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Brother Giles SSF – Rest in Peace

Br Giles with Hilfield Community members.

Br Giles SSF died early on August 19th, after a short illness. His years of service in SSF included many in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. The brothers in the Solomons have sent this touching tribute on behalf of both Provinces.

“TO GOD BE THE GLORY GREAT THINGS HE HAS DONE THROUGH BR. GILES.SSF. IN THE PACIFIC PROVINCE BOTH IN PNG AND SOLOMON ISLANDS IN THE EIGHTIES AND NINETIES. It was a great shock to the brothers in Patteson house on the 19.August at night prayer when it was announced that Br. Giles died. As Pacific island provinces, we will greatly miss him. He cares very much on Pacific Islanders arriving in UK. He was a great brother, his hospitality and tour guide programs for visiting brothers from Pacific provinces is a history to those who been to UK. We greatly miss him and we pray that his soul may rest in Eternal peace and rise in glory.”

Br Giles’s funeral will take place at Hilfield Friary on Thursday August 30th 2018 at 12.15 pm.

If you are attending please let the friary know. There will be lunch provided afterwards. Responses to hilfieldssf@franciscans.org.uk

National Celebration marking 20 years of the Ordination of Women to the Priesthood in the Church of England

On Saturday May 3rd Sister Sue CSF, who was ordained priest on 16th April 1994 in Oxford Diocese, was among those who gathered on the grass in Dean’s Yard, Westminster where a very large gathering of women clergy, friends and supporters shared picnics in a party atmosphere, enhanced by a sunny day. We were welcomed by the Venerable Dr Jane Hedges, Sub-Dean, Canon Steward and Archdeacon of Westminster, and other senior women clergy who shared memories of the General Synod vote in 1992 and other aspects their vocational experience, which struck a chord with their hearers, especially those many women whose call to the priesthood stretched back over many years. The gathering then walked in the sunshine the nearly 2 miles to St Paul’s Cathedral, led by a marching band. The column of walkers stretched out of sight in both directions along the Victoria Embankment and must have stopped the traffic for a considerable time. As we walked we received many expressions of support from passers by. With hundreds of other women ordained to the priesthood in 1994 Sue was photographed on the steps of St Paul’s with the Archbishop of Canterbury, processed into the Cathedral to very moving continuous applause from the congregation, and was seated under the dome for the celebration Eucharist.

The Crowd being addressed from the steps of Church House, Westminster

The Crowd being addressed from the steps of Church House, Westminster

The walkers leaving deans yard

The walkers leaving deans yard

The walkers leaving deans yard

The walkers leaving deans yard

The Canon Treasurer at St. Paul’s, Canon Philippa Boardman presided and the Archbishop preached a moving, inspiring and challenging sermon. (http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/articles.php/5309/archbishop-justins-sermon-at-service-to-mark-20-years-of-women-priests). Archbishop Justin also very graciously took the Deacon’s role at the service. A very senior priest, the Very Rev’d June Osborne, Dean of Salisbury, and a recently ordained priest Rev’d Kate Boardman, Assistant Curate at St Mary’s Heworth both gave testimonies about their vocational journeys, and the Bishops, now retired, who ordained women in 1994 had a special place in the procession, with Bishop Barry Rogerson, former Bishop of Bristol who presided at the first service for the ordination of women in 1994, reading the Old Testament lesson. Archdeacon Jane Hedges, and Canon Jenny Thomas from Southwark Diocese led the intercessions. Many Diocesan Bishops and other senior clergy attended the service, with a number of diocesan groups having walked with their banners from Westminster to St. Paul’s. St Paul’s was filled to capacity, and the service was also relayed to an overflow congregation of around 200 gathered in Paternoster Square,

On Victoria embankment

On Victoria embankment

On Victoria Embankment

On Victoria Embankment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Srs Elizabeth and Hilary CSF, who were unable to be at the celebration, were also ordained priest in 1994, and now CSF has another 3 ordained sisters, Liz, Beverley,and Helen Julian, currently a deacon, who is to be ordained priest in June.

Worshippers and well-wishers celebrating outside St Pauls

Some of the women ordained to the priesthood in 1994 on the steps of St Paul's

Some of the women ordained to the priesthood in 1994 on the steps of St Paul’s

With the Archbishop of Canterbury

New CSF Convent in South Korea

Sisters Frances and Jemma moved on March 6th to their new convent at Il Seon Ri, with a band of willing helpers from the Gumi Church. It was a joyful occasion. They invite us to join them in giving thanks for “the astounding providence and guidance of God, given to our Korean Franciscan Community.” Sisters Sue and Gina are very much looking forward to staying with Frances and Jemma when they visit Korea in May.

5 new convent New Convent 1 10 new convent6 new convent 8 new convent

 

 

 

 

 

Labyrinth Building at CSF Metheringham

In partnership with the Diocese of Lincoln, the sisters at Metheringham are putting a labyrinth in the garden. The labyrinth path is in the grass, with concrete blocks marking the edges of the path. Those at work in the pictures are people involved with spirituality in the diocese, including Sister Maureen (in the woolly hat).

 

The Labyrinth begins to take shape

The Labyrinth begins to take shape

More stones being laid on day 2 of the construction

More stones being laid on day 2 of the construction

Companions of St Francis

From 9th January Brother Kevin SSF is stepping down as the secretary to the Companions of St Francis.  The new secretary will be Sr Liz CSF who can be contacted at the Metheringham house in Lincolnshire or by e.mail: companions@franciscans.org.uk

CSF Convent Construction in South Korea

The CSF Sisters’ new convent building at Il-Seon-Ri, near Gumi in South Korea is progressing well and is currently ahead of schedule.

 

view from the road adjacent to the site on 6th November

view from the road adjacent to the site on 6th November

on 21st November

on 21st November

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the traditional entrance and adjacent area on 24th November

the traditional entrance and adjacent area on 24th November

view from the road on 24th December

view from the road on 24th December

Happy Christmas

Reflections and meditation for Christmas Day.

http://www.franciscans.org.uk/resources/seasons-festivals-and-holy-days/christmas-day

Travel information for Sr Teresa’s funeral

Travel information for Teresa’s funeral

Parking St Germain’s, Egdbaston B16 9TD is on the corner of Portland Road and City Road, and the entrance is actually on City Road. The church is a redbrick building, standing in its own ground. There is some parking space on the grass in the church grounds, but please do not park on the gravel path from the road to the church. There is roadside parking on both City Road and Portland Road. Portland Road is preferable because less busy. There are no public car parks nearby.

Public Transport: It will be most economical to get a Day Saver Ticket costing £4. You need to have the exact money for your ticket when you board the bus.

Buses 127, 128 and 129 from Colmore Row in Birmingham City Centre go along City Road and will take you to the church. One of these runs every 10 minutes and the journey takes just under 20 minutes. The church will be on your left on the corner of Portland Road. Get off the bus at George Dixon School, which is just past the church.

From New Street Station Colmore Row is a short walk (about 500 yards and uphill). New Street Station is currently being redeveloped and is a building site, so precise directions are tricky – things change.

However from the temporary concourse/ticket barrier area turn left towards New Street. Turn left into New Street and right up Temple Street. At the top of Temple Street, cross over Temple Row and walk straight on across St Philip’s Cathedral precincts. Colmore Row runs along the cathedral precincts at the far side. On Colmore Row there are bus guides, maps and several bus stops. Snow Hill Station is very close by.

To avoid the walk turn right from the temporary concourse/ticket barrier area following signs for buses. Cross Queens Drive to reach bus stops outside the shops near Boots. Take bus no 82 (destination Bearwood) or 87 (destination Dudley, Oldbury). These buses also stop at Moor Street Station just before they get to this stop. One of these buses runs every 5 minutes. Get off at Birmingham Town Hall in Paradise Street – this is only 4 stops but takes 10 minutes because of the traffic. From one of the Town Hall bus stops pick up bus 127, 128 or 129 which will take you along City Road to the church (See above).

Alternatively you can stay on the 82 or 87 until you reach Summerfield Park in Dudley Road. This takes 20 minutes. At Summerfield Park walk to an adjacent bus stop on the same side of the road to get bus 11A and get off at George Dixon School which is just past St. Germain’s Church, on City Road. This is about 5 stops ( 7 minutes) from Summerfield Park, and these buses are timetabled to run every 10 minutes, but see below re possible delays.

Bus 11 – the outer circle 11A anticlockwise; 11C clockwise. This is a very long route bus route which takes two and a half hours to complete and can be subject to significant delays. But it would get you to St. Germain’s Church from various points around the edge of Birmingham, so might be useful for some.

The 11 bus route:

11 C clockwise: Perry Barr – Erdington – Acocks Green – Kings Heath – Cotteridge – Bearwood – Perry Barr via Witton, Fox & Goose, Stechford, Yardley, Hall Green, Selly Oak, Harborne, Winson Green and Handsworth

11A anticlockwise: Perry Barr – Bearwood – Cotteridge – Kings Heath – Acocks Green – Erdington – Perry Barr via Handsworth, Winson Green, Harborne, Selly Oak, Hall Green, Yardley, Stechford, Fox & Goose and Witton

See http://nxbus.co.uk/routes/west-midlands/B011A/?timetable[day]=& for timetables etc.

Carol Singing for Charity

Sr Sue CSF joined others from local churches for 4 hours of carol singing at London Bridge Station on 13th December to raise money for ROBES the winter night shelter run by local churches. As you can see it was distinctly chilly, but the morning and evening rush hour commuters donated just over £1325 to help homeless people.

 

Carol Singing in the morning

Carol Singing in the morning

Carol Singing in the Evening

Carol Singing in the Evening

Funeral Arrangements for Sr Teresa CSF

Sr Teresa’s funeral will be on Friday 3rd January at 12.30 at St Germain’s Church Edgbaston, and will be followed by a buffet lunch at the Church. The address of the church is 180 Portland Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B16 9TD. It is near the junction with City Road.

The Committal will be at Birmingham Crematorium, 389 Walsall Road, Perry Barr, B42 2LR, at 2.15 immediately after the service. We expect that only a few people will attend the committal. They will need to travel by car and they will then return to the church to join the reception.

Information about parking and public transport will appear on the website shortly.

If you plan to attend please inform the sisters in Birmingham hilarycsf@franciscans.org.uk  as soon as possible to assist them in making the necessary arrangements.

 

 

Sister Teresa CSF – Rest in Peace

Teresa portraitSister Teresa, (Nan Foster), was born on 27 December 1928 and died on 16 December 2013. She made her Profession in CSF on 3 April 1967. Over the years Teresa served the Community in a variety of roles, in different parts of the world. She was CSF’s Minister General from 1996 – 2002.

Teresa died Albion Court Care Centre in Birmingham where she had been resident since the spring of 2012. She had been living with Alzheimer’s disease for some years, and had become increasingly frail.

Last Friday we were told that she she was not expected to recover from her most recent chest infection. We are grateful to the staff at Albion Court for their excellent care of Teresa, whom they clearly held in great affection. Sr Jannafer was with Teresa when she died just after 8am, and other sisters and friends had also been with her at various points over the weekend.

The funeral will be in Birmingham in the New Year and arrangements will be made known in due course. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.

 

RADICAL THEN, RADICAL NOW: Care and Education in Communities

On Nov 9th 2013, Hilfield Friary celebrated the centenary of the Little Commonwealth, in our buildings at Hilfield from 1913 – 18, and Homer Lane, its charismatic leader with educational ideas almost more radical today than 100 years ago, with a group of leading practitioners, academics, writers and thinkers reflecting on the future of residential therapeutic child care and education, organised by Craig Fees of The Child Care History Network. 35 visitors came, among them several from Scotland, 3 Mennonites coming from Ireland just for the day, and 3 teachers from the Kinokuni Children’s village in Japan.

The Little Commonwealth Court Book (thanks to the Earl of Sandwich and the Dorset History Centre), in which the citizens listed their misdemeanours and the discipline they imposed upon themselves.  The smaller book is the visitor’s book with the signatures of the suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst   and Lord Baden Powell.

The Little Commonwealth Court Book (thanks to the Earl of Sandwich and the Dorset History Centre), in which the citizens listed their misdemeanours and the discipline they imposed upon themselves. The smaller book is the visitor’s book with the signatures of the suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst and Lord Baden Powell.

Judith Stinton (in the centre), author of A Dorset Utopia, leading a tour of the Little Commonwealth buildings.

Judith Stinton (in the centre), author of A Dorset Utopia, leading a tour of the Little Commonwealth buildings.

Judith telling us about the pump house, one of the first buildings to be built.

Judith telling us about the pump house, one of the first buildings to be built.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Fielding, Emeritus Professor of Education and author of Radical Education and the Common School – a democratic alternative (2012) spoke on “Self-government, shared responsibility and the possibility of radical democratic education”.

Albert Lamb, children’s book author, spoke on “The Rescue of Childhood: Homer Lane and A.S. Neill”. Neill was heavily influenced by Lane and founded Summerhill School, at which Albert Lamb was both a pupil and teacher.

Dr Craig Fees organised the conference in our newly refurbished recreation room, formerly the Little Commonwealth schoolroom

Dr Craig Fees organised the conference in our newly refurbished recreation room, formerly the Little Commonwealth schoolroom

Brother Philip Bartholomew, SSF told us how the small school Fr Owen started at Hilfield in WWII, using some of Lane’s ideas, led to the founding of St. Francis School, Hooke.

Charles Sharpe, a psychotherapist, spoke on “Freedom cannot be given. It is taken by children and demands the privilege of conscious wrong-doing.” Has Homer Lane’s thesis space to be accommodated in the 21st century?

After lunch, Br Vincent led us in dedicating a centenary celebration oak tree.

Emily Charkin, a PhD student in the history and philosophy of radical education, showed slides to illustrate her talk “Building and Learning: Exploring the fundamentals of radical education and child care”. Children building their own schools can learn more than being in an expensive purpose built flagship school.

John Diamond, CEO of the Mulberry Bush organisation, gave a paper  entitled “The children of the dangerous and perishing classes” to explore why a lived experience of communal living with emotionally troubled children offers a model of authentic shared responsibility.

David Gribble of the International Democratic Education Network and founder of the Sands School in Devon, in his talk “Similar ideas in dissimilar settings”, told us about democratic schools in Japan and India

David Lane, Chair of CCHN, summed up the day – “Gathering thoughts for the Future: CCHN’s next five years”

Some delegates not only wanted to see and learn about the Little Commonwealth and the community we have here today, but also spent the night before the conference in the buildings that Lane, helped by the child citizens, built, Veronica (now Juniper House) and Bracken (now Bernard House)

The tour outside Bernard House

The tour outside Bernard House

Full details of the conference will be on www.cchn.org.uk in due course.

Funeral Service details for Sr Jenny Tee CSF

The funeral service for Sister Jenny Tee CSF, who died on 21st November, will be held on Friday 6th December at 12.15pm in Leicester, at the Church of the Resurrection LE4 6FN. For travel and parking directions please see https://docs.google.com/document/d/17qcTF_NGFroTl8Cef0Crlze7Tl3z2GyJC835imrDCdY/edit?usp=sharing. Anyone planning to attend is requested to inform the CSF sisters in Leicester leicestercsf@franciscans.org.uk so that they are aware of numbers for seating and catering. Jenny’s family, and Community are grateful for the prayers and support of many people at this sad time.

 

Sister Jenny Tee CSF – Rest in Peace

Sr Jenny Tee CSF

Sr Jenny Tee CSF

Sister Jenny Tee CSF (Jennifer Eileen Tee), was born on 9th March 1955 and died on 21st November 2013, aged 58. She had made her Profession in Vows almost 5 years ago. Jenny had been living very courageously with ovarian cancer for 3 years, and had undergone several rounds of surgery and chemotherapy. In between times there were significant periods when she felt well and was able to take her usual full part in the community’s life and ministry in Leicester where she lived, and more widely. However since August she had been ill fairly continuously, in and out of hospital, and being cared for at the hospice since mid-October. Jenny died very peacefully in the early evening at the Leicester hospice, with her mother, cousin, and several CSF sisters with her during her last hours. Her funeral will be in Leicester, and arrangements will be made known in due course.

May she rest in peace and rise in glory.

 

Global Day of Action to free the Arctic 30

(L – R) Daniel, Lydia, Hugh, Nigel

(L – R) Daniel, Lydia, Hugh, Nigel

Brother Hugh writes:

At Hilfield we pray for the  release of the 30 Greenpeace  activists arrested at gunpoint and imprisoned in Russia for drawing  the world’s attention to the dangers of  drilling for oil in the Arctic.  Shell works with Gazprom but deny all responsibility for the arrests.

On 16th Nov on the Global Day of Action,  Nigel, Lydia, Daniel and Br Hugh, of the Hilfield Friary Community, along with Sara our secretary, went to  the Dorchester Shell Garage  to demand that Shell speaks out and shows that it values justice and human rights above its Arctic deal with Gazprom.  33 people from 16 – 75 years old and from every walk of life came together to protest. We were part of the protests in 263 cities in 43 countries.

We were united by our shock and disbelief that 28 peaceful protesters and 2 journalists are reaching the end of their second month in a Russian jail. We can only begin to imagine what they and their families are going through.

Gazprom told the authorities to intervene. But it is not in the Arctic alone – Shell is rushing to partner Gazprom in their project to exploit the areas opened up by the melting of the Arctic ice. Other oil companies have told Gazprom to use their huge influence in Russia to release the Arctic 30, but not Shell. Shell is valuing its deal above justice and human rights.

For further information see www.greenpeace.org.uk and please join us by praying for the 30.

 

Life Profession

Brother Peter made his Life Profession on the 12th November at Glasshampton Monastery.

The sun streams into the chapel as Bishop Michael leads the newly Life Professed Brother Peter out of the chapel

The sun streams into the chapel as Bishop Michael leads the newly Life Professed Brother Peter out of the chapel

Br Peter in glasshampton chapel with his life profession candle

Br Peter in Glasshampton chapel with his Life Profession candle

A delicious buffet lunch was provided for Peter's celebration

A delicious buffet lunch was provided for Peter’s celebration

Guest gather in the refectory to continue the celbrations

Guest gather in the refectory to continue the celebrations

Guests gathered in the Chapel after Peter's Life Profession Service

Guests gathered in the Chapel after Peter’s Life Profession Service

 

 

 

 

 

 

CSF Korea – New Convent – frame raising ceremony

A traditional Korean Framework Raising Ceremony for the CSF Convent at Il-Seon-Ri, near Gumi City, in Gyeong-Buk Province in South Korea took place on 25th October.

Written Prayer with Psalm 116 verses 9 and 17, and the names of the Construction Commitee and the Major Carpenter

Written Prayer with Psalm 116 verses 9 and 17, and the names of the Construction Commitee and the Major Carpenter

The man inscribing the beam is a neighbour who lives to the rear of the new convent

The man inscribing the beam is a neighbour who lives to the rear of the new convent

“We put up the ridge beam at 11am on 25 October 2013 since the Incarnation of God in Christ”

“We put up the ridge beam at 11am on 25 October 2013 since the Incarnation of God in Christ”

Bishop Onesimus Bishop of Busan blesses the beam

Bishop Onesimus Bishop of Busan blesses the beam

Sister Jemma reads the paper aloud

Sister Jemma reads the paper aloud

Sisters Frances and Jemma fold the paper and put it in the red cloth envelope

Sisters Frances and Jemma fold the paper and put it in the red cloth envelope

Can you see the red envelope?

Can you see the red envelope?

The raising of the ridge beam to complete the framework of a roof.

The raising of the ridge beam to complete the framework of a roof.

The last beam

The last beam

Celebrations with the villagers

Celebrations with the villagers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hilfield Programme of days and courses for 2014

The hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, has prompted us to focus our attention this year on the causes of war and on our Franciscan vocation to become ‘instruments of peace’.  A number of the courses or retreats that we are offering address these issues directly. Paul Rose, Director of CHIPS (Christian International Peace Service), will be leading a weekend in February on working for peace in and through small local projects.  In May, Andy Lester, the Conservation Director of A Rocha, will be exploring with us how the environmental crises around the world are also a significant cause of conflict and war.  In the autumn we’ll be looking at the pressures which lead people to seek sanctuary and a better future in other parts of the world, and we’ll be considering how we respond to that.  Sir Mike Aaronson, Director of the Centre of International Intervention at Surrey University, will be leading a weekend  ‘Do we need War Anymore?  Dr Chris Hewer will repeating his inspiring course, ‘Understanding Islam’, and the Hilfield Community will be running a weekend looking at issues around food, its production, control and consumption, which often lead to conflict in our world today.  As usual we will be exploring the year’s theme, not just through talks and discussion, but also through music, poetry, craft and dance and there are days or weekends devoted to these. The details of the programme and how to book a place will be on the Hilfield website shortly; www.hilfieldfriary.org.uk

Franciscans at Gloucester Cathedral

On 7th Sept there was a Franciscan open day in Gloucester Cathedral. Mario Pirovano performed the one man play Francis the Holy Jester in the Chapter House. Tertiaries ran stalls and activities around the cathedral. The day ended with Evensong. The picture shows Hilfield and Glasshampton community members – (L-R) Laurence Hauje (from Papua New Guinea), Martin John, Samuel, Kerri (Hilfield Friary Community), Hugh, David, Peter, Giles. Mario Pirovano performed his play again a few days later at Hilfield.

Franciscans at Gloucester Cathedral

Franciscans at Gloucester Cathedral

 

Hilfield News Update

The camping season at Hilfield is now over, for both families and youth, and the marquee is stored away till next year. The picture shows community members and guests unlacing the marquee canvas.

The Hilfield Stigmata festival was on the 14th Sept. Over 150 visitors came, more than in recent years; the weather for the outside Eucharist was splendid. After months of work the Canticle Garden, outside the refurbished Recreation Room, was opened. It features St Francis’ Canticle of the Creatures with carefully picked plants to illustrate the various aspects of the Canticle such as Brother Sun and objects such as a fountain to illustrate Sister Water.The picture shows Chantal speaking, just before Bp Graham blesses the garden.

Taking down the marques

Taking down the marquees

Chantal and the Canticle Garden

Chantal and the Canticle Garden

 

 

 

The Franciscans at Greenbelt 2013

A collage of photos of the Franciscans at Greenbelt:

The Campsite

The Campsite

Hilda Mary & Ann Conway-Jones in the kitchen tent

Hilda Mary & Ann Conway-Jones in the kitchen tent

L – R from the back - Sr Louise Ann OHP,  Jan Doyle, Br Luke (Mucknell Abbey), Kerri Canepa (Hilfield Friary Community), Br Hugh SSF, Sr Hilda Mary CSC, Ann and Michael Conway-Jones , Sr Karen OHP. In front - Catherine Wallcott,  Rev. Jonathan Herbert (Hilfield Friary Community)

L – R from the back – Sr Louise Ann OHP, Jan Doyle, Br Luke (Mucknell Abbey), Kerri Canepa (Hilfield Friary Community), Br Hugh SSF, Sr Hilda Mary CSC, Ann and Michael Conway-Jones , Sr Karen OHP. In front – Catherine Wallcott, Rev. Jonathan Herbert (Hilfield Friary Community)

To the Franciscans

To the Franciscans

The Franciscan Chapel

The Franciscan Chapel

Hilda Mary & Ann Conway-Jones in the kitchen tent

Hilda Mary & Ann Conway-Jones in the kitchen tent

Br Vaughan staffing the ARC stall in G Source

Br Vaughan staffing the ARC stall in G Source

The big Service

The big Service

To celebrate Greenbelt's 40th birthday 10,000 tiny photos

To celebrate Greenbelt’s 40th birthday 10,000 tiny photos

Br Hugh finding a photo of Br Keith, the first brother to come to Greenbelt in the 1980's

Br Hugh finding a photo of Br Keith, the first brother to come to Greenbelt in the 1980’s

Brothers Moving House

Please pray for those brothers moving house over the next month (September): David and Micael to Newcastle, Cristian and Michael Jacob to Glasshampton, Joseph Emmanuel to Alnmouth, Robert to Crofton Road, Christian to Canning Town (1st Oct); and for James Race an aspirant joining the brothers at Alnmouth.  We give thanks that Martin John and Peter are settled at Glasshampton and Reginald at Alnmouth.

Ministers’ Meeting takes place in Korea

From Korea:

The Ministers’ Meeting in Korea is in full swing – and here to prove it is a picture of us in our meeting room, being welcomed by the President of the University. The weather is very hot but we have air conditioning in most places, which is a great help.

Ministers' Meeting in full C/SSF swing.

Ministers’ Meeting in full C/SSF swing.

We don’t just have business meetings at the Ministers’ Meeting; we also worship together. We are meeting in the part of the university used by students training for ordination, and so are able to use their beautiful oval chapel for our offices and eucharist each day.

r Clifton Henry, Minister Provincial of the Solomon Islands, reading at the office.

r Clifton Henry, Minister Provincial of the Solomon Islands, reading at the office.

Br Clark Berge, SSF Minister Provincial, presiding at the eucharist.

Br Clark Berge, SSF Minister Provincial, presiding at the eucharist.

Saying the Office

Saying the Office

Sr Catherine SHC, who is translating for us, presiding, and Br Benedict, Minister Provincial of the European Province, preaching on the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Sr Catherine SHC, who is translating for us, presiding, and Br Benedict, Minister Provincial of the European Province, preaching on the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greenbelt 2013

Br Hugh writes:

Kerri Canepa, Rev. Jonathan Herbert, Rev. Nigel Thomas (all of the Hilfield Friary Community), Br Vaughan SSF, Sr Hilda Mary CSC, Srs Karen and Louise Ann OHP, Br Luke from Mucknell Abbey, myself and friends will be the Franciscan team at Greenbelt this year, from 23rd – 26th August. On the Monday we shall lead the offices and Eucharist in Sanctuary, a new indoor venue. The other days all are welcome to pray with us on the campsite. We look forward to meeting hundreds of Greenbelters. You can also meet us at the Anglican Religious Communities stand in G Source. It is not too late to buy a ticket. Further details www.greenbelt.org.uk

 

 

 

A PILGRIM IN SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA

Joyce was given the opportunity of being on pilgrimage with a group from Southwark Cathedral to Santiago in May 2013, led by the Dean, the Very Rev’d Andrew Nunn. The day they arrived in this holy place, where the apostle James is buried, about 1100 other pilgrims had their Pilgrimage passport stamped at the Cathedral Pilgrims’ Office. It was amazing to think of those numbers arriving each day, almost all in response to faith. At the Pilgrims’ Mass she was invited to sit by the Dean within the rails in front of the altar. It was the sublime experience of the pilgrimage for her. After the reading of the Gospel, she and the Dean went to the microphone, where he read the Southwark Invocation to the Apostle and she gave the gift of a box of Mucknell Abbey incense. After communion, which took some time in a packed cathedral, the men who swing the Botafumeiro appeared, and it was filled with the incense gift. The thurible was raised and swung higher and higher into both transepts, the inferno within it quite visible, an impressive sight as the smoke and smell filled the cathedral. Initially the thurible was introduced to cleanse the building of the smell of the pilgrims. Though not necessary these days, it represented the prayers of thanksgiving of all present, rising with the smoke heavenwards. The cantor at the Mass was Sr Maria Ascuncion who sang beautifully. She and Joyce’s paths crossed after the service when they warmly greeted each other as sister pilgrims. From the Invocation read by the Dean, ‘We believe that the Camino to Santiago is a road to life and a source of goodness and peace in this world. We believe that all who walk the Way are drawn deeper into faith, and come to know our Lord Jesus Christ just as you knew him as his Apostle and friend.’

Sr Joyce and Sr Maria Ascuncion greet each other after the Pilgrim Mass

Sr Joyce and Sr Maria Ascuncion greet each other after the Pilgrim Mass

Brother Andrew SSF – a brief history

Andrew with wearing his usual colourful hat!

Andrew with wearing his usual colourful hat!

Born 31 March 1928 as Michael Francis Ince-Jones in Upminster to nonconformist parents. He read biology at Bedford College (London). For National Service, the Army sent him to Palestine.

He became an SSF Postulant on June 5th 1951, a novice on 4 October 1951, was professed on 6th October 1954 and made his Life Profession on 12th May 1958. In the same year, after time at Glasshampton, SSF sent him to New Guinea. In 1959, without any qualification, he taught in primary school in Port Moresby. His mother later settled in Brisbane.

Crick and Watson’s work on DNA when it was published interested him in medicine. The Medical School was becoming a University. The Dean welcomed Andrew to the course! His previous studies allowed him to do only four-years, plus 2 years Residency. He gained Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees in 1972. He then did general practice, involving surgery in basic conditions. He studied psychiatry in Nigeria. He was Superintendent of the country’s psychiatric hospital and also taught in the Port Moresby Medical and Nursing Schools.

In 1990 he joined the staff of the (ecumenical) Melanesian Institute, which studies Melanesian Culture at Goroka in the PNG Highlands. He developed trans-cultural approaches to psychiatry, with particular reference to PNG culture with its 700 languages. He was expert witness in forensic psychiatric opinion in the High Court. He largely worked away from SSF houses, perhaps more closely, professionally and spiritually with members of the RC Archdiocese of Mount Hagan. He read avidly until glaucoma lost him an eye.

He returned to the UK from 2004 to 2005 but finding it hard to settle in SSF houses he unilaterally returned to Goroka to live in a rented house. In October 2008 he reluctantly came home after 48 years in PNG. He stayed in Plaistow, then Hilfield. Andrew invariably wore several jumpers and a colourful PNG hat, with an equally-colourful Bilum over his shoulder, in which his ‘teddy’ often accompanied him! He died on 2 July 2013.

Andrew with a new born lamb at Hilfield

Andrew with a new born lamb at Hilfield

 

 

Sisters of Bethany celebrate centenary of death of their mother foundress

The Society of the Sisters of Bethany, now based in Portsmouth, recently celebrated the centenary of the death of their Mother Foundress Etheldreda Anna Bennett, at St. Clement’s Church in Bournemouth, adjacent to the community’s former convent and orphanage. The founder of The Community of St. Francis, Sister Rosina, was a member of The Society of the Sisters of Bethany for 21 years before leaving to found CSF in1905, so SS.B and CSF have some shared history.

The congregation on the Feast of Bethany included Sue CSF and two SSF brothers who travelled over from Hilfield: Br. Vincent, and Br Stephen from Korea, who was staying at Hilfield at the time. The Benedictines from Alton Abbey attended and took part in the liturgy. The large congregation also included sisters and brothers from various other communities, and many long-term friends of SS.B.

The day began with the Eucharist of the Feast of Bethany, at which Bishop Trevor Willmott, the Community’s Bishop Visitor presided and preached. After coffee there was a Service of Thanksgiving which traced the Community’s history from its foundation nearly 150 years ago up to the present day. This was followed by the blessing of a memorial stone in the church yard, and a buffet lunch in the church hall, formerly the convent chapel.

 Dr Peta Dunstan at the Service of Thanksgiving, speaking about the Anglo Catholic Revival at the time of SS.B's foundation in 1866


Dr Peta Dunstan at the Service of Thanksgiving, speaking about the Anglo Catholic Revival at the time of SS.B’s foundation in 1866

 Mother Rita Elizabeth SS.B and Bishop Trevor Willmott at the blessing of the memorial stone


Mother Rita Elizabeth SS.B and Bishop Trevor Willmott at the blessing of the memorial stone

 

 

Wedding of former member of the Oratory of St. Alphege

Former Oratory member Aaron Kennedy married Grace Cowley on 27th July. Srs Gina and Sue CSF were among the guests for the service at St. Mary Aldermary near St. Paul’s Cathedral, and for the delightfully informal celebrations in the nearby streets and St. Paul’s Gardens which followed. Both Aaron and Grace are members of Moot, the New Monastic Fresh Expression of Church, whose home base now is this historic central London church. Rev’d Ian Mobsby, the leader of the Moot Community officiated.

Aaron & Grace are now settling into a new home in Cambridge where Aaron will be training for ordination at Westcott House. Seb Harries, until very recently a member of the Oratory of St Alphege, will also begin ordination training at Westcott House in September.

Aaron, Grace and Grace's mother with some of the wedding guests in the street near St. Mary Aldermary

Aaron, Grace and Grace’s mother with some of the wedding guests in the street near St. Mary Aldermary

Sr Gina and Aaron's father enjoying the celebrations near St Paul's Gardens

Sr Gina and Aaron’s father enjoying the celebrations near St Paul’s Gardens

 

 

Visit to CSF in San Francisco

Sr Sue recently made a 2 week visit to the CSF sisters in the Province of the Americas, who all live in San Francisco – Cecilia, Jean, Maggie, Pamela Clare and Ruth. This was part of a plan to help the two provinces of CSF to keep in touch more effectively, by arranging for one sister a year to visit the other province, so in February 2014 the European Province sisters expect to welcome Sr Maggie. Sue’s visit in June enabled her to attend the American CSF Provincial Chapter held annually. She really valued the opportunity to spend time with the sisters, and to see something of the range of ministries they carry out. It was Sue’s first visit to the West Coast, and only her second to USA so she was grateful for the opportunity for a little sight-seeing too!

St Francis' House, San Francisco, where 4 of the sisters live. Ruth is based a couple of miles away at  Family Link - a house of hospitality  for families who need to be near the hospital  their loved one is being treated for a life-limiting illness.

St Francis’ House, San Francisco, where 4 of the sisters live. Ruth is based a couple of miles away at Family Link – a house of hospitality for families who need to be near the hospital their loved one is being treated for a life-limiting illness.

 Evening meal together: (l-r)  Maggie, Pamela Clare and Cecilia

Evening meal together: (l-r) Maggie, Pamela Clare and Cecilia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Meeting in Progress in the (l-r) Maggie, Pamela Clare, Jean, and Bishop Nedi Rivera the American sisters' Bishop Protector

Chapter Meeting in Progress in the (l-r) Maggie, Pamela Clare, Jean, and Bishop Nedi Rivera the American sisters’ Bishop Protector

A view of the house chapel

A view of the house chapel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brother Andrew SSF – Rest in Peace

Brother Andrew died in Dorchester Hospital on 2nd August after period of increasing frailty. He had been living at Hilfield Friary for the past four years, having returned from Papua New Guinea after nearly forty eight years of service. The funeral was held in the Friary chapel, attended by his cousins David and Jill, by friends who had known him in PNG and more recently in the local area, and brothers and other members of the Friary Community. Br Giles presided at the requiem Mass, Br Samuel gave an address and Br Philip Bartholomew, the Assistant Minister Provincial, led the commendation and committal. Andrew’s body was laid to rest in the Friary cemetery.

Here is the address preached at his funeral by brother Samuel SSF:

An address by Br Samuel for Br Andrew’s funeral, Hilfield Friary, Friday, 9th August 2013

 The majority of the congregation for Andrew’s funeral isn’t here today – his friends and colleagues in Papua New Guinea with whom he has lived and worked over nearly fifty years; the people he has treated as ‘Doctor Brother Andrew’, the children, students and families he has supported and encouraged, the people in the mental health Service he helped to set up, the Visitation Sisters at Popondetta whom he guided, and the prisoners for whom he stood up in court. All in all it would be a huge congregation, many themselves now departed, who would be here with us in respect and gratitude for Br Andrew SSF.

Of those present in the flesh in this chapel only a few knew Andrew in PNG: Br Giles, Tim Biles, Margaret Robinson, Br Hugh and, very briefly, myself. Most of us here have known Andrew only through his occasional visits home on furlough, or over the past five years since he has been based, first in Plaistow, and then more recently here at Hilfield. These five years haven’t been an easy time for Andrew – or for us! Added to his difficulty as a doctor of accepting his own need for care has been Andrew’s huge sense of loss of his work and ministry in PNG, the country which he loved and to which he has given so much of his life. Andrew’s difficulty in coping with ‘retirement’ and displacement did have it’s humorous side in which his innate wit won through. I’m thinking particularly of his dress sense – those layers upon layers of clothes, often put on back to front or inside out, sometimes incorporating part of his habit, were a kind of witty jibe, not just at the English weather to which he never re-acclimatised, but also at his ‘enforced’ presence here at Hilfield. In effect he was saying, ‘I’m just not going to fit in’.

I want to mention two people who have been really important for Andrew’s care here at the Friary. Br Hugh has given hours and hours each week of sensitive, patient, generous attention: cleaning his room (admittedly, to his own low standard of cleaning!), fetching him for meals and sometimes fetching meals to him, reading to him in the evenings, and inventing outings – to Cerne Abbas for tea, to Portland Bill to see the sea, or, most exciting of all, surrounded in the car by plastic bottles, to the recycling tip in Sherborne. And then, Mike Oram, coming in each week to bake bread, to keep an eye on the water and sewage plants, and to spend time, a lot of time, with Andrew. Mike has been one of the few people who was able to engage with Andrew intellectually and to recognise and draw out from him his humour and sharp insight. We owe thanks to both of these – and to Br Edmund in Plaistow during Andrew’s first year back from PNG – for their love and care.

 

Although it hasn’t been easy, Andrew’s presence here at Hilfield Friary has been important for all of us – I would even say a ‘blessing’. Community life is not about living just with the people we find easy to get on with, people like us whom we like, people who are accommodating – a Mary Poppins kind of show. Authentic communities have in them people who are hurt, angry, awkward and wounded – in fact, there’s a bit of that in each one of us. Andrew’s presence among us has touched on our own frustration, powerlessness and vulnerability, and by the grace of God through Andrew we’ve learnt something about patience, forbearance, compassion and mercy – and how to laugh at it all.

And now our Brother Andrew has come to meet ‘Sister Death’ from whom no-one alive can flee, and who, said St Francis, is to be welcomed and embraced as part of God’s loving purpose for each one of us and for all his creation. A visitor who was with us soon after we heard that Andrew had died in Dorchester Hospital said to me, ‘Well, he has gone to a better place’. The problem is that the only ‘better place’ that Andrew would have wanted to go was back to PNG! The sentiment was kindly meant, but in fact going to a better place is not the Christian hope of what will happen to us when we die. The Christian hope is centred around those words of Jesus which we’ve heard in the gospel reading in this Mass: ‘This is indeed the will of my Father that all who see the Son of Man and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day’. We believe in God who raises up, who raises up all that bears the image of Christ and shares the life of Christ;  who raises us up from death to life.

In a very real sense for us as Christians our dying starts at our baptism when we begin to share both the dying and the risen life of Jesus. And our Christian hope is that at the last we will be raised up to share fully in the beauty, the mercy, the compassion, the wisdom and the glory that the Son and the Holy Spirit share with the Father. Our faith is that the only ‘better place’ to which Andrew is going is within the life of the Blessed Trinity. It’s this Trinitarian ‘raising up’ from death to life that we are celebrating in this Requiem Mass, and it’s to the God who raises up that we commend Andrew today.

Such raising up from death to life doesn’t do away with all the quirkiness or awkwardness of our human lives, nor does it just send them to a better place. Rather, God’s raising up forgives, redeems, heals and transforms so that we share and reflect God’s glory. So when, by God’s mercy and grace, we too are raised up at the last and share fully in God’s life – which is his promise to us in Jesus – then I’ll bet you anything that we’ll meet Andrew and he’ll still be wearing that funny woollen hat.