The Agency for Evangelisation and Catechesis is pleased to announce the launch of the Archbishop’s Certificate (previously the Diocesan Catechetical Certificate), refreshed to support not just the work of catechesis but also that of evangelisation and formation in our diocese.
It is so important that all involved in evangelisation, catechesis and formation in our parishes feel confident, supported and have access to quality ongoing formation as they engage in the vital mission of welcoming, supporting and accompanying new and maturing Catholics in their journey of faith.
The Archbishop’s Certificate is an online, systematic course for anyone wishing to know their Catholic faith more deeply and to develop the skills to share this faith with others. The new certificate course is undertaken over 2 years with attendance at three study days (on Saturdays) at the Amigo Hall, St George’s Cathedral, in Southwark. The study days combine a balance of teaching, liturgy, social time and prayer.
In addition, students are supported with nine online study sessions throughout the course, together with a tutor who will accompany them for the duration of the course.
The certificate is in accord with Archbishop John Wilson’s vision for a missionary diocese and is open to all who work towards this in our diocese whether in parishes, chaplaincy work, schools and in their families. We encourage those who volunteer in a parish to speak to their Parish Priest about participation on the Archbishop’s Certificate.
All of the details of the course, including how to apply, costs, dates and content are available on our website: https://aec.rcaos.org.uk/archcert. If you would like any further information on the Certificate please contact the Agency for Evangelisation and Catechesis on 020 8672 7684 or email email@example.com. The course will commence on 9 October 2021 with an online introduction.
This is a wonderful opportunity that will bear much fruit in your parish in the coming years - please share this with your parishioners and encourage them to prayerfully consider the opportunity it affords. With thanks in advance for your assistance in promoting the new certificate course.
Bishop John Sherrington, Lead Bishop for Life Issues for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has written an open letter inviting Catholics to pray for the defeat of the Assisted Dying Bill to be debated in the House of Lords in October.
It encourages them to write to peers at the House of Lords stating the reasons why they oppose this legislation and particularly explain from personal experience the reasons why this change in the law should be opposed.
It urges discussion and communication about this important matter. Read more>>>
The Daughters of Divine love have a Website here.
If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. You can also apply if you’re the family member of an eligible person of Northern Ireland.
The EEA includes the EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
For full details see the Government's EU Settlement Scheme page here.
From the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The Solemnity of Pentecost reminds us that everything which exists, every person and the whole of creation, is a gift of “God the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.” God our loving Father creates and continues to give life to the world through His Word, Jesus Christ, in the power of His Holy Spirit. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Church, which we celebrate at Pentecost, is not something separate from Creation. God’s revelation of himself in Creation is inseparable from the revelation of his love for us in Christ and in his desire to live in us through his Holy Spirit.
God’s revelation of himself in Creation
‘God’s Spirit is always and everywhere “the Lord, the Giver of Life”, and the voice of Pentecost is echoed in the voice of creation being transformed into the glorious liberty of God’s children.’ In this liberty, as God’s children, we call on the Spirit to ‘renew the face of the Earth’, and as his children, we are called, in turn, to use this liberty for the good of creation and for the good of all that brings life. Our world, God’s creation, is a precious gift to us. It is our common home entrusted to each generation. But how have we used that glorious liberty? How do we honour this precious gift? Are we really demonstrating love, care and respect for our common home?
Interconnected and interdependent
As we celebrate Pentecost this year, we are acutely aware of the damage that continues to be inflicted on the Earth, and the repercussions for the well-being of our brothers and sisters, both here in our own countries and, more especially, in the poorest countries of our world. Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have both taught us that everything is interconnected and interdependent. The way we live our everyday lives has an impact on everyone and on the earth. The urgency of the situation, and the enormity of the challenges we face, have spurred us to speak out together this Pentecost Sunday, as bishops of England, Wales and Scotland, about the role that the Catholic Church and our faith must play in our shared care for God’s gift to us.
For all too long we have either been ignorant of, or ignored, the systematic exploitation of our planet and the unsustainable consumption of its resources. While accepting the crucial need and demand for energy for the benefit of the poorest of our brothers and sisters, the provision of our energy must, nonetheless, be by means which radically reduce the use of carbon-based fuels.
In our political thinking, there must be a new global understanding of our world, where nations recognise our common responsibility for the dignity of all people and their rights to sustainable livelihoods, in authentic freedom. Pope Francis speaks of a global politics that looks beyond our own needs to the needs of all, most especially the poor and the marginalised.
Restoring our common home
But we cannot leave the healing of our common home and the wellbeing and care of our brothers and sisters merely to a response from industry and governments. Our own local concern and action is necessary and has far-reaching consequences. We all have a part to play, each and every one of us, in the routines, choices and decisions of our everyday lives and our aspirations for the future. The actions of parishes, families, schools, and individuals will have a significant impact on our efforts to restore our common home. There are now many resources, freely available, to advise us on our choice of food, saving of water and electricity, suggestions about travel, waste, and re-use. These are measures that everyone can employ, in some degree, with minimal inconvenience and change. They are effective ways in which we can each reaffirm our personal vocation to be stewards of creation.
G7 and COP26
This Pentecost comes at a time of remarkable challenge and opportunity. We are gradually emerging from the tragedies and restrictions of the pandemic. We have the ability to make changes. Our countries are also hosting two most important meetings this year, the G7 in June and COP26 in November. These meetings will gather together men and women who have the power to make defining choices and policies which will help us build back better, provide for our brothers and sisters, and take care of our common home.
In all our human endeavours, we need the presence of the Holy Spirit, “the Lord, the Giver of Life”, whose gift to the Church and the world we celebrate again at Pentecost. Let us keep this Feast with that enduring hope that we can begin to repair the damage we have done and provide a healthy home for future generations. Our hope will be strengthened by our prayer. May our constant request be that the Holy Spirit guide us, strengthen our resolve and ‘renew the face of the earth’.
Download and print from HERE.
As of 17 May 2021 we are at Step 3 of the Government's COVID-19 Response Roadmap. The guidance offered here for the liturgical life of the church is active from this date. Further guidance will be prepared for the Step 4 date of 21 June.
You may read the current guidance here.
Are you celebrating your 1st, 10th, 25th, 40th, 50th, 60th or any later wedding anniversary this year? Or did you last year? If so, Archbishop John invites you to join him in celebrating a Mass for married couples at 15:00 on Saturday 9 October at St. George’s Cathedral. You need to book in advance and by doing so you will then receive a personal written invitation from Archbishop John. To book or for more details email firstname.lastname@example.org
A reminder that the Pentecost Novena may be found on our Website here.
As coronavirus brings devastation across India, CAFOD is working with experienced local Church agency, Caritas India, to provide vital support to poor and marginalised communities. Donations to CAFOD’s Coronavirus Appeal will help Caritas India distribute PPE kits to frontline health workers, promote COVID & vaccine awareness campaigns, and set up safely run isolation & quarantine centres. You can donate online here. Please keep praying for the people of India and all those affected by the pandemic.
CAFOD is holding a special online Mass on Friday 7 May at 18:30 to pray for the people of India. You can register here.
Participation is completely anonymous and registration is not required. The panel will share the latest information on the COVID-19 vaccines. There will be an opportunity for participants to ask questions anonymously.
To join the webinar: https://zoom.us/j/99627319556 Passcode: 546617
The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have issued a reflection on post-pandemic recovery and the challenges faced by the Church in encouraging people back to the Church and her Sacraments.
The Bishops met for their Spring plenary meeting from 19–22 April 2021.
In a reflection titled The Day of the Lord, the Bishops also praise families, parish communities and those who have worked tirelessly in hospitals, care homes, schools and prisons during these challenging times of ill-health, grief and isolation.
The Bishops salute the leadership of our priests and also express gratitude for the ‘immense efforts’ of those who have provided food for those most in need:
“The generosity shown in the distribution of so very many meals has given eloquent expression to the mercy, love and compassion which are at the very heart of God. Many have been touched by the joy of meeting Christ in the poor; and many of the poor by the joy of meeting Christ in selfless parishioners.”
Whilst acknowledging the creative and diverse methods of outreach during the pandemic – not least the live streaming of Mass – attention then turns to the post-pandemic world.
The Bishops recognise that it is impossible to predict the pace at which we will emerge from the pandemic but state “what is clear is the challenge we face of bringing our communities and the practice of the faith to a still greater expression and strength.”
They identify the groups of people they are seeking to reach:
The Bishops highlight the strengths, the “veritable treasures” of the Catholic Church as being the tools at their disposal to rise to these challenges. The greatest treasure is, of course, the sacramental life of the Church and at its heart, the Eucharist.
“It is the Eucharist, the celebration of the Mass, that makes the Church; and it is the Church, in the gift of the Holy Spirit, which makes the Eucharist. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the lifeblood of the Church. It requires our active participation and, to be fully celebrated, our physical presence.
“At this moment, then, we need to have in our sights the need to restore to its rightful centrality in our lives the Sunday Mass, encouraging each to take his or her place once again in the assembly of our brothers and sisters.
“We face the task of seeking to nurture the sense of Sunday as ‘a weekly gift from God to his people’, and something we cannot do without; to see Sunday as the soul of the week, as giving light and meaning to all the responsibilities we live out each day; to see the Sunday Eucharist as food for the unique mission with which we have been endowed.”
You can download The Day of the Lord – a reflection from the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales - from HERE.
Plans are now underway for First Holy Communions 2021
Please complete the online application form to be found HERE which, at this stage, will be taken as an expression of interest in preparing your children for this Sacrament. Dates and times of preparation sessions are yet to be advised and will depend very much upon your responses to the application form. It is possible that sessions may take place online, if they cannot be arranged in person, but this, too, has not yet been finalised. Please note that you will not be able to skip through the form, but you must complete each page fully before proceeding to the next.
For those who may experience difficulty in using the form, or not have access to a computer or other device, hard copies will be made available from stewards at church from Sunday 18 April 2021.
Once we have received all your responses, we hope to be in a position to give further information on the sessions and indeed the dates of First Holy Communions themselves.
We respectfully ask for your patience as we move forward, hampered as we have been for over a year now by COVID and the restrictions which it has caused. Let us hope that restrictions will soon be lifted either completely or in part, so that we can all move forward, not least with our First Holy Communion programme.
If you should have any questions relating to the completion of this form, please send a message to the First Holy Communion Team, via the Parish Office, by using the Contact Form on this Website.
On behalf of the Catholic Community of the Archdiocese of Southwark, I wish to express my profound sorrow at the news of the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.
In union with the entire nation, we mourn the loss of not only an esteemed and respected member of the Royal Family, but also a man who exemplified the very best qualities of courage, fortitude and loyalty. Although born into a very different world, his example and witness leave us, here in this present age, with a lasting and enduring legacy of the timeless paradigm of duty and service.
In this season of Eastertide, when we celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and his victory over death, we pray that His Royal Highness will rest in peace and rise in glory. We also remember in our prayers Her Majesty the Queen and all members of the Royal Family at this sad time, offering to them our sincerest condolences.
Archbishop of Southwark
The diocesan Agency for Evangelisation and Catechesis has partnered with other dioceses to produce to survey which aims to find out about the experiences of Catholics during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The survey will help the Diocese to understand what has been happening whilst churches have been closed, or opened only for limited periods of time, and Catholics have had to practice their faith 'at a distance'.
Please consider contributing to this survey, selecting the 'Archdiocese of Southwark' from the drop-down menu, so that we can hear about what God has been doing and what he wants to say to us about the future of the Church in this part of England and Wales.
The survey should take about 10 minutes to complete and the deadline for submission is 4 July 2021.
Complete the Survey