Author: admin

Preparing For The 26th U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP26)

Preparing For The 26th U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP26)

By admin in Latest News on September 15, 2021

The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) is fast approaching. It will be held in Glasgow from Sunday 31st October until Friday 12th November.
Earlier this year, the Archbishop of Canterbury addressed an international group of faith leaders and declared:
“I speak as a Christian. Jesus teaches us that there are no greater commandments than to love God and love our neighbour. To abide by those commandments as a Christian today is to step up to the challenge of climate change and connected environmental crises.
The Society of Saint Francis stands firmly with fellow Christians and peoples of all faiths and none in our commitment to tackling the disastrous threats of Climate Change. We have committed ourselves to a target of carbon neutrality by 2030 and are curently taking the practical steps to make this happen. We also plan to have a presence in Glasgow during the conference.
If you are wondering how you might be able to help make a difference in the run-up to COP 26, you might wish to draw upon the prayerful and practical resources offered by groups such as:
We are all being encouraged to write to our MPs ahead of the conference, in order to make our voices heard. here is a handy link giving advice and tips on how best to do this:
Worldwide First Order Chapter Update

Worldwide First Order Chapter Update

By admin in Latest News on September 13, 2021

Sisters and brothers from every province of SSF around the world are continuing to meet on Zoom for 2 hours most days for the First Order Chapter – meeting all together, sometimes in different small groups, and a couple of times with sisters and brothers meeting separately.
As well as the necessary business, sharing of news, and mutual encouragement, there has been some brilliant expert input from others:
Dr Cathy Ross is a leading missiologist working for the Church Mission Society. She reflected on Mission in a Post Pandemic world, emphasising the importance of imaginative thinking.
Garth Blake SC is an experienced Australian barrister who chairs the Anglican Communion Safe Church Commission. He provided a useful presentation on Safeguarding from a world-wide perspective.
Chapter meetings will continue until Wednesday.
Enquirers Pilgrimage to Walsingham

Enquirers Pilgrimage to Walsingham

By admin in Latest News on September 6, 2021

Finnian and Tobias have been at Walsingham for the past few days, with a group of friends and enquirers. The pilgrimage has consisted of lots of prayer and worship, shared meals, discussions, plus a lovely ecumenical walk which took in both the Anglican and Roman Catholic shrines, and Saint Seraphim’s Orthodox church.

September Issue of Franciscan Magazine Now Available

September Issue of Franciscan Magazine Now Available

By admin in Latest News on September 1, 2021

The latest issue of Franciscan Magazine is now available! This edition is focused on “Virtual Church”, looking at how the past eighteen months have caused profound changes in the way that we interact with one another.
We look at both the advantages and disadvantages of these new methods of being Church. Does the technology liberate or limit us? Is it inclusive or exclusive? Can we be dispersed yet unified at the same time?
Other items include four different experiences of “Significant Places” and how they have impacted vocation and spirituality, a double-page spread on film and faith, plus a look at the Rule of saint Francis from 1221, eight hundred years on.
Copies and subscriptions are available via our Franciscan Magazine page.
International SSF Gatherings in September… by Zoom!

International SSF Gatherings in September… by Zoom!

By admin in Latest News on August 31, 2021

A programme of on-line international meetings has been planned for two weeks in early September  for two dozen of our Anglican Franciscan CSF sisters and SSF brothers. Our First Order Chapters include  the Minister Provincial and one other elected representative from each province of sisters and brothers throughout the world, with the two Ministers General and two General Secretaries.  The Ministers also have their own meetings before and after the Chapter.  Originally planned for September 2020 in Australia, and postponed to 2021, these meetings have since been re-scheduled on-line.   Sisters and brothers in the UK, USA and Korea, will be will take part,  with  brothers in The Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka and Australia.  Because of the need to co-ordinate far flung time zones most of the meetings will begin at 6am UK time! 

In addition to prayers for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we would welcome prayer for the smooth working of the technology, especially as some of our brothers live in places where electricity and internet connectivity are not readily available.  At previous  First Order Chapters gathered in person, the experience of living in community together, with shared worship, meals, and relaxation as well as the scheduled meetings and impromptu conversations, has been a key part of the experience.  Sadly this is impossible in the context of the on-going pandemic,  but like so many others we are thankful for the technology and planning which will enable us to both see and hear each other as we meet together on-line from far-flung and diverse locations, to reflect on aspects of our life and work and make necessary decisions.  

Franciscans at Prospect Farm Gathering

Franciscans at Prospect Farm Gathering

By admin in Latest News on August 28, 2021

The full Greenbelt festival may have been cancelled, but the Prospect Farm gathering is proving to be a great alternative.
Karen Russell TSSF, Jan Doyle TSSF, Hugh SSF, Hilda Mary CSC Maureen CSF are pictured here at the end of the first set of days at Prospect Farm. Hugh and Maureen remain and three more tertiaries will join them from this weekend until Monday.
Do come and say hello if you are “on the farm”! Their location is marked on the site plan as “Chapel”.
Death of Helen Julian CSF

Death of Helen Julian CSF

By admin in Latest News on August 24, 2021

It is with much sadness that we announce the death of our former Minister General, Helen Julian CSF. She had been suffering from cancer for some time and passed away at the weekend.
Helen Julian was a gifted writer, the author of several books about Christian faith and Franciscan spirituality. Her works include ‘Living the Gospel’, ‘Franciscan Footprints’ and ‘The Lindisfarne Icon – St Cuthbert and the 21st century’.
As you remember Helen Julian in prayer, please also pray for her family. This is the family’s second bereavement, following the death of Helen’s mother early last year
Tobias celebrates his First Profession

Tobias celebrates his First Profession

By admin in Latest News on August 21, 2021

A joyful day in East London, as Brother Tobias made his First Profession at St. Mary’s, Little Ilford. Benedict presided, Samuel preached and Joyce gave the readings. Brothers, Sisters, family and friends gathered in the lovely old church, parts of which are 12th Century. It was wonderful to sing hymns again after so long (albeit in masks). After the service the celebrations continued in the rectory garden, with refreshments and lots of cake!

SSF and CSF Celebrate the Feast of Saint Clare

SSF and CSF Celebrate the Feast of Saint Clare

By admin in Latest News on August 11, 2021

It’s a hugely important day in the Franciscan calendar: the feast of Clare of Assisi, founder of the Order of Poor Ladies (popularly known as the “Poor Clares”).
Clare is still loved and valued for her profound spiritual insight. She was the first woman to write a Rule for a Religious Order, and it stands out today for its kindness and practicality. She also wrote the most beautiful letters, perhaps the most famous one containing this remarkable advice to Agnes of Prague: “Place your mind before the mirror of eternity. Place your soul in the brilliance of glory. Place your heart in the figure of the divine substance”.
Her life story is a remarkable one. Chiara Offreduccio was born in 1194 into privilege, the daughter of the Count of Sasso-Rosso. The family had a palace in Assisi and a castle on Mount Subasio. The young Clare was deeply devout and would undoubtedly have been intrigued by the sight of Giovanni “Francesco” di Bernardone, the son of a local cloth merchant who had renounced his family’s wealth and was living the life of a “brother of penance”. At the age of 18 she heard him preach and her life changed. On Palm Sunday 1212 she committed herself to a life of prayer and poverty. She would have happily joined with Francis and the Brothers in their ministry but medieval Umbria wasn’t quite ready for that. Instead she embraced the life of a contemplative, founding a community for women at San Damiano. She died there on August 11th 1253.
SSF and CSF particularly uphold our OSC Sisters at Freeland in Oxfordshire on this special day.
“Always be lovers of God and your souls and the souls of your Sisters, and always be eager to observe what you have promised the Lord. May the Lord be with you always and, wherever you are, may you be with Him always. Amen.”