Festivals/Seasons & Holy Days


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SSF

Prayers for all NHS & Key Workers

The Sisters and Brothers of the Society of St Francis are very conscious of the incredibly serious situation facing the country at this time caused by the new strain of the Coronavirus. We are particularly aware of the challenges faced by our NHS and Front Line workers and of the physical, emotional and mental stress they are currently facing. One of the small things we feel we may offer at this time is the assurance of our continuing prayers: We will hold all affected by COVID19 in our hearts, in our prayers and in the Daily Office and Eucharist.

Soup and Santa!

Brs Finnian and James Douglas received a very special visitor whilst dispensing soup from Balaam Street on Friday…

Scriptural Rosary in London

Brothers Finnian and Tobias are leading a Scriptural Rosary Group in London. The meeting take place in St Vedast Alias Foster on Fridays at 11.00am (opposite St Paul’s Tube Station). It is envisaged that the group will move to the Friary Chapel in Balaam Street in the new year. The group have a Facebook page which may be accessed by clicking here The recitations are also live-streamed on the Facebook page. +

Soup @ HDC

The Brothers of the House of the Divine Compassion have begun a new ministry and are now serving homemade soup to anyone who needs it on Fridays. Because of lockdown restrictions it is much harder for people to find food easily but here they can receive a mug of homemade soup and have a chat with the Brothers and other volunteers.

Br James Douglas SSF preparing to distribute the soup with Br Finnian.

Hilfield Solar Project

Br Hugh writes:

The poster at the Friary entrance announces Hilfield Friary’s solar project,  part-funded by Low Carbon Dorset as part of the European Regional Development Fund .

In 2012 the Friary had 44 solar pv panels, (10kwp) installed on the Chapel Roof, giving about 10,000 kwhs of electricity a year, plus valuable payments from the Feed in Tariff. However, it is only a part of what we need. The arrival of electric car charging and LED lighting has increased and decreased our needs respectively.

 We had always planned to generate more, and to reduce our carbon footprint further. Equipment costs have fallen but the FIT has also gone. Now Low Carbon Dorset, run by our local authority, Dorset Council, has helped us find part funding to cover the roofs of Francis and Leo Houses and the chip store for our biomass boiler. 

We are most grateful to The Low Carbon Dorset team for their excellent advice and encouragement in finding the most appropriate technology, in the size with the shortest payback time. It helped us apply for the 40% funding from the EU’s  European Regional Development Fund.

A local firm will begin installation next week. 29 pwp of panels on more 3 roofs will generate another 30,000 kwhs pa, quadrupling the power we generate. It will give an estimated C02 saving of 21.8 tonnes pa.

LCD has also helped other Dorset churches, at least one of which is, like us, an Ecochurch award winner. See www.lowcarbondorset.org.uk/  and https://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/  for further information.

 Solar power helps the friary economically, as we will now have to buy less electricity, albeit 100% renewable electricity from Ecotricity. As the cost of batteries fall further, in a year or two, we also hope to store daytime power to use at night. In the meantime, surplus power will go to the grid, but the Local Electricity Bill, now going through parliament, could let us sell spare power to neighbours.

The Church of England has just brought forward its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030, and this solar project shows what we can do now. See www.churchofengland.org/news-and-media/news-and-statements/general-synod-sets-2030-net-zero-carbon-target

This project is part of our care for creation, our Common Home as Pope Francis calls it in Laudato Si. St Francis spoke of Brother Sun and Mother Earth but had no idea how harnessing the lifegiving power of Br Sun could slow the poisoning of Mother Earth with CO2, giving us hope in our climate emergency.  Guests and visiting groups will learn about the project, just as they learn about our biomass heating

Work on the Solar Panels above Leo House (27.11.20)

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.