Masses are now fully back to normal in all respects, save that we still ask everyone to wear a mask to protect the vulnerable and those who remain worried about large gatherings.
The regular pattern is now that weekday masses are at 10am at St John the Baptist (except Thursdays) and 6pm at St Joseph’s. For Sundays there is the 6pm Saturday vigil mass and the 11am Mass at St John the Baptist, and 11am and 5:30pm masses at St Joseph’s. Mass times – particularly for weekday masses are subject to change, so please double check in our newsletter for up to the minute information
The Bishops of England and Wales have released a statement on the obligation to attend Mass, and invite everyone who has not yet returned to Mass to do so from Pentecost. https://www.cbcew.org.uk/spring-plenary-2022-resolution-returning-to-mass-at-pentecost/
- CONFESSION. Our main session is from 11 to 11:45am on Saturday mornings at St Joseph’s, or by arrangement with a priest.
Our regular weekly meetings are pausing for the holiday month of August.
For Masses, streaming, and church open times see panel alongside
For events for students and young adults see the page here.
The regular pattern of meetings that will resume in September is:
Monday 4:30pm Rosary Group – contact parish office
Monday after 6pm Mass at St Joseph’s the Worth Benedictine monks in Brighton (“Monks in the City”)
invite you to join them for Evening Prayer (Vespers)
Tuesday 7:30pm – Faith Discussion group
https://zoom.us/j/96161676521 ID: 961 6167 6521
Thursday / 10am: parish discussion group
https://zoom.us/j/92452001507 ID: 924 5200 1507
Friday 8pm Lectio Divina
https://zoom.us/j/92327977736 ID: 923 2797 7736
see below for details of each event
Saturday 11 to 11:45am at St Joseph’s – Confession
With restrictions on how many people can attend mass, and on how we give, it has been more difficult to support the costs of running the parish and taking our mission forward. For the moment we are running at some significant loss. There are a number of ways you can give relatively easily, and anyone not signed up to the government gift aid scheme could help us even more by signing the simple form that enables us to get a further pound from the government for every £4 given.
In particular look out for our resources pages, providing links to good things to watch, listen to, or read. Also the Prayers of the Faithful are now published weekly on the newsletter page. We would encourage all parishioners to submit potential prayers by email to the office, so that increasingly these do become the prayers of all the faithful.
We say goodbye and thank you to Fr Seb. as he moves to his new parish of St Mary’s Preston Park
the Fitzherbert Community Hub
We are now at the exciting point where building work is in full swing, and the Hub and cafe are due to open in September
Keep up to date with the progress of the work here and on the hub website
Fitzherbert Community Hub
A new short film has been added to the hub website. View it at
Many of you will have enjoyed visiting the community cafe run by the Real Junk Food Project at St John the Baptist before lockdown. It was really popular with parishioners and members of the wider local community alike but because of the condition of the parish hall and kitchen we were only able to open one lunchtime a week, despite such high demand. You will also be aware of the Food Hub, coordinated by Brighton Table Tennis Club, that has been operating out of St John the Baptist. Covid-19 has exposed the extent of food poverty in the area that we serve and the food bank is now providing food for 300 people a week and ready cooked meals to 45 refugee/asylum seeker families, some of whom have no recourse to public finance or cooking facilities.
Building on these two initiatives we are now working in partnership with our three co-located grassroots charities, Voices in Exile, Brighton Table Tennis Club and Real Junk Food Project to raise funding to redevelop the parish hall at St John the Baptist, creating a flexible, multi-purpose, socially inclusive Community Hub with a commercial standard teaching kitchen, dining area, food bank, full disability access (including a lift to the upper rooms) and additional meeting spaces. Central to our plans is the provision of a daily “pay as you feel” (customers pay what they feel the food is worth or what they can afford) community café using food otherwise destined for landfill. This is an exciting opportunity for us as a Parish as not only will we have access to a lovely new parish hall and cafe but we will be able to live out our faith through social outreach and community building.
Full information is on the hub website at https://fitzherbertcommunityhub.org.uk/
Please have a look at the short films in the following link which considers local need and how this project will help:
Care for the carers as they care for us – the Real Living Wage
In other years May 1st is the Feast of St Joseph the Worker, a day when we can focus on social justice and the dignity of labour. This year we are drawing attention to the campaign for Brighton & Hove to become a leading City in paying its employees the Real Living Wage, a wage rate independently calculated and based on rising living costs, including fuel, energy, rent and food. The Real Living Wage is higher than the Governments’ minimum wage and is paid from the age of 18.
CitizensUK – an alliance of education, community and faith organisations in Brighton & Hove, are initially asking for the Real Living Wage to be paid to all workers in the Care sector – those employed in nursing & care homes and by care agencies. Care workers are among the lowest paid in the country and have borne the brunt of the pandemic as first line workers and at some cost to themselves. A group of Year 11 students at Cardinal Newman School are involved in this campaign, together with the East Brighton parish and Deanery. Recently a group of students went to Parliament Square to meet with MPs to discuss ways we can work collaboratively and two CNS students met with Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas to ask her support. Our Mass on Sunday will include the dignity of human work and the Real Living Wage in the intentions.
Citizens UK have produced the video below to highlight the issue.
Mental Health Awareness Week – May 9 – 15th
National Mental Health Awareness Week is upon us. It gives us all a great opportunity to reflect on how we look after our own and each other’s, health and wellbeing, and could help us to talk and share about these issues with friends.
The theme for the week this year is Loneliness. Coming so soon after the pandemic it is a particularly appropriate theme because we have all experienced first-hand, to greater or lesser extents, the effects of reduced contact with others. Loneliness affects most of us at different times in our lives.
Any experience of being unable to socialise can make us feel lonely and sometimes less able to reconnect with others. But loneliness as we know, can also happen in a crowd.
This week there are a few practical opportunities for us as individuals and as a Church to try to tackle loneliness, to help build community and reach out to others.
Click here for some challenges and opportunities to consider.
Parish Citizens UK group
Five members of the parish: Nick Wells, George Vaz, Ty Gavin, Br Anthony and Fr Aidan took part in a CitizensUK event on Parliament Square, Westminster. Together with 20 Year 11students from Cardinal Newman School and students from Sussex University we met with two of
Brighton & Hove’s MPs to obtain their support to the Real Living Wage is paid to all workers in the Care Sector by Care Homes, Agencies and the Government. This is part of the work of CitizensUK group in the East Brighton parish. For more information about our work, contact Nick Wells or Fr
Parish Wellbeing Group – update from Kate Goddard
I recently completed a very interesting and insightful online/correspondence level two course on:- Mental Health First Aid, and Mental Health Advocacy in the Workplace. Two of us in the Parish Well Being Group have now taken this course.
The course highlighted amongst other things the benefit of encouraging people to be more open and transparent about mental health. This enables others to gain greater knowledge and understanding and to begin to develop the skills required to support an individual. It is particularly beneficial in the workplace to support colleagues and leads to a culture of care and support. Such a culture of care is what Pope Francis is calling for and is of course what we aspire to in the Parish Community.
The course allows one to recognise the early signs and triggers of mental illness and how it affects an individual’s ability to cope and function. It also highlights how we should interact with the individual and how to support them. It provides an introduction to a range of mental health conditions such as:- Stress, Anxiety, BiPolar Disorder, and Schizophrenia, which may occur with varying levels of severity.
The aim of the course is on prevention and to support the well-being of the individual and for them to become more resilient and take more control of their lives. The course also trains first aiders to know when to seek professional help for those who need it.
A very worthwhile course for those interested in Mental Health and it is free. Contact me for more information.
Improving Mental Health Care in Brighton and Hove. An update from the Parish Citizens UK Group.
Cast your mind back to October when about 40 parishioners joined 500 others in a live-streamed event hosted by One Church. Brighton Citizens UK, an 18 strong alliance of Educational establishments, Faith Communities and other organisations, sought to improve local Mental Health Care services, and most especially health care provision for young people.
At the Assembly they received a commitment from local MP’s, the Chief Medical Officer for the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SPFT) and the leader of the Council to work collaboratively with the alliance in the coming year to effect concrete improvements.
So what has happened since October?
In January different representatives from the alliance met with the leader of the Council – Cllr Mac Cafferty, and with Dr Fraser from SPFT, now the Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Lead overseeing the young peoples’ (16 -25) service pathway. At both meetings there were encouraging signs of a willingness to work collaboratively with the alliance.
It is now being proposed that 7 working parties be set up corresponding to the service improvements requested at the Assembly. These will relate to: 1. developing mental health charters in schools, 2. tackling social and digital isolation, 3. reducing stigma, 4. accessing support, 5. waiting list management, 6. transition between child and adult services, and 7. accountability for service improvement.
In the coming months Br Anthony hopes to represent the alliance in working group 2. This group aims to develop a general Mental Health Champions Training Programme suitable for the wider community and not just for schools. It will also aim to develop a social isolation, loneliness, and digital inclusion strategy for Brighton and Hove. Both of these issues have a particular relevance to our parish as we look forward to the new hub at SJB opening later in the year.
In order to enable joined-up thinking and for ease of communication, it has also been proposed that each working group has Council, NHS and Alliance participation. Meetings to review progress in all areas are proposed for March and July, with a further Assembly to occur in October one year on.
If you would like to get involved with any of the above, or to learn more about what the Parish is doing and would like to do in relation to the issue of mental wellbeing, please contact the Parish Wellbeing Group via Br Anthony at firstname.lastname@example.org