Young Anglian pilgrims go in search of northern saints
August 6, 2018
Parish gardening group in Bury St Edmunds is blooming
August 8, 2018
Show all

Refugee solidarity walk, 80th celebration and sewing day

Latest news from around the Diocese of East Anglia includes a refugee solidarity walk, an 80th birthday celebration and an opportunity for sewing.

A 55-strong group from St Laurence’s, Cambridge (pictured above), took part in Cafod’s Share the Journey walk on Sunday July 22, walking in solidarity with global neighbours reports Mary Watkins.

The walk was in support of those refugees and migrants forced to flee their homes and make desperate journeys in search of refuge.

We met in the lovely community orchard and picnicked under the trees and then gathered to walk around the shady paths of Milton Country Park – very welcome on a very hot day! A small Lampedusa cross and a banner was carried and provoked quite a bit of interest from the general public enjoying their day out.

We paused frequently to hear stories of those on the move and to reflect on their suffering and the part we could play in helping alleviate it.

We had a go at singing the children’s Cafod song We Are One World together with enthusiastic actions! We added the miles we walked to those of others all over England and Wales as we aimed to walk the 24,900 miles around the world! We ended in the small garden next to the café for a final prayer, and song and participants were invited to sign cards urging our prime minister to work towards global compacts on migration and refugees to respect human dignity and support host countries in advance of new UN agreements. Very many thanks to all those who supported this act of witness by turning up, offering prayer and to those who helped it run so successfully.

More information on Share the Journey may be found at where you can also sign the online petition.

Fr Roger Spencer, Parish Priest of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, Southwold and St Edmund King & Martyr, Halesworth, celebrated his 80th birthday on Tuesday July 31, when over 70 guests and parishioners packed the Sacred Heart church for a Mass on the Feast of St Ignatius of Loyola.

The Mass was concelebrated by Canon David Bagstaff, Fr Roger Spencer, Fr Denys Lloyd, Fr Padraig Hawkins and Fr Michael Stokes.  In his opening address, Fr David paid tribute to Fr Roger and his commitment to the Parish and said that, at 80, he was one of the oldest Parish Priests in the Diocese. 

A champagne reception followed in the Cardinal Newman Hall, with outstanding food provided by parishioner Celia McCarthy. 

Dr Christopher Hopkins, a parishioner of Southwold for 60 years, spoke warmly of Fr Roger’s leadership over the 15 years of his tenure as Parish Priest and how he had been instrumental in both the purchase of the Cardinal Newman Hall and the extension of community facilities in the Halesworth church.  He said that Fr Roger had always been optimistic that any funds necessary for projects would be forthcoming, and his confidence had always proved right. 

Parishioners gave Fr Roger a leather-bound copy of a new history of the Sacred Heart parish, entitled “Mission to a Summer Holiday Place” compiled by Laurette Burton and produced to mark the recent centenary of the church in 2016.  Proceeds from sales of the book will go towards the current church restoration project.

Pictured right, Laurette Burton presents her book to Fr Roger.

Days for Girls East Angles is holding an event for intermediate or advanced sewers to make sustainable feminine hygiene products to take to SE Asia on Saturday, September 22 in St Edmund’s, Bury St Edmunds from 10am to 4pm. More details from Mary Durkacz at Ahtutu Charity on or click here.