Festivals/Seasons & Holy Days

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Br Vincent RIP

Br Vincent, who had became unwell a few weeks ago, died early this morning (around 1.30am). Vincent was born in 1933 and was made a Postulant in the Society of St Francis by Fr Algy in 1954. Following Profession in 1957 he served in different houses in the Province but was latterly based in Hilfield Friary where his beautiful ‘secret garden’ (which contained a unique rhododendron collection) became justly famous.

His Funeral Mass will be celebrated in Hilfield Friary at a later date but, because of current restrictions, it can not be open to the public. It is, however, anticipated that the service will be recorded and/or live-streamed. May he Rest in Peace!

Br Angelo SSF – Funeral Mass

The Funeral Mass of our Brother Angelo will be Celebrated on the 28th of March 2019 in St Peter’s Church, Woodmancote, West Sussex, BN5 9SR at 2.00pm May he rest in peace!

Br Reginald SSF – Funeral Mass

The Funeral Mass of our Brother Reginald will be Celebrated in the Parish Church of St John the Baptist, Alnmouth on Wednesday 13th March at 11.30am at which the minister will preside and Br Philip Bartholomew SSF will preach. Reg’s body will be received into Church the night before (on Tuesday 12th March) and Compline will be sung there at 9.30pm. Refreshments will follow the service.

Br Angelo SSF RIP

Please pray for the repose of the soul of our Brother Angelo (Donald Deacon) who died in Brighton Hospital on the 21st of February. Please remember him, his family and his friends at this time.

May he Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory!

Br Angelo SSF

Br Reginald SSF RIP

Please pray for the repose of the soul of our Brother Reginald who died yesterday night (Wednesday 20th February) in Alnwick Infirmary with two of his Brothers at his side. Please remember him, his family, his many friends and the Alnmouth Brothers in your prayers.

May he Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory!

Br Reginald SSF after preaching in St John the Baptist, Alnmouth for the Patronal Festival

I can only say ‘Thank you’ to God. But while I’m here there’s something missing – questions to be answered, gaps to be filled. There’s a longing which only the vision of God can satisfy, and that when God is ready…”    


Please pray for the repose of Brother Christian SSF who died this afternoon (July 5th) at Newham Hospital.

Please remember him, his friends and family, and the brothers in Plaistow in your prayers. May he rest in peace and rise in glory!

Brother Christian SSF (David John Pearson).
Born 3 March 1942.
Received as novice in SSF 5 February 1972.
First profession in SSF 5 February 1975.
Life profession in SSF 4 February 1978.

Bishop Michael Perham RIP

We learnt with great sadness of the death of our former Bishop Protector Michael Perham who died yesterday evening after a serious illness. Bishop Michael was a great friend of the Sisters and Brothers of the Three Orders of the Society of St Francis and contributed greatly to the wider Church as a Liturgical Scholar and Bishop. We assure Alison, his wife, and his family of our love and prayers. May he Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory!

Interment of Damian’s ashes

A message from the community at Hilfield:Damian

The internment of Damian’s ashes at Hilfield will take place on Friday 11th March at noon, following the Eucharist. You are asked to contact the Friary at Hilfield and notify them of your intention to come.

The Friary, Hilfield, Dorchester,

Dorset, DT2 7BE, 01300 342314


Funeral arrangements for Br Damian SSF

Br Damian’s Funeral will be at St Michael’s Parish Church, Alnwick on Wednesday 3rd February at 1.00pm and will be followed by a private cremation.

No flowers by request.

Damian SSF

Br Damian SSF RIP

Brother Damian died peacefully at St Oswald’s Hospice in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne at 7am on Sunday 17th January, a year after being diagnosed with a brain tumour. The Brothers of the Society of St Francis are grateful for your prayers but would respectfully ask that you do not contact either Alnmouth or St Anthony’s Friary. Details of Damian’s funeral arrangements will be posted on the website once they have been finalised.

May Damian Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory!


Damian and St Francis (from the franciscan)

Damian and St Francis (from the franciscan)

Br Raphael SSF RIP

Brother Raphael photo


Br Raphael SSF (Ramon Lewis Parker) died in the early hours of Thursday morning after a short illness. Raphael entered the Society of St Francis in 1971 having served in the parochial ministry in the Dioceses of Manchester and London. As a Brother he lived in different houses including the House in Wales. He also served as a Chaplain of the University of Wales (Lampeter). In 1987 he moved to Hilfield Friary and from there to Chestnut House in Dorchester where he was visited regularly by members of the Hilfield Community.

His funeral will be in Hilfield Friary on Tuesday 30th September at 1.00pm. May he Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory!

Funeral Details for Br Martin SSF

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated by Br Benedict SSF for Br Martin at St Peter’s London Docks (Garnet Street, Wapping, London E1W 0HB) on Friday 30th May at 1.00pm.


Br Martin assisting at St Peter's day (with Fr Robin Jones and Fr John Caster)

Br Martin assisting at St Peter’s day (with Fr Robin Jones and Fr John Caster)

Br Martin SSF RIP

Br Martin (John Morrell Coombe) died yesterday evening after his condition deteriorated rapidly over the weekend. His death was extremely peaceful. Born in 1925 in Croydon (South London) Br Martin attended St Peter’s Croydon before moving to St Michael and All Angels, a centre of Anglo-Catholicism. He was Noviced in the Society of St Francis in 1949 and Professed in 1951. Ordained to the Priesthood in 1958 he served as Curate-in-Charge for the Hilfield and Hermitage Parishes (near Hilfield Friary) and then became a School Chaplain for five years serving first as the Assistant Chaplain at Ellesmere College (1966-1969) and then Chaplain of Ramby House School (1969-1971). In 1971 he moved to Cambridge to become the Vicar of St Benet’s (the Franciscan Church in Cambridge) where he served until 1985. In ‘retirement’ Br Martin lived in London, initially in Stepney but then in Plaistow where he lived in St Mary’s Vicarage with Srs Chris and Elizabeth CSF ‘the happiest house in the Province’ according to Br Martin. He continued to exercise his Priesthood until shortly before his death serving mainly in St Peter’s London Docks (where he celebrated his 60th anniversary of Profession) and St Andrew’s Holborn. In both places his ministry was highly valued and he was much loved. Funeral details are not yet finalised.


Br Martin with a catechist from St Peter's London Docks

Br Martin with a member of St Peter’s London Docks at Ascot Priory


Br Martin preaching in St Peter's London Docks.

Br Martin preaching in St Peter’s London Docks.


RIP – Brother Arnold SSF

Brother Arnold SSF died on Friday 17th August, at around Midday.  He had been in hospital several times over the last few months, and eventually died at St Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney, London. He was 92 years old, and in the 62nd year of his profession as a religious. other Arnold had been a member of the Brotherhood of the Holy Cross at Peckham in South London. When the Brotherhood closed after the death of its founder and leader, George Potter, three of its remaining members transferred to the First Order of the Society of St Francis in the early sixties. Arnold was one of these along with Giles Dawson and Nicholas. At the same time he finished his preparatory studies to be ordained priest. He is the last of the three to die. He had a great concern for the under-privileged people of British society and identified himself with them. In SSF he had served in St Francis School Hooke; in the Gillott Road, Birmingham house, and for a long time at the Friary of the Divine Compassion, Plaistow. He has had a great ability to get alongside people and to listen to their fears and worries.

May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

RIP – Nathanael SSF

Brother Nathanael (Kenneth Thompson), aged 82, passed away peacefully in his sleep on the 31st May in St Richar’d Hospice in Worcester. He had been a professed Brother of the Society of St francis for 47 years. He was a man of great faith and courage and entered his final journey into everlasting life trusting himself to God.  May he rest in peace and rise in glory. The funeral was held on 13th June at St Bartholomew’s Church, Areley Kings, Worcestershire.

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.