Saturday, 2 February 2013

Deanery Service of Penance for the Year of Faith

Throughout the Archdiocese, every Deanery is holding a Liturgy of Reconciliation, a celebration of the Sacrament of Penance with individual confessions, as part of our celebration of the Year of Faith.
The Service for Bexley Deanery will be on Friday 15 February at 7.30pm at St Lawrence’s, Sidcup.

This is an opportunity to join others in celebrating the gift of pardon and peace that Our Lord Jesus Christ made available to the Church when he sent the Holy Spirit on the Apostles.

If you have not been to confession for some time, this is an ideal opportunity to benefit from the grace that God gives us through the sacrament.

Bishop Patrick Lynch will preside at the celebration, and priests of the Deanery will be available to hear confessions.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Deanery Pastoral Council: Chairman’s Report

Bexley Deanery Pastoral Council

Chairman’s Report, 19 September 2012

The Bexley Deanery Pastoral Council is a meeting of the laity and clergy of the Deanery with the support and guidance of the Dean. Two representatives from each parish provide the Dean with a laity view of issues affecting our faith and parish life. It is a forum to exchange good practice, share ideas and support neighbouring parishes.
We are fortunate that we have well attended meetings often with Parish Priests and Deacon. Active members generate vibrate and useful discussion. We have encouraged Erith parish to find two representatives to join as they are certain to have much to contribute.

Over the past year we have been kept informed of the outcomes of the Council of Priests, the S.E.Area Dean’s meetings and the Deanery clergy assemblies. This keeps us in touch with the church views on a range of topics and developing initiatives. Sadly the Diocesan laity Commission no longer meets with the Archbishop which also provided a hub for Deanery exchanges. We do have a connection with Mortlake Deanery as a means of continuing to share the promotion of Deanery matters.

The D.P.C. meets each quarter, rotating the venue at each parish and our minutes and decisions are freely available. A notable success in the Deanery is the Third World project. With a dedicated committee to administer it and widely supported it delivers a target of financial support to projects suggested in the Deanery that make a significant difference to the communities they reach.

Justice and Peace had a small active group which has declined recently. We received a presentation on “Women at the Well” which offers aid to vulnerable women in the London area who have been trafficked to the UK to be exploited. Support continues to the homeless via several centres. We would welcome new interest from anyone who would consider helping J&P issues.

The D.P.C. is no financial drain on the Deanery. We have little funds and are usually able to raise what is needed to fulfil commitments.

Church unity has the driving force of Rev Michael Baldry providing the catholic input with churches across Bexley. This is a way to share our faith and develop understanding through join communication, events and service. Michael was also our Olympics Chaplain in this special year.

The Deanery provides a day of reflection for Readers and Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist to deepen their ministry and offer guidance. We plan to extend this to our music groups and choir’s in the immediate future.

Communication is ever prominent particularly for our young people. We are aware that our means of communication needs to keep pace with their trends and our web site hold an inviting appeal to them.

We responded to the new Catholic Environmental Group with examples of environmental care in our schools and parishes. To assist with parish administration we developed a format to help the priest by detailing the countless jobs and tasks that need to be undertaken in parishes. This can be tailored to each parish as a guide to who does what and highlight where help is needed.

Our meetings begin with a prayer and we now have our own that asks for God’s help and blessing. Our work is always open to new ideas and suggestions so that we act together for the benefit of the Deanery.

The London Borough of Bexley provides our Deanery boundary which gives us an even stronger sense of belonging. With your prayers throughout our area the D.P.C. will strive to continue to share information and joint ventures that unites our parishes and spreads the word of God.

Kenneth Atmore.
Bexley Deanery Pastoral Council.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Youth Evening of Recollection at Blackfen

There will be an Evening of Recollection for young people at Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen on Friday 23 July, starting at 7.30pm. the evening will include a spiritual talk, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, confessions, Benediction and a gathering in the Small Hall afterwards with pizza.

The evening is open to young people of secondary school age, sixth formers and young adults.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Family Barbecue at Bexleyheath

As part of our celebrations for the Bexley Deanery Mission year, there will be a Family Barbecue on Saturday 7 August from 4-8pm at St John Vianney, Heathfield Road, Bexleyheath.

Tickets are available from your parish contact – adults £5, children £3.50.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Lesnes Abbey Blessed Sacrament Procession

The annual Blessed Sacrament Procession for Bexley and Greenwich Deanery took place this afternoon in glorious sunshine. There was a large group of children who had recently made their first Holy Communion; they had another opportunity, as Fr Scanlon, the Dean of Bexley put it, to “dress up for Jesus.” The recently confirmed were also gathered together today, to reflect on this year’s theme of “Discipleship”. The choir and the readers led us in suitable hymns and gospel passages related to the theme and to the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. As is our custom, a collection was taken up for the Greenwich and Bexley Cottage Hospice.

The numbers were down this year: when we fixed the date of the procession, we did not know that it would coincide with England playing Germany in the World Cup. Nevertheless, those who came enjoyed a beautiful occasion of the praise and worship of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Here is the text of the sermon I preached for today:

Disciples of Christ
May I give a special welcome to all the children who have recently made their first Holy Communion and to all the young people who have recently been confirmed. Today, we gather together in this beautiful place with God’s creation smiling on us and his sunshine making everything bright.

We could imagine that we are like those five thousand people who were sat around to listen to him and to marvel as he fed them all with the five loaves and the two fish that the little boy brought for his packed lunch. We can think of the times that the disciples sat and listened to his wonderful teaching which he gave them with great authority because He was the living God, present among them as a man.

We are also gathered around Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. He is truly present in the Eucharist, our Holy Communion, as you learnt when you prepared for your first Holy Communion.

But that is difficult to understand, isn’t it? As you know, in September, we will have a very special visitor to our country. Pope Benedict is going to come and see us. We will see pictures of him on the television. Some of us will go to wave to him as he goes by in his special car which people call the “Popemobile”. Some lucky people will be able to go to the special events where he celebrates Mass or says prayers with people and speaks to them about our Catholic faith.

One time in Rome, Pope Benedict met with some children who had just made their first Holy Communion. They were invited to ask the Pope questions. One of them, called Andrea, said to the Pope:

In preparing me for my First Communion day, my catechist told me that Jesus is present in the Eucharist. But how? I can’t see Him!

The Pope kindly explained to Andrea that there are many things that we do not see but we know they are there – like our minds which we use to think, our souls which we use to love others. We can’t see thoughts or love. We can’t see electricity but we know it is there because the light is on.

So with Jesus – we do not see Him with our eyes but we see that wherever Jesus is, people change, they improve. Often the most important things are what we do not see.

Then another child, called Adriano asked the Pope:

Holy Father, they’ve told us that today we will have Eucharistic Adoration. What is it? How is it done? Can you explain it to us? Thank you.

The Pope said that we can see something of what adoration is because everything has been prepared, as it has been today. We say prayers, we sing, kneel down and place ourselves in the presence of Jesus.

Then he explained what adoration is – he said that it is to recognise that

“Jesus is my Lord, that Jesus shows me the way to take, and that I will live well only if I know the road that Jesus points out and follow the path He shows me. Therefore, adoration means saying: “Jesus, I am yours. I will follow you in my life, I never want to lose this friendship, this communion with you”. I could also say that adoration is essentially an embrace with Jesus in which I say to Him: “I am yours, and I ask you, please stay with me always”.

So today, yes, we are just like those disciples of Jesus – Peter, James, John and the other apostles; Mary, Salome, Mary Magdalen, Joanna, Susanna and many others. They felt the power of the personality of Jesus which attracted them to listen to him, to love him, to follow him and to remain true to him all their lives.

Those of you who have been recently confirmed have taken that further step forward in faith as disciples of Jesus. Strengthened by the Holy Spirit you are given power to stand up for your faith, to stand up for Our Lord as a loyal friend.

Dear children and young people. We all learn from you. Your faith reminds us adults of how we need to grow in faith – but also how we need to be simple, heartfelt, devoted and humble in our faith. Adoring him in the Blessed Sacrament and receiving his blessing, we ask him with confidence to draw us closer to him as his disciples – as his friends.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Day for Readers

Each year, the Bexley Deanery has a day for readers to pray together and to learn more about their part in the Church’s Ministry of the Word. This year, the day is being hosted by the parish of Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen on Saturday 10 July.

All parish readers in Bexley Deanery are invited as well as those considering becoming readers.


12noon Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament
Those who wish may join us for 10.30am Mass (Latin) followed by adoration. (Confession available)

12.15pm Practical Session on reading at Mass

1.30pm Buffet Lunch

2pm “A Catholic Reading of Scripture”
by Fr Marcus Holden, co-author of Evangelium

3pm (English) Vespers

3.30pm Tea and depart

Saturday, 26 June 2010

St John Fisher Listening Service

St John Fisher parish in Bexley offers a Listening Service which involves four retired nurses, from a background in the caring profession, with different experiences in “counselling” and “listening”. The Listening Service offers anyone space to “talk” freely and confidentially.
The aim is to provide a confidential and supportive listening service to develop and sustain the client’s confidence in a caring environment.
Clients will be seen at the centre unless prior arrangements have been made to meet the client at an alternative venue. Sessions will last for 50 minutes by appointment for six sessions but can be terminated by the client at any time during the course.
Peer group support will be arranged to review sessions but client confidentiality will be maintained by changing names, gender, etc.
If you think we can help you or someone you know telephone 07943 658008, leaving a contact number for us to get in touch.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Report from the Laity Commission

Below is the report given to the Deanery Pastoral Council by Ken Atmore, our representative on the Archdiocesan Laity Commission.


The Laity Commission met on 24th November with the Archbishop, an Mgr, a priest and ten members present. The meeting opened with a prayer led by the Archbishop.

The commission are looking to hold a retreat during lent with Fr John Mulligan as the facilitator. It may be that the invitation can be extended to Deanery members depending on the location.

The women’s world day of prayer encourages other faith groups to attend. The Treasurer holds a balance of £789.40 so next years grant will be declined.

There was some discussion on how the Laity meetings outcome was cascaded down. This was difficult where no D.P.C. was in place. However reports or minutes could be posted on notice boards and web sites used.

It was felt that D.P.C.’s could be an instrument and forum for lay people to look at pastoral provision and consider the shortage of priests and Mass times on Saturday/Sunday.

The Archbishop had looked at the value of the Laity commission and welcomed its continuation adding that a particular topic should be aired at each meeting.

The Archbishop stated that we are in a reasonably healthy state with priest numbers compared to the north. Demographic changes had a severe impact on church numbers. Whilst it was important to keep communities going the state of the building played a significant part. There had been instances of preservation orders being sort, the Victorian Society becoming involved to keep a
Church open despite attendance being minimal.

The Bishops are looking to raise a set of questions for the coming general election and Archbishop Peter Smith is preparing a paper on Catholic Social teaching.

Amigo Hall is all but complete. There is further information on the way Connections work.

The annual accounts were presented. The document begins by dealing with five of the trusts being amalgamated to make the trust easier to administrate. There are details of the investment trust and standard information returns that are open to the public on the Charity Commissions web site.

The accounts have been audited and passed. The accounts show an increase in asset sales and therefore income. Property sales are high as these were sold before the property slump. However some property had to be purchased at the high point.

Legacies are down and these tend to go to the wealthier parishes.
Collections are up for the 7th year in a row. Approx 100,000 people attend Mass on Sundays and with collections reaching 16M that comes down to £160 per year or £3 per week.

Restricted funds are those that are restricted by law and have been set for a particular purpose. Unrestricted funds can be dealt with as determined by the trustees.

There was serious loss on investments and next year could be even more severe, there was some recovery on capital value.

Expenses rose on child protection and chaplaincies. We spend little on generating funds as chiefly we simply put the plate out.

School grants are not reflected in the figures as these are sent direct to the school.

The Diocese is afloat the sale of assets was up considerably with overall income down. The balance this year 2008 is 1.3M better off. The next two years will be very difficult. Cuts will have to be made and overspends checked. We now have fewer assets and are likely to take a large hit on investment interest again.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Talk on the Priesthood

As part of our Bexley Deanery Mission Year, (an our celebration of the Year for Priests) the second of our talks on the priesthood will be held at the Church Hall of St John Vianney, Bexleyheath.

On Friday 20 Nov at 7pm, Fr Marcus Holden, author of Evangelium will be speaking on the Priesthood. After the talk there will be refreshments and a chance to meet the speaker.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

CaFE meetings at Erith

CaFE (Catholic Faith Exploration) offers a programme called “Knowing God even Better.” This is a series of five video talks, given by David Payne. the talks are enjoyable and practical and are designed to help you deepen your faith even more.

The parish of Our Lady of the Angels will be hosting this CaFE series at 7.30 to 9pm on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 4 November
  • Wednesday 11 November
  • Monday 16 November
  • Wednesday 25 November
  • Wednesday 2 December

The programme will be held at the Angelus Centre, Our Lady of the Angels Church, Bexley Road, Erith.

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