Portsmouth Diocese E-news 118
Thursday 15th December 2016
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Portsmouth Diocese E-News

Dear All,

I have issued a Pastoral Message to mark the end of the Holy Year. Please do take some time to read it. You can find it here.

Please pray this week for yourselves for the grace to make a good confession before Christmas.

Have a good week!

Pray for Bamenda
Archbishop Cornelius recently wrote to me expressing his horror and distress over a recent outbreak of violence and unrest and the City of Bamenda - our twin diocese of which he is Archbishop.

As a result of confrontation between youths and the law, many innocent lives have been lost, many people injured and property destroyed.

Bamenda's pain is our pain - please pray the Memorare to Our Lady daily for the intentions of Archbishop Cornelius and the people of Bamenda.

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.

Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

Clergy Appointments
I have recently made the following new clergy appointments, which will take effect from 6th January 2017. I would like to thank the following priests for all they have done in their current ministries and for being willing to make the following moves.
Do pray that, in their new appointments, the Lord will bless these priests and their communities abundantly. 
  • Fr. Kevin Bidgood to St Francis, Ascot as Parish Priest.
  • Fr. James Bradley (Ordinariate) will become Priest in Charge at Holy Family, Southampton. He will also be Priest Chaplain to the University of Southampton.
  • Fr Rajesh Abraham to St. Bernard’s, Holbury and St. Michael’s Hythe as Parish Priest.
  • Fr Mark Whiting to St. Patrick’s, Hayling Island as Priest in Charge.
  • Monsignor Jeremy Garratt to Sacred Heart and St. Peter’s, Waterlooville as Parish Priest and Co-ordinating Pastor / Dean.
  • Fr. Tomy Chirackalmanavalan to St. Vincent de Paul Millbrook as Priest in Charge (correction).
Congratulations Fr Mark
Last Saturday I had the joy of Ordaining Fr Mark Whiting to the Sacred Priesthood for our diocese during an uplifting Mass in the Cathedral.
Fr Mark was formerly an Anglican cleric and is married with a family. He was Vicar of The Ascension North End here in Portsmouth before being received into the Church and subsequently training for the Catholic Priesthood at St Mary's College Oscott.

After Mass and photographs, I received the Traditional First Blessing from our newly ordained priest.
Please remember Fr Mark and his family in your prayers as he begins this new stage in his Ministry.
A very British Nativity...
A Very British Nativity

If Mary and Joseph came to the UK seeking refuge this Christmas, what sort of welcome would they receive? This question is posed in a short video produced by the Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT), called A Very British Nativity. JPIT is encouraging churches to download the video to show in parishes.

The film is deliberately provocative and designed to get people to think about what type of welcome Mary and Joseph would be offered if they sought somewhere safe to stay in the UK this Christmas. JPIT has also produced a page of facts based around the UK Government’s quarterly migration statistics.

For more details of A Very British Nativity and the UK Government’s quarterly migration statistics see the Focus on Refugees website.

Click the image above to watch the video.

Father Robert Jennings (1931 – 2016) R.I.P.

Your prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of Father Robert Jennings, who died on Sunday 4th December 2016. May he rest in peace.

Father Jennings was born on 2nd November 1931 in Worcestershire. He was baptised in the Church of England. After having graduated in English from the University of Oxford, he trained for ministry in the Church of England at St Stephen’s House, Oxford and was ordained on 2nd June 1958. He served in a number of Anglican parishes, mainly in the Anglican Diocese of London, including a period as Secretary to Mgr Graham Leonard, when he was Anglican Bishop of London, until his reception into the full communion of the Catholic Church on 4th August 1995 at The Oxford Oratory.

Father Jennings studied at St John’s College, Wonersh and was ordained to the Sacred Priesthood on 29th September 1998 in St John’s College chapel. He was chaplain of the Royal Military College, Shrivenham, with responsibility for the church of St Patrick, Watchfield, until 2004. He then assisted in a number of parishes in the Thames Isis Pastoral Area (Didcot and East Hendred) until 2008, when he became Assistant Priest in the North Downs Pastoral Area, a position he held until his retirement from active ministry. At the time of his death, Fr Jennings was resident in St Joseph’s care home in Littlehampton, West Sussex.

The funeral arrangements are as follows:

Requiem Mass at English Martyrs, Didcot OX11 7AJ on Wednesday 21st December at 1pm, followed by committal at South Oxford Crematorium.

The Mass will be followed by refreshments.

St Valentine's Day breakfast with the Bishop 

Are you getting married sometime soon - either in a church in our diocese or in a church elsewhere, maybe even abroad? If you are: CONGRATULATIONS! Please be assured of my prayers and best wishes. I hope all your preparations and all the arrangements for the big day are going well.

I want to meet you. I want to give you a special blessing here at St John's Cathedral in Portsmouth. I want to invite you and all the engaged couples of our diocese getting married in 2017, to a Valentine’s Day Breakfast. It will be on Saturday 11th February 2017 at 9.15 am (prompt) in the Cathedral Discovery Centre (Bishop Crispian Way, Portsmouth PO1 3HG).

After breakfast and a chance to meet, I have asked one of our newly-married couples from last year to tell us about their experience. I hope it will be informative, but also entertaining! We’ll then go into the Cathedral for a short Service of Blessing, in which each couple individually will be blessed, and also I’ll bless your engagement rings. (It doesn’t matter whether you are a Catholic or not: everyone is welcome). We should finish and get away by 11.45 am.

I really hope you can be there for this unique occasion. I look forward to meeting you. Please let Kirsten (my PA) know whether you can make it. Call her on 023 9282 0894 or drop her an email.

Called & Gifted Prayer Requests

If you would ever like prayer for your own intention, for your parish, or for any need, do go to the home page of the Portsmouth Diocese website, scroll down to the “prayer request” button, or click here, where you can leave an anonymous request which will go to 40 intercessors throughout the Diocese.
Christian Unity

Fareham Good Neighbours

This group was founded in 2000 by Christians Together in Fareham and is given much support by Churches Together in Fareham (CTiF). Most of the 51 current befrienders are members of a church in the Borough of Fareham and great help and encouragement is received from various churches there especially the United Reformed Church, the Methodist church, the Anglican churches and the Catholic Parish of Fareham.

This is the seventh year they will be providing Christmas Day lunch for lonely and isolated people and this is a joint effort by Fareham Good Neighbours, CTiF and Community Action Fareham. About 100 people attend including around 20 volunteers and community bus drivers. They started this in St Jude's Catholic School Hall but outgrew it and are now hosted by St John's Anglican Church Fareham in their hall”

You can read more about Fareham Good Neighbours on their Facebook page and website. 

Please continue to send in details of any work that is being done as Christians working together to the Christian Unity Team.
Advent Quiet Day in Tadley

A chance to escape the commercial frenzy that the lead up to Christmas has become, at least for a few hours...

St Michael's Church was recently transformed again as in previous years with a series of contemplative stations and a welcome to members of all local churches, or indeed of no church, to come and sit quietly, moving around assorted thought-provoking presentations.

Occasional short periods of prayer were lead by pastors from different churches.

Thanks to Christine Watson for the displays to form what is now an established and very much appreciated event in Tadley's Christian calendar.

(Click on the image for a larger version)

In the Footsteps of St John Paul II

Pilgrimage to Poland
in the Footsteps of Saint John Paul II

19-24 April 2017, led by Fr John Lee

With one night in the hills of Zakapone and four nights in historic Krakow, this guided tour will enable you to visit places central to the life of Pope St John Paul II include his birthplace of Wadowice, Czestochowa’s Black Madonna shrine and Auschwitz.

The Pilgrimage takes place over Divine Mercy Sunday and we will visit the shrine celebrating the Divine Mercy of Jesus Christ, as revealed by Christ Himself to St Maria Faustina Kowalska.   

For information contact Pilgrimage People via e-mail or on 0800 612 3423.

Pastoral Services

Are you seeking accommodation?

Christian Flatshare is a website that seeks to bring together those offering accommodation and those who are seeking accommodation. There is no fee for the service and the options are very flexible.

Please let Fr Peter Hollins and the Pastoral Care Services Team  know if you find the service helpful.

Bishop Philip's Engagements

Sunday 18th December 
Mass at Holy Family, Southampton 11am

Wednesday 21st December 
Funeral Mass for Fr. Robert Jennings R.I.P
English Martyrs, Didcot 1pm

Thursday 22nd December 
Various Meetings,
Bishop’s House, Portsmouth

Friday 23rd December 
Christmas Gathering with Seminarians
Bishop’s House, Portsmouth

Saturday 24th December 
Mass of Christmas Night 10pm
St John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth

Sunday 25th December 
Mass of Christmas Day 10am
St John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth

Job opportunities

The following opportunities are currently available within the Diocese:
Director of CARITAS, Diocese of Portsmouth
Location: Portsmouth
Salary: £45,000

An exciting and challenging vacancy has arisen for the post of Director of Caritas, Diocese of Portsmouth.  This role will be to lead the Caritas work within the Diocese with the aim of enabling the Catholic community of the Diocese to be responsive to those experiencing poverty and social exclusion.  This is an opportunity for an individual to make a significant difference to many people experiencing deprivation and it is a role that can grow with the right individual.

The post-holder will be responsible for the planning and implementation of the strategy agreed with the Caritas Diocese of Portsmouth Management Board, as well as promoting the work of Caritas through a variety of channels.

The appointment will be subject to a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Check (formerly CRB).

Closing Date: 15th January

Click here  for more details.

Headteacher - St Bernadette's Catholic VA Primary School
Location: Farnborough, Hampshire
Salary scale: £57,384 - £67,290 (Group 3 LDR 34 - LDR 47)

Hours of work: Permanent, Full time
Start: April 2017

The Governors of St Bernadette's Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary School, Farnborough, would like to invite applications from suitably qualified practising Catholics to lead and develop the school, transitioning the school to a multi-academy trust. 

'The school has an outstanding commitment to pupil's well-being' - Ofsted 2014' 

At St Bernadette's we recognise that each child in our care is made in the image and likeness of God. Our mission is to develop fully their individual potential in the context of Gospel values of truth and love. 

The appointment will be subject to a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Check (formerly CRB).

Closing Date: Tuesday 3rd January (12 Noon)
Interview Dates: Thursday 19th and Friday 20th January 2017

Click here  for more details.

You can view further details about all opportunities for employment in the Diocese  here.
Please pray for...
The repose of the souls of Fr Robert Jennings (Portsmouth Priest), Fr Eamonn Whelan (Southwark Priest and relative of Fr Chris Whelan), Steven Budden (brother of Fr Shaun Budden) and Philippa Craig (Grail Community) who have died recently. Requiescat in pace.

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

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

For Vocations to the Priesthood, Diaconate and Religious Life; for those preparing for Ordination, especially 
Ansel D’Mello and Robert Stewart (to be ordained Deacon on 17th December) and for all currently discerning their vocation.

Sick clergy and lay faithful of the Diocese.

All the faithful departed, for deceased clergy and people of the Diocese, for those recently departed, especially as a result warfare, violence, terrorism and persecution.

The work of all Evangelisation Strategy Teams across our Diocese.

The success of the Convocation of Clergy to be held next Summer.

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.
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Forthcoming events:
Saturday 28th January
Alton Day of Renewal
More details 

Further information on all these events can be found on the Events page of our website.

If you would like to advertise an event, please fill out this form here

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With an assurance of my prayers, 

In Corde Iesu

 Bishop of Portsmouth
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