Brother Benedict writes: “It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that our Brother Raymond Christian died in the The North Tyneside Hospital this evening [April 28th]. Raymond was born on 2nd December 1936, was professed in SSF on 14th November 1983, and eventually made his Life Profession on 21st February 1987. He has lived at a number of our houses – at Hilfield, at Hooke School, Glasshampton, Cambridge, Belfast, Edinburgh, and has been at Alnmouth Friary since 2019.
Details of his funeral will be given in due course.
Rest eternal grant to him O Lord and let light perpetual shine upon him.”
Brother Donald’s funeral took place this afternoon at Saint Philip’s church in Plaistow. Benedict presided at the Requiem Mass, and Sam gave the eulogy. Donald’s dedication to mission spanned many decades, and it was very moving to hear how so many people were transformed by his life and Christian witness.
Donald Pentney Green, Society of Saint Francis. 31st July 1925 – 4th April 2021. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.
On Monday 13th April 2021 some lockdown restrictions were lifted. We are now able to welcome limited numbers of guests on a self-catering basis at Hilfield, using accommodation at Bernard House and Juniper House.
We are really looking forward to welcoming you back!
Our May edition of Franciscan Magazine has just been issued, focusing on the theme of ‘Francis and Creation’. It contains articles by the three authors of ‘Seeing Differently’: Dr Simon Cocksedge TSSF, Nicholas Alan SSF and Samuel SSF, in addition to the latest news and updates from our houses, book reviews, poems, and interesting features on the histories of the Third Order and Hilfield Friary.
If you’d like to obtain a copy, or set up a subscription to the magazine, please click here.
Born in North London in 1925, Donald’s first experience of Christian community was as a child when he was encouraged to join the local church choir. He discovered his passion for music, singing and worship. In 1943, at the age of eighteen, he joined the Royal Navy and saw out the end of the war in Burma, Malaysia and Singapore. Returning to England, he trained for the priesthood at Canterbury and Mirfield and served his curacy in a working class district of Manchester. He then joined the Society of Saint Francis, arriving at Hilfield at Candlemas, 1955.
Donald was one of the first brothers to travel to Papua New Guinea in 1959, and was instrumental in the formation of our presence there. Upon his return to England his love of mission led him to form further links with parishes, universities, and the Royal Navy. Sharing the good news became the focal point of Donald’s Christian witness.
Donald was also a much-respected prison chaplain, providing pastoral support at Wormwood Scrubs, Kingston, Pentonville and Belmarsh.
Donald’s funeral will take place in London on April 22nd, and his body will be interred at Hilfield the following day. Due to current restrictions the numbers of those able to attend in person will be limited, but afterwards we will share images and clips with you on this website, and also on Facebook.
Donald SSF: born 31st July 1925, professed 19th March 1957, died 4th April 2021.
Hilfield’s solar installation has now been generating for a couple of months, in the period when the days are shortest.
This pictures shows the west roof of Francis House, with the south roof of Leo House in the background, giving a spread of power throughout the day. Note how the Francis House panels now replace an earlier piece of technology, the 2 brick chimneys built in 1888 and removed in c. 2011.
The graph shows daily power being produced since the beginning on 8th December on these roofs.
This picture shows panels on the much flatter chip store roof, to power the boiler house and workshops.
This timely book brings together the stories of Saint Francis – his rejection of wealth, caring for lepers, befriending animals and living simply, his poetry and hymnody in praise of creation that is still sung today – and the influential writings and examples of inspiring Franciscans who have followed him, such as Clare, Bonaventure, Duns Scotus and Angela of Foligno, drawing them into conversation with contemporary concerns for our planet.
It gathers 800 years of accumulated wisdom and practical examples of how Franciscans have found ways to live at home and at peace with creation. It explores that long tradition and experience to ask what lessons can be drawn for today to challenge and enable readers to re-visit their own relationship with creation.
Publisher: Canterbury Press Norwich
Number of Pages: 192
After Laudato Si, this is the best Franciscan reflection on the crisis of our planet that I have read, and I very much hope many others will read it, take it to heart and join the growing movement of those who are trying to listen, before it is too late, to the voice of our suffering Sister Mother Earth.
Sr Frances Teresa Downing osc
Learning to see differently is the beginning of a new social order, a new planetary community, where love of God, love of neighbor and love of all creatures creates a new house, a new church, built on the foundation of a new heart. This wonderful new book is a helpful guide toward creating a new world.
Sr. Ilia Delio, OSF
Connelly Chair in Theology, Villanova University
Copies are available from the Hilfield Friary bookshop:
We thank you for your prayers over the past months!
Unfortunately, due to the ongoing lockdown, we are currently unable to welcome guests to stay with us, or to hold public services in our chapels. We continue to pray the Office and celebrate Eucharists in our households, and we are of course upholding you all in our intercessions during this difficult time.
As soon as we are safely and legally able to begin the process of re-opening our houses to guests, we will of course update you!
We are really looking forward to being able to catch up with you all, hopefully in the near future.