how quickly time has flown and it always feels as if I have hardly begun! But, aware of my weaknesses and my failings, I do ask your prayers. The ordination was a most memorable occasion and one that for me was full of God’s grace and favour. I have found being a Bishop extremely demanding and often exhausting, and yet I do thank God all the time for His love and for the continuing sense of joy that He gives me. I thank Him too for the good priests and lay-people He has placed around me and who constantly give me advice, assistance, encouragement and feed-back, all of which I hope and pray keeps things on course. Recently, I had occasion to re-read the short address I gave at the end of the Ordination Mass and I attach it here for you to ponder afresh. Meanwhile, please say some prayers for me this week – for God’s blessing on the Diocese and on my ministry over the times ahead, and this week, for God’s blessing upon the Ad Limina visit to Rome.



This week it’s the Ad Limina

This week, from 23rd to 30th September, I am in Rome with the other Bishops of England and Wales for the visit Ad Limina Apostolorum (‘To the Thresholds of the Apostles’). This visit to the Pope and the Vatican commissions is meant to take place once every five years. In preparation for it, each Bishop has to prepare an exhaustive report about the status of the Church in his diocese, and in June this summer, I was relieved to have completed the 400-page document describing the various changes and developments that have occurred in our Diocese of Portsmouth since the last Ad Limina in 2009! That was led by Bishop Crispian, and I’m grateful to him for proposing an efficient method etc. The programme for the Ad Limina is packed, but for me the highlight will be Mass at the tombs of St. Peter and St. Paul, together with an open conversation between Pope Francis and the Bishops as a group, in question and answer format. There will be meetings during the week with the head of each Vatican dicastery and also a meeting with coffee afterwards, presided over by Pope Francis, with a collective of the heads of the Vatican dicasteries, such as the Secretariat of State, the Congregation for Clergy, the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, and the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life. Please pray it goes well – and for the growth and development of the Church in our Diocese. 



"To belong to Christ" - Scott Hahn on 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

This Sunday’s Gospel begins with a scene that recalls a similar moment in the history of Israel, the episode recalled in the First Reading. The seventy elders who receive God’s Spirit through Moses prefigure the ministry of the apostles. Like Joshua in the First Reading, John makes the mistake of presuming that only a select few are inspired and entrusted to carry out God’s plans. The Spirit blows where it wills, and God desires to bestow His Spirit on all the people of God, in every nation under heaven.God can and will work mighty deeds through the most unexpected and unlikely people. All of us are called to perform even our most humble tasks, such as giving a cup of water, for the sake of His name and the cause of His kingdom.John believes he is protecting the purity of the Lord’s name. But, really, he’s only guarding his own privilege and status. It’s telling that the Apostles want to shut down the ministry of an exorcist. Authority to drive out demons and unclean spirits was one of the specific powers entrusted to the Twelve.

Read Scott Hahn's complete reflection for this coming Sunday here.   



Jennifer Geach reflects on following the way to Heaven

While many rewrites of hymns are merely mischievous, occasionally they are needed.  There is a hymn to all saints which included this verse ‘The saints the road to heaven climbed with trouble toil and pain: give us the grace, O Lord, we pray, to follow in the train.’ The invention of the railway made a change in these words necessary: but before ‘the train’ was changed to ‘their train’ the hymn provoked a wry smile.  For the temptation to seek an easy road to heaven is an undeniable part of our spiritual battle; we would like to find some way of pleasing God which will not cost us too much.  We are all too inclined to forget the stern words of our Saviour: ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, he must take up his cross daily’ and ‘strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life: and few there be that find it’. We have it on the best authority that there is no easy road to our homeland: there is no comfortable train ride which will take us to the new Jerusalem.


Read the full reflection here



O Purest of Creatures

The seventh in our series of Top Ten classic catholic hymns has to go to an old favourite O Purest of Creatures, the well-known hymn to the Blessed Mother. I chose this hymn for my episcopal ordination here in Cathedral on 24th September 2012, it being the feast-day of Our Lady of Walsingham. Click on the picture to hear it and to follow the words. The author of O Purest of Creatures was none other than Fr. Frederick Faber (1814-1863), a one-time fellow of University College, Oxford. Ordained an Anglican priest in 1837, he became Rector of Elton, Huntingdonshire, in 1843, but in 1846 along with many others including Blessed John Henry Newman converted to Catholicism. Like Blessed John Henry, he joined the Oratory. In 1849, he left Birmingham in order to establish the London Oratorians, who shortly afterwards in 1854 moved to Brompton. Faber wrote a number of classics, including Faith of our fathers and Jesus, my Lord, my God, my all. As you listen to this hymn, please say a prayer to Our Lady for our own Oratory in Formation at Sacred Heart Bournemouth.



This Saturday is the Feast of the Holy Archangels

Prayers to the Archangels St Michael, St Gabriel and St Raphael for help to use this Saturday:

St Michael, glorious prince of heaven, protector of souls, I call on you to free me from all adversity and all sin, and to make me useful in God’s service, obtaining from Him the grace of final perseverance. Amen.

St Gabriel, glorious archangel, God’s stronghold, I call on you to obtain for me the grace of being preserved from evil, victory over the devil and domination of my bad inclinations until the end of my life. Amen.

St Raphael, glorious archangel, God’s remedy, I call on you to heal all my soul’s infirmities and help me flee from the sins that do such harm. Amen.

Help us, O Lord, to realise more fully the reality of the archangels and their desire to serve us. Holy Archangels, pray for us. Amen.


Photo credit: Aidan McRae Thomson



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

Who belongs to the Church? (Mark 9:38-43.45.47-48) 
26th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

This Sunday, St Mark offers a contrast between those who respond with faith and love to the name of Jesus, and those who, through sin, destroy faith and trust in Jesus by causing scandal.


This raises a question for us: who is in, and who is out of the communion of the disciples of Jesus? Who is in and who is out of the Church? The Church is not only a communion of faith, but it is also, inseparably, a communion of charity. The Church is not only visible, but it is also, inseparably, invisible.


We’ll reflect on:

Faith: How can I be a model of faith, and not a scandal to faith?    

Hope: How can I prevent despair from taking hold of me in the face of scandal and sin?

Love: What damage does sin do to the Church as a whole? How can I make a difference?  


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



Bishops' Statement

As we gather in Rome for our visit 'ad Limina Apostolorum', we have spent time together reflecting again on the impact of the recent reports containing stark revelations of child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, including in England and Wales, and of evident failures of local leadership.


These reports make it clear that both bishops and religious leaders, in various places, failed to protect the children in their care from those who have done them great harm. In particular, the failures of bishops to listen or give credence to those who have courageously spoken out about the profound damage they have suffered through childhood abuse, together with the steps some have taken in order to cover up or minimise the abuse that became known, are a great betrayal of the trust placed in them by the faithful and of the responsibilities that come with episcopal office.


Read the full statement here.



Welcoming our neighbour in need...

Due to the low number of people signing up for the launch of Community Sponsorship in the parishes of Waterlooville and Maidenhead it was not possible to go ahead with the refugee project launch events.  We have tried to contact everyone who has registered. 


However the diocesan plans to sponsor and house refugee families is still very much alive and Rosie Lennon, the Caritas Refugee Development Manager, is planning to visit parishes and give talks after Mass and from there will be able to diarise further visits to talk to those parishes who are keen to get involved. We think this will be a better option and will mean less travelling for a number of people.


We feel confident that this will bring Refugee Community Sponsorship to the parishes with an emphasis on what can be done within a parish community. Rosie will be contacting parishes in this regard but you are welcome also to contact her at to arrange a visit. 


Thank you for your support - we are at the very start so a few hurdles are expected.    



A Celebration of Family Life on 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae

Fr Stan Gibinski has organised a special day of talks and workshops to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Blessed Paul VI's encyclical Humanae Vitae. A celebration of Family Life on the 50th Anniversary of Humanae Vitae: "The Church’s Solution to the Sexual Revolution” takes place on Saturday 6th October at Our Lady of Peace and Blessed Dominic Barberi Parish in Earley, Reading. The day starts at 9am and finishes with Holy Mass at 3.30pm. 


There is a website where you can find the full programme of the event, short biographies of speakers, etc. Click on the image for a poster.


The transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator. It has always been a source of great joy to them, even though it sometimes entails many difficulties and hardships. The fulfilment of this duty has always posed problems to the conscience of married people, but the recent course of human society and the concomitant changes have provoked new questions. The Church cannot ignore these questions, for they concern matters intimately connected with the life and happiness of human beings. (Humanae Vitae)



Rosary under the Cross

In recent weeks our Church has been in a state of Crisis. Bishop John Keenan calls all Catholics in the United Kingdom to participate in an act of reparation for the sins against faith, life and love by taking part in Rosary under the Cross on Sunday 7th October at 3pm. There are a few parishes in the diocese already signed up for this event - Aldershot, Bitterne, Bracknell, Fareham and Wokingham. There's still time to sign up your parish to take part at: www.rosaryonthecoast.co.uk


Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world. Merciful Father we pray for all victims of sexual abuse & abuse of all kinds and ask you Merciful Father to ask Our Lady as Mother of Divine Mercy to come to their aid and care. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.



Symposium bookings filling up 

Places for our diocesan Symposium are filling up rapidly. The Symposium, called “Science - or - Religion?” takes place on Saturday 3rd November 2018, 10am–4pm in The Discovery Centre in Winchester (opposite St. Peter’s church). There are two keynote speakers: Professor Alister McGrath, professor of Professor of Science and Religion at the University of Oxford, and Dr. Andrew Pinsent from the Oxford University Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion. They will be tackling from varying perspectives the issue of whether recent research on the universe suggests the existence of a Creator. We’ve also got a great line-up of other speakers who will be running optional workshops depending on your interests. You can choose two from the following six options:


•   Christianity and Extra Terrestrial Life (Bernard Barrett, theologian)

•   The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence (Professor Maria Burke, Winchester University)

•   Quantum Physics and the Quantum Physicist (Dr. Vincenzo Tamma, University of

•   Is Consciousness immortal? (Dr. Andrew Beards, Academic Director, School of the
     Annunciation, Buckfast)

•   In the light of evolutionary psychology, can humans have free will? (Dr. Rebecca Page-
    Tickell, Hampshire Business School)

•   In the light of current medical advances, could people live forever? (Dr. John Ochai,
    St Mary’s Hospital, Ryde). 


Click on the picture above for details of the day and for bookings.




Did you know that in our Diocese of Portsmouth there are 91 parishes (142 chapels) and 76 Catholic schools? We have just over 100 priests and 45 deacons working in our parishes. We also have 38 religious communities.  The total population of the area covered by the Diocese of Portsmouth is 3,129,000 of whom 235,000 are baptised Catholic (8%). 34,000 Catholics are practising (14%). Currently, we have 12 students in formation for the priesthood and 14 students in formation for the diaconate. 296 adults were baptised or received into full communion last year. Of our 76 schools, 53 are maintained. These latter have 24,899 pupils in them (of whom 62% are Catholic) and 1547 teaching staff (of whom 39% are Catholic). The other schools are independent schools. These have 6783 pupils (of whom 36% are Catholic) and 847 teaching staff (of whom 29% are Catholic). Each parish in the Diocese – see the back pages of the annual Diocesan Directory - has an Index of Multiple Deprivations (IMD) score. This is an average score derived from several measures of poverty and affluence. The IMD scores for parishes range from 5.3 (Our Lady of Peace and Blessed Dominic Barberi in Earley) to 38.0 (St. John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth).



News from Bamenda

Fr. Thom Amungwa, who until the summer was the parish priest of Bordon and Grayshott, has just e-mailed me. He has now returned home to the Archdiocese of Bamenda in Cameroon and taken up his new post as the parish priest of St. Edmund’s. As you know, the situation in Cameroon is very tense and we must keep in our prayers Archbishop Cornelius and the clergy and people of our sister diocese. Let us ask the Lord to pour out His grace that new ways forward might be found with a new spirit of cooperation.


Meanwhile, what Fr. Thom writes gives us a flavour of things: “I am settling in gradually. The main issue here now is that of the Presidential elections to take place on the 7th October but creating lots of tension. This is because the Anglophones are vowing not to let any elections take place in their territory and the government is also swearing the elections must take place. It’s causing lots of tension, violence and killings. Thanks for the prayers.”


We keep Bamenda Sunday on 4th November this year. But may I ask everyone to offer a decade of the Rosary each day this week for a breakthrough in the deadlock.



The Bishop and a crook

Following last week's story Why does the Bishop carry a crozier and wear a mitre?

Fr Michael Peters sent in this humorous anecdote... 


We have to be very careful how we explain to youngsters about the names of various religious items that they see in church. 50 years ago  (when this occurred)  the bishop would come and confirm children in Year Six. We dutifully explained to each class about this special occasion, highlighting what the bishop would wear and what signs he would give to each candidate. 'He is a shepherd and we are his flock; and that is why he carries a shepherd's staff.' On cue, first lesson on Monday morning, Year 6 were asked to draw a picture of the bishop with the parish priest hovering on his left and adding a brief explanation. This drawing was duly handed in with the words: "This is the bishop with a crook by his side"





Annual Portsmouth Stella Maris Mass

Last week I celebrated the Annual Stella Maris Mass for the Apostleship of the Sea in honour of their patron Our Lady Star of the Sea. You can see some photos here. In my homily I explained the nautical themes contained within my Episcopal Coat of Arms.


Please keep the Apostleship of the Sea and all seafarers in your prayers, through the intercession of Our Lady, Star of the Sea:


O Mary, Star of the Sea, light of every ocean, guide seafarers across all dark and stormy seas that they may reach the haven of peace and light prepared in Him who calmed the sea. As we set forth upon the oceans of the world and cross deserts of our time, show us, O Mary, the fruit of your womb, for without your Son we are lost. Pray that we will never fail on life’s journey, that in heart and mind, word and deed, in days of turmoil and in days of calm, we will always look to Christ and say, ‘Who is this that even wind and sea obey him?’ Our Lady of Peace, pray for us! Bright Star of the Sea, guide us! 



Festival of Flowers for St Colman's 90th anniversary 

Jenny Taylor writes...


Our 90th anniversary Flower Festival was held between 3rd - 5th August. We were delighted to have Bishop Philip open the festival with a liturgy and blessing. The three days were a success with good weather and many people enjoying the displays and tea in the marquee. Thank you to everyone who came, took part, designed displays and enjoyed celebrating with us.We were also pleased to have the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress join us on the first afternoon. Thank you to Bishop Philip taking time to be with us, and blessing our festival.




Celebrating the 50th anniversary of St Pio of Pietrelcina

On Sunday 23rd September devotees from all over Hampshire gathered at St Joseph's retreat centre in Ashurst to celebrate the feast day and fiftieth anniversary of his entrance into heaven of St Pio of Pietrelcina - Padre Pio. Led by Fr Des Connolley SM the day was centered around themes dear to Padre Pio himself such as the Mass, Adoration and the Cross. This was the second annual retreat day for the feast of Padre Pio and numbers had doubled from last year. There were also some testimonies of how Padre Pio had helped local people. Fr Des used some spiritual maxims from Padre Pio to help those present deepen their faith, including a beautiful letter he had written to one of his spiritual children a century ago on how to prepare oneself for Mass. There was much food for thought. Many thanks to Fr Des and to St Pio for blessing the day.


Meanwhile, just a few days before on Thursday 20th September, Deacon Craig Aburn and his son, John, were privileged to be part of special Mass in Covent Garden for the Centenary of St Pio receiving the visible Stigmata. There are some photos here.



Department for Administration

David Lawes, Head of the Department for Administration writes...


Your small but dedicated team in the Diocesan Department for Administration is experiencing increased work load pressures, straining our limited resources.  Staff changes and sickness have combined with a host of new regulatory and governance requirements, as well as some major property projects.  All of this is added to our core role of supporting the Curia and parishes.  Your patience and cooperation in working with the team over the next few months is especially appreciated.




Focus on... 

Aba Shields is the Project Worker for our Diocesan Marriage and Family Life Team. She writes for us about vocation to married life and the ministry of the MFL Team...


The vocation of marriage has been ‘abandoned’ in the church for many years. When we hear the words at mass ‘let’s pray for vocations’, we often hear ‘we need Priests or we have a shortage of Priests’. Yet the vocation to marriage is the mother of all vocations. Let’s face it, without the Sacrament of Marriage, there may be even fewer Priests, Nuns or Laity. Why? Married couples are invited to pass on the faith to their children.Our Marriage and Family Life team seek to support busy Parish Priests and the Laity. The three ways we affect faith and church life:

a) sacramental Marriage Preparation & Marriage Enrichment

b) Natural Fertility Awareness & Planning  

c) Catholic Grandparents Association.

For marriage preparation, we have a unique philosophy where, with the blessing of the Parish Priest, married couples accompany Engaged Couples in their preparation. This means, our married couples themselves are strengthened in their own vocation. Ongoing formation is on offer for our married couples.  This refreshes their faith and commitment to the ministry. We need the Truth of Christ’s teaching about marriage to love fully and freely. We draw graces from Christ for each other. We receive mercy from Him in the sacrament of confession, so we can be merciful to each other. We cannot live the sacrament of marriage fully without Christ. May the beautiful Ministry to marriage and family life, encourage us ALL to pray for more sacramental marriages. The vocation to marriage bears witness to God’s self- giving love for humanity. Please pray for our work.


Aba is married to David and they have three daughters here and one son in Heaven. She enjoys dancing, especially Salsa, cooking and reading. She likes to compare her faith journey to Salsa dancing with Abba Father. "He holds me tight and draws me in", she says. "I have to follow His steps. The Holy Spirit is the DJ, so one never knows what’s coming next on the 'dance floor' called - Life.  My marriage, family, friends, faith, plus the sacraments, especially confession -are most valuable gifts- for these and many more - I give thanks." 



Bishop Philip's Engagements          

Sunday 23rd - Sunday 30th September

Ad Limina visit, Rome


Monday 1st October

Induction of Canon Dominic Golding as Dean of Jersey


Tuesday 2nd – Thursday 4th October 

Clergy Retreat, Southampton


Friday 5th October 

Meeting with Vocations Director, Bishop’s House

Meeting with Head of Communications, Bishop’s House


Saturday 6th October 

PCP Award Ceremony, St John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth

Parish Visitation: Hartley Wintney and Yateley



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 23rd September 


National Prayer Cycle: Thanksgiving for the Harvest

Diocesan Prayer: Community of St Joseph, Southampton (consecrated 23.9.1911); Community of St. Elizabeth, Cookham 


Monday 24th September

Our Lady of Walsingham, memorial

Diocesan Prayer: Bishop Philip (ordained Bishop and installed 24.9.2012);

Community of Our Lady of Walsingham, Portchester [at St. Mary’s, Portchester Castle];

Walsingham Association; Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham


Tuesday 25th September

Feria [23rd Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Oasis of Peace, Jersey


Wednesday 26th September

Ss Cosmas & Damian, Martyrs, optional memorial

or: Feria [23rd Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Society of St Vincent de Paul


Thursday 27th September

St Vincent de Paul, Founder, memorial

National Prayer Cycle: ‘Stella Maris’ Maritime Day

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Vincent de Paul, Lordswood, Southampton


Friday 28th September

St Wenceslaus, Martyr, optional memorial

or: St Laurence Ruiz & Companions, Martyrs, optional memorial

or: Feria [25th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Patrick, Hayling Island (dedicated 28.9.1984);

Community of St Mary & St Peter, St Helier, Jersey (dedicated 28.9.1985)

Pope John Paul I († 1978)


Saturday 29th September


Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Michael & All Angels, Leigh Park;

Community of St Michael, Bembridge


Sunday 30th September


Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Michael, Tadley;

Community of St Michael, Hythe


Monday 1st October

St Teresa of the Child Jesus, Religious, Doctor of the Church, memorial

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of Sacred Heart & St Thérèse of Lisieux, Ringwood


Tuesday 2nd October

The Holy Guardian Angels, memorial

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Theresa of the Child Jesus, Totton


Wednesday 3rd October

Feria [26th Week in Ordinary Time] 

Diocesan Prayer: All Franciscan Sisters in the Diocese

[of St Mary of the Angels, of the Divine Motherhood, Missionaries of Mary] 


Thursday 4th October

St Francis of Assisi, Founder, memorial

Diocesan Prayer: Community of Holy Ghost, Crowthorne (dedicated 4.10.1987);

Parish of St Francis of Assisi, Milford-on-Sea


Friday 5th October

Feria [26th Week in Ordinary Time] ‘Autumn Fast Day’

National Prayer Cycle: The needy and hungry of the world

Diocesan Prayer: Community of St Bernard, Holbury (dedicated 5.10.1984)


Saturday 6th October

St Bruno, Founder, optional memorial

or: Our Lady on Saturday

or: Feria [26th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of Our Lady of Lourdes & St Dominic Savio, Farnborough

(dedicated 7.10.1987) 


Sunday 7th October


Diocesan Prayer: Parish of Our Lady of the Rosary, North Hinksey


Forthcoming Events             

Saturday 29th September

Knights of the Holy Sepulchre Mass

St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth

Read more


Saturday 29th September

Festival Mass of Our Lady of Walsingham

St Agatha's Church, Market Way, Portsmouth

Read more


29th-30th September

Southampton Celebrate

St George Catholic College Southampton

Read more


Monday 1st October

Winchester Catholic History Group

Bishops or Bureaucrats - Thomas Wolsey & Stephen Gardiner

Read more


Saturday 6th October

A celebration of Family Life on the 50th Anniversary of Humanae Vitae:

"The Church’s Solution to the Sexual Revolution” 

Our Lady of Peace and Blessed Dominic Barberi, Earley, Reading

Read more


Saturday 6th October

Diocesan Day for Readers

St Patrick's, Hayling Island

Read more


Saturday 6th October

National Mass for Altar Servers

Westminster Cathedral

Read more


Saturday 13th October

A Day with Mary

St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth

Read more


Saturday 13th October

Annual Day for Altar Servers

Christ the King, Reading

Read more


Saturday 20th October

Diocesan Day for Catechists

St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth

Read more


18th—22nd October

Catholic School Leaders’ Pilgrimage to Medjugorje

Read more


Saturday 27th October 

Alton Day of Renewal

Alton Convent School

Read more  


Saturday 3rd November 

Science - or - Religion: A Symposium

Winchester Discovery Centre

Read more


Monday 5th November

Winchester Catholic History Group

St Philip Neri - Apostle of Rome

Read more


Friday 23rd - Sunday 25th November

Be still and know - Franciscan Retreat

Park Place Pastoral Centre, Wickham

Read more 


Sunday 25th November

Youth Sunday with Bishop Philip

St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth

Read more 



Please pray for..

All affected by sexual, domestic and emotional abuse.


Peace in the world and for those who govern the nations that they may do so wisely and justly; for Archbishop Cornelius and the clergy and people of our twin diocese of Bamenda, for an end to the troubles there.


Vocations to all states of life and ministry in the Church, especially to the Sacred Priesthood, Diaconate and Religious Life. 

All our students currently in formation for ordination and those responsible for their formation in the various seminaries in which they are based.

For all travelling on holiday or pilgrimage that they may return safe and refreshed, especially all students and those who work in our diocesan schools. 


All clergy preparing to move to new assignments in the autumn.


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, 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.


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

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

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. That 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.   

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.

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.


That all we do in the diocese may bring people closer to Jesus Christ through His Church. 



Job vacancies 

Parish Administrator - Fareham and Portchester

New parish administrator needed to provide a full confidential administrative and secretarial service to the Parish Priest and Parish.


32 hours per week or a job share (hours to be negotiated but ideally each weekday).


To replace our current parish administrator we need an experienced person with excellent secretarial, interpersonal and workload management skills. Good knowledge of parish and diocesan procedures and organisational structure is desirable and you must be computer literate with high level skills in data management and spreadsheets.


Closing date for applications: 1st October 2018 (12 Noon).


Interviews will be held early/mid October.


Application forms / job descriptions / Equal Ops Monitoring forms are available on the Vacancies page of the Diocesan website.




Please share your good news with us

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.



Keep in touch on Social Media

Don't forget you can keep in touch with what's going on in and around the diocese in between issues of e-News by following us on Social Media.


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


Bishop of Portsmouth


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