Festivals/Seasons & Holy Days

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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.

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.

Franciscans at Greenbelt 2016

Franciscans once again at Greenbelt, a Festival of Faith, Arts and Justice, 26 – 29 Aug 2016



‘The Franciscans from Hilfield Friary (and other places) have been coming to Greenbelt for many years, laying on the four offices (times of prayer) in their own campsite chapel space, and often leading worship in the main programme.

‘Last year they helped us devise our main festival communion service. Their commitments to sustainable and peaceable living – being friends with God, one another and the good earth, make them welcome guests in the midst of the festival hubbub.’ (www.greenbelt.org.uk/artists/franciscans/)

At the end of August the Franciscan team will be off to yet another Greenbelt and we look forward to our camp chapel being full of people once again. This year Sisters of the Church and the Order of the Holy Paraclete will join Franciscans of the 1st and 3rd Orders. As well as praying our offices, we plan to show the film Finding St Francis, and to lead 3 meditations in the Grove, in the beautiful parkland of Boughton House near Kettering.

But we ourselves play a tiny part in the festival and there is a vast amount going on to enjoy and be challenged by. I myself look forward to a feast of wonderfully thought provoking talks, and drama, music, art and culture. In the crowds of thousands who will be there, I look forward to meeting some who are reading this. If you have never been, it’s an amazing experience and very well worth buying a ticket. Do please come. All details are on http://www.greenbelt.org.uk

Walsingham Youth Pilgrimage

Brs Mike and Joe wrapped up agains the cold (and wet) of Norfolk!

Brs Mike and Joe wrapped up against the cold (and wet) of Norfolk!

Brs Michael Jacob and Joseph Emmanuel took part in the Walsingham Youth Pilgrimage 2015. Entitled ABBA-Father, the teaching sessions were focussed on the Lord’s Prayer and especially on the idea of God as Abba – our loving Father. Bishop Lindsay Urwin OGS (who is leaving the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham to take on a new ministry in Australia) gave Bible studies each day and preached at the final Mass at which his unique contribution to the Youth Pilgrimage over many years was acknowledged. Apart from Mass other Liturgies took place throughout the week giving pilgrims (who are aged between 12 and 16) an opportunity to make their Confessions, receive the Sacrament of Anointing, the laying on of hands and counsel. We were also encouraged to visit the Shrine Church on an all-night relay to offer prayer and see that most beautiful and holy place in stillness and silence.

Br Michael Jacob was especially busy as a ‘Street Pastor’ (giving Pastoral care to all pilgrims), as a leader for a group of Pilgrims from Wales and also taking part in a discussion about Vocation run by the the Shrine in conjunction with the Diocese of Norwich in which several young clergy on Pilgrimage took part. Br Joseph Emmanuel was part of the leadership team for a group of nearly 90 young people who came from Yorkshire, Sweden and Finland. A wonderful, humbling experience to accompany such wonderful people on their journey of  faith.


The blessing of the ‘mobile monastery’

IMG_0158The ‘mobile monastery’ was blessed by  the bishop of Leicester, the Right Revd Tim Stevens on Monday 22ndJune in Bushy Park, opposite St Matthew’s house in Leicester. Sisters joined Beverley and Chris James, from Birmingham, London and Metheringham, friends from Leicester and further afield also attended.

The rain began to pour ten minutes before the service so about 15 of us squashed into the ‘van’ while others gathered around the entrance. After the service the sun came out and we stood outside the van and had tea and chocolate cake! Children from the local primary school and their mothers came into the park and some of the children came up to the ‘van’ thinking we were selling ice cream! The balloons were given to the Mothers later for the children to take home.

The vision for this project has now come to fruition through a Trust Fund giving funding for a 3 year WP_20150622_15_15_58_Properiod.

The idea  for the project is for Anglican Religious to be more mobile and visible, to attend Summer festivals, visit schools, encourage people in their faith journey, to visit theological colleges, clergy conferences, and other events within dioceses.

As well as Franciscan sisters and brothers taking part in this project, other members of Religious Communities will be asked to help out too.

Beverley CSF


The Order of Service for the Blessing may be downloaded as a Word document here.

A short video of the Blessing may be found here.

Hilfield Families Camp – CANCELLED owing to the weather

It is with very great regret that the decision has been taken to cancel this year’s camp arranged for 28th July to 5th August – owing to the weather. Our fields are somewhat saturated with water and even if it remains dry from now until the start of the camp (there’s the predicted possibility of a change in the weather as we write this) it’s still going to be very muddy. We’ve been looking forward to welcoming all our you who have booked to come and are as disappointed as you about this. Please keep in touch and book early for the camp in 2013!