Festivals/Seasons & Holy Days

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Community Routes

CSF Southwark:

  People – Celebrating 40 years of profession

Joyce 40th anniversary of Profession

Joyce 40th anniversary of Profession

On 4th January, 2013, the house chapel hosted a service to mark Joyce’s 40th Anniversary of Profession.  The Rt Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave, Bishop of Woolwich, presided at the eucharist which was attended by 14 people: 5 CSF sisters and other friends.  Sue, the Minister Provincial, received Joyce’s renewed commitment to her vows and gave a homily, while Gina led the intercessions.  A celebration meal in the house followed the service.

Joyce had made her Profession at Compton Durville, Somerset in January 1973, and her Life Profession was in San Francisco in December 1975.  Over the years Joyce has served the Community in very many capacities, and most recently as Minister General, a post she held for 10 years until February 2012.



Place – Re-dedication of Southwark Shrine of our Lady of Walsingham

Southwark Chapel Dedication

Southwark Chapel Dedication

Back in the late 1970’s,

the small chapel in the courtyard of the Vicarage of St Alphege Church, Southwark, was made into a Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. This was the gift by his parishioners to the then Vicar, Fr. Eric Mathieson, on the 25th anniversary of his ordination.  In the years between the closing of St Alphege church building in 1982 and the formation of the worship space in the hall in 1993, the Shrine was used by the parish for its regular worship.

In more recent years the Shrine sustained significant damage from a leaking roof so was in need of major repairs for it to be ‘fit for purpose’ again. The repairs and refurbishments were undertaken by the PCC of the parish of St George the Martyr with St Alphege and St Jude, Southwark, last summer.  Most generously, the parish gifted the Shrine to the care of the Community of St Francis, now resident in St Alphege Clergy House, who use it for their daily worship.

On 15th December, 2012, the Bishop of Woolwich re-dedicated the Shrine in the presence of a number of clergy and friends of the Community.  It is the hope of the sisters that the Shrine will be used also by visiting groups and individuals.  It has a seating capacity of about twenty and all are welcome into this sacred space.

ARC Conference

Barbara OSB, Chris James CSF and Mark Holland, assistant facilitator

Barbara OSB, Chris James CSF and Mark Holland, assistant facilitator

‘New Monasticism’ seems to have come to the attention of many in traditional orders lately, and it was the theme of the input from Tessa and Mark Holland at the Anglican Religious Communities Conference held at Emmaus House, We

st Wickham, in October 2012.  An exercise at the beginning of the day, drawing up a time-line for monasticism/religious life throughout the life of the Church, helped us to see how new gr

oups come out of established ones and that often these movements occur at times of significant cultural shift.  We looked at some of the characteristics of new monastic communities and were challenged by the Christian dedication of many of those in these groups, and to think about how our own communities can be more inclusive.



Asia/Oceania Seminar 2012

Jenny Tee writes:

87 Franciscans from many countries throughout Asia and Oceania, gathered at the Pace e Bene Retreat Centre of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (FSIC) in Sabah, Malaysia, in October 2012, for a Seminar on the Comprehensive Course on the Franciscan Mission Charism.  Jenny Tee, along with Jemma and Raphael Suh represented C/SSF and also met up with a TSSF brother from Bangkok.

The CCFMC is a Roman Catholic initiative, comprising a structured programme of 25 Lessons.  The focus of the course is mission, in the sense that all Christians are missionaries, and Franciscan mission in particular, drawing from Francis’ and Clare’s engagement in the world.  The programme aims to be international, stressing the importance of local context, and to embrace all branches of the Franciscan family.  The material draws on the early Franciscan sources, as well as later scholarship and the latest revisions bring in greater reference to Clare, alongside Francis.  The course employs a ‘See – Judge – Act’ method, similar to other models of social action and liberation theology.

Over a week of study, worship and living together, we got to know one another and shared our experiences of Franciscan life in practice.

Within this large and varied gathering, we four Anglicans were warmly welcomed. Most importantly, the Seminar enabled us to build a network of relationships, and I found a lot of encouragement in this.  That which we share as Christians and Franciscans seems to win out over any structure and to enable us to understand more of one another.


Raphael Suh & Jenny Tee

Raphael Suh & Jenny Tee

Internovitiate Conference, 2013

On Monday 7th January, novices from as far north as Whitby, as far west as Ty Mawr and as far south as Canterbury converged on the Convent of the Sisters of the Love of God in Oxford.  For three glorious days we sat at the feet (metaphorically!) of Dr Peta Dunstan of Cambridge Unnovicesiversity – the acknowledged expert in the history of Anglican Religious Life – as she imparted some of her knowledge and enthusiasm to us.  What became very clear during our first visit to Littlemore (where John Henry Newman, later Cardinal Newman, established a small religious community) was that there was a distinctively Anglican way of being a Religious, a way which unites the best parts of the Anglican tradition of scholarship, prayer and liturgy with the more ancient inheritance of our monastic tradition(s).  This was a very clear demonstration of what might be called ‘Anglican Patrimony.’  As part of the conference we also visited parish churches (St Barnabas, Jericho and St Mary the Virgin); former religious houses (St Stephen’s House and Nashdom); places of learning and scholarship (Littlemore and Pusey House) and current religious houses (All Saints, Fairacres and the Sisters of the Precious Blood) and were encouraged to see them all as part of the inheritance of the Oxford Movement and the teaching of Dr Pusey.  It was not, of course, ‘all work’ and we enjoyed meeting our fellow novices and spending time with them, reflecting together on our experience thus far of religious life.  This was all held in the embrace of the prayer life of the Sisters of the Love of God and the All Saints Sisters who welcomed us warmly and who allowed us to join with them in the offering of the daily office and Eucharist.

New Horizons

Malcolm will retire as Vicar of St Peter’s Bentley and there will be a closing service of thanksgiving on 30th June for ten years of ministry by Malcolm and other brothers there, after which he and Cristian Michael will leave the Vicarage and that Franciscan House will close.  However, the brothers have been looking forward to establishing a new house in the Diocese of Newcastle as a base for urban ministry and for novice placements in the city. The new house will be in the vicarage of the parish of St Anthony of Egypt, Byker and whilst SSF will not be acting as the parish priest for that parish the brothers do hope to contribute to the life of the Byker Team ministry and to MINE, the Mission Initiative Newcastle East, in the wider area.  Damian moved to Byker in early April and Malcolm will join him as the second permanent member of the household.  Cristian Michael has been helping with the practical tasks necessary in both closing Bentley and opening Byker, and Peter also spent some time assisting in this.  It is hoped that there will be photos and further news of both the departure from Bentley and the new work in Byker in a later edition of franciscan.


Archbishop Roger Herft, Protector General of SSF, and Bishop Protector of the Province of the Divine Compassion, was recognised in the Australia Day civic honours list, being made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM): ‘For significant service to the Anglican Church of Australia through leadership roles in ecumenical and interfaith relations and advocacy for social justice.’

James Andrew, Guardian of the Brisbane friary, writes: We brothers know how hard Archbishop Roger works for the church and how supportive he has been to us in this province as our Bishop Protector and also as Protector General.  We are glad that he has received this recognition from the wider Australian society.

Round up

Luke Daines was admitted as a novice on the Feast of the Epiphany, taking the name Michael Jacob.  Helen Julian expects to be ordained deacon by the Bishop Protector at Hilfield on 4th July

Damian made a temporary move from Hilfield to Bentley in early February until Easter when, as mentioned above, the Byker house became available and he moved there;  Malcolm will join him in Byker later.  Cristian Michael will move to Canterbury, probably in early July, where he will be based for the summer prior to the main changeover time for novices later in the year.

Barnabas Francis is no longer a member of SSF.

As franciscan was being compiled, news came in from the brothers in the Solomon Islands asking our prayers for those affected by a tsunami, especially on the island of Temotu.  The buildings of our SSF brothers, the Melanesian Brother-hood and Community of the Sisters of the Church suffered minor damage; vegetable gardens on the island will have been affected, also.  The Solomon Island government, the church and other organisations sent relief, assisted by international aid.  f