Monthly Archives: September 2016

Almost 80 people from all over the diocese gathered together at St Brendan’s Sixth Form College, Brislington, on Saturday 24 September for a day looking at how we can celebrate and retain the integrity of the season of Advent and the season of Christmastide in the face of a world of commercialism which seems to spend months concentrating on one day, 25 December, before rushing headlong into Valentine’s cards and Easter bunnies.

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About 50 years ago, a diocesan priest – Canon Gerry Whelan – negotiated the acquisition by the Diocese of a Victorian mansion and grounds to operate as a day and residential special school for boys aged 9-18 with emotional, social and mental difficulties. The school is registered for 77 pupils and there are currently 43 on roll. During his lifetime, Canon Gerry (former parish priest of Christ the King, Amesbury, and St Osmunds, Salisbury and former curate at St Patricks, Redfield) had a very hands-on approach as Chair managing the school. The school is now administered on behalf of the Diocese.

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Holy Family Catholic Primary School in Swindon has received a national award of quality for its work in improving the well-being of its pupils.

The school has been given the Quality Mark Award in recognition of the work being done by the school to improve progress in reading, writing and maths for all pupils, particularly those with special educational needs or disabilities.

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Fr Matt reflects briefly here on his 9 day, 973 mile ride from Lands End to John o’Groats, which he completed on Sunday 18th September. To date, including Gift Aid, he has raised over £18,000 for the training of priests within the Clifton Diocese. Further donations are always welcome as we recognise this mammoth achievement on behalf of the Vocations Ministry of the diocese.

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Sunday 11 September was Education Sunday which this year had a particular focus on school governance. The day was celebrated at Masses in Churches throughout the Diocese with many having an appeal for people to volunteer to become Foundation Governors at our Schools. The Catholic Education Service provided promotional post cards and book marks and the Diocese produced new promotional posters and information leaflets.

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The Diocesan Department of Liturgy working together with the Department of Adult Education is hosting a day on Saturday 24 September for all those involved and engaged in the liturgical life of our parishes. Celebrating Advent and Christmas is a day to help all those who exercise a liturgical ministry or hold a liturgical interest in their preparations for these two beautiful seasons.

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The Catenians are coming to Bristol!  For one weekend, 12th-14th May 2017, there will be an influx of hundreds of Catenians and their wives from all parts of the UK, and some from as far afield as Australia.  The reason for this invasion?  Bristol will be playing host to the first Great Britain National Catenian Conference.

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From 1 September (Care of Creation Day) until 4 October (Feast of St Francis of Assisi) Carmody Grey offers us some reflections around Pope Francis’ challenge to be carers of our environment and carers of creation. This Carmody’s second reflection. You can find her first one here.

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As part of our continuing journey through the Jubilee of Mercy and echoing, once again, something of Pope Francis’ own celebrations, please see details of the Marian Jubilee that is taking place at St Mary’s Church, Glastonbury on Sunday 9 October.

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