UK & Ireland

News from United Kingdom & Ireland covering parishes, dioceses, religious orders, community groups, homelessness, moral & political issues and pilgrims.

Church leaders urge all Christians to participate in Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Christian leaders across the UK have today issued a joint letter encouraging Christians of all denominations to join in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity which runs from 18-25th January 2019. The letter, whose signatories include: Cardinal Archbishop Vincent Nichols (Archbishop of Westminster); Archbishop Justin Welby (Archbishop of Canterbury); The Revd Michaela Youngson (Presi...

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Bishops statement on Settlement Scheme for EU Citizens

As we approach the last few weeks before the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, Brexit is causing a large amount of uncertainty for EU citizens living in the UK. Many parishioners, priests and religious across the UK will be affected. The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have been monitoring the situation closely and share in the uncertainty and concern.

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Cardinal Nichols presides at Mass welcoming LGBT+ Catholics, parents and families

image: Marcin Mazur

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, presided for the second time at the Mass welcoming LGBT+ Catholics, parents and families, on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Sunday, 13 January, at Farm Street Jesuit Church. The church in Mayfair, hosts the LGBT+ Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council and its pastoral outreach activities, as mandated by the Cardinal.

In his homil...

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Church welcomes prison sentencing reforms

Bishop Richard Moth, the lead Catholic Bishop for Prisons, on Monday welcomed the comments of Prisons Minister Rory Stewart MP, who said that jail sentences of fewer than six months should be scrapped. The number of prisoners has doubled since the 1990s and around 60% of short term prisoners re-offend within one year of their release. Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, the Minister sai...

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Westminster Abbey celebrates life of St Maximilian Kolbe

Polish Catholic Mission Choir

A service to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the birth of Saint Maximilian Kolbe was held at Westminster Abbey on Sunday, 13 January 2019. St Maximilian Kolbe, the Polish Franciscan priest and missionary, is one of the 20th century martyrs commemorated in statues erected above the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey by the Dean and Chapter in 1998.

The service, held in English and Pol...

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Archbishop of Canterbury prays for politicians ahead of Brexit vote

Archbishop Justin Welby

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has today offered Theresa May and politicians across the political spectrum his prayers on the eve of tomorrow's vote on the government's proposed Brexit deal.

Archbishop Welby, who last week spoke in in the House of Lords about his concerns around a no-deal Brexit has said that politicians have the "most extraordinarily difficult job."


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Booking now: Miranda Heldt, Alexander Armstrong in concert for Vinnie Packs

There's a chance to see the actor, presenter, singer Alexander Armstrong (Pointless, Have I Got News for You, The Imitation Game, Armstrong & Miller and many more programmes) the renowned soprano, Miranda Heldt, and the Choir With No Name, when they compere and sing at a special concert at Farm Street Church Mayfair, on 4 February in aid of the St Vincent de Paul Society's Vinnie Packs for the ...

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Westminster Abbey service to mark 125th anniversary of St Maximilian Kolbe

St Maximilian Kolbe

A service to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of the birth of Maximilian Kolbe will be held in Westminster Abbey this Sunday.

Saint Maximilian Kolbe, the Polish Franciscan priest and missionary, is one of the 20th century martyrs commemorated in statues erected above the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey by the Dean and Chapter in 1998. Fr Kolbe died in Auschwitz concentratio...

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Irish missionary nun who nursed Pope Francis as a baby

Sr Oliva Maria in 1963

The visit of Pope Francis to the World Meeting of Families in Ireland last August generated a lot of media coverage, but one significant historical connection he had with Ireland was overlooked, except for a brief comment on it by Fr Dermod McCarthy during the Papal Mass televised by RTE. That connection was with an Irish missionary nun from Co Cavan - a member of the Little Sisters of the Assu...

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Booking now: St Brigid's Week celebration of Irish music, theatre, poetry and dancing

There will be a celebration of Irish music, theatre, poetry and dancing in the week of St Brigid, at St James' Church, Piccadilly, central London on 30 January.

Hosted by the Irish Chaplaincy, this event starts at 7pm. Tickets are available via

Luton Irish Forum will be holding their annual event: Celebrating Irish women on S...

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UK Faith representatives speak out on immigration


As MPs return to parliament tomorrow (Monday) faith representatives urge the government to rethink their approach to immigration, to move away from a hostile environment towards a culture of sanctuary.

The full text of the letter follows:

"As representatives of faith communities, we are dismayed by the current debate around immigration. The long-awaited Immigration white pa...

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London: Booking now - CAFOD's New Year volunteer meeting

CAFOD's New Year volunteer meeting takes place on Saturday, 19 January at 10am at CAFOD's HQ, Romero House, 55 Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7JB.

This volunteer meeting will include an opportunity to hear a first-hand account of their work in Bangladesh. This is the country CAFOD will be focusing on during Lent. Family Fast day in Lent is on Fr...

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Christians Aware: 30th Anniversary Conference

Christians Aware - an ecumenical, educational charity - will hold its annual conference at The Hayes in Swanwick, Derbyshire from January 11th - 16th, 2019. It will mark the beginning of their 30th anniversary year.

The organisers write: "We are hopeful that many members and friends will come to the conference, to mark such a special year, but also because the issues we will be looking at...

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