Pastoral Letter from Bishop Philp Egan

Yesterday’s Pastoral Letter from Bishop Philip was a great reminder and challenge to us all. Full text below, but here are a few snippets:

“This month, October 2019, has been designated by the Holy Father as an Extraordinary Month of Mission. It is a month of renewal, in which the Pope calls us to rededicate ourselves as missionary disciples spreading the Good News. It is a month of prayer, in which we pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It’s a month of action: of service, justice and charity to the poor”

“My prayer is for all of us, clergy and laity, parishes and schools, to be filled with an even greater trust in God the Father, a more passionate love for His Word, Jesus Christ and a more radical dependence on the Holy Spirit. Thus, with our hearts on fire, we will naturally want to reach out to everyone in works of evangelical mission, social justice and charitable service.”

“Faith is no longer handed on automatically through families, schools and parishes. What is key today is a real, personal, transforming encounter with Jesus Christ Himself. It is the task of families, schools and parishes to create the arenas in which people can encounter Him. This is what our diocesan mission statement means: ‘Bringing People Closer to Jesus Christ through His Church’.”

Deacon Hugh Parry writes reflections for the Shrine of Saint Jude

Since 1955, the Shrine of Saint Jude in Faversham, Kent has been a centre of devotion to the Apostle in the UK.  

We all recognise the need to develop our relationship with God through prayer. Sometimes we find this is not easy! What to say? How to say it? Am I doing this the right way? These are all questions that come to mind. One way in helping your prayer life is to imagine one of the saints with you, supporting you. Saint Jude is particularly helpful in this regard because, as we all know, he is the patron of those who have no one else to turn to. He is especially venerated because of his intercession for all those who have reached the end, but he is also a guide to many of us, and many pray to him because he is particularly helpful. 

The Shrine of Saint Jude has recently created an initiative called “Saint Jude at Home” – where people can subscribe monthly to  receive reflections and prayers on a particular subject.  Deacon Hugh has written June’s reflections and asks important questions, like: “What is my role in the service of God?”; “How am I following in the footsteps of Saint Jude and the eleven other Apostles in serving God?”; “Am I fulfilling my calling in the way God wanted when he called me?”. 

People can subscribe the Saint Jude at home, here

Emergency in Bamenda

Thousands of people in our sister Diocese of Bamenda have been displaced by the ongoing crisis in the North West and South West Provinces of Cameroon and are in urgent need of help. 

The Archbishop of Bamenda has established Ad Hoc Committees in each of his parishes to dispense aid directly to those who need it most. 

Please help the Portsmouth Diocese Bamenda Commission to help them!

£10 can supply warm clothing

£30: a huge sack of rice

£50: a range of medical supplies such as bandages, antibiotics, painkillers

But ANY SUM would be welcomed – together, we can make a big difference!

To donate, please visit our website:

and click on the MyDonate button to make a secure online payment, specifying that it is for the Emergency Appeal.

Please Gift Aid your donation if you qualify to do so.

Cheques payable to ‘PRCDTR Bamenda Commission’ may be sent to: Rev G Dailly, Treasurer Bamenda Commission, 21 Beech Rd, Alresford, SO24 9JS

For further advice, please email:

Do you wish you knew more about the Bible..?






Unlocking the Mystery of the Bible is a series of eight sessions that will help you uncover the story woven throughout Scripture, allowing you to get the “big picture” of the Bible and understand what it is all about! Each session includes a 30-minute film, after which refreshments will be available. Then those who wish to stay and discuss in small groups may do so, but anyone who prefers is free to leave at that point.

To begin with, why not come to one of our no-commitment Taster Sessions to find out more and to get a good idea of what it will be like? Only then do you need to decide whether or not to sign up for the rest of the course.

Taster Sessions* (February 2019):

Either: Tuesday 12 February: 7.30 – 9.00pm (Saint Joseph’s, 67 Purewell, Christchurch, BH23 1EH)
Or: Thursday 14 February: 12.45 – 2.15pm (Our Lady, Queen of Peace, Douglas Road, Southbourne, BH6 3ER). You are invited to bring your own lunch to eat with us from 12.15pm. 

*Please note: the Taster Session includes the first of the eight films, so you should come to the Taster Session even if you already know you would like to do the course. Please contact Richard Martin if you can’t make the Taster.

Remaining course dates for those who choose to carry on:

Either: Tuesday evenings 7.30pm (St Joseph’s, Christchurch): Mar 12, 19, 26; Apr 2, 23, 30; May 7
Or: Thursday lunchtimes 12.45pm (OLQP, Southbourne): Mar 7, 14, 21, 28; Apr 4, 25; May 2

Alpha Celebration Evening

WOW! What an amazing Alpha Celebration Evening yesterday!! (This is a reunion of everyone who was involved in our recent Alpha – guests, group leaders, catering team, welcoming team, etc, plus people were able to bring guests with them).

Last night, over 20 people chose to stand at the front of church and share with the whole group their Alpha experiences – and there were some very powerful, moving and uplifting testimonies from Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

Thank you, Lord, for the way you have touched people’s hearts, minds and souls during this Alpha journey. 

(Photo from final week of Alpha at St Joseph’s)


…to our new website! 

“Our Pastoral Area strives to be a community of welcoming, vibrant, growing Catholic parish communities of intentional, fruitful, missionary disciples, rooted in the Father’s love, focused on and in relationship with Jesus Christ, and on fire with the Holy Spirit, united in bringing the love of God to our neighbourhoods through prayer, service and witness.”