I have watched with horror as images of devastation have emerged from the Philippines.  I know that we have a large Filipino community here in East Anglia and that we benefit greatly from their spirit of generosity, especially in our hospitals and other areas of health care.  It is our turn, now, to assist them and their families and friends, so far away, as they strive to rebuild lives and livelihoods that have been shattered by the super-typhoon.  I am asking you and our people to help in two ways:


As you will be aware, CAFOD have asked for an emergency appeal for relief in the Philippines following the Typhoon last week.  You should have received an e-mail request from Stephen Matthews from CAFOD East Anglia.  I am writing to add my own request to that of CAFOD.  I would suggest that a ‘Bucket collection’ is taken at the end of Mass this week.  People may also wish to contribute during the week if they have not come prepared due to the lack of notice, but I suspect most will assume that such a collection will be taking place.  The collection should go through your Parish books, but should be forwarded at the earliest opportunity DIRECTLY TO CAFOD using the donation form that can be obtained by following the link (Red) below in the text of Stephen’s e-mail.  I urge all the people of East Anglia to reach out in love and generosity to those who have lost so much.


I am going to celebrate the 11am Mass at St. John’s Cathedral on Sunday 24thNovember for the victims of the disaster – for the repose of the souls of those who have died, for those suffering injuries and loss, and for the Philippino community within our own Diocese.  Whilst I am not expecting clergy to join me for this Mass, I would ask that you offer my prayers any Philippinos in your community and my warm invitation to join us at the Cathedral if they wish to do so.  I know that those who do not will be at one with us; through the Prayer of the Faithful and if possible a Mass offered for the same intention in the parishes.

With thanks and the assurance of my prayers for you on what will be a very busy weekend for us all,


+ Alan