Posted on the 17th April 2020 in the category Statements
As the three Society Bishops based in the Province of York, we welcome the Time to Sow in the North report produced by St John’s College, Nottingham.
As the Bishop of Burnley states in the report’s Foreword, “it is not hard to find Catholic parishes where Church life is vibrant and alive, and the identification of common features associated with such growth is important if parishes in this tradition are to grow in evangelistic confidence.”
We look forward to discussing how the Church’s resources can be targeted at our most deprived communities, where many such Catholic parishes are to be found and where additional resources will, among other factors, help to achieve a growth in Church life.
The Society’s mission strategy, ‘Forming Missionary Disciples’, will also play an integral role in achieving that growth.
We are grateful to St John’s College, Nottingham, especially Fr John Tomlinson, for producing the Time to Sow in the North report and we commend its contents to a wide readership.
Posted on the 1st April 2020 in the category Statements
At this time of national emergency, we remain acutely aware that the needs of those directly affected by the Coronavirus, and the necessity to limit the risk of infection, make a legitimate demand on our behaviour. As the nation suffers and grieves, let us be constant in prayer and in our public duty to stay home, protect the NHS, save lives.
The sense of loss we all feel from the necessary closure of our churches for public worship is heightened as we approach the most important week of the Church’s year, Holy Week. Nevertheless, there are spiritual benefits which can and will flow to us from a faithful observance of Holy Week in our homes. We should be diligent in our reading of scripture and in our recitation of the Church’s cycle of prayer. To supplement these activities, there is a growing body of liturgical resources available digitally.
For our own part, we shall be issuing a series of short videos to aid devotion and prayer at home during Holy Week. They have been professionally produced and, we hope, will be attractive to a wide audience. The videos will be made available at the following times here.
The first verse of Psalm 130 speaks to our current circumstances: “Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord.” May we urge a prayerful keeping of Holy Week as we look with confidence to the joyful celebration of Easter in our homes.
The videos were recorded in the Diocese of London in accordance with the restrictions which were in place at that time.
Photo Credit: George Reynolds
Posted on the 1st April 2020 in the category News
The Society will be issuing a series of short videos to aid devotion and prayer at home during Holy Week. The videos will be made available at the following times via The Society Facebook Page.
Palm Sunday at 8am.
Maundy Thursday at 3pm.
Good Friday at 12pm.
Easter Day at 8am.
Those who use Facebook are encouraged to watch them there and to share them to that they reach as many people as possible. However, it is also intended to subsequently post the videos here, for those who don't use that platform.
Live Streamed Liturgies
The Bishops of The Society are planning to Live Steam the following liturgies
The Bishop of Chichester: 10.30am - here.
The Bishop of Fulham: 11.00am - here.
The Bishop of Fulham: 6.00pm - here.
The Bishop of Chichester: 7.30pm - here.
The Bishop of Chichester: 3.00pm - here.
The Bishop of Fulham: 3.00pm - here.
The Easter Vigil
The Bishop of Fulham: 8.30pm - here.
The Bishop of Chichester: 10.30pm - here.
The above list will be updates as other bishops finalize their plans.
The devotional videos were recorded in the Diocese of London in accordance with the restrictions which were in place at that time. Thanks go to the Vicar and the Churchwardens of St Benet Fink, Tottenham for the use of the church building
Photo Credit: George Reynolds
Posted on the 19th March 2020 in the category Statements
Feast of St Joseph
Our first concern as bishops is to express our concern and promise our prayers for all those who are directly affected by the Coronavirus, particularly those who by age or health condition are especially vulnerable.
Alongside the priests of The Society, we shall continue to support those most in need through the on-going witness of our parishes.
The key sources of information on Coronavirus remain:
These official statements, and the recent letter from our Archbishops, should be read alongside this pastoral statement.
As a necessary step, and in keeping with the Archbishops’ advice to suspend public worship, we are cancelling the Chrism Masses due to be celebrated by the Bishops of The Society.
This does not mean that the spiritual benefits that flow from the great liturgies of Holy Week cannot be obtained through other means.
We are aware that many cathedrals, parish churches and other religious buildings will remain open for prayer – noting the need for the safe practicing of not less than two metres physical distancing – and that some will also be seeking to place devotional material on-line during this period, or even live-stream liturgies conducted in private.
For our own part, we shall look to issue four short devotional videos during this period: one for each of Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter. We hope that these videos will provide a focus for our common prayers at this testing time. Other appropriate devotional resources will be made available here.
We are acutely aware of the pain and anxiety many are experiencing, made all the more testing by the suspension of public worship at this the high point of the Church’s year. We urge all parishes in our care—and indeed, all Christians—to continue in these, and other, ways to continue to participate in the Church’s prayer and witness in the testing months which lie ahead for everyone.
+ TONY WAKEFIELD The Rt Revd Tony Robinson, Bishop of Wakefield, Chairman
+ GLYN BEVERLEY The Rt Revd Glyn Webster, Bishop of Beverley
+ PHILIP BURNLEY The Rt Revd Philip North, Bishop of Burnley
+ MARTIN CICESTR: The Rt Revd Martin Warner, Bishop of Chichester
+ JONATHAN EBBSFLEET The Rt Revd Jonathan Goodall, Bishop of Ebbsfleet
+ JONATHAN FULHAM The Rt Revd Jonathan Baker, Bishop of Fulham
+ NORMAN RICHBOROUGH The Rt Revd Norman Banks, Bishop of Richborough
Posted on the 28th February 2020 in the category Events
In response to the Archbishops’ advice to suspend public worship, the Bishops of The Society are cancelling thier Chrism Masses this year. Please see statement here.
Bishops of The Society will be celebrating the following Chrism Masses:
*with renewal of ministerial vows - for all the clergy of the Diocese of Chichester.