The quarterly magazine of the Roman Catholic parish of Bognor Regis & Slindon
Issue 4 | FREE
In this edition ... The God who speaks
St Mary’s Church, Barnham
THE CATHOLIC PARISH OF BOGNOR REGIS AND SLINDON We are followers of Jesus, on fire with his love, sharing that love with each other and with the world.
Saturday: 5.15pm Our Lady of Sorrows 6pm St Anthony’s (Polish) Sunday: 8am Our Lady of Sorrows 9am St Richard’s 10am Our Lady of Sorrows 11am St Anthony’s 4pm Our Lady of Sorrows (Polish) 6pm Our Lady of Sorrows
Knights of St Columba
CONFESSIONS Saturday: 10.30am - 11.30am, 4.15pm - 4.50pm, or by appointment. Polish:
5.30pm on the 1st Friday of the month.
1867 - 2017
The Reynolds family on an outing circa 1880
For a dedicated, caring and sympathetic service contact James or Stephen Reynolds
Funeral Service âˆž Memorial Masons âˆž Funeral Plans
01243 864 745 27-31 High Street Bognor Regis PO21 1RR
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01903 730 666 Cemetery Lodge Horsham Road Littlehampton Littlehampton BN17 6LX
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www.bognorcatholicparish.org.uk Telephone: 01243 823619
Bognor Regis & Slindon Roman Catholic parish is part of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton. Charity number: 252878 Our Lady of Sorrows, Clarence Road, Bognor Regis St Anthony of Viareggio Gossamer Lane, Rose Green St Richard of Chichester, Top Road, Slindon. Parish Office, Hislop Walk, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, PO21 1LP
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, In his recent letter Aperuit Illis Pope Francis designated the fourth Sunday of January as the Sunday of the Word of God. This day takes on a particular significance for us this year here in England & Wales, as we reflect very particularly on the theme: ‘The God Who Speaks’.
3 - The God Who Speaks 4 & 5 - Hic domus Dei est et porta coeli 6 & 7 - Welcome, Bethan! 8 & 9 - First Holy Communion at Bognor & Slindon. Let’s start at the very beginning… 10 & 11 - The gospel to those on the margins is our calling and where Christ reveals himself
The Scriptures are, of course, central to our lives. Our reading and reflection on the inspired texts of Old and New Testaments enable us to encounter the God who is love; who sustains his people on their pilgrim way; who is always faithful to us even when we go our own way; who calls us back to him and who sends his Son, the Word made flesh, to dwell amongst us, to suffer and die for us and enable us to find new life through his resurrection. It is in the Scriptures that we read the account of the early church as those who first responded to Jesus’ call, through their encounter with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, begin the Mission that we continue today.
The practice of Lectio Divina has been spreading in the Diocese in recent years and renewed copies of the leaflet outlining this way of prayer are available at www. bognorcatholicparish.org.uk/ Lectio-Divina. Join me in your encounter with the Word who is life through this way of prayer. During this year, we shall have particular opportunities to join with our brothers and sisters in England & Wales in our celebration of ‘The God Who Speaks’, notably at the Corpus Christi Celebration at Arundel Cathedral and – most especially for our school communities – at the Good Shepherd Celebration and the Secondary Schools’ Pilgrimage to Arundel. May we all deepen our experience of God’s love for us as we read the Scriptures and hear them proclaimed in our Liturgy, that we may be formed by the Word for the Mission to which we are called. With every blessing,
12 - St Mary’s Catholic Primary School 13 - St Philip Howard Catholic School, Barnham 14 & 15 - Our Parish Ministry of Welcome 16 & 17 - Knights of St Columba Serving God by serving others
18 - Money Matters 19 - In the works
Hic domus Dei est et porta coeli
The mediaeval church of St Mary the Virgin Barnham stands in what was once the centre of the village. A tidal creek ran within yards of the church until the Middle Ages and fishing, along with smuggling, would have been the main occupation of the villagers whose cottages clustered around the church. Over time the water receded and since the coming of the railway in 1864 the village has tended to spread north beyond the station leaving St Mary’s in comparative isolation surrounded by fields and farmland in what is known locally as ‘Old Barnham’. Like all ancient churches, St Mary’s has been subject to
a great deal of change over the centuries. The church is mentioned in the Domesday Book; however, twentieth century churchyard excavations revealed artefacts of Saxon origin, thus proving the antiquity of the site as a place of Christian worship. In the early thirteenth century a north aisle and chapel were added and included the Chantry of St James, founded in 1324. Other chantry altars would have existed but it is believed that priests of the Chantry of St James would have taken care of the spiritual needs of the village until the chantry and aisle were demolished at the Reformation. When the easternmost arch of the aisle was reopened in 1923 to accommodate the pipe organ and sacristy, fifteenth century
‘graffiti’ was discovered which reads ‘pray for the soul of my father who died at Agincourt’ (1415). The once elaborately carved twelfth century font of Sussex marble was badly damaged during the desecrations of the Cromwellian period but is still in use to this day. Think of the number of babies who have been welcomed into Christ’s flock at that font! The Anglo-Catholic tradition of the Church of England has existed at St Mary’s for over 100 years and historically there was a daily Mass, public Offices of Morning and Evening Prayer and a number of devotional organisations attached to
the parish. Following the amalgamation of parishes in the late 1970s, and with considerable development in Eastergate Parish (which encompasses the whole of the modern village of Barnham including Barnham railway station), church life at St Mary’s steadily declined and almost petered out. As recently as 2005 the congregation at the twice monthly Sunday service held at 8.00am was often in single figures and the threat of closure was never far away. Thankfully, due to the determination of the small but deeply faithful congregation that kept the lamp of faith burning, St Mary’s was rescued from the brink of closure and the church gradually regained its confidence and now offers daily worship and a very strong social life. Key to this renewal has been the flourishing of the relationship between the Catholic and Anglican communities that came into existence on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, 11th February 2008, following the closure of St Philip Howard
School Chapel as a place of worship served from Bognor Parish. St Philip Howard once offered three Sunday Masses each week, but in time this became unrealistic and Mass was offered only on Monday mornings for a small congregation, almost always in single figures. For that faithful group of worshippers the cessation of the Monday Mass came as a great disappointment and there followed some talk of holding an occasional ‘house Mass’ in order that Catholic worship in Barnham would not cease entirely. Having heard the news, the Anglican Rector, Fr Simon Holland, and the churchwardens of St Mary’s felt prompted to initiate a conversation with Fr Tony Churchill about the Catholic community using St Mary’s on Monday mornings. This was accepted as a trial and the rest, as they say, is history! On February 11th 2008 the church bell, cast in 1348 and therefore one of the oldest in the county, once again called the Catholic faithful to Mass as it did for the first 200 years of its life. A very large congregation turned up on a cold Monday morning, far more than anyone had anticipated, including a number of Anglicans who were delighted that St Mary’s was to be part of such a significant ecumenical initiative. Hymns were sung and refreshments served afterwards, and this has continued ever since giving worshippers an opportunity to get to know each other. Twelve years on, the Mass is still going strong and attracts worshippers from Bognor, Littlehampton and Chichester as well as a strong core from Barnham and surrounding villages. Everyone who comes to St Mary’s seems to really value the Monday morning gathering.
Indeed it’s not unusual for regulars to say how much they missed it on the occasions they couldn’t be there. There is a great sense of togetherness and when it’s not possible to celebrate Mass there is instead a Prayer Service which includes the Scripture readings of the day, the Rosary and intercessions. Around February 11th each year there is a celebration to mark the anniversary of the Monday Mass. In 2013 this happened to coincide with the announcement of Pope Benedict’s resignation which naturally gave the celebration a different focus. Bishop Richard came to celebrate Mass in July 2019 and each year we have a Christmas meal at the Spur in Slindon. Every Wednesday there is an ecumenical Rosary group and our two congregations come together for the annual Carol Service, Stations of the Cross during Lent and the Patronal Feast, the Assumption of Our Lady, in August. Without question the flourishing of the relationship between our churches is the work of God’s Spirit and it has been a blessing to both communities. We give thanks for all that has happened over the past 12 years, we thank our priests and all who have supported the Monday Mass, including those who now rejoice with us ‘upon another shore and in a clearer light’ and we trust in the prayers of Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes, as we look towards the future. Please come and join us one Monday at 9.30am; you can be assured of a very warm welcome.
Welcome, Bethan! Bethan Townsend has recently joined the Parish Leadership Team after Dan McNamara stepped down to concentrate on the mission and demands of a new job. Bethan has been a parishioner all her life, and is now working at St Philip Howard Catholic School in SPH’s Chaplaincy Apprenticeship. Here Fr Chris talks to Bethan about her faith journey, and why she is excited to be part of the team. Fr Chris then goes on to speak with Dan about his reflections on his two years on the Leadership Team. CB: Bethan, you’re working at SPH – what does being a Chaplaincy Apprentice involve? BT: The apprenticeship programme at SPH is new; it aims to provide training for those wishing to work in Catholic school chaplaincy. There’s three of us working with the School Chaplain; it’s a twoyear apprenticeship where we practically roll up our sleeves and lead the evangelisation work in the school, spend time at academic study (I’ll be reading Theology at St Mary’s University, Twickenham from next year), and time is carved out for spiritual direction. It’s very exciting, and at the moment we’re leading year 10’s retreat days. We’ll be thinking about reasons to believe, also about doubt, and I’ll be plugging the Redshirts. CB: You’ve been involved with the Redshirts for a few years. What are they, and how did you come to be involved? BT: The Redshirts are part of the Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes where we take 60+ Year 10s and 11s on a week of retreat
and pilgrimage. We have lots of fun and eat lots of ice-cream! It’s also a chance to journey alongside young people in faith, help them have an encounter with Jesus, and come back to parishes in the Diocese, and continue their mission as young people. I became involved after I was confirmed in Year 10 and there was an opportunity to go to Lourdes as a Redshirt. I was determined to go, felt I had to go, and I would say it’s been lifechanging! I’m more confident, I’ve continued on that journey, being nurtured in the faith by those around me. A really important person for me in all this was Ray Mooney, the leader; he’s such a gentle character, and he realised this was quite an important moment for me. CB: How are you planning to relate this experience to a reflection on doubt?! BT: Well, lots of people doubted Bernadette when she started to tell her story, but we’ll think about how she overcame that, gave them reasons to believe. I’ll share my own testimony, how I went, quite shy, perhaps doubting myself, but it helped me be more confident, and I’ll give an invitation to the students to experience that for themselves. CB: You mention the mission young people have – can you say a bit more about that? BT: I think we’re becoming even more of a missionary church in our country, seeing it as part of our baptismal vocation, to continue spreading the Good News, bring others to Christ, into discipleship. Young people can all have that personal relationship, bringing others
to Christ in all that they do, at school, at work. CB: Encounter / evangelisation / discipleship – these are some of the key themes in the Divine Renovation story. Do you know much about Divine Renovation? BT: I’ve heard quite a lot about it from time in a previous parish who were also looking at DR, and their vision statement was also clearly displayed in the church. Recently I’ve wanted to do more, had a passion to do more, and doing a bit of research looked at the Divine Renovation website which seems really exciting. When I think about the things they’ve been doing, it makes complete sense, how they’re trying to help rebuild parishes; it looks like a great initiative – I think we should keep learning from their ideas. In this parish, I knew the Leadership Team were trying to help the parish go forward, bringing people in through Alpha and other things, and now I’ve started getting involved, I guess I know a bit more. CB: I’m glad you mentioned the Vision Statement in the churches(!) – what in it speaks to you?
BT: I think the words ‘on fire’ – I keep feeling there’s a little fire inside to disciple people; and ‘sharing that love’ which is literally what we’re meant to be doing – the way we are, what we do, everything. ‘Followers of Jesus’ – because what I find exciting about a personal relationship with Christ is, once you’ve had that encounter, you want more, keep wanting more. And seeing other people in the same place as you, you want to keep journeying to receiving the Lord through prayer, and others. The Lord continues to call us – I find those moments being called forward exciting. CB: ‘Being called forward’ is an invitation we’re all invited to hear Jesus make to us and this echoes the work the Parish Leadership Team does to develop a strategy for the implementation of the Vision Statement, currently focussing on evangelisation and welcome – what can you bring to the team; how will your contribution build the team and what it tries to do? BT: I see in the team a great group of people: everyone’s very passionate, coming from different walks of life and I can see they’re also on fire, wanting to do more. The gifts I can bring are my experience of working and living with others in community which helped give me a willingness to listen to other people’s ideas, and also my experiences of prayer and working with young people. I think, being a young Catholic, I can bring a new side to it.
came to know later on. CB: And in what ways would you like the parish here to look different in, say, 10 years’ time? BT: I’d love to see it thriving more, always busy, like a hub, with people coming and going, doing different things, and the joy of that – seeing the parish a bit like heaven on earth, where everyone is a follower of Jesus, and wanting to keep sharing, learning, knowing the excitement of being disciples. CB: Thanks, Bethan; we’re really looking forward to having you as part of our Parish Leadership Team – welcome! CB: Right; over to Dan. Why did you say yes when you were invited to join the Leadership Team? DM: I think most churchgoers feel this way, but for me the church is something I love but at times it also drives me to despair! Church (the people of God) are a cross section of wider society, and we all have so much to offer when it comes to mission. To be able to give, albeit in a timelimited voluntary role, my skills and talents was something I felt compelled to do. It really is a good thing that is happening in the RC Church in England & Wales at the moment, the Divine Renovation movement really
does have the potential to help church be better. CB: Of your two years on the team what do you rejoice most in? DM: Progress is slow, for so many reasons, yet if we keep at it the Catholic parish of Bognor & Slindon will be even more of a community on fire with Jesus’ love, sharing that love with each other and with the world; we are that, but we could be so much more. Yet lots has been achieved, the ongoing focus on the Ministry of Welcome, the new evangelisation work through Alpha, the new discipleship work through our growing network of Connect Groups (almost 10% of parishioners are now part of one!), the work to connect the parish’s key influencers and leaders, the Pentecost Picnic in 2019, the list could go on. We’re an active parish and, more especially, activity focused on outreach is happening. We have much to be thankful for, but there is still much to do. We all have a part to play in achieving our parish vision; though I’m stepping down from the Leadership Team, I’m still editing the parish magazine, the website, and doing Children’s Liturgy of the Word catechesis. It is a good thing to serve a term and then let others lead us to where we need to go.
CB: Two quick questions – first: if you had a five-minute audience with Pope Francis, what would you want to ask him? BT: I’d like to know what was his first encounter with the Lord, what that was like, and did he realise it was that straightaway, or was it something that he
First Holy Communion at Bognor & Slindon Let’s start at the very beginning... I have to confess that I don’t remember terribly much about my own preparation for First Holy Communion, which I celebrated in the summer of 1978. I remember our parish priest, Fr Stuart Bell, being very kind and gentle as he helped us celebrate our First Reconciliation, and I remember my brother taking me through some worksheets. I remember how I looked on the day (red tie on a piece of elastic) and taking part in a Corpus Christi procession a little while later with all the other children. By the time I was ordained priest in 1999, the pattern for preparation for these Sacraments was pretty well established. A series of meetings for children, and a smaller number of meetings for parents, but rarely did you meet parents and children together. Over the last few years, at Bognor & Slindon Parish we’ve been taking a new approach, helping parents help their
children prepare to celebrate the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion for the first time. It’s called Parentled catechesis (catechesis is, put simply, the passing on of our Catholic faith) and each summer we have a meeting in the Parish Centre at which the thoughts and principles behind this approach are unpacked, and parents and catechists share both their hopes for the coming year, and a little of what they think might be challenging. We start at the very beginning… and ask, what is the purpose of catechesis? St John Paul II wrote in 1979 that the definitive aim of catechesis is to put people not only in touch, but in communion, in intimacy, with Jesus Christ (Catechesi Tradendae, 5). Holy Communion is about being in communion with Jesus, the Holy One, especially through the gift of his body and blood. Everything we do aims to help parents and children deepen and develop their relationship with Jesus. As our vision statement begins, ‘We are followers of Jesus…’
The way the process operates is this: parents and children come to meetings together. They are guided by a catechist, but the bulk of the time is spent talking, praying, reflecting, sharing together as a family unit. The meetings are structured around a booklet on a particular subject. The advantages of this approach are many. Parents know exactly what their children are learning because they are together. This means that the discussions can be continued through the week… Children receive the gift of seeing their parents give time and attention to the deepening of faith of their children. (Statistics have shown that 82% of children raised by parents who talked about faith at home, attached great importance to their beliefs, and were active in their congregations, were themselves religiously active as young adults. Conversely, 1% of teens ages 15 to 17 raised by parents who attached little importance to religion were highly religious in their mid-tolate 20s.)
“The definitive aim of catechesis is to put people not only in touch, but in communion, in intimacy, with Jesus Christ.” Pope Francis, writing a couple of years ago acknowledged the importance and challenges of families growing in faith together: ‘Raising children calls for an orderly process of handing on the faith. This is made difficult by current lifestyles, work schedules and the complexity of today’s world, where many people
keep up a frenetic pace just to survive. Even so, the home must continue to be the place where we learn to appreciate the meaning and beauty of the faith, to pray and to serve our neighbour. Faith is God’s gift, received in baptism, and not our own work, yet parents are the means that God uses for it to grow and develop.’ (Amoris Laetitia, 287) At the end of each year, we invite parents and children to reflect on their journey – this is their feedback: · This was the best! It was super fun; it wasn’t a tiny bit boring. · Overall we really enjoyed Holy Communion classes and looked forward to them every week. · A very nice experience. Thank you! · Thank you for the drinks and biscuits and genuine care and interest in the children
throughout the programme. · Thank you! Thank you! · Very friendly people, helpful and understanding, lots of new things for children. · Thank you for helping me to get ready for my first holy communion. · I would most definitely recommend it to other people and it was a good experience. If you’re thinking that you, together with your child or children, would like to be part of our programme beginning in September 2020, you’d be very welcome! Please do look out for notices in the newsletter in the summer term inviting parents to our information evening. We look forward to seeing you and sharing the journey of faith you make as a family.
Fr Chris Bergin
The gospel to those on the margins is our calling and where Christ reveals himself In July 2018, I set off with my husband Al to the land of his birth, Malaysia. Al had always wanted to return to work in the ‘home country’ for a period of time having left for England when he was only 16. It seemed the moment – our dear parents had died and the girls were independent young women needing us less. Al would be working at Newcastle University in Johor Bahru to train medical students and I felt it was an opportunity for me to volunteer and use my skills. I knew Malaysia having visited relatives regularly for over 30 years but now we would be living there and I wanted to be part of the community. I was blessed with a warm welcome from all the people I met in the early days in Johor Bahru (the second biggest city in Malaysia).
I looked around at opportunities and a couple of emails later I was a member of the International Women’s Association Johor Bahru who had a group that volunteer weekly at a school for Rohingya refugees from Myanmar in Kota Tinggi. Pope Francis reminds us that ‘Christ asks us to welcome our brother and sister migrants or refugees with arms wide open’ and so this was my opportunity to put good intentions and beliefs into action. The Rohingya in Myanmar represent the largest percentage of Muslims. They have their own language and culture and have been in the region for generations. Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist country, denies the Rohingya citizenship. The Rohingya, a persecuted minority, has faced decades of harsh treatment and have been made stateless by the
government in Myanmar. To escape from this severe repression, many Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh, Thailand or Malaysia. In Malaysia there are about 150,000 Rohingya refugees registered with the United Nations. In Malaysia, this community has been living invisibly for more than three decades. Just like other refugees, the Rohingya are not allowed to work legally and do not have access to free healthcare and education. Many of these refugee children learn in the learning centres run by the community with the help of UNHCR and local NGOs. There are about 120 refugee schools and I help every week at one in Kota Tinggi which was established in 2007. The children learn to speak, read and write in English, do basic maths, science and some computer work, arts and crafts and music. I go with a group of other women each week
to help with reading, arts and crafts. I have also started a letter writing exchange between the children here and at St Mary’s Catholic Primary Bognor Regis.
“We have started a letter writing exchange between the children here and at St Mary’s Catholic Primary Bognor Regis.” The children are very happy at school and are always excited to have visitors working with them. Often when they are teenagers their families keep them at home so they can work and earn money for the family and so they cannot attend any more which is a great shame as they are keen to learn and many, given different circumstances, would love to study more, attend college, and work in roles beyond the car washing, shops and kitchen work that is the usual outcome. This saddens the teachers and volunteers. On a happier note, one of the first students now helps teach in the school – a real symbol to the children of what can be achieved with hard work in their studies. The children and their families hope that the United Nations will find a country that will enable them to have citizenship but this seems to happen rarely. The school is reliant on charitable giving to provide the teachers and resources and the work of volunteers like me. I love my weekly visits and always feel humbled by the tireless staff and the wonderful children who, despite the very basic conditions in which they live and learn, radiate a determination to learn and joy in being part of the school community. The other email I sent was to the Pastor of a Children’s Home, Berkat Community Berhad in the city. Their website indicated they were looking for volunteers. After my initial visit, I
agreed to go twice weekly to teach English. I had little knowledge of what their abilities were but my training in the UK about the impact of trauma on learning and how to support troubled children to learn gave me an understanding of how to approach the task. It would be key to spend time building trust , making learning fun, developing a culture of ‘have a go’ and recognising that learning was often a big ask when you had had a tough early life. The space for learning is simple – a three-walled room open to the outside on one side, a roof that leaks when it rains and fans that do not cool the 32-degree Celsius heat. The children were understandably wary to start, often challenging, regularly disengaged, lacking in eye contact, needing lots of reassurance, competitive for attention and rarely smiling. Nevertheless, I found that gradual repetition, consistency of activity and language, kindness, warmth, fun, an engaging book that I would read them, resources for them to use and an art and craft activity seemed to work. At the end of term one when I left for England, I gave them a card and a small present of their own pencils, pencil case etc. as an early Christmas gift. I was dumbfounded to find that no one opened those gifts; a few opened the cards and read their personal messages, with 5-year-old G responding ‘Does this mean you love me?’ Others took sellotape and string and covered their gift – ‘why?’ I asked – J replied ‘to keep it safe.’ This was an expression of their need to keep the few things they had protected. I kept in contact with them through weekly cards I sent and returned to teaching in January. I was unsure what to expect but surprisingly the group that had changed a little in number (got bigger) and new children joined, quickly got back into routine and most of the challenging behaviour stopped. Smiles and excitement started and they were keen to show what they could do, bookmaking being particularly popular where they could have ownership
of something they had made and could read them to others. The group’s ages range from 6–16 which makes for interesting lessons – what words start with ‘a’ giving a list from ant to alleluia and ‘r’ – giving a list that went from rat to resurrection! These children have few possessions of their own, clothes are shared, and they grow vegetables, look after some pets and eat good simple food supported by a small group of adults. When I take cake or strawberries and melon it is excitedly devoured. Working with these troubled children marginalised from their families, brings me so much joy, has energised my desire to pray and is my way to try and serve the Lord in this new chapter of my life. I truly believe as Pope Francis has said that ‘the gospel to those on the margins is our calling and where Christ reveals himself.’ So these two volunteer opportunities are gifts I believe from God, enabling me to focus more effectively on living out the gospel, following our Servant King and recognising his face in these places and people.
Food Bank. During October we celebrated the contribution of grandparents with a special afternoon tea and biscuits in the Parish Hall. This event is a firm favourite amongst our families and an opportunity for us to thank grandparents for all they do for St Mary’s. Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day, which fell on Sunday November 10 and Monday November 11 gave us the opportunity to reflect not only on the many millions who fought for us over the years, but also what they fought for. We mark the wars that have scarred our past and the bravery of the men and women who fought them as well as remembering all the civilian victims of war.
This academic year, St Mary’s welcomed 45 new children who joined us in Early Years bringing the total number of children on role to 303. The children arrived on the playground in pristine uniform ready to learn and with a very positive attitude. We are always very grateful to our parents and carers for their support of the school rules – it makes such a big difference! We also turned our thoughts and prayers to those children who were starting in Year 7 at their new Secondary Schools and wished them every success. During the summer holidays, ICT updates took place across the school, including new ‘smart’ TVs for years 3 and 4 and new laptops and iPads for whole school use. This investment will help us to deliver the computing curriculum in a more focused and regular way. Our Harvest Service was well attended with very generous donations of £253 for CAFOD and food for the Bognor Regis
Our annual Deanery Advent Service took place on the 4th December in Arundel Cathedral. The chosen charity for the Deanery Advent Service was ‘Mary’s Meals’, which was chosen by St Richard’s Catholic Primary School. The Chaplain from SPH High School, Barnham came and led an assembly on ‘Mary’s Meals’ where we learned about some really wonderful work in some of the poorest countries in the world, to provide a daily meal for children at school, which in turn means that they receive an education and can hopefully break the cycle of poverty in their families and communities. The family who have developed this charity are from Scotland and were initially inspired in the late 1980s by the apparitions of Our Lady in Medjugorje. Their work is led by their faith and they very much feel that they have been called by God in this mission. Message of thanks We are very privileged to have a dedicated team of volunteers at St Mary’s. The FSA (Families and Staff Association) work tirelessly to support the school, fundraise
for the school and organise events for the children and their families to enjoy. This group of parents/carers/grandparents/ friends of St Mary’s are our silent heroes, and we would like to take a moment to say thank you for all that you do. A big thank you also to those of you who come into school and read with our children and also to those who work tirelessly as governors at our school. We are very grateful to you for volunteering your time for St Mary’s.
Peter Edgington, Headteacher
“The friends of St Mary’s are our silent heroes, and we would like to take a moment to say thank you for all that you do. A big thank you also to those of you who come into school!”
St Philip Howard Catholic School, Barnham The last few months at St. Philip Howard have been full of life and vibrancy over in the chaplaincy! Both Years 7 and 10 went on retreat with their form groups. These spiritual and relaxing days were led by the Chaplaincy Team here at school, and all the pupils and staff involved thoroughly enjoyed their time together learning about types of prayer, creation, faith and doubt. We’re very grateful to Yapton Free Church and Our Lady of Sorrows in Bognor for welcoming us so warmly for these events. Since Christmas, the Chaplaincy here has been going from strength to strength by attending training workshops, visiting other schools and their chaplaincies, and meeting with other chaplains from the diocese to create a network of people all striving for the same goal. All these elements of our own professional development have worked together to give us a renewed rigour in our own ministry here at SPH. For us in the Chaplaincy Team, Ordinary Time gives us this great sense of relief where we are able to take stock. Although we are also kept busy preparing resources, times of prayer, reconciliation services, Ash Wednesday and Easter Liturgies for after half term, it is in this
Ordinary Time that we are able to really consider the wider impact we are having on the young people we serve. We spend time, daily, praying for the children in the school and their families, asking that they are filled with energy in their faith as the Holy Spirit guides them. You are always welcome to pop into the school at any time to visit the Chaplaincy Team and find out more about what we do. Please do continue to pray for the school, as we do for you.
Theresa McNamara, Chaplain
“Please do continue to pray for the school, as we do for you.”
Our Parish Ministry of Welcome When we arrive at the church it is great to have someone at the door to give us the newsletter, a hymn book, and anything else we need … including a smile! Yet there is so much more we can do to make the Mass experience so much more welcoming; this is a ministry, a special mission within the church. The Ministry of Welcome continues throughout the Mass to tea & coffee and getting to know each other.
share our experiences, pray together and encourage each other. In 2019 we focused on developing and extending the Ministry of Welcome in our parish and recruiting more welcomers. The Parish Leadership Team agreed that initially we would particularly focus on the Masses at Our Lady of Sorrows (OLoS) as these Masses have larger congregations and more visitors.
identifies who is on duty for the Ministry of Welcome for that Mass or event. •
Introduced a welcomers’ prayer so that those who are on duty can pray together before they start their Ministry – to enable welcomers to be open to God’s prompting and grace.
Recruited more welcomers for the Christmas Masses at OLoS through an appeal at all of the Masses. Our Ministry of Welcome Co-Ordinators met the new welcomers before the Vigil and Midnight Masses to brief them on what they needed to do. The current welcomers were also great at supporting the new recruits in their ministry over Christmas and a number want to continue.
Comprehensive Guidelines for the Ministry of Welcome are now available. These may seem a bit
What we have done so far: We are not the only parish intentionally working on the Ministry of Welcome. One of the key pillars of the Divine Renovation movement is exploring ways of enabling parishes to build communities where faith journeys can be shared, and parishioners pray for and with each other and share the Good News with those who do not yet know Jesus. There is now a network of parishes in our diocese who are on the same journey albeit at different stages, to
Mike & Miren O’Brien co-ordinate the Ministry of Welcome including the Rotas, enabling them to organise welcomers for specific events.
Introduced lanyards for welcomers to wear while on duty. These lanyards display the welcomer’s name and make it easier to ask newcomers or visitors their name. It also
overwhelming initially but are a helpful reference for welcomers so they are well informed about the scope and the practicalities of the ministry. Do take a copy if you haven’t got it already.
Use opportunities in our liturgies to reach out to people we do not know and be encouraged and affirmed in doing this through the good news of the gospel and in homilies.
All the welcomers on the rota for any given Mass are on duty before Mass to say ‘Hello’ and to give out what is needed and after Mass to say a warm ‘Goodbye and hope to see you next week.’ There are also welcomers identified who will be on duty during the Mass at each entrance/exit to welcome latecomers and to help anyone who is looking anxious or needs any help. Welcomers need only be on the Rota once a month to enable them to be off-duty the majority of the time.
Continue to recruit people for the Ministry of Welcome.
Continue to establish the Ministry of Welcome in OLoS Church and liaise with current welcomers from St Anthony’s and St Richard’s Churches & St Mary’s in Barnham.
Provided reflection and formation for welcomers to explore the Ministry of Welcome and to talk about successes of the ministry as well as the challenges.
What we are planning to do next: •
Continue to build welcoming church communities in our parish – where everyone is valued and where they have an opportunity to use their Godgiven gifts to help build God’s kingdom here and now.
Provide an opportunity for an annual morning or afternoon of Reflection and Formation for all welcomers in the parish.
Commission all welcomers in our parish annually in line with the other ministries.
I would love to know about when she had experienced God in her life. The answer she gave me was amazing and after telling her when I had experienced God in my life, I was moved to go and ask someone else. Our testimonies and stories are so powerful and encouraging. If we have good news why would we not want to share it?
Margaret Fraher Do get in touch if you want more information or to get involved: Mobile: 07971460331 or Email: email@example.com
The Ministry of Welcome is also about facilitating members of our parish to reach out to each other – to get to know people who we sit near but do not talk to. We are invited to turn to someone near us and share our names and to promise to pray for each other during Mass. A few weeks ago, Fr Chris asked us to share with someone close by a time when we have experienced God in our life. I felt daunted by this, but also knew I had to step out of my comfort zone. So, I went up to someone I do not usually sit near and said that
“Our testimonies and stories are so powerful and encouraging. If Jesus’ Good News has transformed our lives why would we not want to share it?”
Knights of St Columba Serving God by serving others The Knights of St Columba were founded on 5th October 1919 in Glasgow and so 2019 was our Centenary year. Here in Bognor & Slindon, the local Council of Knights have also just celebrated their 80th year in this parish having arrived in 1938. The first group of Knights in Glasgow were a small gathering of some 30 men but their success quickly spread to the south. There are currently some 4,000 Knights in the UK. The Knights are different from other catholic groups because they are an Order of the Catholic Church recognised by the Pope. They are also members of the International Alliance of Catholic Knights who are also known as ‘Apostles of the Third Millennium’. Their Motto is ‘Ubi Caritas et Amor’, ‘Where there is charity and love there is God’. In 1919 immediately after the First World War, Catholic workers were banned from trade unions which meant they were denied access to the welfare services
provided by trade unions. They had to look after themselves. Our founder Patrick Joseph O’Callaghan was a member of one of the leading school boards; he was in close touch not only with the poor but with every class of our people. His business took him to every corner of the country where Catholics were in any way numerous and he was impressed by the condition of our people and was anxious to help them. He had joined the Commercial Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in Glasgow which was set up in the early years of the war and he was impressed by the real practical good accomplished. He found real charity and had his first lesson in fraternity. The Knights in the UK are modelled on the American Knights of Columbus. The aim was to seize for Catholics those material benefits of which we were often deprived owing to national or religious prejudice, to reconcile the business of this life
with that of the next. Approval was sought within the church ecclesiastical authorities, which was given, and thus the Knights of St Columba came into being. The work was and is confined to the affairs of members with no interference to other societies but with members rendering every assistance to Clergy. It is little known that the Knights have carried out much work to change the penal laws that existed in this country, the prime example being the removal of the Catholic Emancipation Act 1829 which was invoked by the police in 1924 to stop a Corpus Christi procession. A member of the Knights was an MP and used his position on behalf of the Order and the church to present a Bill before Parliament to remove the Act. This was entitled the Catholic Relief Bill which had substantial opposition in the House. After a long fight, the Bill was eventually supported by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the House of Lords on 3 December 1926 and was passed without any opposition. It became the
Roman Catholic Relief Act 1926. Catholics now had their rights and privileges restored to them and discrimination against Catholics would become a thing of the past. The year the Knights came to Bognor Regis in 1938 was the year that the Knights organised a march of 45,000 Catholic men through London as a witness to the fact that the Catholic faith in England still remained strong despite the best efforts of the â€˜Anti-God Congressâ€™ that had been held in Holland. During the Second World War, the Knights provided hostels for those soldiers who were home on leave or invalided out of the army. One of the visitors to the hostels was King George VI. When Pope St John Paul II came to the UK many people did not know that the Knights had instigated his visit. The Supreme Knight was then summoned by
Cardinal Basil Hume to advise that the Bishops Conference of England and Wales had decided that they wanted the Knights to organise the papal visit with them so they were very heavily involved with the marshalling of all the places visited by the Pope. A similar situation arose when Pope Benedict visited and the Knights were again on duty. On a more practical level, within this parish you will have seen the Knights arranging and marshalling the Walk of Witness on Good Friday. They raise and collect funds for Missio and CAFOD by various events such as the harvest festival and other social events which also raise funds for the homeless. They hold special painting and prayer writing competitions for our schools. They help at the cathedral for many events throughout the year especially when our parish youth are confirmed. They collect
unwanted spectacles and tools for self-reliance for developing countries. They are involved as Eucharistic ministers, readers, sacristan, and welcomers. They are also in constant touch with our MPs, writing and lobbying on the various proposed changes to our laws on the subjects of abortion, euthanasia, Catholic schools and any other changes which affect Catholic teaching. There are also a number of Knights individually assisting with events in the parish as and when required but always available to give whatever help and assistance they can. All men are welcome and invited to join; get in touch via www.bognorcatholicparish.co.uk/ ksc or the Parish Office.
I hope you were able to look at the Finance Report for 2018 which was presented in October 2019; it is still available at www.bognorcatholicparish.co.uk/finance
Legacies – please consider leaving the parish a legacy in your will. We can help with a form of words – please contact the Parish Office.
I don’t want to use this article as an opportunity to emphasise our current financial situation, as I am sure you are all aware from the 2018 accounts that our income is in decline and Bishop Richard’s Pastoral Plan will see our contribution to the Diocese increasing.
The envelope system – this form of planned giving helps the parish to plan. Please do contact Philip Wildsmith and he’ll set you up for details.
Plate – the Bishop’s suggestion of an increase of £1 per week per person would make a big difference.
We have so much to celebrate in our parish and there are many who give generously of their time, talents and with financial support for our Catholic community. I have, though, included simple ways which can be used to further our weekly contribution:
Angela Liu (Chair of the Parish Finance Committee) 07760 224302 firstname.lastname@example.org
How can I help?
Standing Order – please think about setting one up or reviewing the amount you contribute. Forms are available at www.bognorcatholicparish.co.uk/donate or in the Parish Office.
Gift Aid – If you pay tax, the government gives us back 25p for every £1 you donate – at no extra cost to you! This works with Standing Orders or with the envelope system, whichever you’d prefer. The form can be found at www.bognorcatholicparish.co.uk/ donate.
If you have any questions, please contact:
Philip Wildsmith (GiftAid Co-ordinator) (01243) 582902 email@example.com I would like to give my personal thanks to Caroline Battersby, our parish secretary, for her commitment to learning a new financial package for 2019, recently introduced by the Diocese, and bringing our 2019 accounts up to date so that the finance committee can move into 2020 by setting budgets, receiving regular updates and achieving deeper analysis – all of which will be extremely helpful.
A significant proportion of our annual expenditure is spent on our buildings. Here Antony Jenkins updates us on the current fabric renovations of our buildings
required to complete the repairs not only to the front but also the side and back of the building which is likely to impact upon our use of the side passageway for a little longer.
OLoS Church There have been a number of loose / missing tiles on the roof which were causing leaks within the church itself which have been replaced.
Parish Centre During the autumn storms there was quite serious leakage into the Centre first floor passage despite the pipes from the guttering having been cleared during the summer. Further work has been done which would appear to have corrected the problem – we have not had any leaks since it was done in the Autumn
The painting of the exterior South West side of the church has been completed which involved the use of scaffolding, however the scaffolding is still in place to enable further repair work to be carried out involving tiles which require to be replaced and two sets of buttress stones and the string course under the roof edge. Benizi Court have advised us that work is to commence shortly on repair to the front of their building but that more scaffolding will be
PAT (portable appliance test) This has been completed involving the inspection of some 180 + items within the parish.
St Richards A new fridge freezer has been purchased which was funded from funds raised by the community. ESOS Phase 2 Compliance The Arundel & Brighton Diocese audit report relating to this parish has been received and recommended that we migrate to LED lighting, which we are already doing on an ‘as and when’ basis – OLOS church is the main consumer of electricity. In respect to the heating it recommended that we add a heating fluid to all systems with a potential of savings of up to 10%. All our boilers gave recently been serviced but it is intended to follow this through – especially for the church boilers.
St Anthony A new “contactless” hot water heater has been installed in the toilet which was funded from the coffee morning proceeds.
Did you know we have :First Aid Kits Our Lady of Sorrows (Church)..... Sacristy Parish Centre…………………………………….. Kitchen St Anthony’s……………………………………….. Kitchen St Richard’s………………………………………….. Kitchen & outside the Sacristy toilet. Baby changing facilities Our Lady of Sorrows (Church)..... Disabled Toilet Parish Centre…………………….................... Ladies Toilet St Anthony’s…………................................... Disabled Toilet St Richard’s………………………………............. Disabled Toilet
Defibrillator Our Lady of Sorrows (Church) …………......... Side Door Inside Lobby Antony Jenkins is the Parish Administrator at Bognor Regis & Slindon Catholic parish. The Parish Administrator is a paid parttime role, which supports the Parish Priest, managing building maintenance, security, health and safety, and oversees the management of the parish office.
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WALK THE SOUTH DOWNS WAY TO PRAY FOR REVIVAL. MONDAY 13 JULY - FRIDAY 17 JULY 2020
Walking the land to pray for revival in the Church and awakening in the land SATURDAY 18 JULY 2020
Gathering as one for a day of prayer and worship at Chanctonbury Ring
13 - 18 2020
Setting off simultaneously from Winchester and Eastbourne, walkers will trek sections of the South Downs Way each day, joining together on Chanctonbury Ring for a unique prayer and worship gathering on Saturday 18 July.
FIND OUT MORE AND JOIN IN AT SOUTHDOWNSAWAKENING.COM