UK & Ireland

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

Record numbers attend Commemoration Service for those who died homeless in past year

A record number of people gathered in St Martin in the Fields for the Service of Commemoration for those who died homeless in London over the past year. The music group of Alastair Murray, John Deacon and Chris Bluemel played through the service.

After an introduction by Revd Richard Carter, priest at St Martin's, the first set of names was read out, with reflections on some of them. John...

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Norwich: Caritas East Anglia team formally commissioned

Image by Eldred Willey/

The work of Catholic social action organisation Caritas East Anglia was formally commissioned by the Rt Rev Alan Hopes, Bishop of East Anglia, at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Norwich on Sunday November 17, followed by a special celebration lunch.

Caritas East Anglia is the latest addition to the worldwide federation of Caritas Internationalis, which is the second biggest humani...

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Celebration marks 60 years of Teams of Our Lady in Britain

On the 16th November 2019 more than 250 members of Teams of Our Lady from across the country gathered at Westminster Cathedral to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of the movement in Great Britain. The principal celebrant was Bishop Peter Doyle, the Bishop responsible for marriage and family life), and concelebrants included Bishop Richard Moth of Arundel and Brighton, Westminster Auxiliary Bishop...

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Further calls to lift two-child benefit cap

At the beginning of February this year, the UK government introduced a cut on benefits for families with more than two children. Families who have more than two children, born after April 2017 will not be able to claim benefits for them. In June the Child Poverty Action Group, (CPAG), Church of England, Women's Aid, Turn2Us and the Refugee Council published a new report looking at the impact of...

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Catholic People's Weeks 2020 Programme launched

Catholic People's Weeks (CPW) has launched its 2020 programme, with 10 events organised. CPW has been providing 'holidays with a difference' for nearly 75 years with family weeks and adult only weeks offered, plus a programme of shorter events and lectures.

The 75th anniversary will be celebrated on 15 August 2020 in St Cassian's Centre at Kintbury, which will be a significant gathering o...

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London: Campaign to restore Islington's lost Marian Shrine

A campaign to restore the ancient shrine of Our Lady of the Oak, in Islington, north London, has been launched. Both local Catholic and Anglican churches are supporting the project.

The ancient shrine to 'Our Lady of the Oak, Islington,' is now commemorated at Walsingham, but for more than 400 years, it was a significant pilgrimage site in London. Historians believe it was one of the firs...

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New Spirituality Centre in central London

Sisters in the Faithful Companions of Jesus congregation have opened an FCJ Spirituality Centre near Euston station in London. It has been developed in what was previously St. Aloysius Convent; the original building has been completely refurbished and two floors transformed into the Spirituality Centre.

Sr Rita McLoughlin FCJ writes:

"We hope to make our Centre a place of ...

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Reflection: Walls of separation could not reach the heavens

l-r:  Late Dr Emilio Castro, Jean Fischer, Dr Soritua Nababan at unveiling ceremony of Berlin Wall fragment Geneva, 1991. Photo: Peter Williams/WCC

"We realised that reconciliation is a gift from God that we must seek with perseverance and humility, so that it frees us in our relationships with the other". Jean Fischer, former general secretary of the Conference of European Churches shares the following reflection on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Fischer comes from Switzerland and was CEC general...

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Wales: Chivalric order raises funds for Christians in Syria

John Pontifex with the Very Rev Dr Sebastian Jones, Moderator of the Cardiff Oratory in Formation

Emergency and pastoral help totalling £5,000 is to be despatched to Syria thanks to a group of chivalric brothers and sisters in Wales who banded together one evening with their friends to raise money for suffering Christians.

The Military and Hospitaller Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem Commandery of Wales held a fund-raising dinner for Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). Co-hosted by the ...

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Pope receives Archbishop of Canterbury at Casa Santa Marta

On Wednesday afternoon, 13th November, Pope Francis received His Grace Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, accompanied by His Grace Archbishop Ian Ernest, Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome and Representative of the Anglican Communion to the Holy See.

During the friendly meeting at Casa Santa Marta, the reality of Christians around the world was discussed, as well as some interna...

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Booking now: FCJ Vocations Weekend in Liverpool

The Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ) Vocations Weekend will take place in Liverpool from 29 November - 1 December 2019.

A weekend of prayer, reflection and input for young women (20s and 30s) considering the vocation to religious life.

Whether you are just exploring the idea or feel strongly that God is calling you to religious life, this weekend will give be an opportunity to mee...

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Carmelites celebrate return to Aylesford

The 70th anniversary of the Carmelites' return to Aylesford Priory in Kent has been celebrated with a special Mass presided by Archbishop John Wilson of Southwark and attended by around 300 people. The Carmelite Friars, first came to Aylesford in 1242, but left at the dissolution of the monasteries in 1538. However, they were able to return in 1949.

The Mass on 31 October was described as...

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London: Catholic history walks

Statue of St Thomas More, Chelsea Old Church

Writer and broadcaster Joanna Bogle will be leading two Catholic history walks in London later this month.

On Wednesday 20 November she will be taking a group through the City walking in the steps of the martyrs, the Fire of London, and visiting several old churches. Meet 3.30pm at Monument tube station.

On Friday 22 November the walk begins at Holy Redeemer Church, Cheyne Row SW3...

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Text: Bishop of Truro on religious persecution

Bishop Mountstephen

The Bishop of Truro, Philip Mountstephen, gave the following address to the Catholic Union on 7 November. (See also: Special Envoy praises Catholic work on religious freedom )

I had an unusual start to my Christmas last year when I was rung up by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who asked me if I'd be willing to lead a review ...

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