Festivals/Seasons & Holy Days

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Monthly Archives: August 2011

International Formators’ Programme 2011

The third and final part of our three year International Formators’ Programme saw sisters and brothers from all the provinces gather this year in the UK, following our previous meetings in New York and Boston and the Solomon Islands. The focus this time was on the foundation and early history of our communities and on our Anglican identity and we began in Plaistow, East London where the first Anglican Franciscan Order, the Society of the Divine Compassion, had its origins, and where SSF brothers still live and work. Based in Southwark for a few days we were able also to make pilgrimage to other sites of significance such as the Church of Our Most Holy Redeemer Clerkenwell where CSF had its origins, the Chapel of St Edward’s House, Westminster (Society of St John the Evangelist) where the first SSF novice was admitted, the Lambeth Palace archive where we viewed some fascinating early SSF documents and even Parliament Square where we were reminded of Br Douglas’ important political lobbying and campaigning on behalf of wayfarers. In each place our community historian, Dr Petà Dunstan, brought the story alive for us, not least by posing a question to consider for our contemporary Franciscan life.

The historic pilgrimage continued with a visit to the historic Bartlemas Chapel in Oxford, in medieval times a place of welcome and refuge for lepers and the place that Brother Giles chose to begin his work with wayfarers before moving to Hilfield. We followed in turn to Dorset where Brother Anselm welcomed us in the names of Brother Douglas and Father Algy, and Petà enlightened us further.

We stayed at Hilfield for the second week of our conference, this time with stimulating input from Dr John Cator from California who helped us think in depth about what it means to be Anglican Christians. We also enjoyed sharing in the contemporary life of the community at Hilfield, with haymaking, home grown entertainment and even the baptism of Richard and Chantal’s daughter Felice all part of our time there

Alnmouth Friary Jubilee Celebrations

Br Desmond Alban writes:
The brothers at Alnmouth celebrated their 50th Anniversary on the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 15th August 2011. Somehow we sat over 100 people in the chapel in reasonable comfort, and the enthusiastic singing was swollen too by a number more guests in the narthex beyond. We celebrated with a festal Sung Eucharist at which Bishop Frank White (Assistant Bishop of Newcastle) presided and Brother Samuel preached. (Click here for the text of the sermon). The congregation was made up of many friends, old and young, and the lovely weather allowed everyone to enjoy a picnic lunch in the friary garden. Indeed, the main celebrations ended with Evening Prayer in the open air, just before we welcomed the new guests arriving that day for business as usual.

Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory, Br Colin Wilfrid

Our Brother Colin Wilfred died peacefully on Tuesday, 2nd August, at the Friary in Canterbury. He had been suffering for some years from fibrosis of the lungs. Colin joined SSF in 1969, was professed in vows in 1973, and served in a number of our Friaries both here in the European Province, and also in the Australia/New Zealand Province where he was Minister from 1997 to 2002. From 1985 until 1996 he was deeply involved in working for and with those affected by the HIV/AIDS virus. He had a keen interest in liturgy and has played an important role in producing the Daily Office SSF. He will be greatly missed by his brothers in SSF and by many friends around the world.
His funeral and requiem Mass took place in St Peter’s, Canterbury on the feast of St Clare, 11th August attended by a large congregation. Here is the text of the sermon preached by Br Samuel, the Minister of the European Province.

Life Profession – Sr Liz CSF

Sr Liz CSF made her Life Profession on the 29th July at St Luke’s Church, Birchwood, Lincoln.  Her vows were received by the Bishops Protector for the European Province, Michael Perham.  It was a joyous occasion as brothers and sisters from around the province joined many friends and family to support Sr Liz as she took this final step of commitment.


St Luke’s Church, Birchwood, Lincoln
Sr Liz is presented to Bishop Michael
Sr Liz receives the blessing of the Bishop and the Community