Thursday, 27 November 2014


On the morning of the 9th November (Remembrance Sunday) I was called to the Leyden family home to administer the Last Rites to Brendan. Shortly after reciting the prayers and coming away from the house Brendan passed away.
 Celebrating these Sacraments and ministering to the dying is always an immense privilege for a priest, but particularly when it is someone you have known.  The words used in granting the Apostolic Pardon are very powerful:

May the Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, who gave to his apostle Peter the power of binding and loosing, in his loving mercy accept your confession and put about your shoulders again the robe of sonship which was given you at your baptism.  And now in virtue of the faculty given to me by the Apostolic See, I grant you a plenary indulgence and the full remission of all your sins. In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Ghost.  Amen
Through the sacred mysteries of man's redemption may God almighty free you, both in this life and the next, from all the penalties he would have exacted from you for your sins.  May he open the gates of paradise to you and lead you in, to enjoy ending happiness.  Amen

Brendan was a great friend to many and I know that he will be sadly missed by all who knew him.  He worked tirelessly in the hospitality industry and will be remembered for founding the Leyden Brewery at the Lord Raglan Pub in Nangreaves (where incidentally he was born).
Brendan had a very homely down to earth faith that sustained him throughout life and in particular in the last weeks of his life.  Some of his friends, when they found out he went to church were a little surprised.  When they asked him why he went, in that typical down to earth way he replied 'Well it's something that you do.  It makes you feel better.' 
Brendan was also a great family man.  When he married his wife Helena at St Joseph's Church together they soon transformed what was previously Brendan's bachelor pad in Nangreaves into a fitting place for their children Joanna and Conor.  The family home was always a place of welcome, warmth and love for anyone who happened to call in.  Even in his last few weeks of illness Brendan always made sure that anyone who came to his home was made welcome.
We will miss you here below Brendan.  Rest in Peace and pray for us that as St Thomas More said 'we may all meet again, merrily in heaven.'


Last Sunday having celebrated all the Masses and a baptism I had a rare free afternoon.  I decided to have a little play with the camera I bought last Christmas and am only know getting used to some of its many features.  Here are some of the pictures I took.
Detail of the Sacred Heart Statue

The Flight into Egypt from the East Window

The Annunciation from the East Window

The Apparition at Lourdes in the stained glass

Christ the King

Statue of Our Lady

The Sacred Heart

St Joseph with light from candles

Image of St John Paul from the Shrine at the back of Church


Here is a recipe for a tasty soup I have made recently
The Ingredients

1kg of carrots
3 peppers (one of each colour
3 cloves of garlic
2 Knorr vegetable stock pots
1000mls of water

Put the water and the stock pots in a pan
and place on low heat

Peel and roughly chop the carrots
de-seed and roughly chop the peppers
Peel and slice the garlic cloves

Add the chopped vegetables to the stock and stir
Bring to the boil and then simmer until the carrots are tender

When ready, using a hand blender blend
all the ingredients together

Here is the blended soup.  On High Days and Days of Special Solemnity
a swirl of double cream may be added to the soup

Thursday, 30 October 2014


A devotional focus created to celebrate the Feast
On the 22nd October a long side the Church Universal we made history at St Marie's by celebrating the Feast of St John Paul II.
Mass was offered to the glory of God and in honour of the new saint.  After Mass there was a liturgy and devotions asking the intercession of St John Paul II.  The faithful also had the chance to venerate a First Class Relic of the Saint bestowed on us by Cardinal Stanislaw Dzwisz, the Metropolitan Cardinal Archbishop of Krakow and personal secretary to St John Paul II


Over the past few weeks I have taken up a hobby that I used to do many years ago as a child - tapestry.  At the moment I am still very much in the experimental stage with various designs that one da might form part of a vestment or hanging in a church some where.
The initial work involves graph paper  and a pencil to work out the basic design.  Then a choice of colours has to be made.  Once everything is in place then the canvas can be prepared in the frame to make it easier to hold and sew.
Then comes the task of transferring the squares of graph paper into actual stiches on the canvas. 
The photo in this post shows a couple of works in progress.  I am hoping to design an A - M arrangement (standing for Ave Maria) that can be incorporated into the design for feasts of Our Lady.


The Coat of Arms of the Institute

At the end of September the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest took on another apostolate in the diocese of Lancaster.  The Bishop of Lancaster the Rt Rev Michael Campbell has entrusted the care of St Walburge's Church in Preston to the Institute.  It is to be a church dedicated to the celebration of the Sacraments in the Extraordinary Form and to be a place of devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.
Clergy from the Diocese of Lancaster together with clergy from other diocese joined the members of the Institute together with a packed church of lay faithful for this great occasion.  The Bishop of Lancaster who presided at the Solemn High Mass offered by Mgr Gilles Wach, Co Founder of the Institute to mark the beginning of the new apostolate in Preston.
Clergy waiting to process into the church
The Church of St Walburge

Wednesday, 29 October 2014


Most groups and societies within the Church avail themselves of a Chaplain from time to time.  This is usually the services of priest to provide for the celebration of the sacraments and offer spiritual support.

In more recent times the understanding of the role of a chaplain has been developed to include the use of lay people as chaplains.  Within schools this role has been developed further and now includes pupil chaplains.

Over the last few weeks at St Joseph and St Bede's School we have looked at the possibility of having pupil chaplains to help develop the prayer life of the school.

The process started by speaking about the role of a chaplain within the context of the school and then inviting those who wished to be considered for this role to write a letter stating why they think they would be good at this.

It was lovely to here some of the responses of the children

I want to be a chaplain so that I can bring Heaven to Earth
When I pray I feel that Jesus is sat at the side of me
Being a chaplain means sharing the love of God with all I meet
I want to be a chaplain because it's cool to be Catholic

Mrs Curran talks to the children
about chaplaincy
Once all the letters had been received we selected a number of pupils and then had a little chat with them about the role of chaplain and how they saw themselves fulfilling this role.  At the end of the interviews we were able to select those who would become the first pupils chaplains at St Joseph and St Bed School and they were commissioned in a service led by Father Francis and Mrs Curran, the lay chaplain at St Gabriel's High School.

Children thinking about the role of a chaplain