Sunday, 30 September 2012


We celebrated Harvest at the Ilford Hospital Chapel on Thursday. Tins were collected for the Ilford Foodbank and donations for “Send-a-Cow” a charity we are supporting this year. During my homily I reminded people that this was Part 1 of our celebrations; Part 2 would be Sunday evening at St. Mary’s Church Ilford who was acting as host to the Ilford Town Centre Fellowship of Churches with a Harvest Choral Evensong.

Thursday evening Ann and I went to Ilford College’s Rouge Restaurant for an Olympic Meal. Many of the students had been involved catering at the Olympic site during the Games and they decided to host an evening, using some of the dishes they had served there and which included British, Asian, European etc and very good it was too.

Sadly on the way home I felt I was developing a cold, which has turned into a rather nasty chest infection. This has meant that I’ve had to cancel taking part in tonight’s service at St. Mary’s as I’m not certain my voice would hold up (it keeps going – some might say that was a good thing) I managed to preach this morning at St Augustine’s but was concerned that I might not get through it. I’m disappointed about this evening but Ann has gone to support it and will tell me all about it later.

Saturday, 29 September 2012


In the reports today in the media it appears that the committee charged with selecting two names to submit as the new Archbishop of Canterbury have failed to make a decision. No surprise there then!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012


Today, the committee charged with discerning who to nominate to be the new Archbishop of Canterbury starts its deliberations. Various names have been suggested and we will know the answer before very long but none of the Bishops who seem to be front runners unduly impress me. Who ever takes on this challenging role will need very broad shoulders. and the assistance of the Holy Spirit, if he is going to keep together not only the world-wide Anglican Church but the Church of England. This person will need our prayers as will, of course, the Committee who are making the choice.

Sunday, 23 September 2012


We had many visitors yesterday and today at the Ilford Hospital Chapel for the Open House. Guided tours were available to those who wanted them and an excellent range of refreshments were on sale for those who came. Many thanks to all those who helped in any way to ensure the success of this weekend.


As Father Gareth and many of his congregation were on Pilgrimage to Walsingham I was at St. Mary’s Ilford to celebrate their Parish Mass and to preach. Although many were away we still had a good number present, a full team of servers and an excellent choir. In my sermon, based on today’s Gospel, I pointed out how Jesus regarded children as very important. In the past, in some societies, girls had not been held in high regard and had often been killed at birth. Even today this awful situation exists in some parts of our world. In this country we didn’t regarded ourselves as guilty of this crime and yet every day abortions are taking place often for no better reason than contraception was not used. Abortions in most cases are no better than what happens in some parts of the Third World to children at birth – they are both murder. We have to become like little children, the gospel reminds us, and if we want to be great in the Kingdom of Heaven we have to become the servant of all.

Saturday, 22 September 2012






Brochures are still available for the Pilgrimage to the Holy Land in October 2013.  We are stopping at two excellent hotels and all entrance fees, three meals a day, and all gratuities are included. We plan to visit all the well-known holy places including Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jerusalem, Tiberius, the Sea of Galilee, the River Jordan etc. using air-conditioned coaches with an excellent Tour Guide. There will be a Daily Mass.  Travel Insurance is extra if needed (many people have an annual policy so don’t need the cover offered by the travel company) This is a trip of a life time organised for us by one of the best and most experienced travel companies McCabe.

The Pilgrimage is open to all who are interested so if you would like more details contact Father Mervyn or Father Martin

Friday, 21 September 2012


At Thursday lunch time I celebrated Mass at the Ilford Hospital Chapel. We hold a Mass every Thursday at 12.35 p.m. with a brief homily and a couple of hymns. After Mass there are refreshments. This Saturday from 10.00 a.m. until 4.00 p.m. and Sunday from 1.00 p.m. until 5.00 p.m. the Chapel is open as part of the OPEN HOUSE LONDON scheme. The Chapel is the oldest building in Ilford and is still a centre for Christian Worship.

Yesterday evening Ann and I were guests at Redbridge College Rouge Restaurant for a “Tapas evening.” The food was wonderful, all prepared and served by the students. During the Olympics many of the students were part of the team catering for the athletes and some were offered permanent jobs as a result. They had a wonderful time and thoroughly enjoyed being part of this.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012


Two police officers were brutally murdered this morning in Greater Manchester: PC Nicola Hughes and PC Fiona Bone. These officers were called to investigate a purported burglary when they were attacked. Please pray for the repose of their souls and for their families and their colleagues in the Greater Manchester Police.

Rest Eternal grant unto them O Lord and let Light perpetual shine upon them. May they Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory

Sunday, 16 September 2012


"Those who behold the Sacrament of the Eucharist, consecrated by the priest, but see only the appearances of bread and wine and do not—with the grace of the Holy Spirit—believe that it is truly the Body and Blood of Christ, condemn themselves, because they do not believe the testimony of the Lord himself who says: ‘This is my Body and Blood of the new covenant’ and who promises ‘He who eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood has eternal life’ (John 6:56). And just as he showed himself to his holy Apostles in the form of man, in like manner he allows himself to be seen in the consecrated bread. Despite the fact that with the eyes of the body they saw only the flesh—but by contemplating it with the eyes of faith believed nonetheless that he was God—so we, too, seeing the bread and wine with the eyes of the body, believe that the most holy Body and Blood are present, alive and true, in the Eucharist. In this way, the Lord is always present in the midst of his faithful, as he himself promised, saying: ‘Behold, I am with you until the end of the world’" (Matthew 28:20). -- St. Francis of Assisi

Friday, 14 September 2012


Today I preached at the annual Holy Cross Mass for the local chapter of Society of the Holy Cross in which I talked about how we, as priests need to take up our cross. I spoke about the capitulation of the Bishops in their decision about Clause 5(1) (c), the problems that traditional Anglo-Catholics had in maintaining the faith in the present situation but the difficulties are the cross we had to bear. In the end if we glory in the Cross of Christ we must take it up and follow Him.

After Mass we went to the local YMCA for a super three course lunch.

Thursday, 13 September 2012


The bishops have made their decision regarding Clause 5(1) (c) The final text proposed by the House of Bishops is:

Substitute for the words in clause 5(1)(c):" the selection of male bishops and male priests in a manner which respects the grounds on which parochial church councils issue Letters of Request under section 3"

The House also agreed to establish a group to develop the illustrative draft Code of Practice published in January to give effect to the new provision.

According to the report on the BBC this morning, the Bishops believe that those opposed to the legislation to consecrate women as bishops do not have sufficient votes in General Synod to defeat the measure and therefore they can proceed with it and the revised clause with impunity. The fact that the Bishops have decided to withdraw the original clause and substitute the wording quoted above, demonstrates their surrender to the strong-arm tactics of militant women and the total disregard they have for the traditionalist position despite all the promises made and reassurances given when the law was changed to allow the ordination of women. My feeling is that this revision gives very little, if any, protection to Anglo-Catholic parishes who have the misfortune, for example, to be in a Diocese with a militant woman bishop determined to “do it her way”.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


In their latest email Coalition for Marriage points out that it is reported in the Daily Telegraph that “teachers could lose their jobs if they refuse to endorse gay marriage in the classroom”

The email continues : “The Telegraph's report also shows that parents would have little hope of withdrawing children from gay marriage lessons across the curriculum.

Outside education, foster carers and NHS chaplains could be penalised for expressing support for traditional marriage. And there is real concern that ministers of religion could be taken to court if they refuse to conduct gay weddings.

The Telegraph's report is based on a legal opinion produced by leading human rights and civil liberties lawyer, Aidan O'Neill QC. He shows the far-reaching impact of redefining marriage for freedom of conscience and civil liberty. You can read a summary here.

Already, we have seen cases of people being punished in their jobs for their opinions about gay marriage. Adrian Smith, a Housing Manager from Manchester, was demoted and had his salary cut by 40%, just for saying gay weddings in churches were "an equality too far". Lillian Ladele, a registrar at Islington Borough Council, was forced out of her job because she asked not to be designated as a civil partnership registrar..O’Neill advises on the position of the Church of England. As the established church, it is under a legal obligation to marry any persons who are eligible to marry in England and Wales.Even if Parliament passes a law which allows (but does not oblige) churches to host gay weddings, O’Neill advises that the UK Government could be in breach of European human rights laws if it allows the C of E to refuse gay weddings. This is because of the C of E’s unique status as the established State church. O’Neill says the church would be in a safer position if it was disestablished.

Despite Government reassurances that clergy would not be under any obligation to conduct same sex marriages I suspect that it would not be long before some one decides to take the matter to the Court of Human Rights. And how long would it be before those Bishops who support Gay Marriage put pressure on clergy and possibly on General Synod to change the legislation. From bitter experience we know that reassurances given and promises made can and often are changed

Sunday, 9 September 2012


Today I celebrated and preached at St. Mary’s Ilford, the day after they celebrated their Patronal Festival. As usual the choir were superb. In my sermon, based on the Gospel, I talked about how we all need Jesus to open our ears so we can hear what he has to say for us, Father Gareth, the Vicar, was at St. Alban’s, Ilford for a Confirmation by the Bishop of Richborough.

At the Peace, the children of the Sunday School carried in a card they had made for Mary’s birthday and a bunch of roses which we placed at the statue of Mary with a short prayer.

Yesterday I was privileged to be one of the concelebrants and to preach at the Solemn Mass at St. Augustine’s when Caitlyn, the Granddaughter of the Vicar Father Martin was Baptised.

Thursday, 6 September 2012



Yesterday Ann and I went to the Paralympics. We managed to get tickets for Goal Ball which is a game played by blind folk who use a ball with a bell inside. You have to sit quietly and are only allowed to applaud when the referee says. We went to the quarter final between GB and Sweden and GB lost 2 –1 after extra time.



Our ticket included a Day Pass so we were able to spend time looking around at this most impressive site. We were also able to go to the 7 Aside Football between Brazil and the Ukraine.


We were shocked by the prices charged for food: for example £6 for a Jacket Potato, £8.50 for Fish and Chips (the fish was small – very small) and served in a plastic container – ugh, £2.30 for a Coca Cola or other soft drink £1.60 for a bottle of water etc.

I was very impressed with the river walks and the abundance of wild flowers. We weren’t able to get any tickets for the Olympics but I have to say going to the Paralympics more than made up for this.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012


It has been announced that Father Nicholas Spicer SSC has been elected by the brethren as the new Provincial Master to succeed Father Kit Dunkley SSC. I have known Father Nicholas for over 27 years ever since we were both Assistant Curates in Bristol Diocese and am delighted with this election.

Monday, 3 September 2012


The Hospital Chapel, Ilford Hill, will be open this SATURDAY 8TH SEPTEMBER from 10.00 a.m. until 4.00 p.m.

During the course of the morning there will be a visit by the Mayor of Redbridge.

There will be Stalls selling various items including cards, bric-a-brac, books, videos, records, cd’s and dvd’s and refreshments.

Guided tours of this the oldest building in the borough will be available throughout the day.

If you haven’t yet visited this gem why not do so this Saturday

Sunday, 2 September 2012


Around 65,000 students who were expected to obtain ‘C’ grade in English were awarded a ‘D’ grade after the amount of marks needed was raised. Ofqual, the exams regulator, examined the quality of marking and maintain that the marking was correct but confirmed that the standard had been raised since the January examinations. The net result for those students affected will mean that entry into Sixth Form Colleges and later Universities might no longer be possible or that Apprenticeships agreed will not go ahead.

Ofqual are refusing to budge on this matter and it now seems that some teachers will be seeking recourse to the courts. In the Independent it reports: Meanwhile, pressure is building over the Ofqual report, which heads and teachers say has done nothing to tackle the "scandal" of pupils getting different grades despite getting the same marks, depending on when they sat the exam. Heads' and teachers' organisations were meeting at the weekend to discuss the possibility of a legal challenge over what happened, which would mean a judicial review of whether the grading system was fair.

Whilst Ofqual are adamantly refusing to budge on this matter, children’s futures are being put in jeopardy. The offer to retake the examination in November would, for most of those affected, be totally useless. The only solution to this debacle is the urgent remarking of the papers.