The Portsmouth Mission blog welcomes visitors from across the world.

Naturally most of our visitors are from the United Kingdom but yesterday we were delighted to welcome visitors from Spain, Indonesia and the Vatican City. We welcome you!

The whole purpose of this blog is to fight secularisation and to oppose the “Spirit of Vatican II” which treats the council as a rupture rather than hermeneutic of continuity.

Ultimately the Church in this country is failing. Let’s look at some statistics, supplied by the Latin Mass Society:


Mass attendance is falling, despite being propped up by immigrantion from traditionally Catholic countries such as Poland. Mass is considered boring and irrelevant by many of our youth. Catechism is lacking in our churches let alone schools.

46.7% (nearly half) of all weekly or more Mass attendees are over 65.





The number of priests has fallen each year since 2002. The 2011 total of 5,264 represents the lowest total since 1937.



Ordinations have plummeted. Linked with the falling number of active Catholic priests, we won’t be able to fill parish vacancies. The old structure of 1 priest: 1 parish cannot continue.

We need holy priests who can inspire our youth. There has been too much scandal and abuse. Our priests are too often involved in pointless meetings with a parish elite. We need priests who will get on with the work of pastoral visiting and prayer.

As Pope Francis has said, “The problem is not whether you wear a cassock, but rather if you roll up its sleeves when you have to work for the good of others.”




I’ve been in communities where the church has closed down. Sadly the Catholic community dies when this happens. Although the Mass is the source and summit of Christian life, why can’t Catholics still meet in addition to the Mass in their homes, places of work and education? The Church needs a more missional focus.

Even simple changes can impact on the life of the church. Remember Bishop Egan’s sermon entitled ‘Becoming a Missionary Disciple?’ He wrote, ‘I must begin with a true story about a married couple I met in another diocese. Now in their 70s, they were life-long Mass-goers until recently when their parish was combined with another and the times of Mass were changed to enable the priest to cover both parishes. They always went to 10 o’clock Mass, but now the Mass was at 10.30. They were furious and had stopped going. ‘Why?’ I asked. ‘Because it messes up Sunday lunch,’ they said. I was shocked. Casting off the habit of a lifetime, they were depriving themselves of the Holy Eucharist and the parish of their support, all because their lunch would be 30 minutes late.’


As Bishop Egan recently said, “Sadly, some middle-class Catholics look down on the parish and its clergy as a service-provider. No, the Church is never that. The parish is meant to be a community of missionary disciples, a place to encounter God, a centre of formation, a facility for charitable outreach and a resource for mission.”







Monaghan Cathedral, Ireland. It is widely regarded to be the best work of J.J. McCarthy, dubbed the “Irish Pugin.”

Then the “Spirit of Vatican II” came. In a twenty year period from the mid 1980s onwards, most Irish cathedrals lost their original interior fittings, including railings, high altars, side altars, pulpits, and thrones.





Now the interior lacks focus, the body of the church does not draw the eye to the magnificent hammerbeam roof as intended by the architects; instead, the sanctuary area is nondescript, bland, and beige.

Luckily many Irish Catholics now regret bitterly what was allowed to happen in the name of “the spirit of Vatican II.” They realise more and more that they have been duped.


Tues 25th Oct. 2016

Quiz Answers


  1. This object is called a mounting block, made to help people get on and off horseback when they arrive at the church. The church in question is a very ancient parish church dedicated to St Brynach, in the village of Nevern, Pembrokeshire, in south-western Wales. The block was built in the 18th century, and there is apparently only one other in the region.



2.These are a type of liturgical headdress used in the Chinese missions. This headdress was given papal approval, and was apparently adopted from the forms found in the Chinese imperial court. It is a classic example of traditional inculturation in action, having been so adopted because within Chinese culture, not having one’s head covered was a sign of “humiliation and scorn.”


An email from Paul:

Holy Trinity, KNAPHILL
This church is from the man (J H Ball) who designed S Agathas, Portsmouth. In fact the building is of a similar time and style, albeit in a low church, evangelical tradition.  It also replaced an earlier building.
During a Christingle service
Wiki Entry:
Knaphill’s Anglican church was built in 1907 for ٢,000 and consecrated on 25 September of that year. It superseded a tin tabernacle (also dedicated to the Holy Trinity) which was built in 1885 when the area was known as Knapp Hill.
The architect was J.H. Ball, whose plans dated from 1893, and the red-brick design (using the products of Knaphill Brickworks) has a Romanesque Revival flavour.
Princess Helena of Waldeck and Pyrmont, the Duchess of Albany, laid the foundation stone on 23 March 1907; her visit attracted great interest as she travelled to Knaphill from Woking railway station by carriage.
The church was not registered for marriages until 1941 (its mother church St John the Baptist’s was used instead) and was only parished in 1967.




The Liturgy.

The most effective means of evangelisation isn’t the ALPHA course, Cafe Church or setting up a Facebook page. It’s through ensuring we provide a Liturgy authentic to the traditions of the Church. If we marry the church to the modern age, she will become a widow in the next.

Three points made by Cardinal Sarah regarding the Liturgy,

  1. Ad Orientem


The liturgy is meant to draw us into deeper union with God through an intimate encounter with Him. In the liturgy, we are caught up into the heavenly realms and experience—for such a brief moment—the heavenly liturgy while we are still here on earth. We sing the song of the angels—“Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus”—when we participate in the sacred liturgy. This is why liturgy cannot be about man, and in a particular way, it cannot be about the specific priest celebrating the liturgy. Cardinal Sarah has repeatedly talked about celebrating liturgy ad orientem, to the East, for celebrating liturgy with such an orientation is about more than “the priest turning his back on the people.”

The deeper reality of ad orientem worship is that the faithful are praying along with the priest, who acts in persona Christi, and offering the Divine Victim along with Him (see Lumen Gentium, art. 11). Sometimes in our modern liturgical praxis, we focus too much on the personality of the priest or too much on the people in the community. Such an overemphasis removes God from the center of the liturgy, when all the focus should ultimately about Him, since liturgy is the way by which we glorify God—above all, it is not meant to be a glorification of ourselves.

2. Silence


Of silence, Cardinal Sarah says, “God is silence, and this divine silence dwells within a human being … I am not afraid to state that to be a child of God is to be a child of silence.” It is indeed a profound mystery when Cardinal Sarah says that God is silence. Perhaps we can understand this best in comparison to what he says about the devil. He says, “God is silence, and the devil is noisy. From the beginning, Satan has sought to mask his lies beneath a deceptive, resonant agitation.” The devil is continually attempting to distract us from God, trying to keep us from awaiting the Bridegroom, as in the Parable of the Ten Virgins (see Matthew 25:1-13).

While God patiently waits for us to return to him, the devil is constantly trying to drive us away from the Lord’s call. The devil fills our minds, especially our imaginations, with temptations, images, and noise so that we do not make room for God and forget about his constant presence within us. Cardinal Sarah writes that our “busy, ultra-technological age has made us even sicker.” The devil can very easily use technology for his own purposes, for he can use it as a constant distraction from God’s presence. If we are constantly checking our e-mail or social media websites because we have the ability on our phones, are we thinking about God? Do we think about God when we have those spare moments, or do we turn to our technology? All of us need to ask ourselves those questions honestly.

In a particular way, we can experience, enter into, and learn silence through participation in the sacred liturgy—provided that liturgy is not focused on man himself but on God. In the sacred liturgy, we encounter the majesty of God, and such an encounter demands silence, for we are nothing in comparison to the greatness of God.


3. Know your place


The liturgy demands conversion, which means turning back to the Lord. Conversion through the liturgy means forgetting the distractions of this world—completely forgetting them, so that we no longer have a divided heart—and giving everything to the Lord. This will require a conversion within our own liturgical practices. Liturgies, as we have already explained, should not be marked by noise and distractions—these liturgies will only hinder our true conversion to God. As Cardinal Sarah profoundly says, “There is no true silence in the liturgy if we are not—with all our heart—turned toward the Lord.”

In many parishes, we are unfortunately very far from this liturgical reality of an attitude of silence and orientation toward the Lord, which is why it is so important for us to pay attention to what Cardinal Sarah is saying. The faithful should not be afraid of advocating for liturgy properly celebrated within their parishes, for such a liturgy is not only what is fitting for the Church, but it is also necessary if we wish to see a return to reverence for and focus on God.


Why are so many Bishops so lacking in honesty?

John writes…



There has been nothing so depressing as the American election.   We have two candidates who should certainly not be running and this goes back to the fact that it is money and the power that money gives that determines the political scene.    Now Trump is posing as a pro-lifer which has to be questioned but Hilary, exposed by her e-mails as an anti-catholic bigot cannot get enough of Abortion and is almost fanatical.    But on her fanatical anti-catholicism and her extreme abortion views the bishops of the United States keep silent.

It could be of course that following the plan they are the new democrats in the Church that Hilary wanted and paid for.   They cannot see beyond social issues to the cost of marriage breakdown and the millions of human beings in the womb who are slaughtered without good reason.  They do not fight for the rights of children growing up in broken families with no father or the cost of divorce on the community.   No their social leanings are with the Democrats and as far as the Church is concerned they are the blind leading the blind.

Did Donald Trump attack women as he is painted to have done.   I do not know.  But we have the videos of the women being interviewed about what Trump did.   Yes, we have indeed the videos but the videos do not offer proof that what they are saying is true.    They spoke to Democrats and Democratic Newspapers like the Washington Post.   Thy did not go to the police where their allegations would have been examined.    So I am very doubtful since I already know that Clinton has lied in the past.












Is Trump sexist, racist and/or Anti-Catholic?

Perhaps we need to vote for the policies rather than the personality of Trump?






TRUMP: I am pro-life… I hate the concept of abortion. What happened is friends of mine years ago were going to have a child, and it was going to be aborted. And it wasn’t aborted. And that child today is a total superstar, a great, great child. And I saw that. And I saw other instances. And I am very, very proud to say that I am pro-life.




Most abortions in England, Wales and Scotland are carried out before 24 weeks of pregnancy.



A baby in the womb at 4 weeks.

Pray for Life






Our Lady of the Expectation

Fighting over the Liturgy


Mongolian sumo wrestler Asashoryu throws down Chiyotaikai for his win in Grand Sumo Championship in Las Vegas

Disputes often occur regarding the big six. A typical Tokyo sacristy.

Seriously though…

When a choir director and parish priest differ over liturgical music, the choir should follow in good faith the wishes of the priest for the sake of unity, said the papal liturgist.

When it comes to celebrating the liturgy, “we should never fight,” Msgr. Guido Marini told choir members, directors and priests. “Otherwise, we distort the very nature” of what the people of God should be doing during the Mass, which is seeking to be “one body before the Lord.”

The papal master of liturgical ceremonies spoke on Oct. 21 at a conference opening a three-day jubilee for choirs. Hundreds of people involved in providing music for the liturgical celebrations in Italian dioceses and parishes — such as singers, organists and musicians — attended, as did directors of diocesan liturgy offices and schools of sacred music.

During a brief question-and-answer period after his talk on the role of the choir, a participant asked Msgr. Marini what she termed “an uncomfortable, practical question.”

“Many times, in our parishes, the priest wants the choir to perform songs that are inappropriate, both because of the text” and because of the moment the song is to be performed during the service, she said.

“In these situations, must the choir master follow the wishes of the priest even with the knowledge that by doing so, the choir is no longer serving the liturgy, but the priest?” she said to applause.

Asked for his advice, Msgr. Marini smiled, cast his eyes upward and rubbed his chin signaling his awareness that it was a hot-button topic. He said he felt “sandwiched” “between two fires, between priests and choirs.”

Acknowledging the difficulty of such a situation, he said he sided with the priest.

There are situations where priests may not be giving completely correct guidance, he said, and there are directors that could be doing better. But in either case, conflict and division should be avoided and “humility and communion be truly safeguarded,” he said.

This, like with all disagreements, he said, requires that all sides be very patient with each other, sit down and talk, and explain the reasons behind their positions.

But if no conclusion or final point is reached, then “perhaps it is better also to come out of it momentarily defeated and wait for a better time rather than generate divisions and conflict that do no good,” he said to applause.

Live the path of communion and unity in the parish “with lots of goodness, cordiality and sometimes the ability to sacrifice something of oneself, too,” Msgr. Marini advised.

Just like the grain of wheat, he said, “sometimes all of us must die in something” knowing that it will bear future fruit.

Msgr. Marini responded to the question after delivering a 50-minute speech, in which he received a standing ovation.

Titled, “The Role of the Choir in Liturgical Celebrations,” the monsignor outlined five fundamental elements of the liturgy and how choirs should help serve each of those aspects.

The liturgy is the work of Christ and it should express the Savior’s living presence, he said. Choir members, therefore, must be people who have Christ present in their hearts.

While much care must be given to the artistic and technical aspects of liturgical music’s performance, the hearts of those who perform must be cared for as well so that they are men and women of faith who feel “a burning love for Christ” and find their life’s meaning in him, he said.

The liturgy also must evoke the church’s universality, where there is a harmonious union of diversity and continuity between tradition and newness, he said. This means that the choir must never be “front and center” or seem separate from the faithful because they are part of the assembly.

Pope Francis has insisted that liturgical music for papal liturgies “never go beyond the rite” and force celebrants and the assembly to wait for the singing to finish before proceeding on to the next moment of the Mass, he said. “Song integrates itself into the rite,” serving the ceremony and not itself.

He also asked that choirs help the liturgy in its purpose of gathering everyone together to conform themselves more closely to God and his will.

The Mass is about overcoming individual distinctions so that “it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me,” he said. That means the choir should help everyone in the assembly be an active participant during the moments of song including by stirring people’s emotional or spiritual feelings.

Choirs must help the liturgy by inviting all of creation to lift its gaze toward God on high, he said. People should feel elevated and pulled out of the mundanity of the ordinary and everyday — not to escape from it, but so as to return renewed to one’s everyday life after Mass.

If song is not “a bridge over eternity” then it is not doing its job, he said. Song must not be worldly and unworthy, but must in some way be the “song of angels.”

Lastly, he said, choirs must be missionary like the church and the liturgy by way of attraction, which it does by revealing God’s beauty, wonder and infinite mercy.

The Latin Mass Society

In the Autumn 2016 LMS magazine, an interview is published with the Rt Rev Mgr Keith Newton, leader of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, in which he discusses various aspects of Church life, including liturgy, ecumenism and evangelisation.

Speaking about Divine Worship – the Ordinariate Missal, Mgr Newton says:

“The Missal is a very historical document as it is the first time, as far as I know, that the Catholic Church has produced a missal which has elements from ecclesial communities that originate from the time of the Reformation. This has huge implications. Ecumenically, therefore, the Ordinariate is a kind of test-tube to see what could be done if other churches really do come together, so that there is a unity of faith, a unity of order, but some diversity of practice. I’m surprised that ecumenists don’t find the Ordinariate more exciting, because I think they should.”

This coming Sunday (30th October) at 3pm there is an Extraordinary Form High Mass at   Portsmouth Cathedral. Because of this there will not be a 3pm Low Mass at St Agatha’s. Instead the congregation will join the High Mass in the Cathedral church.

The LMS has produced a selection of Christmas cards. Featuring four designs from Classical artists, each card contains a Scripture text (in Latin) and greeting. The cards are available in packs of 10 of the same design and are supplied with envelopes.

By sending LMS Christmas cards to your family and friends, you are not only conveying the true meaning of Christmas but are also supporting the work of the LMS.

Go to the Cards section of the LMS website shop and select ‘Christmas Cards’ to see the full range.

Juv Nov 2016.jpg

Gift Ideas for Christmas

The Sistine Chapel Choir under its director Monsignor Massimo Palombella has just released a second CD recording with Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft.

It is devoted to the music of Palestrina and includes the famous six-voice Missa Papae Marcelli, the only work that Palestrina dedicated to a pope, credited with “saving polyphony” by making the text intelligible to the listener (the Council of Trent had condemned polyphony that obscured the meaning of the text). Additionally there are motets on the theme of mercy designed to complement the Holy Year.

It is not widely known that Monsignor Palombella is something of a Palestrina scholar, having carried out a lot of research into his works; so it will be interesting to hear how this is borne out in the recording. Also interesting to hear will be the manner of singing by the choir, which has already changed radically from the “bawling in the basilica”-style formerly associated with the Sistina. This new CD was, uniquely, recorded in the Sistine Chapel itself, which demands a rather more intimate style of vocal production suited to the acoustic of a much smaller building. The Sistine Chapel was chosen for the recording since it is the locale where papal celebrations took place in the time of Palestrina, the basilica of St Peter’s having not yet been completed.


  1. What is this?

It is outside a church in Wales.


2. These items are found in a Cathedral Treasury. What are they?


Answers will be given on the next post.




Today I opened my copy of the Daily Mail to be met by a photo of Bishop Fellay (SSPX) in a beautiful Roman Chasuble.The article refers to the Society’s supposedly anti-semitic links. Its basis? Well Bishop Fellay has apparently called the Jewish people “enemies of the Church.”

The article reads that the Vatican recently denied the Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke a funeral. He was convicted of the massacre of hundreds of Italian civilians during the war and before his death, Priebke affirmed his belief that the Holocaust was a hoax. However, the SSPX stepped in to give the unrepentant Nazi his dying wish.

It also doesn’t look good that a war criminal was eventually tracked down decades after the war having found refuge in an SSPX monastery.

The article reveals that the founder of the SSPX, Bishop Lefebvre, was fined in 1990 for racial intolerance; he’d made comments about Muslim immigrants.

We need not mention Bishop Williamson who in 2009 gave an interview in which he denied that the Nazis had ever used gas chambers. It took three years before he was expelled (2012)- and that was mainly due to his opposition to SSPX rapprochement with the Vatican.

The article is in today’s Daily Mail (65pence) and begins on page 15.

But what ever happened to Bishop Williamson? The article doesn’t mention about what happened after he left the Society.

Bishop Williamson currently leads a splinter group. To assist him he recently ordained Fr Jean-Michel Faure, 73, a bishop without papal approval during a ceremony in Nova Friburgo, Brazil.


The consecration of Bishop Faure

Bishop Faure’s group is the most notable and largest and has  begun to call itself the Society of St. Pius X of the Strict Observance (SSPX-SO).

The Society of St Pius X, in a communique issued by the general house in Menzingen, denounced the episcopal consecration of Fr Faure. It said, “Despite the assertions of both clerics concerned, is not at all comparable to the consecrations of 1988. All the declarations of Bishop Williamson and Fr Faure prove abundantly that they no longer recognise the Roman authorities, except in a purely rhetorical manner.”


The Society of St. Pius X of the Strict Observance (SSPX-SO) or “SSPX resistance” are few in number here in the UK. They have very few Mass Centres.

The SSPX has a church in Wimbledon. The SSPX resistance does have a Mass Centre a short distance down the road in Wimbledon library.

It is sad to see Catholics splitting into various sects and defying Our Lord’s call to be one. But it is easy to sympathise with members of the SSPX, many of whom have been scandalised by contemporary abuses in doctrine and liturgy in some of our Catholic churches.

Ultimately we mustn’t alienate ourselves into a Traditionalist ghetto. Isolation will not solve the problems within the Catholic Church. It is better to be within the arms of the Catholic Church, strengthening the grassroots movement against the Spirit of Vatican II.

I believe in reforming the Church from within, as extremely difficult as that may be.

Only if there is no alternative should one attend Mass celebrated by a priest from the Society of St. Pius X.

What we should do is pray constantly for the priests and people of the SSPX (numbering around 1,000 in Great Britain).



A priestly ordination at SSPX Saint-Nicolas du Chardonnet, Paris. A beautiful church which I visited a few years ago.

We should also pray continually for those Anglo Papists/Catholics who claim themselves to be Catholic while not in Communion with Peter.


“Father, may they be one”


Other News…

Church Antiques, Walton on Thames, are having a big pre-move sale. See their website for more info.

The Latin Mass Society has a new website- do take a look.

October is the Month of the Holy Rosary. During this month we are urged to make regular use of this wonderful prayer every day if possible.

St Bartholomew’s, Brighton (CofE) is now in a period of interregnum until such time as a new appointment takes place.

On Sunday 16th October 2016, Bishop Philip celebrated Mass at St Margaret Mary, Parkgate for the Golden Jubilee of the church, during which he Consecrated the church building and the altar.


During his sermon the Bishop said, “Don’t lock Christ away from His people! Don’t prevent people coming to meet Him! Keep the church open so that people can visit the Lord present in this place. Indeed, come here often yourselves. Pray here. Read the Scriptures here. Arrange times of Eucharistic Adoration. Adore Him, and find in Him that rest which renews us and sends us home refreshed.”


Pre-Reformation Worship


Today the church at Long Melford (pictured above) is a shell, stripped bare by the iconoclasm of the Reformation.

However, at Long Melford, we have something utterly unqiue and fascinating: a record of what the church looked like before the Reformation.

During the reign of Elizabeth I, Roger Martyn withdrew from attending the parish church. He was a “recusant Catholic” and left a written account of what had been destroyed.

An inventory of 1529 records an astonishing list of items used throughout the liturgical year: 12 chalices, a monstrance, relic, three paxes, two crucifixes, a pyx, thurible and candlesticks not to mention a large collection of vestments including 13 copes and numerous chasubles.

The church also had a selection of jewels to dress the principle image of Our Lady on great feast days.

Martyn’s account describes the Palm Sunday liturgy: A blue silk canopy was held over the Host, carried by four yeomen. When the procession, re-enacting Christ’s entry into Jerusalem, reached the East End of the Lady chapel, a chorister, attired as an Old Testament prophet, stood on a turret and sang Ecce Rex tuus venit (Behold thy King cometh). At this point everyone in the procession knelt. As the sacrament returned into the church, Jesus body and blood (the Host) was showered with flowers and ‘singing cakes’, unconsecrated wafers.

At one time the Mass was the centre of life in Long Melford. The custom of elevating the Host after the consecration had originated in 13th C. France.

So important was this part of the Mass that in churches with elaborate altars, a cloth was drawn across it so that the host could be clearly seen silhouetted against it.

The laity received communion once a year, at Easter, making true preparation by going to the sacrament of confession.

The changes at the Reformation were most unpopular. During the reign of Edward VI, bequests to churches during these years plummeted from 65 to 15 per cent of what they had been before the reforms.


Tues 18th Oct. 2016


Paul writes


Brick Churches in North Hampshire

St Mary The Virgin, Preston Candover-



This early english style church was built by Blomfield in 1884.


Not very far away is a large housed called Moundsmere Manor. This newer house of 1908 was built for a very successful businessman by Sir Reginald Blomfield.



St Michael and All Angels, Crux Easton-



This small church is a small rectangle with an apse.  It replaces an earlier bulding.  It is from 1775 and is in blue and redbrick.

St Peter’s, Headley-



This small church built in 1867 is on the A339 Basingstoke to Newbury road.  I tried to gain access some years ago but unfortunately found the church locked.  This parish was created out of the nearby parish of Kingsclere.  Two services are held monthly in this church which can seat sixty people.  Note the ‘big six’.


Mattingley Church-No dedication-




This unusual church is from the fourteenth century.  Brick is laid in a herringbone pattern between timbers.


St Mary, Stratield Saye



This classical style church was built in the 1750’s by the Pitt family of Stratfield Saye to replace an earlier church.  The first Duke of Wellington worshipped here.  Some images show the church exterior in plaster.  Some images just show brickwork.  I guess the plaster has been removed as in some photographs it is peeling badly.

St Catherine, Wolverton



The medieval church was encased in brick in 1710 by a pupil of Sir Christopher Wren.  The large tower has been considered ‘rather out of proportion with the earlier building’.


Christ Church, Ramsdell-




This simple church was built by public subscription in 1867.  It cost £1,100 and was built for the farm workers and those who worked in the local brick kilns.


John writes…


When the Reformers took over in this Diocese in the seventies, they had the delusion that there was too much emphasis on the devotions of Fatih and not enough on making young people think for themselves.    indoctrination became a nasty word.   Of course the whole thing was based on their already instilled bigotry.   If the Church had been given a mandate by Christ to “Go and teach all nations baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost” she already had the mandate of Christ himself to do so.   But something else came into play, and that was the dishonesty of not teaching about the Authority of the Church.  For years I had to listen to bureaucrats paid by the then bishop to teach such things as the ‘Pope is Superior in Love and not Autbority” or “Catholics were only allowed to read the Bible after Vatican II” or “The Catholic Church does not have the whole truth we only find this with other Churches”    It really depressed me that such people could stand up and say things that could be so easily disproved, and when challenged had to resort to personal attacks.    Many have already past on to their judgement.

What they actually did was make the Church seem just as important as other Churches with no particular calling and no special message.    If you want to study say Abraham Lincoln in depth you will want to know who his parents were, where dd he live, and why was he so important.  What message did he give that was so inspiring and what can you do to be faithful to that message.   If we turn to Jesus Christ the Gospel tells us that he taught us to bring the message of love to others, but he also taught us we had a soul to save, that others had souls to save, and his death on the cross was to free us from sin by means of the grace this sacrifice achieved.  “We live now in the grace of Christ” St Paul told the Corinthians.   “Go and teach all nations…….to observe what I have commanded you” was the last words of Jesus to his disciples  That was an exciting message.   St Francis Xavier, St Ignaitus Loyola, thousands of people spreading the Word of Christ to the far corners of the earth.    Was it really just about being nice to one another.  Was it really just to help you remember to give money to Cafod.  Was it really just about doing the things that Oxfam, and other secular societies also do.    “Depart from me you cursed into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels”.    Father says we are not to take these sahyings  seriously any more.     I have to say that if this is all that is left of the teachings of Jesus little wonder young people avoid Church like a plague.    As the evil of Abortions increase – we must not offend the community by speaking of abortion.  As what Christ called Adultery takes over the lives of our youth and marriage is not longer popular among young people, resulting in thousahds of unhappy childreb growing up without a father, or a father and mother, let us not offend anyone by mentioning marriage in case someone is divorced.     No, no, we must not be judgemental.     Never mind what the youjg people we are a ‘community of faith’

But we tell them Jesus loves them, how dare I contradict.   It is of little point when children only hear that in Church then come home to their unhappy childhood which the Church does not care about.

The notion of being part of a movement bringing souls to God, of being part of a movement bringing peace to the world through establishing the kingdom of God, getting young people to marry in the way God intended, to fight against family breakdown, to gain converts and more people to spread the message now that is real apostleship.   A Church militant on earth and bearing the sword of Christ and the Cross of Christ to the lost.   What a wonderful vocation.   In my day thousands of young people were inspired to fight this fight, we had not shortage of priests, and families said the Rosary with their young people who had not yet been alienated.    There is the challenge, there is the fight, there is the Catholic Faith.



Artist’s Impression- St Agatha’s nave altar

Paul writes


Hampshire contains very little church buildings by the gothic revival  architect George Frederick Bodley.  However we can see two examples (although they can’t compete with works in london as more money was available for larger buildings).

S. Boniface , Chandlers Ford


This church is from 1904, although the chancel came later in 1929/30. Pevsner describes it as ‘a simple church with a dignified interior’.

St Lawrence, Ecchinswell


Ecchinswell church is located just over nine miles north of the men’s group regular haunt -‘The Watership Down’, Freefolk Priors.

Ecchinswell was the loction of  Richard Adams novel ‘Watership Down’, and Nuthanger Farm features rather extensively in that novel.

The church is dedicated to S. Lawrence, the 3rd century Roman Martyr.

The present building replaces an older church, from which the font orginates, although the cover is a later victorian additon.

This new church was built in 1856, on higher ground away from the stream which was one of the reasons the old church was demolished.


‘The east window is placed high to allow for a reredos as Bodley liked it’.  The organ case is also by him.

The village website states ‘the absence of pews shows the influence of the Oxford Movement’.

Sometime ago I tried to access this church but unfortunately I found it locked.

Some images from Bodley’s larger London churches-


St Michael’s, Camden



Holy Trinity, Prince Consort Rd

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LMS Notice

On Saturday, 5th November 2016, the Latin Mass Society will have its Annual Requiem Mass in Westminster Cathedral at 2.00pm. This will be celebrated by Bishop Mark Jabalé O.S.B., Emeritus Bishop of Menevia. The MC will be Canon Poucin de Wouilt ICKSP.