Thursday, 24 November 2011


Several parishioners were able to attend the beautiful Mass last Saturday in Portsmouth Cathedral in Thanksgiving for Bishop Crispian.  Despite his recent illness Bishop Crispian was able to concelebrate the Mass with most of his Diocesan Priests including Frs. Danny, Peter and Edwin.  The Liturgy reflected Bishop Crispian's 23 year long Ministry in our Diocese.
'You did not choose me: I chose you and appointed you to go and bear much fruit, the kind of fruit that endures.    (John 15 v.16)

At the Litany of Intercessions there was a Procession of Symbols from Bishop Crispian's time in Portsmouth.  His involvement in the City of Portsmouth was symbolised by the presentation of a Pompey Football shirt!!
At the end of the Mass Mary Dunn thanked the Bishop on behalf of the People of the Diocese and presented him with a gift with our hearfelt thanks.
                                                                                                                        photo and report by Cathy


On Sunday Fr Danny and some parishioners from our and other local churches attended the induction of the Revd. Chris Vivian, the new Minister of Lymington's United Reformed Church.     The deeply moving service included the prayer: We affirm our intention to go on praying and working, with all our fellow Christians, for the visible unity of the Church in the way Christ chooses, so that people and nations may be led to love and serve God and praise Him more and more for ever.     
Despite the great number of people waiting to congratulate her afterwards the new minister made a point of stopping to give a warm welcome to Fr Danny.  

We look forward to continuing to work closely with the Lymington URC community, especially through our joint links with Churches Together, the Carers Cafe and the Basics Bank.

     Our thanks to Lymington URC and to Mike Saqui for the photos.                                                                                                    


 Oh, Lord, when I’m not sure which way to go,
Good Shepherd, from temptation rescue me;
Your will may not be mine, but make it so,
However challenging your will may be.
Impatient as I am, teach me to wait
In peace and silence; teach me to be still,
To trust in you to so direct my fate,
That I may ever joy to do your will.
Keep me within your flock, let me not stray,
Yes, *“Keep me as the apple of your eye,”
Oh, God of David, steer me in your way,
Even if in loud protest I should cry.
Good Shepherd, pour your mercy upon me,
I am a sinner, Jesus.  Set me free.
                                                                                  R B    
                (*Psalm 17)                                               Written on the feast of Christ the King  2011 

Our thanks to Ros for allowing our blog to have the privilege of being the first to publish this fine sonnet.


Where novels used to be sold in the corridor so that we all got in each other's way, there are now wardrobe-shaped storage areas being constructed.     What a good use of the space.  

But is that to be the end of book sales, some parishioners will wonder.    
Others say no, they're going to take place elsewhere.    

We shall see.


Our Parish Book of Remembrance will be open at the back of the Church of Our Lady of Mercy for the remainder of the month of November.   This is a good time for us each to check that the entries relating to our own families are complete and correct.

Thursday, 17 November 2011


St Edmund Rich was a child of great piety, brought up in a devout Catholic family.    He was severe to himself, yet gentle and kind to others, especially the poor and the sick.      When he was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury in 1234 he strongly defended the English church against the corrupt King Henry III, but after a few years the King's greater power and the opposition of other English bishops drove him into exile at Pontigny.    He is the patron of the Diocese of Portsmouth (his feast was on Wednesday) On the left you can see how he appears on the stained glass window in the sanctuary of the Church of Our Lady of Mercy.  The delightful image on the right is from the Nuremberg Chronicle.


There's no hiding from the fearless investigations of our intrepid reporter.     They thought he'd left, so they unwrapped their treasures to show one another, but he returned unexpectedly with his camera and they were caught red-handed!       There's Eileen and Barbara with sheepish-looking sheep, John and Adele with angelic angels, and Clare with a starstruck star.     What can they be up to at this time of the year?    It's not even Advent yet.    And we complain about the shops beginning Christmas early!


Not many experienced non-fiction authors publish their first novel after they've retired, but that's what long-serving Lymington parishioner Angeline (Paddy) Hampton has done.       It is called "Unskilled Trade", and is now available in paperback.       The publisher's blurb reads: Unskilled Trade is set partly against the backdrop of the Philippines and the Celtic atmosphere of Ireland - exquisitely descriptive and sensitive, exploring relationships, changing attitudes and the expectations of male and female behaviour. Compelling reading!       It's compelling, too, to chat to Paddy about the possible conflict between a woman's family life and career, which underlies the plot in her story.


We're used to seeing holes in the ground, but this is ridiculous!      It's almost in the middle of the car park!       Or rather, it was.     For as part of the work at present being done to our Lymington site, the opening has now been sealed with heavy concrete T-beams packed together and tarmacked over.      Whatever the purpose of the underground brick walls on either side of the opening, they are relatively modern.      It's the dark space beyond them which is so intriguing, for although it may have been used for other purposes in recent times, it was almost certainly part of the late medieval smugglers' tunnel which stretched up behind the High Street so that contraband could be moved to the Angel or to other parts of the town, and may well have been used in penal times to shelter missionary priests starting on their dangerous way to service the Catholic faithful in different parts of the country.

Thursday, 10 November 2011


The newly decorated sanctuary of the Church of Our Lady of Mercy, resplendent in its golden framing, hosted a very special occasion on Wednesday.    Paul Duffy's relatives could not be traced, so a congregation packed with parishioners from our own and those of other Lymington churches took part in a truly splendid requiem Mass offered for him by Fr Danny.    Homeless Paul was welcomed home that day and received in our Church the care and the respect every human being deserves.    We pray that his soul may now rest in peace.

His beloved black labrador Kim was brought to the church, sat under the front pew, and behaved beautifully throughout the service.    But once she was outside she was so playful that it was difficult to get a good photo of her.
                                                                             (The redecoration of the sanctuary was by Lee Decor.)


Victoria and Christopher Bickle are very happy that their daughter is about to be baptised Isabella Ruby Quinton at the Church of Our Lady of Mercy, but it looks as though Isabella herself is not too sure about it!     Yet through this great Sacrament she will be justified, transformed and renewed, becoming a member of Christ's body and a temple of the Holy Spirit.     We warmly welcome her into our Parish family.


Fr Richard Sakson, chaplain to the Dominican sisters at Sway, had been invited to speak to the Lymington section of the Catholic Women's League about Faith.    He told us that the new Catholic Missal, although not perfect, was in his view, a great improvement on the old rite and would necessarily change the way we worship in church.  This in turn will lead us to reconsider how faith and the Eucharist are essentially related.     There has been a recognised crisis of faith across Europe since before the second Vatican Council, with parishes forced to amalgamate or even close; some Catholic schools and seminaries have also closed in the past decade.    The current shortage of clergy is sadly all too evident in the Portsmouth Diocese, with our own Father Danny in charge of four churches.          Father Richard noted that there are many reasons for loss of faith today, one being loss of faith in the Eucharist itself.      In his encyclical letter, "Mysterium Fidei", Pope Paul VI had urged people not be diverted from the truth of the Eucharist.
Man's inhumanity to man can only be fully addressed through love and obedience to God; unequivocally, as in the First Commandment.    Fr Richard told us that reverential love for the sacrament of Communion leads to sacred actions: genuflecting, blessing ourselves and bowing at the mention of the Incarnation.    Ultimately, this instils in us a sense of understanding and veneration of the defining words of the Catholic Church, "Do this in memory of me".      He concluded his beautiful and thought provoking talk with an emphasis on the imminent traditional illustration of our faith as we approach Advent, when the Word becomes flesh.      Father Richard's own words were warmly appreciated, as indeed were Eileen Rayner's delicious flapjacks and chocolate cake which followed!       Thank you to Eileen and Tom for the hospitality and to Father Richard for inspiration.
                                                                                         photos by Barbara;  report by Giselle


The kitchen area, in the opposite corner to where the coffee has been served until now, has now been electrically wired and has had plasterboard mounted around it.

The contractor for the electrical work in our Centre is Roger Carman.   

The disabled toilet, which will be just inside the main door on the right, has been divided off, and the small piece of the old hatchway which has not been cut away to make room for the door has been bricked up.        

The plumbing left from the old school has survived and some of it is being brought back into use.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

The untimely death of Paul, the homeless man who walked the streets of Lymington with his black labrador, Kim, has shocked and touched all those of us who knew him.     We pray that after suffering so much abandonment during his earthly life he will now rest in peace.    His funeral will be held at the Catholic Church of Our Lady of Mercy and St Joseph on Wednesday November 9th at 11am. 


On All Saints Day parishioners at St Anne's welcomed Fr David Adams, who already has a fulltime job as parish priest of Lyndhurst and the Waterside churches.   Yet because of the acute shortage of regular clergy in this area he has agreed to serve St Anne's on Sunday evenings and holy days.    His congregation on All Saints Day clearly appreciated his generosity, and after a few minutes of instruction and practice willingly joined in singing all the responses throughout the Mass.



 Whilst on a family trip to Rome last Sunday, Jan Anderson was lucky enough to arrive in St Peter's Square just in time to hear Pope Benedict celebrate Mass. The service included the canonisation of Guido Maria Conforti, Luigi Guanella and Bonifacia Rodriguez De Castro. Many of the congregation were wearing a yellow cap, a white cap or a scarf, showing their devotion to one or other of the new saints and they unfurled banners at the end.

Our thanks to Jan for the report and photos


As our investigative reporter levelled his camera to take a shot of our rebuilt manhole by the Church before the area around it had been properly filled in, this board was thrust out in front of it.     What a cheeky thing to do, we said, but this firm has done a good job and has provided us with decent drainage (and we shall certainly not discuss the state of the old drain they had to clean out) so we've been very kind and left their board in the photo.    Now if anyone knows what the rates are for transglobal advertising, we can finish making out Mr Smith's invoice.

Now that the main arch in the Church has been repaired, the sanctuary is being redecorated for the first time in about forty years.     This photo was taken as the painting of the first large ceiling panel had just been finished, as you can see from the straight edges of the red border around it.  

Meanwhile work continues in the new Hospitality Centre.     A new door has been cut for one of the toilets which is being constructed just inside the main entrance.   The electrical work and the plumbing are now almost ready, and the dividing walls are about to be put in place.

Next week your Parish blog will have more news of the progress being made in the Church and in the Hospitality Centre.