Sunday, 30 December 2012


Today I celebrated the Solemn Parish Mass at St. Mary’s, Ilford in honour of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Preaching on the Gospel I pointed out how important family life is: Jesus went to Jerusalem probably for his Bar Mitzvah and, becoming an adult under Jewish Law, stayed behind at the Temple whilst his family set of home. When they discovered Jesus was not in the group they went back to Jerusalem to find him; he was in the Temple listening to the teachers. He went back home with them and spent the next 18 years as part of the family before starting on his mission.

It was good to see so many familiar faces (during their very long interregnum I was at St. Mary’s quite frequently).




Yesterday evening the Chapel End Savoy Players gave their annual Carol Concert at the Hospital Chapel. In a varied programme, we enjoyed carols from around the world. The concert was in two halves and during the interval refreshments were served by the Friends of the Chapel and included a glass of sparkling wine. A wonderful evening and next years date is already booked.


Thursday 3rd January at 12.35 p.m.

SOLEMN MASS with the Blessing of the model chapel,  FOLLOWED BY BUFFET LUNCH.

Thursday, 27 December 2012


Today I celebrated Mass at Ilford Hospital Chapel of St. Mary and St Thomas of Canterbury for the Feast of St. John the Evangelist.


Next Thursday, the Feast of The Most Holy Name of Jesus, we will blessing the new model of the chapel which has been beautifully made by two local crafts people. After Mass there will be a Buffet Lunch. Mass begins at 12.35 p.m.


Tuesday, 25 December 2012


Yesterday at noon I celebrated a Vigil Mass at the Ilford Hospital Chapel which included the Blessing of the Crib and the Angelus. I was pleasantly surprised by the numbers who came to support this Mass some of whom I have not seen previously and bearing in mind that many who normally come to Mass on a Thursday will be attending their own churches for Midnight Mass etc.

It was then home and lunch, and then of to St. Augustine’s, Rush Green,  for the packed Christingle Service at 4.30 at which I played the organ. Home afterwards for a few hours then back for the a wonderful Midnight Mass at which I preached and concelebrated. After Mass and a very welcome sherry and mince pie home to bed for a few hours then back again for the Mass of the Day. The weather was quite shocking, thunder, lightning and teaming rain plus partly flooded roads which sadly prevented some from being able to get to church.

After Mass to our daughter and son-in-laws for a splendid Christmas Dinner followed by enjoying watching our grandchildren open their presents. All together a great Christmas and it’s not over yet. Tomorrow our daughter and family will come to us and on Friday our son, our daughter-in-law and our other two grandchildren will be coming. On Saturday we have a Carol/Christmas Music Concert at the Chapel.

Monday, 24 December 2012



Xmascard 021-Tarasque



May all readers of this blog have a very Happy Christmas






Sunday, 23 December 2012




12 noon Angelus, Vigil Mass, Blessing of Crib and Preparation for Christmas.

Confessions  from 11.30 a.m.


St. John the Evangelist

12.35 p.m. MASS

Saturday, 22 December 2012

ADVENT 4 Hail Mary, full of Grace


Of all women you are the most blessed and blessed is the fruit of your womb.

Pope Paul VI–now declared Venerable

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI advanced the sainthood cause of Pope Paul VI by recognizing the Italian pope as having lived the Christian virtues in a heroic way.

During a meeting Dec. 20 with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, the pope signed the decree approving the heroic virtues of Pope Paul VI, making him "venerable." Before Pope Paul can be beatified, the Vatican must recognize that a miracle has occurred through his intercession.

Born Giovanni Battista Montini in 1897 in the northern Italian province of Brescia, Pope Paul VI is probably best remembered for seeing the Second Vatican Council through to its end and helping implement its far-reaching reforms.

Amid the strains and pressures following Vatican II, he received the nickname the "Hamlet pope," for his reportedly anguished decision-making and his evident suffering over problems of the church. However, he was also remembered as a strong leader who decisively guided the church through a time of crisis.

Pope Paul was the first modern pontiff to start visiting local churches around the globe, making nine major trips abroad.

Prior to his election, he spent more than 30 years helping to run the Vatican's diplomatic machinery at the Secretariat of State, but his diplomatic skills never overshadowed his priestly love of serving those in need.

He worked on behalf of prisoners and the politically persecuted during World War II, pleaded for peace to world leaders, appealed for the lives of condemned terrorists and kidnapped politicians, and donated the papal tiara to raise money for the poor.

He was elected pope in 1963 and died at age 80 in 1978. The Rome Diocese officially opened his sainthood cause in 1993.

Monday, 17 December 2012



I was very sad today when I heard the news that Father Philip North has withdrawn his acceptance of becoming the new Bishop of Whitby but will remain at his present parish of Old St. Pancras where he is Team Rector..

This is a great loss not only to the people of the See of Whitby but to Anglo-Catholics generally.

Fr. North said in a statement issued on the Diocese of London website: “It was a great honour to be chosen for this role and I had been very much looking forward to taking up the position.

“However, in the light of the recent vote in the General Synod and having listened to the views of people in the archdeaconry of Cleveland, I have concluded that it is not possible for me, at this difficult time for our Church, to be a focus for unity.

“I have therefore decided that it is better to step aside at this stage.

“I have reached this decision after a time of deep reflection and feel sure that it is for the best. I now look forward to refocusing my energies on the pastoral needs of my parish.”

Bishop of London the Rt Rev Richard Chartres said: “I can understand the reasons for Philip’s decision. He is a gifted and energetic priest and I am glad that he remains in this diocese to continue his outstanding work in Camden Town.”

Sunday, 16 December 2012


The awful events at Newton Sandy Hook Elementary School has shocked people around the world. 28 are dead of which 20 were very young children. I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that the American gun laws have a lot to answer for both in this tragic event and several others in the last few years. I was impressed by one father who lost a child. In a moving statement he said that we must pray for the victims and their families who are mourning their loss but we should also pray for the perpetrator and his family as well. That father illustrated how the Light of Christ can shine through such dreadful circumstances.

Rest grant unto them O Lord

And let light perpetual shine upon them.

May they Rest in Peace and rise in glory.

Friday, 14 December 2012


On Monday at around 12 noon my phone went dead, so I contacted BT on line which tested the line and reported it was OK therefore it must be a fault with my equipment. It was checked but there was nothing wrong. When Ann came home I got her to report the fault and she ended up at a Call Centre in India, we think. The person she spoke to had very little command of the English Language but eventually she managed to understand and passed the call to another person who said the fault was at the Exchange. The phone would be back by 5.00 p.m. Thursday. It wasn’t.

I checked the fault help line on the Web yesterday which said the fault would be repaired by Thursday 5.00 p.m. then I went to “chat” only to be told that although it said that faults could be discussed when the thing was answered the Customer Service guy said he only dealt with Accounts. He would get through to some one who could deal with faults. I asked him to get them to ring on Ann’s mobile which a little while later they did only to get someone from India who didn’t have a clue about the problem and, again, had very little understanding of English. Ann then went through the whole rigmarole again as the person who had referred the matter on didn’t bother to tell the guy who phoned. Ann was then passed to some one else who said the fault would be expedited and the line would be back by Friday. Needless to say it isn’t.

How on earth do you get any service from BT? I am absolutely disgusted by the way they have handled this and intend to look for another provider when it’s possible.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012


Yesterday lunch time at the Ilford Hospital Chapel, the Christian Union of Redbridge Borough Council held their annual Carol Service at which the Mayor of Redbridge read from the Gospel of St John. Around 60 people attended and a retiring collection was organised for the 2012 Mayor’s Charities and The Hospital Chapel. After the service mince pies and tea or coffee were served. I opened the service with a welcome to everyone and a prayer, then I played the organ for the service.

Yesterday evening, St Augustine Uniformed organisations held their annual Carol Service organised this year by the Guides, at which the girls of the Guide Company, Brownies and Rainbows put on a rather beautiful tableaux of the Holy Family, Angels, Shepherds, Wise men and a variety of animals including sheep. I officiated at the service.Light refreshments were served in the church hall after the service.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012


Same-sex marriage in churches – please contact your MP URGENTLY

David Cameron announced on Friday that he is now pushing for same-sex marriage in churches. The news of this u-turn has been reverberating around Britain ever since.

The Government had always promised that same-sex weddings would not be allowed in churches and other religious premises. This was said all over its consultation document.

Now the Prime Minister has broken this vital promise.

Many people are shocked that even before the consultation results are released, the Prime Minister has so dramatically shifted the goal posts. If marriage is redefined, religious believers will be exposed to litigation and the European courts – just for marrying people as they have done for centuries.

Of course most people who believe in traditional marriage don’t go to church. But everyone is asking: who can trust David Cameron on his gay marriage plans?

And everyone can now see that redefining marriage will be a massive cultural change.

Join the Campaign here

Sunday, 9 December 2012


Despite all the assurances to the contrary given by the Prime Minister David Cameron, that no church would be compelled or forced to marry gay men or women, already various “gay” organisations have stated that they will challenge this exemption through the courts. In the same way that boarding house keepers have been found guilty of discrimination when refusing accommodation to gay couples, I think the Church will be found guilty if it refuses to “marry” gays. One has to bear in mind, that ultimately this could be tested in the European Courts where so much of our legislation seems to be made these days.

It is my belief, and the belief of thousands of Christians, that marriage is a sacrament between two people, a man and a woman. A so-called union between two men or two women can never be a marriage recognised in the Christian context of a sacrament. This is neither a sexist or homophobic prejudice but a statement of Christian Doctrine. To ensure that gay people had the same rights in law as heterosexuals civil partnerships were introduced  and have proved to be successful but it is interesting that civil partnerships are not available to heterosexuals.

Thursday, 6 December 2012


Am I alone in wondering why Lord Justice Leveson was asked to report on the Press only for the Government to state that it will  just pick out the bits they like.  As Hacked Off director Professor Natalie Fenton  said: "It is a charade for the politicians and the editors to get together and pick out some of the recommendations and say these are acceptable or not and take out the heart and soul of the Leveson recommendations which provide the backbone for establishing a fair system going forward." or as Professor Brian Cathcart, professor of journalism at Kingston University and co-founder of Hacked Off, said: "Leveson did not expect or intend his plan to be picked apart, to be treated like an a-la-carte menu”
Obviously there is great public support for better control of the press which is highlighted by the number who have already signed the “Hacked Of” petition which. at the time of writing, amounts to 143,352. You can sign it here

Tuesday, 4 December 2012



On Tuesday last week Ann and I went with our daughter, son-in-law, our grandchildren and one of their godmothers to Disney, Paris. We journeyed to Kings Cross the night before and stayed at the Premier Hotel as it would have meant leaving home at the crack of dawn to catch the Eurostar. We went to Lille by Eurostar and then TGV to Disney.

After booking in at the Disneyland Hotel we went into the park with just time to enjoy two rides and the evening procession before dinner. We went to the buffet restaurant so the children could meet various Disney characters during their meal. The food at the hotel was absolutely excellent.

We spent Wednesday, Thursday and half day Friday enjoying the Disney Park and on Thursday evening we went to the spectacular laser and firework Christmas Show. My one complaint about Disney is the exorbitant prices they charge for drinks; just under £5 for a bottle of coke which would normally cost no more then £1.20 in the UK.



Disneyland, Paris is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary this year; we first went there around 18 years ago taking our two mothers.( It has expanded considerably since then) They had a real whale of a time. I must admit Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Cinderella et al in French seems rather strange but it’s something you get used to and all the announcements are in three or four different languages which helps.


We had a wonderful time with our grandchildren experiencing the look of wonderment on their faces. They really enjoyed all the rides and the processions. On Thursday evening we went to the Laser and Firework display which is on every evening. Quite spectacular. Then Friday afternoon it was on to the various trains and back home to reality and to 84 emails and countless items of junk mail. We are both very grateful to our daughter and son-in-law who treated us to this experience of a lifetime




Sunday, 2 December 2012


Waiting on a slip road of the A12 on my way to celebrate and preached at the Parish Mass at St. Paul’s, Goodmayes, a young driver belted into the back of my car, shoving the car out into the path of the oncoming traffic. I think I was quite fortunate that the man driving across the A12 at that moment could take avoiding action and didn’t hit me sideways on. After exchanging names and Insurance Company details I was able to drive on to St. Paul’s Church, despite feeling very shaky. I have a bruised forehead and my back was not too good for a while afterwards. At St. Paul’s the Sacristan on hearing what had happened made me a cup of coffee. I think I’ve been quite lucky to escape with hardly any physical damage; the cars driving across the A12 do so at quite a speed normally as the traffic lights give them very ;little time to get across. I hate to think about what could have been a very nasty accident.

I wasn’t able to get into the boot which has been pushed into the car’s bodywork, to get my robes, sermon etc. but was lucky enough to find a cassock alb in the Sacristy which sort of fitted me. I had to “preach of the cuff” and talked about how we could sometimes be surprised by visitors turning up unannounced. If we had been aware of their coming we wouldn’t be having a lazy day as it was we would say something like “you’ll have to take us as you find us” but we would be worried about what they would think. When Jesus comes the second time we need to be ready for him and Advent is one of the times we can start our preparations.


I’ve been away in Disneyland Paris for the last few days hence nothing on the blog but tomorrow I’ll put some photo’s on here and give a few comments about the time we spent with Mickey Mouse etc.