Monthly Archives: November 2012

Sunday 25th November – The Solemnity of Christ the King

Let’s not forget that today, as well as being Youth Sunday, is the Solemnity of Christ the King.

As Pope Benedict reminded us in his words at the Angelus this morning (25th November):

Dear brothers and sisters,
Today the Church celebrates Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. This solemnity comes at the end of the liturgical year and brings together the mystery of Jesus “firstborn from the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth”, extending our gaze towards the full realisation of the Kingdom of God, when God will be all in all (cf 1 Cor 15.28). Saint Cyril of Jerusalem says: “We announce not only the first coming of Christ, but also a second which is much more beautiful than the first. The first, in fact, was a manifestation of suffering, the second brings the diadem of divine kingship… the first, He was subject to the humiliation of the Cross, in the second He is surrounded and glorified by a host of angels”. All the mission of Jesus and the contents of His message consist in announcing the Kingdom of God and implementing it among men through signs and wonders. “But – as the Second Vatican Council reminds us – above all, the Kingdom is made manifest through the person of Christ (Lumen gentium, 5), who established it through His death on the Cross and His Resurrection, whereby He showed Himself to be the Lord and Messiah, the High Priest for eternity. This Kingdom of God was entrusted to the Church, which is the “seed” and the “beginning”, and has the task of announcing it and spreading it amongst all peoples through the strength of the Holy Spirit. At the end of time, the Lord will deliver the Kingdom to God the Father and will present to Him all those who have lived according to the commandment of love.

St Robert of Newminster Newsletter 25th November 2012.

CLICK HERE for St Robert of Newminster Newsletter 25th November 2012

Today is Youth Sunday – in this Year of Faith we are reminded how important it is to pass on the faith to young people. Fr Lawrence would like to encourage those in Year 9 upwards and also encourage parents and grandparents of those of that age to gently persuade their youth to attend our meetings on Wednesday evenings and also the next “Source” event on Wednesday 5th December. Fr Lawrence wishes to remind parents and grandparents that young people are far more likely to continue in the practice of the faith if they have a positive experience of faith outside family, parish and school. They need to meet together, to go on retreats and youth events in order for their faith to be strengthened. This video from YMT ( for Youth Sunday) clearly demonstrates this:

The latest work on the church.

Everything is going according to schedule. The first celebration of Mass will be on Sunday 16th December – 9.00am, 11.00am and 7.00pm.

It took two days to carefully and painstakingly remove the altar rails. They have gone to the studio to be refashioned in order to be repositioned in front of the  High Altar in the new year:

New radiators installed:

Decoration complete in this area – only the bubble wrap needs to be removed from the Stations of the Cross that have been thoroughly cleaned:

This is the area where the altar rails had stood and beyond is the area where the foundations will be laid for the new altar:

Again, the area beneath the sanctuary where the foundations will be laid for the new altar which will arrive in the new year:

Beautiful new furniture for the sacristy:

After the fire it was discovered that there were two original skylights in the sacristy that had been obscured at some stage during re roofing. These have been restored to their original condition:

Just three weeks to go – work is speeding up as it reaches completion – so also will the frequency of these pictures – so watch out!

Latest pictures of the restoration work

New gas boiler installed (in the sacristy) for the new central heating system for the whole church:

In the sacristy – see IHS restored to its original condition:Sacristy ceiling:

Again, notice the original features restored in the redecoration:

Now, in the church – looking to the west door from the sanctuary – painting almost complete:

Notice the protective boards over the altar rails which will soon be removed and refashioned in order to fit around the high altar:

The ceiling complete:

The nave almost completely painted:

More pictures to follow soon as the project quickly reaches its completion on Friday 14th December.

St Robert of Newminster Newsletter 18th November 2012

CLICK HERE for St Robert of Newminster Newsletter 18th November 2012.

In this Year of Faith let us as a parish defend Marriage:

Please sign the petition at  and you will find lots of resources and information. This will help you to write to the following:

Write to your MP – Mr Ian Lavery, House of Commons, London, SW1A OAA. Or go to

Write to the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street London, SW1A 2AA or go to

Write to Nick Clegg at Deputy Prime Minister, 70 Whitehall, London,SW1A 2AS

Full Text of Pastoral Letter of the Bishop’s of England and Wales:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ,

This week the Coalition Government is expected to present its consultation paper on the proposed change in the legal definition of marriage so as to open the institution of marriage to same-sex partnerships.

Today we want to put before you the Catholic vision of marriage and the light it casts on the importance of marriage for our society.

The roots of the institution of marriage lie in our nature. Male and female we have been created, and written into our nature is this pattern of complementarity and fertility. This pattern is, of course, affirmed by many other religious traditions. Christian teaching fills out this pattern and reveals its deepest meaning, but neither the Church nor the State has the power to change this fundamental understanding of marriage itself.

Nor is this simply a matter of public opinion. Understood as a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman, and for the creation and upbringing of children, marriage is an expression of our fundamental humanity. Its status in law is the prudent fruit of experience, for the good of the spouses and the good of the family. In this way society esteems the married couple as the source and guardians of the next generation. As an institution marriage is at the foundation of our society.

There are many reasons why people get married. For most couples, there is an instinctive understanding that the stability of a marriage provides the best context for the flourishing of their relationship and for bringing up their children. Society recognises marriage as an important institution for these same reasons: to enhance stability in society and to respect and support parents in the crucial task of having children and bringing them up as well as possible.

The Church starts from this appreciation that marriage is a natural institution, and indeed the Church recognises civil marriage. The Catholic understanding of marriage, however, raises this to a new level. As the Catechism says: “The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, by its nature is ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptised persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.” (para.1601)

These rather abstract words are reflected however imperfectly in the experience of married couples. We know that at the heart of a good marriage is a relationship of astonishing power and richness, for the couple, their children, their wider circle of friends and relations and society. As a Sacrament, this is a place where divine grace flows. Indeed, marriage is a sharing in the mystery of God’s own life: the unending and perfect flow of love between Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

We know, too, that just as God’s love is creative, so too the love of husband and wife is creative of new life. It is open, in its essence, to welcoming new life, ready to love and nurture that life to its fullness, not only here on earth but also into eternity.

This is a high and noble vision, for marriage is a high and noble vocation. It is not easily followed. But we are sure that Christ is at the heart of marriage, for his presence is a sure gift of the God who is Love, who wants nothing more than for the love of husband and wife to find its fulfilment. So the daily effort that marriage requires, the many ways in which family living breaks and reshapes us, is a sharing in the mission of Christ, that of making visible in the world the creative and forgiving love of God.

In these ways we understand marriage to be a call to holiness for a husband and wife, with children recognised and loved as the gift of God, with fidelity and permanence as the boundaries which create its sacred space. Marriage is also a crucial witness in our society, contributing to its stability, its capacity for compassion and forgiveness and its future, in a way that no other institution can.

In putting before you these thoughts about why marriage is so important, we also want to recognise the experience of those who have suffered the pain of bereavement or relationship breakdown and their contribution to the Church and society. Many provide a remarkable example of courage and fidelity. Many strive to make the best out of difficult and complex situations. We hope that they are always welcomed and helped to feel valued members of our parish communities.

The reasons given by our government for wanting to change the definition of marriage are those of equality and discrimination. But our present law does not discriminate unjustly when it requires both a man and a woman for marriage. It simply recognises and protects the distinctive nature of marriage.

Changing the legal definition of marriage would be a profoundly radical step. Its consequences should be taken seriously now. The law helps to shape and form social and cultural values. A change in the law would gradually and inevitably transform society’s understanding of the purpose of marriage. It would reduce it just to the commitment of the two people involved. There would be no recognition of the complementarity of male and female or that marriage is intended for the procreation and education of children.

We have a duty to married people today, and to those who come after us, to do all we can to ensure that the true meaning of marriage is not lost for future generations.

Most Reverend V. Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster

Most Reverend P. Smith, Archbishop of Southwark

St Robert of Newminster Newsletter 11th November 2012

CLICK HERE for St Robert of Newminster Newsletter 11th November 2012

In this Year of Faith and in this month of the Holy Souls here is the beautiful “In Paradisum” from Faure’s Requiem Mass (by a Japanese conductor, orchestra and choir)

May Angels lead you into paradise;
may the Martyrs receive you at your coming
and lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem.
May a choir of Angels receive you,
and with Lazarus who once was poor, may you have eternal rest.