UK & Ireland

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

Westminster: Ordinations to priesthood and diaconate

l-r:  Deacons William Johnstone and Tim Mangatal, Bishop Nicholas Hudson, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Bishop John Sherrington, and Fathers Alexander Balzanella, David Knight, Axcel Soriano image: Mazur/CBCEW

Today, Saturday 19th September, His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nichols ordained two men to the diaconate and three men to the priesthood in Westminster Cathedral. For the first time since July 1999, priests and deacons were ordained together in one celebration, 'under the restrictions of the pandemic'.

The Cardinal used this occasion to reflect on the Sacrament of Holy Order in his homily....

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Today's Gospel in Art - The parable of the Sower

The Sower, Street art by Morfai 2008, Spray paint on wall © Morfai Art

Gospel of 19th September 2020 - Luke 8:4-15 With a large crowd gathering and people from every town finding their way to him, Jesus used this parable:

'A sower went out to sow his seed. As he sowed, some fell on the edge of the path and was trampled on; and the birds of the air ate it up. Some seed fell on rock, and when it came up it withered away, having no m...

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SVP 'Rise to the Challenge'

Julie Etchingham

The St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP) is launching Rise to the Challenge, an innovative awareness-building campaign designed to help people better understand the work of the SVP, especially during the Covid-19 crisis, to raise funds to help those in most need and to encourage more people to join.

Traditionally, the SVP runs an Awareness Month programme every September to coincide with the ...

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UK government's freedom of religion envoy resigns over Internal Market Bill

Rehman Chishti (centre) and his new ACN t-shirt with John Pontifex (l) and Neville Kyrke-Smith (r)

Boris Johnson's Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, has resigned over concerns on the Internal Market Bill.

Rehman Chishti, MP for Gillingham and Rainham, stated in a letter on Monday, that he was not able to support the Bill on a matter of principle and that he has real concerns with the UK unilaterally breaking its legal commitments under the Withdrawal Agreement.

In ...

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BBC's Manctopia inspires charity walk

Peter and Pat

A Stretford-based building supplies sales director is donning walking boots with a friend and walking 20 miles on Friday 18 September, to fundraise for a homeless charity after watching the BBC property series - Manctopia: Billion Pound Property Boom.

Peter Howarth and his friend of 20 years, Pat Burke, are fundraising for Cornerstone, a homeless centre in Hulme, which is part of Catholic...

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Bishop McAleenan visits Dover

Bishop Paul McAleenan visited Dover on Tuesday to meet with some of those working to help people who have arrived there to claim asylum. The gathering was organised by Seeking Sanctuary and hosted by the parish priest, Fr Jeff Cridland.

A TV team preparing for a coming episode of 'Songs of Praise' was also in Dover on the same day. Deb Barry posted the following reflection on the Care4Hum...

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Prisons: Bishop responds to planned sentencing reforms

Bishop Richard Moth

The lead Catholic Bishop for prisons has responded to the planned sentencing reforms announced by the Lord Chancellor yesterday.

Bishop Richard Moth, who in 2018 commissioned 'A Journey of Hope' setting out a Catholic approach to sentencing reform, stated:

"The government's planned sentencing reforms include some very welcome steps such as piloting problem-solving courts, improving ...

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Keep ideology out of human rights, warns Catholic Union

In a week in which it was announced the Prime Minister is planning to opt out of parts of the Human Rights Act, the Catholic Union has called on the Government to avoid "diluting the concept of human rights" as part of a consultation on the UK's international policy.

In a submission to the Government's Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, the Catholic Un...

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Good News For Bad Times

A Southwark parish has secured services of world renowned scripture scholar for autumn webinars.

A parish in the Southwark diocese, has turned a planned formation day for their parishioners this autumn, with renowned Scripture scholar, Nicholas King SJ, and threatened with cancellation because of the COVID 19 restrictions, into an online event available nationally! The evening we...

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Report predicts 670,000 Britons facing food poverty

SVP preparing food parcels

A massive increase in food bank use has been predicted by the Trussell Trust in a new report. Analysis forecasts a 61% rise in food parcel distribution from October to December if urgent action is not taken now. The Trussell Trust also warns that 670,000 additional people will be classed as destitute by the end of 2020.

At the beginning of the pandemic around half of food bank users had n...

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Chrism Mass at Westminster Cathedral + homily text

Photo:  Mazur/

In his homily for the Mass of Holy Chrism, celebrated this year on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross today, 14th September 2020, at Westminster Cathedral, Cardinal Vincent spoke of the unusual circumstances that have made it impossible for a "great gathering of priests... accompanied by love and prayers given to and for our priests by so many faithful disciples of Jesus". Yet, despite th...

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Ten-year anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI in UK - Speeches

Ten years after the historic Papal Visit of Pope Benedict to the UK, the Catholic Bishops' Conference will play the podcasts of the major speeches on their anniversary dates at the same time as they happened.

Pope Benedict's arrival, welcome and speech to Her Majesty the Queen will play at 11.40 on 16th September. His dialogue with Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and Dr Khaled Assam plays on t...

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Pop-up Food Stalls - a Lifeline in Lockdown

Gerry Bell, co-ordinator of Palmers Green Food Stall

As lockdown measures came into place across the country at the end of March, there was a lot of confusion. What was meant by essential workers? Could voluntary projects continue? Would there be enough volunteers? At the same time, many people were acutely aware of the needs there would be, as people unable to go out to work would struggle to afford life's essentials. Others who could afford foo...

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Birmingham: Four priests and two bishops to be ordained

l-r: Deacons Alex Taylor, Clive Dytor, Benedict Skipper and Sean Gough

Four new priests are due to be ordained by Archbishop Bernard Longley at St Chad's Cathedral Birmingham this month, with two new bishops ordained the following month.

Seminarians Alex Taylor, Clive Dytor, Benedict Skipper and Sean Gough were ordained as transitional deacons last year as they completed their final years of study. This year's ordinations were due to take place in July but d...

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