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News

Franciscans return to Greenbelt

(L-R): Sr Maureen CSF, Sr Louisa Ann OHP, Br Ethan Gabriel nSSF, Sr Catherine CHN,
Br Finnian nSSF, Br Hugh nSSF, Sr Monica CHN

For many years members of Anglican Religious Orders have gone to the Greenbelt Festival (which takes place at the end of August). As well as providing hospitality and a place for prayer and conversation the Sisters and Brothers were ‘on hand’ to witness to the presence of Religious in the Anglican Communion.

Brothers and Sisters go on strike!

Yesterday Brothers and Sisters accepted the invitation to join with young people throughout the world protesting about the inadequate response of many in power to the climate chaos unfolding around us. Here are some pictures:

Maureen in Lincoln
Micael Christoffer, Cristian Michael and Anthony in Alnwick.
Hugh (on holiday) in Canterbury

Day for Enquirers

Life as a Franciscan Sister or Brother… could this be for me..?

a day to explore Franciscan community life in the Church of England

  • Franciscan sisters and brothers share their stories of God’s call and their life in community
  • DVDs on St Francis and Franciscans today to help us reflect,  with opportunities for discussion
  • time for your questions …….                                      
  • Lunch, tea/coffee etc provided

Date:Saturday 26thOctober 2019:  10am – 4pm

Central London venue:  The Community of St Francis, St Alphege Clergy House, Pocock Street, London SE1 0BJ

Booking essential (by 19thOctober please)

To book:   Contact suecsf@franciscans.org.uk/ 020 7928 7121 

with your name and contact details.

“The world is my cloister”  -St Francis of Assisi

HospiceCare open garden at Alnmouth Friary

The Brothers of Alnmouth Friary were delighted to host HospiceCare North Northumberland for two days of ‘open garden,’ an event which coincided with the Alnmouth Arts Festival. Over 1,000 people visited the garden over the two days and more than £10,000 was raised to support the work of HospiceCare

Alnmouth Brothers with Rebecca, Jane and Stephen
Brs Micael Christoffer and Jason Robert with Paul from HospiceCare and Stephen

Internovitiate Conference in Hilfield Friary

Sisters and Brothers from various Anglican Communities met at Hilfield Friary to learn about Franciscanism and Creation. They heard presentations from Sr Francisca OSC (Abbess of the Poor Clare Convent in Arkley), Br Clark Berge SSF (Guardian at Hilfield) and were introduced to the beautiful – and unsullied – countryside which surrounds Hilfield by Richard Thornberry (Hilfield Community member). Huge thanks are due to the Hilfield Community for their outstanding hospitality and welcome!

Br Kentigern John SSF – Funeral Mass

Br Kentigern’s Funeral Mass and Burial will be held in Hilfield Friary on Monday 13th May, starting at 12.30.  
All are welcome, however unfortunately, due to prior bookings, we do not have any spare accommodation. 
We are also looking for further photos of Kentigern for the funeral, so if you have any please email: christophermartinssf@franciscans.org.uk
If you have any questions about the funeral please email Suzi on: hilfieldssf@franciscans.org.uk

Update: many people have kindly offered flowers for the service. The Hilfield Community would ask that, instead, donations are sent to the Joseph Weld Hospice where Kentigern spent his last weeks. Donations may be made by clicking here.

Br Kentigern SSF RIP

It is with great sadness and with the promise of the resurrection this Easter, that we can let you know that our brother Kentigern died early in the morning on Holy Saturday (20th April) aged 50 and in his 24th year of profession. He had been suffering from cancer and died peacefully at our local hospice. Funeral details will be announced on the Society’s website in due course. Rest eternal grant unto him, O Lord; and let light perpetual shine upon him.

Franciscan Book Sale

The last few copies of some of our Franciscan publications are selling at a reduced price (see below). Please contact Sara Whistance at Hilfield if interested on: 01300 342311 or email passf@franciscans.org.uk Please note: prices do not include postage or packing.

Br Angelo SSF – Funeral Mass

The Funeral Mass of our Brother Angelo will be Celebrated on the 28th of March 2019 in St Peter’s Church, Woodmancote, West Sussex, BN5 9SR at 2.00pm May he rest in peace!

Br Reginald SSF – Funeral Mass

The Funeral Mass of our Brother Reginald will be Celebrated in the Parish Church of St John the Baptist, Alnmouth on Wednesday 13th March at 11.30am at which the minister will preside and Br Philip Bartholomew SSF will preach. Reg’s body will be received into Church the night before (on Tuesday 12th March) and Compline will be sung there at 9.30pm. Refreshments will follow the service.

Br Angelo SSF RIP

Please pray for the repose of the soul of our Brother Angelo (Donald Deacon) who died in Brighton Hospital on the 21st of February. Please remember him, his family and his friends at this time.

May he Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory!

Br Angelo SSF

Br Reginald SSF RIP

Please pray for the repose of the soul of our Brother Reginald who died yesterday night (Wednesday 20th February) in Alnwick Infirmary with two of his Brothers at his side. Please remember him, his family, his many friends and the Alnmouth Brothers in your prayers.

May he Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory!

Br Reginald SSF after preaching in St John the Baptist, Alnmouth for the Patronal Festival

I can only say ‘Thank you’ to God. But while I’m here there’s something missing – questions to be answered, gaps to be filled. There’s a longing which only the vision of God can satisfy, and that when God is ready…”    

Sr Gina’s Golden Anniversary

Sr Gina celebrated her Golden Anniversary of Profession in Vows on Saturday. The Bishop of Southwark (Christopher Chessun) Presided at the Eucharist which was held in St Hugh’s Bermondsey and Lister Tonge (Dean of Monmouth) Preached. Sr Gina was joined by members of her family, Franciscan Sisters and Brothers and members of other Religious Communities.

Life Profession at Hilfield.

Having been elected at the Francistide Chapter, Br Christian Michael made his Life Profession on Tuesday 15th January in Hilfield Friary. The Bishop Protector (Bishop Stephen Cottrell) received his Vows on behalf of the Church, Br Samuel SSF Preached and Br Christian Micael was joined by Brothers, by friends and by his sister who travelled from the Lebanon to represent his family. Ad Multos Annos!

Br Christian Michael SSF with Bishop Stephen and Br Christian’s sister Helen.

Life as a Franciscan Sister… could this be for me?

On Saturday 16th March the Sisters will be holding an event for women who might wish to explore life as a Franciscan Sister. It will take place in St Alphege’s Clergy House, Pocock Street, London, SE1 0BJ from 10.00am – 4.00pm.

Please book by 11th March if you are interested. Contact: suecsf@franciscans.org.uk or telephone (0207) 928 7121

  • Franciscan Sisters share their stories of God’s call and their live in community
  • DVD’s on St Francis and Franciscans today help us to reflect, with opportunities for discussion
  • Time for your questions….
  • Lunch, tea and coffee etc provided.

A New Novice for SSF!

Ethan Scott was admitted to the Novitiate by Br Benedict taking the name Ethan Gabriel. At the service, which was held on the 23rd of December, Br Ethan Gabriel was joined by members of his family and friends of the Friary. He will remain in Alnmouth for the time being. Please pray for him and for our other Novices.

Alnmouth Guests Email

Br David SSF

The Guestbrother in Alnmouth (Br David) now has a ‘dedicated’ email address which is alnmouthguests@franciscans.org.uk People wishing to enquire about booking a Retreat at the Friary should use this address and not alnmouthssf@franciscans.org.uk

New Secretary of the Companions

Br Jason Robert SSF has taken over as Secretary to the Companions. He may be contacted at the Secretary’s email address (companions@franciscans.org.uk) His postal address is:

Br Jason Robert SSF, The Friary of St Francis, Alnmouth, Northumberland, NE66 3NJ, 01665 830213.

 

Alnmouth Friary

Life as a Franciscan Sister…could this be for me?

life as a Franciscan Sister …..could this be for me….?

a day to explore Franciscan community life in the Church of England

Sr Gina CSF addressing a Conference

Franciscan sisters share their stories of God’s call and their life in community

DVDs on St Francis and Franciscans today to help us reflect, with opportunities for discussion

time for your questions …….

Lunch, tea/coffee etc provided

Sr Liz Baptising

 

Date:Saturday 20thOctober 2018:  10am – 4pm

Central London venue:  The Community of St Francis, St Alphege Clergy House, Pocock Street, London SE1 0BJ

Booking essential(by 15thOctober please)

To book:   Contact suecsf@franciscans.org.uk/ 020 7928 7121  with your name and contact details.

 

“The world is my cloister” St Francis of Assisi

 

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

Life Profession at Alnmouth

Br Micael Christoffer (Brother in Charge at Alnmouth) made his Life Profession today. Bishop Stephen Cottrell (Bishop Protector) received Micael’s vows on behalf of the Church. The Rev’d Madeleine Dahl (a member of the Companions of Christ and Associate Priest of the Parishes of St Paul with All Saints and St Mary and St John Chatham) preached. A long standing friend of Micael’s, Madeleine’s Sermon, based on the five wounds of Christ (shown in the Cross of St Bridget of Sweden), charted five significant points in Micael’s journey. For more information about the Companions of Christ please click here.

The Rev’d Madeleine Dahl.

Micael prostrates himself before the Altar

Br Micael makes his Vows

Br Ramon SSF

Canon Arthur Howells, a friend of Br Ramon’s, has written a book about Ramon which includes extracts from Ramon’s writings. Entitled A Franciscan Life it is published by the Bible Reading Fellowship and costs £8.99 (ISBN: 9780857466624). Br Christopher John SSF (Minister General of the Brothers of the First Order) writes “…Congratulations to Arthur Howells and BRF for producing a book which encapsulates what I knew of Br Ramon SSF. I really appreciate the way the author has blended the story of Ramon’s life with extracts from Ramon’s own words. And the thematic extracts from his writings provide material for individual or group reflection. Personally, I will be using the book for my daily spiritual reading, as a ‘starter’ for prayer. Thanks for the publication of this book which I am sure will do a lot to help keep Ramon’s teaching alive…”

SSF YouTube Channel

Br Christopher John (Minister General of the Society of St Francis) has been making videos on his Pastoral visits around the Provinces. Click here to be taken to his YouTube Channel.

Book Launch at Alnmouth Friary

The Friary, Alnmouth written by local historians Patricia Jones and John and Stephanie Yearnshire was launched today in the library of Alnmouth Friary. The launch, which was attended by Lord and Lady Howick (Son and Daughter-in-law of Lady Mary Howick a great benefactress of the Friary) and other guests marks the culmination of a year of research into the history of what is now the Friary of St Francis but which began life, more than a hundred years ago, as Lint Close the home of Mr and Mrs Scholefield of Alnmouth. It was particularly good that Br Reginald (acting Guardian of Alnmouth in 1988) was present as well as many friends of the Friary.

The proceeds of the book (which costs £4.00) will go towards the work of the Society of St Francis.

 

Br Reginald enjoying the book

Lord and Lady Howick with Patricia Jones and John and Stephanie Yearnshire

Br Micael (Brother in Charge)

Br Jason (who was involved in the production of the book) with John Yearnshire and Lord Howick

 

 

 

 

Franciscan Brothers in Hong Kong

Following a much appreciated visit to Hong Kong last year by three Brothers a further visit has been undertaken. This year Br Alfred Boon Kong and Br Christopher John (from the Province of the Divine Compassion) have been joined by Br Martin John (of the European Province).

Br Hugh: co-winner of the Church Times ‘Green Champion Award’

On Monday 16th October Br Hugh received a ‘Green Champion Award’ at a ceremony in Lambeth Palace in recognition of his efforts to raise awareness about environmental issues. At the ceremony a message from Archbishop Justin Welby was read out in which he said: “Responding to climate change is an essential part of our responsibility to safeguard God’s creation. Meanwhile, to love our neighbour — particularly, in this case, our neighbour whom we may never meet but who lives daily with the profound threat posed by this moral crisis — is at the core of what it is to follow Jesus Christ. “The dedication and devotion of those shortlisted for the Green Church awards is extraordinary and their recognition well deserved.” We give thanks for Br Hugh and for the Hilfield Community of which he is a part.

 

Br Hugh with his award

Br Samuel SSF and Sr Gina CSF were also present at the ceremony

Br Cristian Michael and Sr Gina attend CIR gathering in Castellar Ring

Br Cristian Michael writes:

Br Aidan OSB with Br Cristian Michael SSF and Sr Gina CSF

I was very blessed to represent SSF at a Congress which took place at Schwanberg in a Bavarian Convent of Lutheran Benedictine Sisters. I traveled with Sister Gina CSF and Brother Aidan, a  Benedictine from Mucknell Abbey.  Our main topic was ‘How Religious life may contribute to the renewal of the Church’. Attending were a mix of Brothers and Sisters from different communities and denominations – Anglicans, Catholics, Lutherans and Orthodox, Benedictines, Franciscans,Chemin Neuf, and Dominicans. The presence of mixed languages made it very interesting (English, French, Italian, German and Norwegian).  Father Nicholas CR and his team did a wonderful  job planning our daily program: we had time to socialize, meet and discuss, and join in the daily prayer life with the Sisters there. We also had a free day at Würzburg, a beautiful town with a lot of history and also many memories of suffering and loss of life.  This town was nearly destroyed in the Second World War, which led us to prayers for peace in the world and unity. We met two or three times a day in our language groups to discuss our topics, and they were many: Ignatius and Luther-discovery of a spiritual relationship; the consecrated life’s contribution to the Catholic Church; devotional talks by Sisters Gina CSF, Ruth CCR, and Paula OSB; a talk from an Anglican perspective; and many more. As a whole it was a rich and

Sr Gina CSF addressing the Conference

blessed meeting full of new and promising views and advice that the Brothers and Sisters shared, so we can contribute each one of us in our tradition as Religious members in our communities, for a revival and renewal of the Church worldwide. Being there and seeing all the Brothers and Sisters together in a spiritual network and being united in an internal relationship surrounded by prayer is what strengthened us, bonding us in Christ and as God’s people. After all what we all seek is to be good servants and work for God’s Kingdom and his people wherever they may be in this world, with no hesitation whatsoever, and always to seek and find common ground and unity. I came back with a heart full of joy and hope for the future, and also with new friendships with the Brothers and Sisters who were present there. May God bless us and watch over us in all we do to make this world a better place for the future generations to come.

 

Sr Gina with Br Jacob CR

Sr Gina with other participants

Greenbelt 2017

Sisters and Brothers from the First and Third Orders were present at the Greenbelt Festival held in the Boughton Estate. The Daily Office and Eucharist were offered in the Franciscan tent and the ‘Mobile Monastery’ was also there. The Festival (which was entitled ‘The Common Good’) provided numerous opportunities for people to listen to music, poetry and talks as well as to socialise and pray. In addition to the Franciscans (Bev, Chris James, Maureen, Hugh and Finnian) three other Anglican Religious Sisters were also present Sr Hilda Mary CSC, Sr Catherine CHN and Sr Helen OHP.

 

The Franciscan Tent.

The Franciscan contingent (and friends)

The Rev’d Debbie Plummer TSSF presiding at the Eucharist.

Service of Thanksgiving for CSF’s Ministry in Birmingham

On Saturday 23rd September there will be a Service of Thanksgiving for CSF’s life and Ministry in Birmingham beginning at 2.30pm in Christ Church Memorial Hall, Summerfield Crescent (adjacent to the Church in Gillott Road, B16 0EZ). It will be followed by light refreshments in St Francis’ House (on the corner of Gillott Road and Westgate B16 0ET). Join us to give thanks and celebrate the Sisters’ life and Ministry in Birmingham, over more than 4 decades, in 3 successive locations:

  • Trafalgar Road, Balsall Heath, working with Wellclose House.
  • St Elizabeth’s House, Hampton Road, Birchfield
  • St Francis’ House, Gillott Road, Edgbaston

This marks the end of our corporate ministry in Birmingham, as Sisters Hilary and Jannafer move from St Francis’ House.

If possible please let us know you’re coming by emailing  birminghamcsf@franciscans.org.uk or telephoning 0121 454 8302.

Life Profession in Alnmouth

On Friday 28th July Br Joseph Emmanuel made his Life Profession in the Society of St Francis which was accepted on behalf of the Church by the Bishop Protector (Bishop Stephen Cottrell). Sister Helen Julian CSF preached at the Mass and Br Joe was joined by people from many different stages in his life.