SVP commissioning, St Bernadette, marriage course

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SVP commissioning, St Bernadette, marriage course

Latest news from the Diocese of East Anglia includes an SVP commissioning ceremony, a video to commemorate the St Bernadette relics tour, Cantonese Masses and a marriage course in Peterborough.

On February 13 St Etheldreda’s Ely SVP conference held an inspiring commissioning ceremony at which new and existing members made or renewed their promises.

The group awarded an SVP long-service award to Rodger Germany who has taken many roles in the Ely conference, including President, Vice President and Treasurer. The ceremony was conducted by Fr David Finegan.

The group hopes to be able to help a lot more people in need over the coming years, building on the support it is currently able to give, including befriending and companionship, financial support for people in cost-of-living crisis and furnishings for refugees and homeless people.

The St Bernadette Relic Tour Team has released a legacy film to commemorate the 2022 tour, which included St John’s Cathedral in Norwich and Our Lady of the Assumption and the English Martyrs in Cambridge.  

The Relic Tour reached one in four Catholics in the UK in person, with many more participating in prayer services, vigils, and special Masses online.

On Thursday September 1, the relics of St Bernadette Soubirous began a 11,500-mile journey from the Sanctuary in Lourdes to UK churches, cathedrals, a hospital and one prison, offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to people of all faiths and none to visit the saint’s sacred relics at one of 52 public venues.

The UK Tour marked the very first time that St Bernadette’s relics had visited the UK, with thousands of people across three nations journeying in prayer to be part of the experience. A quarter of a million people participated in the pilgrimage.

The life and legacy of St Bernadette has touched the lives of many millions of people across the world; 160 years after the first pilgrimages to Lourdes began it remains one of the busiest Christian pilgrimage sites in the world with the Catholic Church acknowledging 70 miracles as having taken place there.

To commemorate the visit and to offer a small glimpse of the many graces made possible during the pilgrimage, the team behind the Relic Tour have released a special legacy film on YouTube.

You can watch the Relic Tour Legacy Film here:

St Peters and All Souls in Peterborough is running a new marriage course in which 13 engaged couples are participating.

The course is being led by priests, deacons and lay people from the parish. It is divided into four main sections each covering a wide area of ground, including a basic Catholic understanding of marriage, marriage as a covenant, unity, and sexuality and married life.

The second part of the course will be delivered by a diocesan team in Newmarket as part of a day retreat.

Canon Hoan Minh Nguyen will be celebrating a regular Mass in Cantonese at Our Lady of Lourdes, 135 High Street, Sawston CB22 3HJ at 2pm on Saturdays.
Upcoming dates of the Cantonese Masses for 2023 are: Mar 18, Apr 15, May 20, Jun 10, Jul 15, Aug 19, Sep 16, Oct 14, Nov 18, Dec 16.
The Masses will be followed by tea and an opportunity to mingle. More information from

Pictured above is the SVP commissioning ceremony, and below is Bishop Alan Hopes with the relics of St Bernadette at St John’s Cathedral.