Day: 30 June 2024

New Postulant for CSF

By admin in Formation, Latest News on June 30, 2024

Sophia was admitted to the Community of St Francis as a postulant, on 26 June, at St Alphege’s Oratory, Southwark. In the photo taken outside the chapel afterwards, are (back row) Joyce, Maureen, and Judi, and in the front: Sophia and Gina. The dress code was ‘informal’, as the day was far too hot to wear habits!

Franciscan Mission in Birmingham

By admin in Latest News, Mission on June 30, 2024

Following in the footsteps of many before us, the three current SSF/CSF Novices, Simeon, Felix and Judi led by Brother Martin John took part in a Franciscan mission week in June. The host was St Matthews Church, Perry Beeches, Birmingham, where Martin John is serving his curacy.

The timetable for the week was busy and diverse, encompassing activities from indoor bowls with some of the congregation members to a drop in session for local college students.

The week of course stretched us in some ways and in others we found strengths that we did not know we had, for instance Simeon proved to be an ace at bowls, despite having never played it before. For many of us, both the mission team and some members of the congregation, the highlight of the week was a visit to a local Gurdwara, where we were not only physically fed but treated to a marvellous spiritually enriching discussion. Psalm 51.6 sprang to mind, “ You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart “  The gentleman who led us, was keen not only to explain about the Sikh faith, but to emphasize that we are all on a path to holiness and was interested to draw out the parallels in both of our holy scriptures and practices. Everyone found it a really positive experience.

There was a good turnout for our Franciscan talk, summarising our daily lives and then opening up to questions. The feedback was that it was an informative and interesting evening.

Felix preached on Sunday rounding the week off by encouraging the congregation that every act of service in Christ’s name, no matter how miniscule (like a mustard seed) was worthwhile.

Restore Nature Now

By admin in Environment, Latest News on June 30, 2024

Over 300 organizations that have some aspect of care of nature in their activities encouraged their supporters to attend the Restore Nature Now march on 22 June in London. So the range of people was diverse, from National Trust, RSPB, RHS, Woodland Trust, Save our Oceans, to Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil, and localised conservation projects. The groups assembled on Park Lane in four blocs: woodlands, water, air and land. This meant that there were distinctive themes that onlookers could see as the march progressed along to Piccadilly, then round an edge of Trafalgar Square to Whitehall and Parliament Square, where there was a portable stage. With between 80,000 and 100,000 people, there were far too many to be contained in Parliament Square, so there were relay speakers and screens on Whitehall.  Felix and Hugh travelled up from Hilfield, and joined with a Christian bloc that had particularly chosen to march in the ‘land’ section; a pre-march church service near the start at the route was very well attended. Maureen had offered to be a steward, which meant being out on the route for longer, and wearing a hi-viz pink vest.

The aim of the march was indicate to whoever the next government will be that there needs to be more support for farmers, who manage 70% of UK land, to help them farm in more environmentally friendly and protective ways; to make polluters pay – ie to stop pollution, promote climate recovery, and to end new fossil fuels; provide more protected space for nature; put the right to a healthy environment into law, and to ensure fair and effective climate action.

The organisers of the march expect to have to keep reminding the government of these requirements for nature, so if you are interested in joining a march in future, keep an eye on a website of a conservation organisation.