St Francis exhibition and honours for loyal volunteers

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St Francis exhibition and honours for loyal volunteers

Latest news from across the Diocese of East Anglia includes an exhibition of St Francis,  a long-service award and a honour for a charity representative.

A group of the Norwich Secular Franciscans travelled to the National Gallery in London to view the exhibition of paintings and artefacts relating to the life of St Francis of Assisi. 

Anne Murrin, from the group, said: “We had a wonderful personal guided tour through the art, the history and spirituality of this amazing man by a local secular Franciscan who is also a professional art tour guide.  We were very blessed to be able to benefit from his wisdom and experience.  The exhibition also has the personal headset guides to hire.

“St Francis lived from 1181 to 1226.  He embraced poverty and became an itinerant preacher and eventually founded the Order(s) named after him.  He arranged the first live Nativity scene in Greccio which is followed today by the celebration of our Christmas cribs.  He is also known for his respect for animals and the environment, the whole of God’s creation down to the smallest ant, which makes him popular today as the first eco warrior.”

The exhibition was very well attended and demonstrates the popularity and relevance of this saint to people today.  The Exhibition continues to the end of July. More details at:

Anyone interested in more information about the Secular Franciscans, or who would like to join the Friends of St Francis, a group being newly set up for those interested in this amazing saint but not wishing to make the full commitment, please contact Debbie on 07737 909366 or Anne on 07867 533168.

Peterborough SVP member Stephen Giblin has been honoured for 49 years of service in the parish of Sacred Heart and St Oswald.

On May 21, Stephen (pictured right in the middle) was given a long service certificate during a Mass at Sacred Heart by Peterborough conference president Al Perna, assisted by Fr Seelan.

Dr Matthew Karangi, Secretary Peterborough SVP conference, said: “Stephen did not make this journey alone for 49 years. Peterborough SVP conference worked as a group to put concern into action by ministering those who were in need through visits, taking communion to those parishioners who could not attend mass, visiting the sick in hospital, befriending people who may be isolated, in need, or in prison, or just offering a helping hand to the most vulnerable members of the Peterborough society. 

“For the many years Stephen worked with the conference, his commitment was always striving to strengthen the weak and ignite their faith, joyfully extending his hand in the care and personal service of individuals and families who need support.  He has been a great example of how concerns of many vulnerable members of the society today can be addressed by doing small things.

“For many years Stephen ran the furniture van and soup kitchen, supported the children’s camp, organised the pilgrimage to Walsingham, acted as SVP treasurer, representing the District Council, and served the parish as a Eucharistic minister, altar server and committed sacristan.”

Lowestoft Parish Missio representative, Barbara Radforth from Our Lady Star of the Sea, has been honoured for ten years’ of service with the Catholic charity.

Barbara was presented with a certificate to mark ten years of service by Fr Kevin Hughes from the Mill Hill Missionary (pictured below with Barbara and Parish Priest Fr Padraig Hawkins).

Barbara said: “My role as Missio Secretary is quite simple really.  It consists of gathering in the red boxes from parishioners, recording the donations and, with the help of my husband Paul, banking the monies.  I was completely taken aback to receive the medal and the certificate but it was a real honour.  I still can’t believe I’ve been carrying out this role for ten years.”