There will be an opportunity to Gift Aid your donation, and/or to direct your gift to the brothers, or sisters or a particular house, after you have completed the final page on PayPal (PayPal account not required).

SSF

The Daily Office SSF

We’ve recently received some enquiries about buying a copy of The Daily Office SSF. Unfortunately we no longer have copies for sale but you may be able to find a second hand copy on the internet.

Hilfield Friary reopening to guests

Hilfield Friary have recently announced that, Government restrictions permitting, they are hoping to take a limited number of guest bookings from Thursday 1st October 2020. Please click here to read the announcement on the Hilfield Friary website. The Friaries in Alnmouth and Glasshampton remain closed to guests for the time being. When it is possible to safely open Alnmouth and Glasshampton to guests an announcement will be made on this website and on our Facebook page.

A New Bishop Protector!

We are delighted to announce that Bishop Christopher Chessun (the Bishop of Southwark) has accepted our invitation to serve as our Bishop Protector. Bishop Christopher replaces Archbishop Stephen Cottrell and will assume office on the Feast of St Francis (the 4th of October). We assure Bishop Christopher of our prayers and thank Archbishop Stephen for his ministry to us.

Foodbank in Lockdown

Michael Jacob writes;

During Lockdown Br Benedict and I have been helping at a Foodbank based in St Aidan’s church, Harehills. The numbers have increased steadily each week and a small band of volunteers have been able to supply many food parcels thanks to the generosity of a local Morrisons supermarket, individual donations, local charities (freedom_4_girls amongst others) and local faith communities including the Mosques and the Gurdwara in the area. 295 people received a parcel this last Sunday. 

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!

Alnmouth and the 2.6 challenge

Some photos from today (and previously):

Br Michael skipping for twenty six minutes
Walking five miles a day on the same terrace takes its toll…
26 Candles; signs of our prayers

Alnmouth Brothers run the COVID Marathon?

Alnmouth Brothers are taking part in the ‘2.6 challenge’ over the next few days. This is an initiative which seeks to offset the impact of COVID19 on the charitable sector. The Alnmouth Brothers have chosen L’Arche Edinburgh as the charity they wish to support. Various Brothers will be doing different things: Br Micael Christoffer will be skipping for twenty six minutes (in his habit); Br John will walk the equivalent of 2.6 miles in the grounds and Br Joe will ‘donate’ 2.6 miles of his 5 mile daily walk to the cause. Please click here to donate if so minded.

Cancellation of Vocations event

From Sr Sue CSF:

In line with the recent government and church of England guidance regarding COVID 19 we are cancelling the Enquirers Day previously scheduled for Saturday 28th March.   In view of the current uncertainty about how long the crisis will last we are not at this stage planning another event before the autumn.  If the situation changes we will let you know of any subsequent plans.

However we already have an Enquirers Day planned for Saturday October 24th. If you wish to book a place for that event now you are welcome to do so – please let me know.

I hope you and those dear to you remain well in these very challenging times.

May the Lord give you Peace,

Sue CSF

Vocations Event in Southwark!

Life as a Franciscan Sister or Brother… could this be for me? A day to explore Franciscan Community life in the Church of England

  • Franciscan sisters and brothers share their stories of God’s call and their life in community
  • DVDs on St Francis and Franciscans today to help us reflect, with opportunities for discussion
  • Time for your questions…
  • Lunch, tea & coffee provided.

DATE: Saturday 28th March 2020 10.00am – 4.00pm

Location: The Community of St Francis, St Alphege Clergy House, Pocock Street, London, SE1 0BJ

Booking Essential

To book: Contact Sue CSF (click here) or phone 0207 928 7121 with your name and contact details.

Two new Novices for SSF

Br Benedict with Br Anthony (L) and Br John Taylor (R)

On Saturday 18th January 2020 Br Benedict (the Minister Provincial) admitted Anthony Clarke and John Taylor to the Novitiate of the Society of St Francis. Br Anthony and Br John Taylor will remain in Alnmouth before moving to a new Friary in the summer months. God Willing we will be joined by two other men wanting to test their Vocation to Religious Life within the Society of St Francis in February.

A new Archbishop of York!

The Sisters and Brothers congratulate Bishop Stephen (our Bishop Protector) on his nomination as the 98th Archbishop of York. We assure him of our love and prayers as he prepares to begin this new ministry next year. Ad Multos Annos!

Franciscan Conference in Durham

Participants from T/SSF and OSC in front of Durham Cathedral

Members of T/SSF and OSC attended a Conference in Ushaw College and Durham University organised by the Centre for Catholic Studies marking the eight hundredth anniversary of St Francis’ meeting with Sultan al-Malik al-Kamil in Damietta. One of our number (the Rev’d Thomas Sharpe n/TSSF) delivered a warmly received paper and it was wonderful to be able to hear experts in the field of Franciscan Studies speaking with passion and insight on their chosen fields. The Conference also provided an opportunity for the wider Franciscan family to meet and it was good to have the opportunity to speak with Sisters and Brothers from the Roman Catholic and Reformed Traditions.

Confirmation!

L-R: Bishop Christine, Bishop John, Anthony and Micael Christoffer SSF

Our Postulant Anthony Clarke was Confirmed by Bishop Christine Hardman (Bishop of Newcastle) at St Mary’s Stannington on Sunday. We are very grateful to Bishop Christine and to the Rev’d Catherine Pickford (the Vicar) for welcoming Anthony, John and Br Michael Christoffer so warmly!

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.

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…”    

Life Profession at Hilfield.

Having been elected at the Francistide Chapter, Br Christian Michael made his Life Profession on Tuesday 15th January in Hilfield Friary. The Bishop Protector (Bishop Stephen Cottrell) received his Vows on behalf of the Church, Br Samuel SSF Preached and Br Christian Micael was joined by Brothers, by friends and by his sister who travelled from the Lebanon to represent his family. Ad Multos Annos!

Br Christian Michael SSF with Bishop Stephen and Br Christian’s sister Helen.

New Secretary of the Companions

Br Jason Robert SSF has taken over as Secretary to the Companions. He may be contacted at the Secretary’s email address (companions@franciscans.org.uk) His postal address is:

Br Jason Robert SSF, The Friary of St Francis, Alnmouth, Northumberland, NE66 3NJ, 01665 830213.

 

Alnmouth Friary

Rob Evans was admitted to the Novitiate by Br Benedict at Evening Prayer on Sunday 5th August. Rob, who has taken the Religious name of Br Tobias, was joined by members of his family and other friends at the service. Tobias will remain in Alnmouth until he moves to Glasshampton in the new year.

Br Tobias nSSF with Br Benedict SSF

 

Life Profession at Alnmouth

Br Micael Christoffer (Brother in Charge at Alnmouth) made his Life Profession today. Bishop Stephen Cottrell (Bishop Protector) received Micael’s vows on behalf of the Church. The Rev’d Madeleine Dahl (a member of the Companions of Christ and Associate Priest of the Parishes of St Paul with All Saints and St Mary and St John Chatham) preached. A long standing friend of Micael’s, Madeleine’s Sermon, based on the five wounds of Christ (shown in the Cross of St Bridget of Sweden), charted five significant points in Micael’s journey. For more information about the Companions of Christ please click here.

The Rev’d Madeleine Dahl.

Micael prostrates himself before the Altar

Br Micael makes his Vows

BR CHRISTIAN SSF RIP

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.

Br Ramon SSF

Canon Arthur Howells, a friend of Br Ramon’s, has written a book about Ramon which includes extracts from Ramon’s writings. Entitled A Franciscan Life it is published by the Bible Reading Fellowship and costs £8.99 (ISBN: 9780857466624). Br Christopher John SSF (Minister General of the Brothers of the First Order) writes “…Congratulations to Arthur Howells and BRF for producing a book which encapsulates what I knew of Br Ramon SSF. I really appreciate the way the author has blended the story of Ramon’s life with extracts from Ramon’s own words. And the thematic extracts from his writings provide material for individual or group reflection. Personally, I will be using the book for my daily spiritual reading, as a ‘starter’ for prayer. Thanks for the publication of this book which I am sure will do a lot to help keep Ramon’s teaching alive…”

SSF YouTube Channel

Br Christopher John (Minister General of the Society of St Francis) has been making videos on his Pastoral visits around the Provinces. Click here to be taken to his YouTube Channel.

Book Launch at Alnmouth Friary

The Friary, Alnmouth written by local historians Patricia Jones and John and Stephanie Yearnshire was launched today in the library of Alnmouth Friary. The launch, which was attended by Lord and Lady Howick (Son and Daughter-in-law of Lady Mary Howick a great benefactress of the Friary) and other guests marks the culmination of a year of research into the history of what is now the Friary of St Francis but which began life, more than a hundred years ago, as Lint Close the home of Mr and Mrs Scholefield of Alnmouth. It was particularly good that Br Reginald (acting Guardian of Alnmouth in 1988) was present as well as many friends of the Friary.

The proceeds of the book (which costs £4.00) will go towards the work of the Society of St Francis.

 

Br Reginald enjoying the book

Lord and Lady Howick with Patricia Jones and John and Stephanie Yearnshire

Br Micael (Brother in Charge)

Br Jason (who was involved in the production of the book) with John Yearnshire and Lord Howick

 

 

 

 

Franciscan Brothers in Hong Kong

Following a much appreciated visit to Hong Kong last year by three Brothers a further visit has been undertaken. This year Br Alfred Boon Kong and Br Christopher John (from the Province of the Divine Compassion) have been joined by Br Martin John (of the European Province).

Br Hugh: co-winner of the Church Times ‘Green Champion Award’

On Monday 16th October Br Hugh received a ‘Green Champion Award’ at a ceremony in Lambeth Palace in recognition of his efforts to raise awareness about environmental issues. At the ceremony a message from Archbishop Justin Welby was read out in which he said: “Responding to climate change is an essential part of our responsibility to safeguard God’s creation. Meanwhile, to love our neighbour — particularly, in this case, our neighbour whom we may never meet but who lives daily with the profound threat posed by this moral crisis — is at the core of what it is to follow Jesus Christ. “The dedication and devotion of those shortlisted for the Green Church awards is extraordinary and their recognition well deserved.” We give thanks for Br Hugh and for the Hilfield Community of which he is a part.

 

Br Hugh with his award

Br Samuel SSF and Sr Gina CSF were also present at the ceremony

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.

Alnmouth Friary – Retreat bookings

Alnmouth Friary is now entirely full for the year 2017 and therefore we can not accept any more bookings. There are, however, plenty of spaces in 2018!