Newsletters during the Coronavirus- Lymington, Brockenhurst, Milford On Sea

Newsletter 5th December 2nd Sunday of Ad[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [364.5 KB]



Last year we held a Lottery for seat places at the Christmas Masses because some pews were out of action due to Covid restrictions and as a result seats were limited.

This year, although we have more pews available, Covid is still with us and it has been proven that you can still catch or transmit the virus even after 2 jabs and a booster. Therefore, we must put some precautions in place to continue to keep people safe. As a result, to avoid overcrowding, I have decided to introduce a booking system for all Masses over the Christmas weekend.

In order to give opportunity to as many people as possible please consider booking for just one Mass.

However, should you wish to book a seat for more than one Mass ask to be put on a Reserve list and we’ll contact you if a seat is available. Fr David

(At this time this is for Lymington, Brockenhurst and Milford on sea parishes only)


01590 676696

Or E-mail



Masks MUST be worn at all Masses.

Please use the Sanitizer as you enter

Stewards will guide you to your seats





6.30pm                     Our Lady of Mercy & St Joseph                                              Lymington





9am                            St Francis of Assisi, Milford on Sea

10am                          St Anne’s, Brockenhurst

10.30am                     Our Lady of Mercy & St Joseph,                                              Lymington




9am                            St Francis of Assisi, Milford on Sea

10.30am                     Our Lady of Mercy & St Joseph,                                             Lymington

6pm                            St Anne’s, Brockenhurst


Newsletter 28th November 1st Sunday of A[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [330.4 KB]

WEEKDAYS MASSES ST ANNE’S – CHANGE OF VENUE: starting from this week the weekday Masses -Thursday 10am- & any devotional prayer times at St Anne’s, will take place in the large Parish Room. This is necessitated by the high cost of heating the church which is charged at commercial rates.

Sunday Mass -6pm Sunday- will take place in the church.


Our Lady of Mercy & St Joseph, LYMINGTON


A candlelit service for all who, for a variety of reasons, find facing Christmas difficult at times.

For those who miss friends and family , whether they have left this world or live too far away to visit, and would like time to reflect and remember.

For those who need to find a time of quiet reflection and peace before the family arrive and the excitement of Christmas consumes all.

For those who need strength to face Christmas alone.

And for those who simply want time to thank God for all the good things in their lives.




Newsletter 21 November Christ the King Y[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [302.7 KB]
Newsletter 14th November Remembrance Sun[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [383.3 KB]
Newsletter 7th November 32nd Sunday of t[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [356.0 KB]
Newsletter 31st October All Saints - 202[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [381.0 KB]
Newsletter 30th Sunday of the Year Yr B [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [336.6 KB]
Newsletter 17th October 29th Sunday of t[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [325.3 KB]
Newsletter 10th October 28th Sunday of t[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [341.5 KB]
Newsletter 3rd October 27th Sunday of th[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [340.6 KB]
Newsletter 26th September 26th Sunday of[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [359.8 KB]
Newsletter 22nd - 25th Sundays of the Ye[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [319.2 KB]
Newsletter 22nd August-21st Sunday of th[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [295.8 KB]
Climate Sunday Poster v3.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [93.3 KB]
Holy Eucharist - Reflections 200821.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [242.9 KB]

Fr David is away at a family celebration on the 8th & 15th August, so there will not be a separate newsletter produced for these dates.


HOWEVER, the newsletter below for 1st August includes all the Mass times from the 1st to the 15th August.


Fr Shaun Budden will be covering the Masses in all three parishes in Fr David's absence.


Newsletter for 1st, 08 15th August 18th [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [366.7 KB]
OLMSJRisk Assessment Lifting Restriction[...]
Microsoft Word document [27.4 KB]

Two weeks ago, the Bishops of England issued a brief statement called Sunday – It Is Our Day.

It announced that the usual canonical obligation for Catholics to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation is to be restored on the First Sunday of Advent (28th November 2021).

Here is the statement.

On 19th July, the current legislative powers which assist the mitigations against the covid-19 virus transmission will be rescinded by HM Government.

Nevertheless, there will be an encouragement to personal and corporate responsibility in this area; as the Prime Minister said in his most recent statement “The pandemic is not over.”

Even without this legislation in place, the Church in England and Wales will be adopting a cautious approach to capacity and activity within our buildings, especially at corporate acts of worship.

We are mindful of the certain fact that the Covid-19 virus is still circulating in society.

Vaccines provide genuine protection against the worst effects of the virus, yet we recognise the legitimate fear on the part of some who otherwise desire to gather for Holy Mass.

It is our continuing judgement, therefore, that it is not possible at the present time for all of the faithful to attend Mass on a Sunday thus fulfilling their duty to God.

It is hoped that it will be possible for all Catholics in England and Wales to fulfil this most important Church precept, that of the Sunday Obligation, by the First Sunday in Advent 2021.

In the meantime, all Catholics are asked to do their best to participate in the celebration of the weekly Sunday Mass and to reflect deeply on the centrality of Sunday worship in the life of the Church.

Bishop Phillip

Newsletter 25th July 17th Sunday of the [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [390.8 KB]


Adobe Acrobat document [125.2 KB]




As of 24th July our churches will be open.

Saturday 6pm Our Lady of Mercy, Lymington

Sunday 9am St Francis of Assisi, Milford on Sea

Sunday 10.30am Our Lady of Mercy, Lymington

Sunday 6pm St Anne's, Brockenhurst


There is no longer a booking system.

Preferably wear a mask

Sanitize your hands

Sign in for Test n Trace by scanning the QR code on your NHS app

By easing up restrictions our churches, we can no longer guarantee that our premises are Covid secure any more.


Weekday Masses from 27th July will be

Tuesday OLMSJ  Lymington

Wednesday  St Francis Milford on Sea

Thursday St Anne's Brockenhurst

There will not be a Mass Monday (Father's day off),

Friday or Saturday.,



Newsletter 18th July16th Sunday of the Y[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [350.7 KB]

Dear People,

Opening of churches 24th/25th July


The Government has now lifted all COVID restrictions, but has advised us all to be ‘cautious’.


We have to get back to a sense of normality, and regain as it were, our lives; but in doing so we are moving into uncharted territory.


The usually strict, clear advice from the Bishops of England and Wales appears to be contradictory and they are now only in a position to advise.


The Parish Priest has always been personally responsible for Health & Safety, but in a Pandemic he also relies on good counsel from the Bishops of England and Wales and the government.


We are still in the middle of a Pandemic, with infection rates rising rapidly, and the support to all establishments has been removed. This leaves all priests in a difficult position.


Since the pandemic began my sole intention, and my duty of care, was to keep my parishioners as safe as possible.


To be honest I have also had to keep myself safe because I am aware that if I get Covid the 3 churches have to be closed for a period of time.


With all the restrictions now lifted I have to ask for your support and to be cautious and sensible.


The Bishops of England and Wales and the Catholic Insurance Service has stipulated that we provide clear communication to people before they enter

the premises to ensure everyone knows what is expected of them. 




The Bishops of England and Wales & the Catholic Insurance Service have advised maintaining a good general standard of routine cleaning


a) Cleaning high frequency touch points in buildings after each act of worship. This was always done by the Stewards who are now no longer available.

b) Thoroughly cleaning the church once a week. This will not be done.


There are some things I can put in place to mitigate risk, but I now have to tell you that our church premises can no longer be regarded as ‘Covid safe environments’.


As of today, the booking system will cease.

-Stewards are now deemed to be unnecessary.  Some will become Welcomers – but that is a different brief.

-Pews are now open and as many as you wish can sit together.

-Mask wearing will be voluntary, not mandatory. Yet the science tells us that people release respiratory fluids during exhalation (e.g., quiet breathing, speaking, singing, exercise, coughing, sneezing) in the form of droplets across a spectrum of sizes. These droplets carry virus and transmit infection.


I will ask you to think about this and find your own way forward.

If you wish to attend Mass, you will be most welcome.

If you would like to stay at home for the time being and continue to celebrate Mass on-line, that is perfectly acceptable.

The Catholic Bishops of England & Wales are reinstating the Sunday Obligation from the First Sunday of Advent, November 28th, 2021.


Peace & every good.

Fr David

Newsletter 11th July 15th Sunday of the [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [332.8 KB]
Vice Voce Summer Issue 2021.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [3.0 MB]
Newsletter 4th July 14th Sunday of the Y[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [353.2 KB]
Newsletter 27th June 13th Sunday of the [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [607.6 KB]
Newsletter 20th June 12th Sunday of the [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [337.1 KB]
Newsletter 13th June 11th Sunday of the [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [362.0 KB]
Newsletter 30th May Trinity Sunday 2021.[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [389.7 KB]
Newsletter 23rd May-Pentecost Sunday 21.[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [391.8 KB]

Dear Folks,


We pray for our young people getting confirmed at 3pm:

Our Lady of Mercy & St Joseph, Lymington:

Ola Booth, Martha Craig, James Rafael Collison,

Kyle Crisp, Jack Crisp, Tegan Rose Dunn, Wiktoria Maria Zygadlo.

St Anne, Brockenhurst

Tabitha Shearer.

May the Holy Spirit fill them with many gifts of grace

And give them joy in their faith. Amen.

We pray too, that the Holy Spirit will renew us also

in God’s love and service. Amen.

Peace & every good.

Fr David

Bishops of England and Wales - on Pentec[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [148.7 KB]
Newsletter 16th May 7th Sunday of Easter[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [374.5 KB]

16th May 2021

Dear Folks,


Sadly, two of our elderly parishioners have died this week: Anne Thomas (Lymington) & Jenny Laramba (Milford).

May they rest in peace and rise in glory. Amen.


St Francis parish says goodbye to Connie Harrison who is moving away to be nearer her daughter.


Plans to re-open the churches after June 21st are outlined, virus permitting! See newsletter for details.


Prayers please for Henrietta Montague-Munson who is getting confirmed

at St Anne’s tomorrow. And for our younger Confirmation candidates (Ola Booth, Martha Craig, James Rafael Collison, Kyle Crisp, Jack Crisp, Tegan Rose Dunn, Wiktoria Maria Zygadlo and Tabitha Shearer) getting confirmed next Sunday, 23rd May at 3pm at OLMSJ.


The Diocese is requiring us to change our email addresses. This one will continue to work but will be gradually superseded. See newsletter for details.


God blesses all.

Fr David

Newsletter 9th May 6th Sunday of Easter [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [356.9 KB]

9th May 2021


Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the cards and gifts for the 40th Anniversary of my Ordination on Tuesday. It was very kind of you. (Someone will be pleased to know I collected the wine left at the Chippy!) I’m afraid I wasn’t in to greet any well-wishers as I was taking part in the funeral service of a very dear friend of ours, Norman, in Gosport that day.

Norman was a very dedicated family man and Catholic Christian. He wrote many poems and had a Stations of the Cross meditation accepted by the publishers. He had careers in the Royal Navy & then in IBM. The had a great sense of humour & kept it to the very end despite many years of painful arthritis. He enjoyed inventing jokes which were typically “normanesque”.  Anyway, the day didn’t start too well as the office computer crashed in the morning (hard disk failure!), causing me great anxiety. So I was complaining to Norman (in the heavenly realms) and saying that if he was responsible for this I didn’t think it was a very funny joke! So when we returned home that evening I said to Norman that he had better ensure the computer could be re-booted. I was expecting a heavenly favour! Thanks be to God it started up again & I was able to do the necessary back-ups. Its still a bit iffy and at 7 years old will now have to be replaced.


However, in the evening I had a great and very pleasant surprise zoom call from members of the PPC’S, Finance committees from our 3 parishes and representatives of the CWL, SVP and Catenians. (Housekeepers can be very devious at plotting these things and not letting on!!)


They were representing all of you, our wonderful parishioners, to wish me well on my anniversary. It was great to see everyone. Special thanks to Ian Holden who organised that.


I haven’t been able to celebrate my ordination with a public Mass yet. I’ve given it some thought and have decided not to have one big Mass at the Lymington centre, but to have a celebratory Mass at a later date in each of our parishes with as many of you as possible…..maybe with a little glass of something sparkly afterwards! But that will wait until later in the year when we can fully open our churches and be back together once more.


In the meantime, thank you for all your kindness. God bless you all and thank you for your love and friendship. Please be assured of my love for all of you.


Fr David.





Please don’t be offended if you sometimes see the ‘Private’ notice and the chain outside the Presbytery door (& sometimes bunting as well!). It’s not to put parishioners off from ringing the doorbell, but is there to deter the ‘Step Dwellers’ who tend to sit on our doorstep to eat their lunch and have a chat! This is not to be encouraged particularly in a pandemic. It can be quite difficult trying to leave the house as often they don’t move out the way. If you do need to call just lean over to ring the bell. But do take care. I don’t want any accidents!



Congratulations to Fr David who celebrates his 40th Anniversary of his Ordination on Tuesday 4th May.


As we can’t all meet up to contribute to a gift for Fr David,the three parishes of Our Lady of Mercy & St Joseph, Lymington, St Francis of Assisi, Milford on Sea and St Anne’s, Brockenhurst have set up a Give as you live page for anyone who would like to donate towards a gift to acknowledge Fr David’s important day.


Hopefully there will be a date in the not so distant future when we can all meet to present him with his gift.



Gracious and loving God, we thank your for the gift of our priest, Father David.

Through him, we experience your presence in the sacraments.

Help Father David to be strong in his vocation.

Set his soul on fire with love for your people.

Grant him the wisdom, understanding, and strength he needs to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.

Inspire him with the vision of your Kingdom.

Give him the words he needs to spread the Gospel.

Allow him to experience joy in his ministry.

Help him to be an instrument of your divine grace.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns as our Eternal Priest.



May the love of the Lord be with you always.

Blessings on the anniversary of your ordination to the priesthood Father David.



Newsletter 2nd MAY Sunday of Easter Yr B[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [364.7 KB]
Newsletter 25th April 4th Sunday of East[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [323.0 KB]
Newsletter 18th April 3rd Sunday of Eas[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [355.6 KB]

11th April 2021

Dear Brothers & Sisters,


Your prayers are especially requested at this time for Frances’s husband, Den Walker whose health has remained very fragile since recovering from COVID. And prayers too for Norah Holder’s daughter, Susie, who has now had to have a second operation to rectify complications following the first operation to remove a non-malignant tumour.


May HRH Prince Philip rest in peace and rise in glory. Amen


Its proving to be a cool Eastertide, weatherwise!


Olly the Parish dog is in bad books for raiding the ice cream tub while the freezer was being cleaned! He can be quite sleepy unless there is food to be snatched!


Peace & every good.

Fr David

Newsleter 11th April 2nd Sunday of Easte[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [351.2 KB]
Newsletter 4th April Easter Sunday Yr B [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [364.2 KB]
Newsletter 28th March-Palm Sunday Yr B 2[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [369.1 KB]
Guidance for Holy Week.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [201.6 KB]
Newsletter 21st March 5th Sunday of Lent[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [334.9 KB]
Newsletter 14th March 4th Sunday of Lent[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [332.6 KB]
Newsletter 7th March 3rd Sunday of Lent [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [315.4 KB]
Newsletter 28th February 2nd Sunday of L[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [351.4 KB]
21st February 7th Sunday of Lent Yr B 20[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [338.8 KB]
Lent calendar 2021.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [1.6 MB]
Family Lent Ideas.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [527.9 KB]
Resources for Lent 2021.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [227.5 KB]
SVP Feb News 2021.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [376.0 KB]

Ash Wednesday 17th February

Dear People,

After prolonged pressure I’ve done a short (9:30mins) reflection

for Ash Wednesday on Youtube. (link below)

The process of getting the video off my phone, onto google drive,then downloaded to the PC, then uploaded to Youtube is a bit tedious & time consuming. I hope you don’t find the video equally tedious!

I’m sure you’ll pray in the way that you find most helpful, remembering that God doesn’t need our words.

However here are a few words for any who might appreciate them:

Loving Father, all we’ve lost, all we’ve gained we entrust to you.

By your Spirit Nurture the gifts you have given us so that we can receive new joy, new strength,

new creativity for the challenges that lie ahead, and a new love for all people and all creation.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Peace & every good.

Fr David

Please click below to listen to Fr David’s Reflection on Ash Wednesday

Newsletter 14th February 6th Sunday of t[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [354.4 KB]

Cardinal Vincent Nichols sent the following Pastoral Letter for the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (13-13 February) to all parishes in the Diocese of Westminster.

Shortly it will be Ash Wednesday, a day rich in associations and symbolism. It marks the beginning a Lent, a time for turning again to the practice of our faith, in prayer, self-denial (fasting) and practical generosity (almsgiving). Ash Wednesday is the doorway into this season of renewal.

As we cross this threshold we customarily receive ashes on our foreheads, in the sign of the cross. This is a public mark of our turning again to God, seeking his mercy, forgiveness and help. We use these words: 'Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return'. Yes, we cannot pretend otherwise. Or: 'Repent, and believe in the Gospel'. Yes, we seek the one thing that is absolutely necessary: the grace of God.

This year receiving ashes in church is going to be difficult. Yes, our churches are safe if the protective measures are fulfilled. But we must all be very careful about travelling too far. Some churches will of course be open for the celebration of Mass as usual. But I have asked them not to make extra provision for Ash Wednesday. We must be so careful and cooperative in the measures we must take, to protect ourselves and to protect others.

I now want to emphasise an important point. Receiving ashes is an outward sign of an inner step, a movement of the heart towards our beloved Lord. This year I invite you to concentrate much more on this inner, spiritual movement than on its outward manifestation in the imposition of ashes.

My suggestion is this: celebrate Ash Wednesday at home, with your family, in the household or 'support bubble' of which you are a part. Gather for a while. Read the prayer which I offer. Bless each other by making the sign of the cross on each other's forehead. Spent some time praying in a way that you know. But please, make this a prayer of your heart for God's mercy upon this world struggling to cope with the terrible pandemic and the devastation it is bringing.

Here is a prayer:

'Lord God, with all our hearts we beseech you: have mercy on your people; spare your people; strengthen all people in the struggle against the havoc of this pandemic. Lord our God, without you we are so weak and our courage so limited. Give us your strength; give us your love; give us wisdom and skill to continue this fight. Spare your people, O Lord we pray. Comfort those who mourn and gather into your kingdom all who have died. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord, who died and rose to life, who lives and reigns with you, for ever and ever. Amen.'

Then, bless each other, using one of the two traditional formulas I have quoted earlier in this letter. Then continue with your own prayers. A pattern is suggested at the end of this letter.

As a child, my mother or father used to come to my bedside each night to settle me for sleep. I was kissed goodnight and then, either my Mum or Dad would make the sign of the cross on my forehead. They gave me their blessing. This brought me such security. I remember it to this day. Then I slept in peace.

So please do not hesitate, within your household or 'bubble', to bless each other on this Ash Wednesday. We do well to remember together our need of the good Lord. Together, and through each other, he wants to comfort and reassure us of his loving presence. If, on this day, we set aside every pretence that we can do everything of ourselves, then we create in our hearts and lives the space for God's grace and strength to find a home in us.

This is the great invitation of Ash Wednesday and of the weeks of Lent which follow. Please do take up this invitation. Open your hearts to the gift of God's presence to support, comfort and strengthen you. This year, it may be best to do this, not by going to church, but by sharing the prayer, the blessing and this moment of dedication within the love of your family and friends.

Please do include me in your prayers, too.

May God bless you all,

Cardinal Vincent Nichols

Archbishop of Westminster


Ash Wednesday at Home-

Say together the prayer given in this Pastoral Letter.

- Make the Sign of the Cross on each other's forehead, using the words you choose.

- Pray together: the Our Father; the Hail Mary; each one with his or her own prayer or intention.

- Conclude with the 'Glory be to the Father...'

- Give each other a sign of peace.

So Lent begins!

14th February

Dear People,

Den Walker is back home from hospital but he has a long road to recovery from

the virus. Frances has put a thankyou message in the newsletter.


Details of Cathy Pickles’ Requiem Mass are in the newsletter. Be forewarned:

the services are for family only due to COVID restrictions. There will be an opportunity to pay respects on the day, in a socially distanced way, as the funeral cortege moves up the High St.


There is a moving message from Tony Pickles thanking all those who gave tribute to Cathy.


CAFOD Lenten collection is in a fortnight. See newsletter for links on how to support online.


Next Wednesday is Ash Wednesday: Cardinal Vincent Nichols has advised the following:


“Receiving ashes is an outward sign of an inner step, a movement of the heart towards our beloved Lord.

This year I invite you to concentrate much more on this inner, spiritual movement than on its outward manifestation in the imposition of ashes.

My suggestion is this: celebrate Ash Wednesday at home, with your family, in the household or ‘support bubble’ of which you are a part.”


Newsletter 7th February 5th Sunday of th[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [324.2 KB]

7th February

Dear Sisters & Brothers,


Frances Walker, her husband Den (in Lymington Hospital) & Tony Pickles continue to recover slowly from COVID. Please keep the prayers going for them & for all who are unwell.


See the Newsletter for item on messages of condolence to be forwarded to Tony Pickles & his family.

And also an item on the yet to be arranged funerals for Cathy & her mother-in-law, Renee.


I have been given a date for my first vaccine next week at Christchurch Hospital. Linda hasn’t received hers yet.


God bless everyone.

Keep safe & well as far as it’s in your power.

Fr David

Cathy Pickles R.I.P.


CONDOLENCES FOR CATHY’S FAMILY: Linda has been putting all the emails of condolence together for Tony and his family. I’m sure they will be a great comfort to them. The cut off date for anyemails of condolence will be Monday 8th February. We will then print them off and send them to Tony. Thank you to all those who have emailed. They were very moving and a marvellous tribute to Cathy.

CATHY’S FUNERAL: There have been a lot of enquiries as to when Cathy’s funeral will be and if people can pay their respects. I will, of course, give you details of Cathy’s funeral as soon as we know it.

As you will appreciate the family has had two bereavements in the last few days and Tony is slowly recovering from Covid. The family now have two funerals to prepare.

I realise a lot of people will be wanting to pay their respects as Cathy was well known and loved.However, we have to respect the families wishes. There are a lot of Covid restrictions in church and space is very limited. Because of

the Covid restrictions the church service will be by invitation only from the family.

People have asked if they can pay their respects by standing in the road as the hearse passes or to meet in the church car park.

If the family would like this, because of the large numbers

expected, we will be working with the family, the funeral director and the police to find a satisfactory way of complying with Covid restrictions while still allowing people to safely pay their respects in some way. Obviously we will work with the family throughout the planning.

In the meantime, could I ask that you be patient, allow the family to grieve and Tony to recover.

SVP APPEAL FOR OUR SCHOOL: Can you help with a request from our school? Whilst working at home the children are on screen for most of the day so the provision of any games, colouring books or second hand children’s books in good condition would be welcomed.

The books could range from a picture book for the veryyoung to a book by an author such as Michael Morpurgo for children in Year 6.

If you have anything that you think would fit the bill please either email Nichola Kirby at or call on 07710 156087 and we will arrange collection.

Newsletter - 31st January 4th Sunday of [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [337.7 KB]

30th JANUARY 2021

Dear People,

We are still reeling from the very sad and sudden death of our Cathy Pickles.

May she rest in peace and rise in glory. Amen. The family are organising the

funeral and details will be made known in due course.


Cathy’s husband Tony is beginning to recover slowly but his mother

is seriously ill at home. Sons & daughters are at home supporting their dad

& nan.


We have gathered all the messages of condolence which have come in by email  and we will convey them to the family very soon.


Frances Walker is continuing to recover, and her husband Den has improved

slightly and remains in Lymington Hospital.  


We continue to keep everyone in our prayers.

God bless

Fr David

Dear All

You will all know by now about Cathy dying on 25th January- ‘The conversion of St Paul Feast day’.

It was a shock and a sad day for all who knew her.

Cathy’s faith was quite incredible and a lesson for us all.

I sent her a text when she was in hospital asking how she was and offering support.

Her reply was:

‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’


I know all of you will know of Cathy in some way.

Some will know her by name,

some will have met Cathy socially,

some will have had children pass through her care for 1st Holy Communion or Confirmation,

some may have met her through work,

some will have been neighbours, some friends,

some may have heard her speak at church on behalf of the SVP,

some may have listened to her on hospital radio,

some will know her through the school,

some may have met her beaming smile as they entered Sunday Mass at OLMSJ,

some may know her through the PPC,

some may know her from diocesan courses,

some may have been at the receiving end of her generosity,

some may have enjoyed her food,

some may know her through the Diocesan Pastoral Council,

some may know her through a Rosary group,

some may have enjoyed her cakes with coffee on a Saturday morning in Joseph’s place,

some may have poured out their troubles to her listening ear,

some may have attended Tenebrae at Easter, the Lent or Advent courses, 


I know the flower arrangers at OLMSJ will certainly have enjoyed her mince pies as they worked away preparing the church for Christmas!


 But you will all have known her and she will have touched you somehow, and now she has gone, leaving a huge ‘Cathy shaped hole’ in people’s lives.

Can I ask that you pray for Cathy’s husband, Tony, and her mother in law who are both suffering from Covid.

Also, for her family and friends who are grieving.


Cathy once told Vicki that she wanted ‘How Great thou art’ blasted out at her funeral, and she then spoke the last verse:

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation

And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!

Then I shall bow in humble adoration,

And there proclaim, my God, how great Thou art!

So I feel sure Cathy has risen in glory to her heavenly Father.

May she rest in peace and happiness.



Sunday evening, 31st January, at 5 pm


Bishop Philip invites you to join him for a short presentation called

“The Role of Faith in the Time of COVID”




31st January: Bishop Philip is the first speaker in a series organised by the Archdiocese of Edinburgh and St. Andrews on Faith in the Time of COVID.


The talks are all at 5pm on Sunday evenings and last 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes for questions – just half an hour in total.


7th February: Dr. Mary Rice Hasson, fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. where she directs the Catholic Women’s Forum, an initiative responding to Pope Francis’s call for Catholic women to assume a higher profile within the Church, and to think with the Church in addressing the problems of today.


14th February: The Scottish philosopher, commentator and broadcaster Professor John Haldane from St. Andrew’s University, a former papal adviser to the Vatican


21st February, the series ends with Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown MP, the former Prime Minister.




Newsletter 24th January 3rd Sunday of th[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [336.7 KB]

24th January

Dear Sisters & Brothers,


Just to give you an update:

Frances Walker is continuing to recover from COVID but is

very tired. Her husband, Den, also with COVID is back again in Lymington Hospital to keep his oxygen levels up.


Cathy Pickles is also with COVID & having oxygen support in SGH. She continues to be in good spirits and has been able sit up & to take food & drink. The chaplain visited her yesterday and Cathy was poking fun at his American accent! She has great faith and really appreciates all the prayers & get well

wishes from everyone.


Praying for one another is one thing we can do in this difficult time.

Pray in whatever way works for you. It doesn’t have to be wordy or repetitive.

A silent lifting of the heart to God is all it takes and as St Therese wrote, if we

lift our hearts to God we lift up everyone we hold in our hearts too (paraphrase).


Newsletter 17th January 2nd Sunday of th[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [400.8 KB]

17th January 2021

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Usual things attached: including items on saving our plant;

Christian Unity, teacher training, Cathedral prayer & collection;& a thank you from Fr Peter Ryan which should have gone in earlier but didn’t because I overlooked the email. My apologies to Fr Peter.


Some of our parishioners have caught the virus and it is more prevalent now in the area. A doctor at Lymington hospital said they are opening their 2nd ward for Covid patients.So take special care everyone. Hopefully a growing number of you are getting, or have had, your vaccine jabs.


On a lighter note some parishioners are acclaiming Olly as the parish dog! Woooo!

Well he managed to wangle an extra dinner the other day (lack of communication between Linda & myself!! and some manipulation on Olly's part!). Also he can be quite naughty if he thinks he can get away with it, (is that a trait that is specifically Catholic, or clerical, or just human??).


We watched a couple of  good films recently (Netflix or Prime):The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – all about wartime Guernsey and a very moving & topical story. Dark Waters – do you recall Teflon & the chemical giant Du Pont? Well the company did some pretty shocking things regarding toxic waste. It took one dedicated lawyer 15 years to finally get some justice for the victims. Apparently now almost everyone (& probably every living thing) on the planet has some level of the “forever chemicals” in their system. And now we’ve got microplastics too!

Peace and every good

Fr David




 a Zoom Retreat/Conference, 22nd-25th January 2021.

It is a long weekend of talks and discussions on zoom, and practical activities, on living the message of Laudato Si’ in and through your parish. Any interested parishioner is most welcome to join. The weekend is aimed especially at people with parish responsibilities or who are part of or want to start a relevant parish group. Sessions will be on Friday night, Saturday morning and night, Sunday afternoon and night and Monday night (leaving people free during the day on Monday). It is organised by Sr Margaret Atkins, an Augustinian Canoness at Boarbank Hall in Cumbria, a teacher of philosophy and theology, with a lifelong interest in the natural world, and author of Catholics and Our Common Home: Caring for the Planet in a Time of Crisis (CTS). Bishop Philip will be speaking at the Concluding Session on Monday evening 25th January at 7.30 pm. Cost - voluntary donations gratefully accepted, but there will be no fee for the weekend. To apply, simply email Sr Margaret Atkins on

Newsletter 10th January Baptism of the L[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [315.9 KB]

3rd January 2021 onwards



Very reluctantly I have taken the decision to close our churches of

OLMSJ, Lymington;

St Anne's, Brockenhurst

& St Francis of Assisi, Milford on Sea, until further notice.


As parish priest I have sole responsibility for the safety of all who use our places of worship and I take sole responsibility for this decision. The current government lockdown guidelines allow places of worship to remain open for communal celebration. However, if you examine these guidelines you will notice significant inconsistencies.


Also, the increased transmissibility of the new variant COVID virus casts doubt on the effectiveness of existing measures. Added to this we are all aware of the extreme pressures experienced by the NHS and by our critical care wards in particular. We must not risk more serious cases, nor must we be indifferent to the very difficult situation that our doctors, nurses and other hospital staff are going through.


We know that the roll-out of the vaccination programme will make a significant difference. We have much to be thankful for. Having come this far in the struggle with this virus we must not falter at the last hurdle. Patience, calmness, responsible behaviour, support for those in need and trust in God will see us through.


We thank God our Father for the creative power of the Divine Word present in all people and all creation and most evident in the love, compassion, courage, ingenuity and selfless endeavour of all those who are striving to alleviate suffering, ignorance and oppression. (Father David Adams)

Newsletter 3rd January 2nd Sunday of Chr[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [345.1 KB]
Newsletter 27 December Octave of Christm[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [314.8 KB]
Newsletter Christmas Day 251220.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [308.8 KB]
Christmas thank you 2020.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [103.7 KB]
Newsletetter 20th December 4th Sunday of[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [333.7 KB]

20th December

Dear Sisters & Brothers,

Thanks to all of you who have continued to support the parishes financially

& spiritually by your prayers during this difficult time.

Thank you for your personal prayers, kind wishes, cards and generous gifts.

I hope to be able to thank you all individually soon.

My special thanks to Linda (for both domestic & admin support), to Lisa and Frances (for admin support)

Without the help of these fine ladies, & left to myself, there would have been chaos!!

And thanks to all the stewards who have enabled us to celebrate the public Masses over this time.

I wish you all as happy a Christmas as possible and we look forward to a happier New Year eventually.

Peace & every good.

Fr David


This is for your parish priest, Fr David Adams, and forms a part of his ordinary income for the year. Fr David thanks you all in advance for your kindness and generosity. He also thanks all those who have already given kind gifts and cards

and assurances of prayer.

Newsletter 13th December 3rd Sunday of A[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [339.5 KB]

13th December

Dear Sisters & Brothers,

I hope you are all bearing up in the joy of the Lord on this Gaudete Sunday.

Many of you will be looking forward to seeing family over the Christmas period so I hope you all have a lovely time and keep safe& well.


The Diocese will be publishing a quarterly newsletter which will be available

on line. When it is safe to distribute it will also be available in print.

So look out for that on the Diocesan website or on E-News.


We have places at Mass in St Francis (9am) & St Anne’s (6pm) on

Sunday, 27th Dec which is still in the Octave of Christmas.

Ring or email on a first come first served basis.

Peace & every good.

Fr David



On 16 December at 6 pm, local BBC radio stations around the country are supporting carols on your doorstep.

(It’s like clapping for the NHS  only singing Carols)

The idea is simple, you download the carol sheet

(and music if you want to play an instrument too) from the


tune into the BBC Radio Solent (103.8 fm or NOW

Hampshire on DAB) on Wednesday 16 December at 6 pm and then

open your door and sing along with your neighbours, from the

socially distanced safety of your own doorsteps.

    GO TO Coronavirus:  Dominican Sisters of St Joseph’s Sway for things to do during Advent.

Newsletter 6th December 2nd Sunday of Ad[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [295.0 KB]
Newsletter 29th NOVEMBER -1st Sunday of [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [294.4 KB]

The next Mass at OLMSJ- alternate Saturdays and Sundays 

Public Mass resumes

next Saturday, 5th December at 6pm; booking required

& as its dark the car park will be open (the same applies to Saturday, 19th December).

The next Sunday Mass is on 13th December, at 10.30am; booking required. The car park will remain closed.

For Christmas eve, Christmas Day & 27th Dec places will be allocated by lottery.

Contact the parish office O1590 676696 to book a Mass

or to enter the lottery, contact details for Track & Trace will be required.

New Formation For Mission Course

Back2Basics - The Mass

This coming January, I invite you to join us for 6 sessions to refresh our understanding and deepen our love for the Mass. After lockdown, some of our friends and family, and even ourselves, may find it difficult to return to the sacramental practice of our faith. Taking time to discover or rediscover what we believe in our faith, how this is celebrated in the Mass, and how we are called to live it may be just what we need at the beginning of the year, to re-ignite our love for the Mass and find the words to encourage others to practice. Each session will end with a time of prayer. This course will be led by Sr Hyacinthe and Angela Wood.

This course will be especially helpful to catechists, readers and parents of First Holy Communion children, but it is open to everyone.

It will be taking place on Monday evenings from 7 to 9 pm, from the 11th January to the 15th February.

New Forest District Council

It’s #FuelPovertyAwarenessDay

Are you in receipt of low income and struggle to pay your fuel bills and stay warm, especially in winter? You are not on your own – help is available.

For advice and support, contact the Hitting the Cold Spots team on 0800 804 8601 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm) or email

Government 2nd lockdown from Thursday 5th November to Wednesday 2nd December 2020. Churches closed for public worship.

Newsletter 22nd November Christ the King[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [309.8 KB]
Adobe Acrobat document [183.9 KB]
Adobe Acrobat document [164.0 KB]
NEWSLETTER 24 hours with the Lord 17th N[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [123.2 KB]

Dear People,

As well as the newsletter & Liturgy pages


The following is assuming we don’t have any further restrictions imposed after 2nd December.

I will amend if necessary.

All updates will be on our website


Bishop Philip has asked for us to pray for a day of prayer and fasting to end the pandemic  on 27th November

Our churches are not open all day, but most of the day into evening. SEE ATTACHED ‘24HRS WITH THE LORD’ for times of opening.



I have decided, thanks to the generosity of our Stewards, to trial a Saturday evening Mass at OLMSJ starting Saturday 5th December at 6pm.

As from this date  Mass will be celebrated on alternate weeks along with the 10.30am Mass on Sunday.

All details are on the attached ‘SATURDAY EVENING AND SUNDAY MASSES’Until then dates for private prayer on a  Sunday during November will stay as published:

22nd November 10.30am OLMSJ;

29th November  (1st Sunday of Advent) 9am St Francis, 10.30am OLMSJ, 10.30am St Anne’s


Things are very different this year. See attached ‘CHRISTMAS SERVICES’  for how to book a place for Christmas.


24 hours with the Lord : 27th November

I am inviting everyone across the Diocese, clergy, religious and laity, to keep with me a special Day of Prayer and Fasting for an End to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

We can pray earnestly for a speedy end to the pandemic

for the safety and protection of all, especially our family and friends

for the health of the sick and the strength of those who care for them

for those suffering financially or in other ways from the pandemic

for patients in hospitals and the residents of care-homes

for all medical staff and key workers

for government leaders, scientists and advisors

for the discovery of an effective, ethically-sourced, vaccine,

for patience, perseverance and mental well-being

and for all who have died and those who mourn them.

Bishop Philip.



Our churches will be open to pray

at the following times


Our Lady of Mercy & St Joseph, Lymington




St Francis of Assisi, Milford on Sea



St Anne’s, Brockenhurst



St Michael’s,Hythe


Our Lady of Lourdes, New Milton



CHRISTMAS CARDS FROM THE SISTERS: Our talented sisters have been working very hard during this last six months of lock down building up our stocks for Christmas. Sr Lucy and Sr Catherine have built up a beautiful stock of original watercolours and calligraphy cards. In this time of lockdown when you cannot go out to do normal Christmas shopping you may find something special for Christmas here. and be able to support our community in a very special way at the same by purchasing our cards! It is not always easy to find suitable Christian cards in our increasingly secular world. We hope we can fill a gap in this area.



OLMSJ will be open for Individual Prayer each Sunday from 10.30-11.30am.

St Francis will open for Individual Prayer on the 15th and 29th November from 9-10am

St Anne’s will open for Individual Prayer 15th & 29th November from 10.30-11.30am.

On entering the church please give your name and telephone number to the Steward on duty as we have to keep contact details for Test & Trace for 21 days. Stewards will be on duty as usual and Covid protocols will be in place to keep you safe: We will still:

  • Ask you to wear a mask
  • ask you to sanitize your hands before you enter
  • keep to 2m distancing
  • not allow people to wander around the church
  • fill the pews from the front
  • have 2 to a pew, unless it’s a family from the same household/support bubble
  • maintain the silence as much as possible.

Please don’t be offended if you see a Steward wiping down the area you have been in. Part of their duties is to wipe all areas with anti-bacterial wipes wherever people sit or touch.


Newsletter 15th November 33rd Sunday of [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [287.7 KB]
Day of Prayer to End the COVID Crisis 27[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [150.3 KB]


Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?” – Ben Franklin


15th November


Dear Sisters & Brothers,


Even the dog wasn’t keen on going out today!


Please find attached the newsletter & also the timetable for the 24hrs of Prayer on 27th November at Portsmouth cathedral. Bishop Philip is inviting us to join in online for any length of time that we decide.


Our 3 churches are open for personal prayer tomorrow (Sunday) see the newsletter for the times.


We’re being encouraged to pray for an end to the pandemic.

The answer to that prayer is in our own hands.


Peace & every good.


Fr David

Newsletter November 8th Remembrance Sund[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [342.3 KB]

8th November

Dear People,

Please see the newsletter for times on Sundays when individual prayer in church will be possible in the different parishes. This is determined by the availability of our stewards to whom we are most grateful.

See below for a way to remember a loved one & contribute to CAFOD:

During the month of November remember a loved one by Lighting A Candle In Prayer with CAFOD

Here's how. 

Go to   and follow the link to 'Light a Candle In Prayer'.

Type who you are praying for.

Type in your message, make your donation, then light and place your candle on the 'virtual' votive stand.

By doing this you are making an act of remembrance, and supporting our Catholic Aid charities. By celebrating the life of someone special, you can help to change thousands more.

Peace & every good.

Keep safe & well & God bless

Fr David


Statement on the Four-Week National Lockdown in England

and a Call to Prayer

from the Bishops of England and Wales

Wednesday, November 4th, 2020 @ 6:16 pm


Today, Parliament passed into law the Regulations governing many aspects of activity in the whole of England until Wednesday, 2 December.

These Regulations prohibit the gathering of people for communal worship in churches and other religious buildings.

Churches remain open and in use for activities other than communal worship, including personal prayer and support for those in need.

Funeral Masses and funeral services may be held. Please refer to the Regulations (for places of worship see paragraph 18) and associated Guidance.

Despite profound misgivings it is important that we, as responsible citizens, observe these Regulations, which have the force of law:

“Remind them to be obedient to the officials in authority; to be ready to do good at every opportunity”           Titus 3:1

We do this in solidarity with so many others on whom are being imposed restrictions which impact severely on their lives and livelihoods.

It is also important to recognise that these Regulations are not an attack on religious belief. However, they do demonstrate a fundamental lack of understanding of the essential contribution made by faith communities to the well-being, resilience and health of our society. At this difficult moment, we ask that, as a Catholic community, we make full use of our churches as places of individual prayer and sources of solace and help.

Daily Prayer

We must sustain each other in our patterns of prayer, joining a national shared moment of prayer each day at 6pm, and observing the Vigil of Christ the King (21 November) as a day of prayer for the ending of this pandemic.

We encourage you all in your practical service and support of each other and those around you in need. This pathway of prayer and service is the royal road we are to take as a gracious witness in our society today.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols              President

Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP      Vice-President


Go back to the Coronavirus menu on the left, click on

Coronavirus Live Streaming of Mass.

There are direct links here to Masses each day from:-

-Our Lady of Lourdes, New Milton-Fr George

-Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Westminster

-Bishop Philip from his chapel

-Portsmouth cathedral

-Our Lady & St Edmund, Abingdon - Fr Jamie Mc Grath

-Fr Denis McBride C. Ss. R. (Redemptorists.Sunday Mass repeated)

You can also find many daily Masses from different Catholic parishes available on the internet. Go to;



Newsletter 1st November All Saints 20.pd[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [600.7 KB]
Adobe Acrobat document [376.3 KB]

1st November

Dear People,


I was somewhat delayed this evening waiting for the Prime Minister’s

announcement. He didn’t mention places of worship in the new lockdown so

unless we hear otherwise we will continue as we have been doing.

Obviously if anyone is particularly concerned about their health they should

restrict their contacts over the next few weeks.

So I leave it to your discretion about attending church. This applies to our

generous stewards as well, of course.

Attached are the newsletter, the Liturgy pages & the Basics Bank Reverse Advent calendar which was very popular last year & helped people make the appropriate donations.


I managed to get Olly down to the beach briefly. He enjoyed his little walk,

going as one passer-by remarked “At his own pace”, which is not quick these days involving as it does lots of sniffs per metre.

There was a finger of cloud which seemed determined, as clouds do, to obscure the sun. But is was nonetheless a bright & breezy half hour.


Let us hope & pray that the new restrictions will have the much needed effect

of reducing infections.

And once more we pray for all those adversely affected & all those who are unwell.

Peace & every good.

Fr David


Dear Folks,


I’m afraid I gave you duff information as some of you have already

pointed out!

While Boris didn’t mention places of worship in his address from Downing Street, as they say: “the devil is in the detail”.


So the detail of the Government restrictions ( #protecting-people-more-at-risk-from-coronavirus) include:

5. Weddings, civil partnerships, religious services and funerals

Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people, and it is advised that only close friends and family attend.

Linked ceremonial events such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 15 people in attendance.

Anyone working is not included. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.

Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies will not be permitted to take place except in exceptional circumstances.

Places of Worship will be closed, unless they are being used for:


    To broadcast acts of worship

    Individual prayer

    Formal childcare or where part of a school

    Essential voluntary and public services, such as blood donation or food banks

    Other exempted activities such as some support groups.


You may have also noticed that the category of the clinically vulnerable includes those who are:

    aged 60 or over (regardless of medical conditions)!




Peace & every good.

Newsletter 25th October 30th Sunday of [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [879.8 KB]

Dear People,


A special message for parents or grandparents with children who will be starting primary school next year. Take a good look at Our Lady & St Joseph Catholic Primary School, Pennington!

Our school now offers small, individualised teaching groups with a 15:1 ratio!!

The school has acres of space with a wide variety of extended play facilities.

Children aspire & achieve.

Our school has an inspirational Executive Headteacher in Mrs Gerida Montague and enthusiastic and dedicated teachers, teaching assistants, admin staff and governors.

Drawing on expertise and resources from across the 5 schools in the partnership our teaching staff have the benefit of innovative and comprehensive mentoring and support.

As a foundation governor, it is by far the best support structure I have ever encountered in a Catholic school. It gives great encouragement to the staff.

Take a look at the information leaflet attached below for more details.


Ramble Note:


My sincere thanks to Keith Stuttaford for his much appreciated advice on handling an inflatable tender & outboard. I think I was saved from another embarrassing episode. A test of concept trip went very well. I’ve even learnt to tie a bowline knot. With shorter days opportunities won’t be quite so numerous but I’m looking forward to my next foray to Hurst Castle, sometime soon.


God is always blessing everyone.

Peace & every good.

Fr David

OLSJ School 2020-2021.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [750.2 KB]


Owing to a parishioner testing positive for Covid-19

Fr David is in isolation up to and including the 18th October.

Therefore, Sunday Masses on 18th October at

 St Anne’s, St Francis and Our Lady of Mercy & St Joseph are cancelled.


The next Masses on Sunday will be:

25th October: OLMSJ, Lymington

1st November: St Anne’s, Brockenhurst & St Francis of Assisi, Milford on Sea

Due to social distancing seats are limited and must be booked in advance via the parish office : 01590 676696

Newsletter 18th October 29th Sunday of t[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [360.9 KB]
Newsletter 11th October 28th Sunday of t[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [299.2 KB]

(Updated Monday 12th October)

Dear People,

A member of St Anne’s congregation has tested positive for Covid.

He attended Mass there last Sunday (4th).

He had no symptoms. By chance he had a random test by ONS on the Monday. The result came back today (Saturday 10th) as positive. He is doing OK and not experiencing any obvious symptoms.

After a discussion with Test and Trace, even though I wore a mask to distribute Holy Communion, and the gentleman in question wore a mask too,I was within 1 metre of him, so they insisted I isolate for 14 days up to and including Sunday 18th October.(Upated)

So, there will not be a Mass in any of our 3 churches on Sunday 18th October.

Everyone who had pre-booked will be notified.

We are fairly sure that the strict measures we have adhered to will have protected other members of the congregation. 

Those who have been able to attend Sunday Mass in any of our 3 churches have told us that they feel safe, and very much appreciate the precautions that have been taken, and are grateful to the generous service of our stewards.

Hopefully all will be well but it is a reminder to us not be complacent. We will continue to “err” on the side of caution in the future. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Peace & every good.




For Our Lady of Mercy & St Joseph:


A/C NUMBER: 00882225

SORT CODE: 30-93-04


For St Anne’s:


A/C NUMBER: 00875962

SORT CODE: 30-93-04


For St Francis of Assisi:


A/C NUMBER: 00882772

SORT CODE: 30-93-04

Newsletter 4th October 27th Sunday of t[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [294.9 KB]

4th October

Dear Sisters & Brothers,


I hope you are all keeping as well as possible.




Message from the Sisters at Sway:

New Novices - Dominican Sisters of St Joseph

Welcome to the two new novices - Sr Marie Dominic OP and Sr Máire Cooey OP.

After spending their first year as Postulants with the Dominican community at Sway,they have entered the start of their two-year period of Noviciate.

God willing, this will lead to a three-year period of temporary profession and onto their perpetual profession with the community.

Please keep in your prayer's foundress Sr Margarita OP, who is very ill at this time and also Sr Rosaleen OP who is undergoing treatment for cancer.



Meanwhile (on Wednesday) just getting ready to leave for St Anne’s

for the Requiem Mass for Mary Byrne RIP. Lo and behold, three police cars

parked in the High Street, one of them across our gate and another two

across the road! Panic, panic will we be able to get to St Anne’s on time??

Thankfully, after some anxious enquiries we managed to track a PC who kindly

radioed one of his fellow officers to move the obstructing vehicle. Phew, we

arrived in Brockenhurst in good time.


On a more mundane level, what was that noise in the pantry? Ah! It was Olly dog, ferreting around for odd bits of dry dog food that didn’t make it to his bowl. The only problem is that he leaves a trail of destruction, scattered bottles & tins etc.

Hark, what is that sound on the stairs. Lo! It is Olly dog again trying to break into his box of Mini-Bonios! He has really come out of his shell since Oscar dog had to be returned to his foster Mum. Olly was very intimidated by Oscar. But he is happier now and more relaxed, but also naughtier!


I managed to get a nice SUP surf on Thursday. There was a good vibe on the water with everyone in good humour. A young swan came gliding by and went up and down the east side of Bournemouth Pier. I don’t know if it was lost or just exploring. Anyway, I was too greedy and stayed in the water too long so the old bones were complaining on Friday!

Next week I hope to try out the dinghy & outboard motor (just returned from being serviced) to see if they will ferry me to Hurst Castle. It will be windy so a good test to see if it all works.

Keith Stuttaford has volunteered to be on hand to give much needed advice! From a safety point of view I was encouraged to get a marine VHF radio. It’s a lot more involved than I anticipated! 

So over & out!


Fr David

Newsletter 27th September 26th Sunday of[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [294.1 KB]

27th September 2020


Dear Folks,

Usual things attached PLUS a Flyer for the Brockenhurst “Walk for Creation” event for 10th October.


Our dear Cathy Pickles did a great reflection on my ramble from last week (in italics below to refresh your memory!)


(From last week’s ramble) I am used to going into the wind (hard) or downwind (easy). However I have not done much crosswind paddling and none with the board loaded up with bulky cargo. So a planned trip to Hurst Castle from Keyhaven did not end well. The crosswind was 30 knots plus and without an adjustable rudder and despite my best efforts the loaded paddleboard was just blown sideways. I ended up 150yds west of the Keyhaven slipway & had to beach the cargo on top of the seawall . A kind elderly gentleman offered to help which I gratefully accepted. With the board unloaded it was much more manageable. So I paddled back to the slipway & then had to retrieve the gear.  (Walk of shame!!)


Keeping on course in life whether it's hard (into the wind) or easy (downwind) most of us can just about manage.  However, life is never that straightforward and as soon as we start to load up our lives with unwanted baggage (bulky cargo) and the wind changes direction (crosswind) we soon find ourselves straying off-course.  Luckily we need to find Christ (the kind elderly gentleman) who will relieve us of our baggage (through confession) and allow us get back on course and back into communion with the community (the slipway). The cost of our 'walk of shame' is the penance we make.


By the way, I managed a nice little surf at Bournemouth Pier early on Friday morning. Richard Smith was out there. He’s a retired teacher

and when I was 16/17rs old (1967!!), down at Boscombe Beach, we would load up the surfboards on his Hillman Imp & go in search of waves.

He is still catching waves & having fun and still poking fun at me too!

Then it was a rush back to Lymington to participate in a “Zoom” meeting for the Deanery about the financial crisis facing the Diocese.

And guess what, another fund raising campaign is on the horizon!


Anyway, thanks to a kind & trusting parishioner Clare (& Nigel) Barfoot from Milford I now have loan of an outboard motor. And a good friend, Mike Power,

has lent me an inflatable tender. So hopefully, all being well, a test run to Hurst Castle will be on the cards next week! I’m hoping for a better outcome. Just one regret that I have to resort to petrol instead of paddle power.


God bless you all & once again keep safe.

Fr David


Let’s Walk Together: A Walk for Creation

- Saturday 10th October at 10: 00am

The 3 churches in Brockenhurst have joined together to organise an ecumenical “Walk for Creation” on Saturday 10th October. Let’s walk, pray and reflect together on the gifts of creation and the mission given us by God to care for the earth and respond to its needs today.

The walk will be around 2 miles along forest paths, starting and ending at Ober Corner car park. Dogs welcome!

In compliance with the latest government ‘Rule of 6’ regulations, we will be walking in staggered groups of six, each with a leader.

We hope to serve coffee and cakes at the end of the walk - please bring your own mug!

Please register your interest by calling or emailing any of the contacts below:

St Saviours Church Office 01590 624584

Annabelle Mellor: 01590 624587 or

Milla Pearse: 07963 818638 or

Newsletter 20th September 25th Sunday of[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [294.8 KB]

20th September

Dear Folks,

Following on from Bishop Philip’s Pastoral letter, I feel sure that you have not

drifted away from God over these past months. Indeed, people have told me their relationship with God and their prayer has deepened. I am also completely sure that God is not far from any of us, indeed as one saint said: God is closer to us than we are to ourselves.

So please do not be anxious or feeling guilty. You are the living flesh and blood of Christ in the world today. And many have been drawn closer to their neighbours by giving help, support, and fellowship.


Unfortunately, as expected we seem to be heading for a second wave of the virus. Let us be strong in faith, hope and love, steadfast in patience and grateful for the many blessings we receive.


BIG REALITY CHECK this week!! I have been paddle boarding for over 14 years. I am used to going into the wind (hard) or downwind (easy). However, I have not done much crosswind paddling and none with the board loaded up with bulky cargo. So, a planned trip to Hurst Castle from Key haven did not end well. The crosswind was 30 knots plus and without an adjustable rudder and despite

my best efforts the loaded paddleboard was just blown sideways. I ended up 150yds west of the Key haven slipway & had to beach the cargo on top of the seawall. A kind elderly gentleman offered to help which I gratefully accepted. With the board unloaded it was much more manageable. So, I paddled back to the slipway & then had to retrieve the gear. (Walk of shame!!)

Not easily deterred I am wondering if anyone has a small tender/dinghy (inflatable or rigid) with an outboard motor that they are not using much? For possible sale, loan or rent. Directional power is what is needed!

This would only be for occasional trips to ferry my wing foil gear from Key haven to inside the Hurst Spit.

There’s no harm in asking as they say!

O and by the way the harbour master is back collecting launch fees. A really nice chap though.


God bless & keep safe & well

Fr David

Bishop's pastoral letter come back to me[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [554.9 KB]
Newsletter 13th September 24th Sunday of[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [300.2 KB]

13th September


Dear Sisters and Brothers,


Bishop Philip’s Pastoral letter is attached


If you don’t already do so please can you consider supporting your parish

with a regular Standing Order? Its very easy to set up and you have complete control.

Details for each parish are in the newsletter.


Trivial ramble follows:

You won’t believe it but I’ve been in the area for 6 years now and last Thursday

was the first time I ventured into Keyhaven harbour! More fool me for not discovering it earlier.

It was a little expedition to time the paddle from the slipway to Hurst Castle. It was a nice day with

light winds so it only took 20 mins out and about 15-20mins back. Thankfully the harbour master

was absent so no launch fee had to be paid. I had arranged to go out with Paul & Marilyn (parishioners).

They were going to use their modular canoe (Swedish). Unfortunately one section was leaking due to storm

damage so Marilyn offered to stay ashore. Paul removed the cracked section and re-assembled the canoe for

one person operation. I had Olly, the cocker spaniel, paddleboard and provisions. It was too warm for a wetsuit

so I decided to wear the nylon hotskin which keeps the sun off. Now I’m sure you don’t really want to know

this but I put the hotskin on first, then swimming briefs over the top (legendery Speedos!), then board shorts

over them. Only when I went to zip up the hotskin did I realise it was inside out! But it was too late to

correct the error and as it is all black probably no one noticed. Although I was struggling to get the back zip

closed up.(Only later did I discover that the speedos were inside out too! Now that would have been embarrassing!

(I don’t think Superman ever made that mistake). Moral of the story – don’t be in such a hurry that everything gets muddled & inside out!


Anyway, it was a lovely paddle and there is a nice sandy beach inside the spit. Olly just loved it, which is the main reason I regret not doing this before.

He could wade into the water with no crashing waves & even have a little swim. He was really happy just wandering about, in and out of the

water. Almost forgot the time, so we had to rush back because I needed to return the courtesy vehicle (a very sporty Amarok) to the VW garage so that I could pick

up my Transporter & pay the £1000 plus service bill!

Anyway in future I’ll be hoping the high tide coincides with some free time for another adventure. Paul & Marilyn are definitely up for it and

anyone else is welcome to join us too.


God bless

Fr David


NICK FILBEE RIP: Many will be very sad to hear that Nick has died. The funeral service will take place at

Test Valley Crematorium on Tuesday, 15th September at 2.30pm.

All being well there will be a Memorial Service and a Celebration of Nick’s life when all the restrictions have been lifted

Our prayers and condolences are with all our bereaved families and with the departed. May they rest in peace and rise in glory.

SEAN McVEIGH RIP: You’ll be very sad to hear that Sean died last Sunday. His Requiem Mass will be celebrated at

St Francis on Tuesday, 22nd September at 11am.

There will only be enough space for family and relatives. Sean’s body is to be buried at Milford Road Cemetery, New Milton. May he rest in peace and rise in glory. Our thoughts and prayers are with Margaret and the family.


Newsletter 6th September 23rd Sunday of[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [338.7 KB]

SUNDAY MASS AT ST ANNE’S: All being well we hope to celebrate Mass on Sunday, 6th Sept at 6pm.

We are grateful to the stewards who make this possible.

If you wish to come to Mass at that time, please book in via the Parish Office. Numbers are very restricted.


MAI WILSON RIP. Mai’s Funeral Service is to take place at Test Valley Crematorium on 4th September at 11.30am.


BERYL McDARBY RIP: Beryl’s Funeral Service will take place at OLMSJ, on Wednesday, 9th September at 1.15pm followed by burial in Lymington Cemetery.


NICK FILBEE RIP: Many will be very sad to hear that Nick died suddenly last Monday. The funeral will be on Tuesday 15th September at Test Valley Crematorium. There will be a Thanksgiving service for Nick's life when the church can open fully again.


Our prayers and condolences are with all our bereaved families and with the departed. May they rest in peace and rise in glory.

Newsletter 30th August Sunday of the Yea[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [263.0 KB]
Newsletter 23rd August 21st Sunday of th[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [339.2 KB]

23rd August


Dear People,


We had our first wedding of the year at OLMSJ on Friday.

It was a very joyful celebration for Sean & Alice, a lovely young couple from

Eastleigh. It was very windy but the rain held off and the sun shone.

The confetti shower was particularly dramatic as it was all swirled up in

a tornado like funnel. White ribbon replaced the “scene of crime” yellow

and black tape demarcating the social distancing required. Thankfully the Government

has exempted bride & groom from having to wear a mask.

Our special thanks to Olivia and Magdalen who served as stewards and to my

trusty and creative co-worker, Linda, who prettied up the church and also

fulfilled her role as Authorised Person, completing the Marriage Registers.


I managed a spell on the water last Wednesday at Poole Harbour. A very early start

in the rain and the wind to catch the high tide. Smooth conditions on the south side of the harbour but with

a very strong, squally wind with intermittent lashing rain. A little bit of progress with the

wing foil, so all the effort worthwhile. Thankfully Thursday was bright, breezy & sunny so the van &

all the kit got dried out.


Olly dog is definitely more comfortable now in the cooler weather. He is a lot quieter

at night too. His rapid panting had been a cause for concern and it was very loud!


Where has most of August gone! And I still haven’t got round to washing & polishing the

vehicles. Having supper this evening watching most of the 2013 film “Gravity” (missed the first 15 mins).

Stunning photography & graphics. A well deserved winner of many awards.


Its now very late so here endeth the ramble.


God bless

Fr David

Newsletter 16th August 2020 Assumption o[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [257.0 KB]

August 15th 2020

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

What a change with this weather! The dull and grey such a contrast

with a few days ago!

Olly the dog is feeling much better now. Not only has the temperature dropped but he has had his periodic grooming. He is obviously more comfortable without his thick coat. He did enjoy a trip on the paddleboard last Sunday evening, but he wasn’t keen on doing much swimming. He seemed just content to sit & observe, occasionally moving from the front to the back and then back to the front again. He has to walk through my legs as I try to adjust my position on the board to keep it level.


Its bit like life, as circumstances change we sometimes have to struggle to

“keep our balance”, metaphorically speaking.

We have to trust in God to uphold us.


Peace & every good.

Fr David


The following information is for:

Our Lady of Mercy & St Joseph, Lymington,

St Francis of Assisi, Milford on Sea and

St Anne’s, Brockenhurst ONLY.

The advice we’ve received is that we should measure the safe capacity of the

Church. We’ve painstakingly measured out (and marked) seats with a 2m

space between each seat and have carried out a risk assessment.


Even though the government states 30 people can attend funerals it is dependant on how many people the church can accommodate while keeping to the 2m social distancing.

After considering the science, we have decided to keep our parishes of Our Lady of Mercy and St Joseph, Lymington; St Anne’s, Brockenhurst and St Francis of Assisi, Milford on Sea to 2m distancing, not 1m+mitigation.

These means that all our churches have restrictions and some pews are not in use.

OLMSJ: Lymington Has 8 pews available (possibly 9 depending on how many Stewards are on duty).

Each pew seats 2 people, one either end of the pew with 2m distance in between. That is 16 people.

However, if there is a family from the same household, max 5 people, they may sit in a pew together.

ST FRANCIS, Milford on Sea: Has 7 pews available (possibly 8 depending on how many Stewards are on duty).

Each pew seats 2 people, one either end of the pew with 2m distance in between. That is 14 people.

However, if there is a family from the same household, up to 5 or 6 people, they may sit in a pew together.

ST ANNE’S Brockenhurst Has 7 pews available (possibly 8 depending on how many Stewards are on duty) and 3 small pews.

Each of the large pews seats 2 people, one either end of the pew with 2m distance in between. There are three smaller pews each seating 1 person. That is 17 people.

However, if there is a family from the same household, they may sit in a pew together, up to 5 people. 3 max of a family group can sit in the smaller pews.

What do I need to do?

Booking for Mass: Everyone has to ring the parish office to book a seat for Mass  : 01590 676696.

Please don’t register for Mass or enter the church if you or someone in your household has a temperature, a cough, flu-like symptoms or loss of taste or smell.

Stay at home and participate in the Mass via live streaming.


Track & Trace: When you book your seat for Mass you will be asked to leave your contact details for Track and Trace

The details of those attending Mass will be kept securely for 21 days and then destroyed.


How safe will I be when I attend Mass?

-We have completed a thorough risk assessment, following advice from the diocese and from our health and safety advisers. This risk assessment is available to view on our website.

We have signs displayed to remind visitors about social distancing.

-We have cordoned off several pews to give a 2m distance and we have marked the seats where people may sit.

-Alcohol hand gel is provided outside the church and the Stewards on duty ask people to sanitise their hands as they enter and leave the church.

-Weather permitting windows are kept open during masses.

-The Stewards have been trained and have specific jobs.

-Stewards will meet and greet you.

-The entrance & exit to the church is through the main door at OLMSJ & St Anne’s.

At St Francis the entrance is through the main door and the exit is through the side door.

A Steward will check your name from their list and will direct you to the hand sanitizer.

-The next Steward will keep you to a 2m distance and will guide you to the final Steward who will take you to your seat, starting at the front of the church and working to the back.

-At the end of Mass the Stewards will guide you out, starting at the back of the church working forward, keeping to the 2m distance.

-The Steward will direct you to sanitize as you leave.

-The Stewards sanitize the pews after Mass, a funeral, wedding or baptism, and then the church is kept locked for 72hrs.

-The Stewards will also be Fire Wardens should we need to evacuate the church.

What about Mass offerings?

To prevent transmission of the virus the collection basket will not be passed around, but there is a basket available as you enter the church for your offering.


How do I receive Communion?

The priest will take Holy Communion to you in your seat.


Do I have to wear a mask?

As of the 8th August 2020 it is everyone entering a place of worship has to wear a mask. The priest will wear a mask when distributing Holy Communion.


Will the toilets be open?

We are sorry but toilet facilities are not available on site at the present time because of the requirements that would be needed to keeping them clean.

Joseph’s place remains closed.


What time will Mass be celebrated?

OLMSJ           10.30 am Sunday

St Francis: 9am Sunday- once a fortnight

St Anne’s- 6pm Mass Sunday – hopefully starting in September


Will there be a weekday Mass?

There are no publicly celebrated weekday Masses at present.


Will the church be open for private prayer?

Our churches are not open for private prayer at the moment as we have no

available Stewards.


Will I be able to light a candle?

There are no votive candles available at the moment.


Thank you for your patience.

Fr David

Newsletter 9th August 19th Sunday of the[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [254.9 KB]

9th August

Dear Folks,

A little too warm for dogs & some humans.

Although others like it hot, of course!

May we find that still, small voice of Love at the centre of our being and

take refuge there in stormy times.

Peace & every good to all.

Fr David

Newsletter 2nd August 18th Sunday of the[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [258.2 KB]

19th July

Dear Brothers and Sisters

Important stuff attached.

See below for Food Bank plug & prayer request.

After that its all downhill!

A postscript to last’s weeks ramble from Perry, who replied last Sunday:

I too was one of those intrepid swimmers yesterday!

Lymington Triathlon Club, to which both Moz and I belong were doing a charity swim in aid of the Lymington Food Bank.

The aim was to add our combined distances over the weekend to swim the distance of going around the Isle of wight - 90km.

We completed the challenge yesterday and are on our second lap, but having swum 6km yesterday am, I'm having a rest today!

Well, excellent stuff, Perry, but Moz wasn’t resting on his laurels! Come Monday morning he was out again adding to the kms for the Food Bank. And faithful Kay was there too brushing up on her Italian as she shadowed Moz along the shoreline as he nearly disappeared in the direction of Barton.

That reminds me, prayers please for Moz’s father who is in hospital in Italy

recovering from a heart attack, and for his mother who is recovering from a hip operation, at home also in Italy.


You’ve come across the expression “Quit while you’re ahead”! Well it’s even more important to quit when you’ve got no chance of even getting ahead!  Another short-lived wing foiling experience at Milford/Hordle beach

yesterday. A whole day spent vacuuming the house from top to bottom so off I go to the beach. It seemed windy enough.

Some time getting all the kit ready, testing one wing then realising I need a bigger one because the wind was less than expected.

By that time most of the beach dwellers had gone home (less embarrassment for me!). So conditions were tricky, a high tide still running, waves dumping on the shingle, sea very choppy, wind a bit iffy! Managed to launch but not enough wind for me to beat the tide & the drift. So ended up 50yds downwind & just managed to exit without major damage to myself or the kit.

So de-rigged and went for a swim instead, still ended up 50yrds down the beach! So sometimes we have to quit sooner rather than later, stubbornness can be costly!


A day in the life of a dog (or more precisely, Olly, now 10yrs old): snore, wake up, chase ball, sniff & wee (outside , of course), breakfast snack,

more sleep & snoring, breakfast drink, morning tablet, more sleep, chase ball, sniff & wee x number of times, sleep & snore,

lunch titbits, drink water, more sleep, dinner, drink more water, more sleep, more chasing the ball ( a poo somewhere

outside to be bagged up later), barking at neighbours dog who is barking at Olly, more sleep, night time medicine,

last excursion outside, more water, sleep & snoring until tomorrow morning.


As we have finished “The Crown”, we’ve started “Medici” on Netflix. I once spent 3 month in Florence as beautiful city.

Its good to get a little flavour of the history even if it is romanticised.


Well, that was more than I intended!

God bless


Fr David


Newsletter 26th July 17th Sunday of the[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [256.0 KB]
Newsletter 19th July 16th Sunday of the [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [297.6 KB]
Newsletter 12th July 15th Sunday of the [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [258.4 KB]





See below.


Please be assured that you are currently not obliged to attend Sunday Mass, and, out of concern for others, ought not to attend if the following apply:

1)You are sick, for example, if they are experiencing cold or flu like symptoms,

2) You are experiencing symptoms of a serious illness, or if they are in the “vulnerable” category (the elderly, people with weakened immune systems, people with long term conditions such as cancer,diabetes, heart conditions etc.)



Due to the restrictions imposed by the Government and Diocese there are a limited number of seats for Mass




to book a seat at Mass 



At the moment the Mass at St Francis is every alternate Sunday. The next Mass is 9th August at 9am.





6pm Saturday Mass has been cancelled for the foreseeable future

Due to the restrictions imposed by the Government and Diocese there are a limited number of seats for Mass




to book a seat at Mass this Sunday at 10.30am







Due to a lack of Stewards there

will not be a Mass at St Anne’s until, hopefully, the first Sunday in September




Risk assessment opening church july 2020[...]
Microsoft Word document [141.3 KB]

12th July 2020


Dear People,

A relatively simple mailing this weekend.

Olly was a happy dog this morning. We got up early to join

Steve Torjussen from St Francis parish, (and one of their stewards)for a SUP session (Stand Up Paddle) at Milford beach.

A lovely sunny morning with a lightoff shore wind. Fish jumping, Olly sat perched on the bow while we gently paddled back & forth trying not to impede those intrepid swimmers who very sensibly pull bright orange floats to alert other seafarers.

We didn’t want the morning to end but I had to get back to work. Steve had his daughter’s family staying so grandad duties beckoned. And that much anticipated & desired breakfast (coffee & bacon butties) from the kiosk at Hordle cliffs car park was not to be! (Boo  whoo!) The kiosk was not open.

But there was ample compensation because one of those intrepid swimmers was none other than Moz Malpiedi from Lymington down with his wife Kay & their daughter Stephanie, her husband Oliver & their two children. I conducted their wedding ceremony at St Anne’s back in 2013. So that was a happy encounter.



Moral of the story: Go to the beach more often!!


Most of you will be continuing your liturgical “travelling” tomorrow,

so God bless, peace & every good.


Fr David


Newsletter 5th July 14th Sunday of the Y[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [251.6 KB]
Newsletter Ss Peter and Paul Yr A 28062[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [280.1 KB]



JULY 2020

Thank you.

Firstly, I must apologise for the lateness of this email regarding the re-opening of churches for Mass. I only received the final recommendations from the Government and the Diocese late on Friday night, with further updates Saturday morning. It has certainly been a challenging and frustrating few weeks.


I am really looking forward to seeing you next Sunday as we open our churches for Mass. I know this is a lot to take in, but I feel I would be failing you as your Parish Priest if I did not explain in advance how the restrictions and requirements have affected our buildings and how we celebrate Mass. It is also important that you feel safe when returning.


I have a 13-page Risk assessment, which we must have by law, with a further 5 pages of guidelines from the Diocese. I know people are moving more freely now, and so will the virus, so I hope you will understand that we must have these restrictions in place for your own safety.


Thank you in advance for your co-operation. I look forward to the restrictions being eased as time goes on so we can get back together as a loving Community once more.


I will outline some of the main points for you here. Please read them carefully.

+ Anyone displaying symptoms that may indicate a COVID-19 virus infection MUST NOT attempt to come to church.

+ Our Bishops remind us that, at this time of pandemic,no one is obliged to go to Mass. Live streaming from many parishes around the world is still available.

+ I am instructed to tell you that those who are especially vulnerable are advised to stay at home and not attend Mass:

• those who are over 70,

• in the shielding group,

• or at especially high risk of infection

If you are in one of these groups you are advised to follow government guidelines and stay at home.

Fr David Quarmby and Fr Peter Ryan are shielding and cannot celebrate Mass with a congregation at this present time.

+ Risk Assessment: We have been instructed by the government to carry out a full risk assessment and to put everything included in the RA into practice. As a result, your church is not the same as you left it.


+ Social distancing – After listening to the science, I have decided to stay with the 2m distancing.


+ Because of the strict guidance on cleaning the church I have cancelled the 6pm Saturday night Mass at Lymington and the weekday Masses in all 3 churches for the time being.


+ The number who can attend a church service has been greatly reduced.

A booking system is now in place If you wish to attend Mass, you must ring the parish office by Saturday at the latest to reserve a seat.

Please do not turn up on the day without booking as you will not be allowed in.

We are not allowed to exceed the number of seats.

There is no overspill into Joseph’s place.

Seats will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Because we must maintain 2m social distancing which is in front, behind and side to side, several pews are now out of action.

A pew will now seat just 2 people. However, if you are a family from the same household the social distancing has been measured to enable you to sit together in a pew.

The chairs have been removed- only pews are available.

We may have to restrict attendance of individuals to once a month, so that as many people as possible get a chance to attend Mass.


+ Track and Trace. When you book a seat your telephone number will be taken to assist Track and Trace should there be an outbreak of the virus in the church.


+ The church cannot open without Stewards.

It has been made clear that Stewards cannot come from the 70+ & shielding groups.


+ If there are not enough Stewards Mass cannot take place.

Stewards will manage the flow of people into and out of the Church before and after Mass.


They will also evacuate the church in case of an emergency alongside any Fire wardens who are present.

The Stewards will ask you to sanitize your hands on entering and leaving the church.

They will guide people to seats to ensure social distancing is maintained.

Please do not leave your seat unless instructed to do so by a Steward or myself.

Please do not expect to sit in your usual seat.


It is recommended that you wear a face covering/mask.


If you are wearing gloves you will have to remove them to receive Communion.

All cleaning materials and appropriate signage is in place.


Stewards will also ensure essential cleaning will take place before and after Mass to diminish the risk of transmission of the virus.


+ Car parking. Due to the restrictions inside church, for people to sanitize their hands before entering, and waiting for the Stewards to take them to a seat, there will probably be a queue outside the church with people standing 2m apart. Therefore, the car park at OLMSJ, Lymington will be closed for safety reasons.

There may also be queuing outside St Anne’s and St Francis, so please take great care when parking.


+ Toilet Facilities will NOT be available in any of our 3 churches.


+ There will not be any refreshments after Mass in Joseph’s Place, the Maryland room, or the house at St Anne’s.


+ We have a legal obligation to ensure there is no contact between members of different households.

There will be no sign of peace.

Priests have been instructed not to greet parishioners at the door before or after Mass.


+ We are legally obliged to only allow the priest to distribute Communion, taking care to avoid physical contact.

Therefore, Ministers of Holy Communion will have to stand down for the foreseeable future.

Communion is to be distributed under one kind only and will be distributed in the hand.

The priest will wear a face mask when distributing Communion.

The way Communion is be distributed will vary from church to church depending on the social distancing measures which are in place.


+ Deacons, Altar servers, Sacristans and Readers will have to stand down for the time being as only the priest will be present on the sanctuary and in the sacristy.


+ Fire Wardens- You will not have access to your Hi-Viz jackets. If they are worn, they must go into quarantine for 48hrs. However, if you are in

attendance please take your lead from your Lead Fire Warden and assist the Stewards in evacuating the building.


+ Flower arrangers: only the priest will be allowed on the Sanctuary. If flowers can be brought into church already arranged and put on any side altar that would be acceptable, but not anywhere on the Sanctuary.

Flower rooms are not accessible.


+ Candles: only the candles on the main altar will be lit.

Votive candles will not be available.


+ Sunday Collection. We can no longer hand the collection baskets around the congregation. There will be a basket in a visible place for cash donations. The collection must be kept in a sealed bag for 48hrs before opening.

If you wish you can make a direct payment from your bank. Ring the parish office for details.


+ Singing – we will not be singing, or playing an instrument, for some time. The hymn books have all been removed. Recorded music may be played.


Mass times 12th July:

Please only book a seat for the Mass at your parish.

6pm Saturday Mass at OLMSJ has been CANCELLED until further notice.


9am Sunday St Francis of Assisi


10.30am Sunday Our Lady of Mercy & St Joseph


6pm Sunday St Anne’s CANCELLED due to lack of Stewards.

I am hoping some volunteers will come forward so Mass can resume on 19th July.


I would like you to know that the above restrictions and requirements do not sit comfortably with me, but they are in place for the safety of all.

Thank you for your co-operation at this difficult time.

Fr David.


Newsletter 21st June 12th Sunday of the[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [257.0 KB]

21st June

Dear People,


Apologies but this is a more limited communication because there is a lot going on at the moment.






Many people are behaving as if this pandemic is over. So please take care.

The Government says the “virus is in general circulation”. I don’t know if that is meant to be reassuring or not!


Peace & every good.

Fr David






Sunday 21st June




No toilet facilities will be available.

No candles, no kneelers.

No leaflets or hymn books.


There are two pews at the back of the church allocated for private prayer. Please do not move beyond these pews.


A maximum of 4 individuals from separate households at any one time or two couples from separate households.


Don’t be offended that the stewards will be cleaning the pew after you have left. These are Church/Govt. guidelines for everyone’s safety.


You may need to queue outside.


Sanitise your hands as you enter & leave.


Wear your own mask if you wish, but none provided.


2 metre socials distancing applies


Those in an at risk group are advised to stay home.


Lymington is pedestrian access only in case of queuing. Please park elsewhere. There is no direct access from the Cannon St carpark.

The Food Bank is now established in the old school playground and as yet we do not have key access to the Cannon St carpark.


Times of Opening:             Sunday 21st June for 1hour

Watch this space as times may vary depending on availability of Stewards.

Our Lady & St Joseph, Lymington – 11am to 12 noon

St Francis, Milford-on-Sea – 10am – 11am

St Anne’s, Brockenhurst 10-11am

Dear Parishioners,



116 people in total have completed so far - 24 from St Anne's; 41 from St Francis and 51 from OLMSJ


Here is the link again to the survey for anyone else- please copy and paste to your google page.  It takes about five minutes maximum to complete and is completely anonymous.


We will publish the results as soon as we can after the closing date.


Thank you.


Fr David

Newsletter 14th June The Body and Blood [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [255.8 KB]

14th June 


Dear People,

URGENT PRAYERS PLEASE: for Sr Rosaleen, at St Dominic’s Priory, Sway, unfortunately the cancer has spread. But there is a chance she will get a place on an experimental drugs trial at the Royal Marsden. So she very much needs our prayers at this time.


REOPENING OF CHURCHES FOR PRIVATE PRAYER: The Government and the Bishops of England and Wales have agreed strict conditions for the re-opening of our churches for private prayer only. The full details are being circulated in a separate document. Basically, two stewards must be present, social distancing must be maintained and thorough cleaning must be done. We will be actively seeking eligible volunteers & purchasing the necessary cleaning materials etc. We will inform you when we are able to meet the necessary conditions and are ready for a limited re-opening of our churches for private prayer


Bishop Philip has accepted that “There is much to think about and as we have said before we cannot adopt a one size fits all approach. Each place must proceed (in so far) as the support and resources are available”.


Please see the separate attachment (Opening Churches for Private Prayer 120620.pdf) concerning eligibility to volunteer as stewards and the duties involved in stewarding.


There is also an attachment which gives the complete guidelines from the Bishops of England and Wales.


My personal advice, as parish priest, is that those in the at risk categories should remain at home shielding. I also consider the 2 metre distancing rule to be the far safer option & that it should be maintained.


PARISHIONER SURVEY: Very shortly we will be inviting parishioners on email to take part in an online parishioner survey. Participation will be entirely anonymous. Originally intended for St Anne’s parishioners the questions in this survey have been suggested by members of the St Anne’s PPC, edited and compiled by Madeleine Shearer (CEO – Minsted Trust) & member of the St Anne’s PPC and finally approved by myself. However I thought it would be good for all three parishes to be involved in it. Hopefully the internet link will be made available in the coming week.


Fr David’s Ramblings for this weekend will be emailed separately, if & when they get written!


Peace & every good.

Fr David


14th June






Stewards are needed so churches can re-open for private prayer.


Having looked at each of the churches and completed a risk assessment I have decided that our churches can, initially, open for private prayer for 1 hour a week. The timings of these openings depend largely on availability and willingness of volunteer Stewards.


For example

Our Lady of Mercy & St Joseph

St Anne’s

and St Francis

could open for private prayer for 1 hour on Sunday mornings from 10am until 11am, provided Stewards are available & we have the necessary cleaning materials.


The Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession):

This will be by appointment only and only available at Lymington.

Please ring 01590-676696 to speak to Fr David if you need to arrange this.






PLEASE USE THE PUBLIC CAR PARKS. We need to keep the car park closed to ensure non-church users are kept off site.



You must be a parishioner who attends church with some regularity.

You must be under 70 yrs & not in a high -risk category, and not in a household with high-risk occupants.

You must be prepared to calmly direct people as social distancing & safety requires.

You must be prepared to do cleaning & sanitising of certain areas of the church as required.

You must be prepared to wear a face mask & gloves.


Here are some things to consider before you apply to be a Steward


Please do not apply to be a Steward if you are in the Higher risk group:


This group, according to the NHS, includes people who are:

+ aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)

+ under 70 and instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds

+ pregnant

And those with:

+ chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis

+ chronic heart disease, such as heart failure

+ chronic kidney disease

+ chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis

+ chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson's disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy

+ diabetes

+ problems with their spleen, for example sickle cell disease

+ a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets, chemotherapy or other drugs.


The role of the Steward during private prayer:

+ You must arrive at least 10 minutes early to enable you to prepare and clean door handles.

+ Stewards must work in pairs and there must be 2 Stewards on duty at all times during the private prayer session.

+ Every Steward must wear a face mask while on duty. Masks will be provided but it will help if you can use your own. They must take great care when removing their mask so as not spread any potential virus to themselves. They must wear gloves while cleaning either those provided or they may supply their own.

+ They must cleanse their hands with sanitizer when they enter and as they leave the church.

+ Only 2 people are allowed per pew at any one time. 1 out, 1 in.

+ Cleaning material will be supplied and used items must be placed in the bin provided.

+ They must show the person to the pews designated for private prayer. No one must go beyond this area into the main body of the church.

+ There are no candles available for lighting.

+ Everyone, Stewards included, must stick to the 2 metre distance, even if the government decide on 1 or 1.5 metre distance. Stewards must adhere to this rule themselves even when no one else is in church.

+ The Stewards must be aware of everything that the person who has been in for private prayer has touched and must THOROUGHLY clean everywhere when that person leaves and before the next person enters.

This includes everywhere that person has touched including internal/external doors and door handles. The back and seat of the pew where they have sat etc. The cleaning must be done after every person.

+ The Stewards must keep a log book of number of people who and entered and time and sign to say cleaning has taken place.

+ Kneelers will not be available in the pews.

Toilets will not be open.

If you still feel you would be able to commit to being a Steward please contact your parish priest by:



Phone: 01590-676696

Adobe Acrobat document [244.1 KB]

14th June

Dear People,

You are invited to take part in this parish survey. It is entirely anonymous.


Originally intended for St Anne’s parishioners the questions in this survey have been suggested by members of the St Anne’s PPC,

edited and compiled by Madeleine Shearer (CEO – Minsted Trust) & member of the St Anne’s PPC and finally approved by myself.

However I thought it would be good for all three parishes to be involved in it. Thanks to Madeleine for sorting this so quickly.


Just follow the link below to take part in the survey.



We will let you know the results when we have them.

God bless, keep safe & well.

Fr David


HTML document [128.5 KB]
Newsletter 7th June Trinity Sunday Yr A [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [310.8 KB]

Fr DAVID’S WEEKLY RAMBLE – Saturday 7th June 2020


Quit griping about your church; if it was perfect, you couldn't belong.

If a church wants a better pastor, it only needs to pray for the one it has

(Thanks to Sarah Roch for the above)


Apart from the usual things each day, both sacred duties and secular necessities what have I been up to this week?


Well, Monday was mainly about trying to find wood preserver to treat some garden furniture in need of TLC. A quick visit to Screwfix only to discover they are only doing click & collect. So, sat in car trying to “click” on my mobile only to discover said product is unavailable. A pity because it was half the price of a leading brand I won’t mention. So up to Brock to the hardware shop. New counter arrangement with social distancing so purchased a small quantity of the expensive stuff. Rest of the day running Olly the dog up and down and treating the old garden chairs that had been sanded previously.


Tuesday, first trip to the tip! Only an hour and a half wait. Made bearable by an apple, a can of Heineken Zero, the sun shield awkwardly placed over the side window and Classic FM. I was particularly delighted by the Berlin Philharmonic’s rendition of Wagner’s Tannhauser, all 12 minutes or so played at full volume! Eventually I got rid of 25 bags of garden waste & assorted failed appliances, metal objects & light bulbs etc. Still got 25 more bags to go & more metal stuff!


Wednesday very sad to hear of Eileen’s death. Then went to visit some of the priests of the Pastoral Area to discuss the requirements for opening the churches with reference to specific church buildings – all with appropriate social distancing. Lots of logistical issues and problems as you can imagine. For example, what to do about the toilets? They would need to be thoroughly cleaned after each use. Who could be expected to do this? There are no easy answers.


Thursday, a trip to Poole to pick up a new paddleboard. followed by takeaway croissants and coffee from our own picnic flasks at Branksome Beach. A nice walk for Olly on the beach, then home and time in the garage prepping the board for the water and talking to Eileen’s daughter over the phone about possible funeral arrangements

Friday liaising with Eileen’s family again and forwarding the draft Order of Service, a selection of readings & the prayers. Then I began the newsletter preparation & we also delivered an Easter Egg prize and condolence cards.


Today, Saturday, a day that will be etched on Linda’s memory for the duration I believe! Off I go at 5am for some time on the water. I let Olly out into the yarden and while he is out there I slip back to put the kettle on for a flask. Olly comes back in looking for his morning snack. Olly then goes back upstairs & I go off with my breakfast in a picnic bag blissfully unaware that the door to the yarden was still open!!

Later in the morning I am far way. Linda, still attired in dressing gown, but no slippers, has to rush down to answer the door to the post lady who is delivering parcels. Then deciding to put the rubbish out of the back door, Linda steps out going a bit further because Olly has bounded out as well & perhaps I had left the gates open. Then BANG, the door slams behind her. She is locked out, in a dressing gown, with no slippers, no keys & no mobile phone!!

After futile attempts at forced entry & unable to rouse the neighbours the poor damsel in distress peers anxiously through the gates hoping for a rescuer to appear and ignoring the strange looks from the face masked passers by!

Thanks be to God, Martin from No.133 happens to be passing. The rescue operation begins. A cup of tea & a warm wrap is provided. Martin summons his friends from the yacht club and with worrying but remarkable skill and ingenuity access is gained without any breakages! Linda reported a rather handsome, young “angel” emerging from the building, much to her relief. Why did the door bang shut you may ask? It was that open yarden door – all my fault!!


This is not all, having returned from the water I listen to Linda’s tale of woe. Then needing to retrieve something from the car I nip out with keys in pocket, or so I thought. I had actually put them down on the dining room table. So, lo & behold, I lock myself out!! Thankfully, Linda was inside to answer the door bell and being the kindly and gracious soul that she is, she did not wreak any revenge on me! However, she laughed loudly and said at least you’ve got your warm clothes on!


Finally, on my trip to the water today I went counter to my own advice and paid a heavy price. When paddle boarding one should always do the outward journey into wind and the return journey with the wind behind one. So today after a little bit of wing foiling, I wanted to try my new board on some waves. So not wanting to relocate from Branksome to Bournemouth I decided to paddle down to the pier where the waves are better, wind in my back. It took half an hour to reach the pier. I enjoyed some small waves for a short while then decided to paddle back. By this time the head wind was gusting at 35knots. The distance is 1.62 miles. It took me 1hr and twenty minutes to paddle back. That’s a day I won’t forget in a hurry. Morale of story: don’t ignore your own good advice!


7th June

Dear Parishioners.

We pray for those who have died, remembering especially this week Eileen Griffiths.


We continue to pray for those suffering illness, anxiety or loneliness;

for the vulnerable;

for those who don’t feel valued or respected, or who are made to feel their lives don’t matter;

for those anxious about their financial situation.


We pray for doctors, nurses, hospital staff, care workers, for all those who continue to provide essential services; for volunteers at the New Forest Basics Bank.


We pray for scientists and medical researchers who are working to discover treatments for illnesses & vaccines that can prevent sickness.

We pray for civil servants and politicians who must make difficult decisions.

We pray for religious leaders who must inspire and encourage and help people

to trust in God & follow the right path.


Prayer for the Pandemic

For those who miss going to church

God of the last supper,

who knew real presence: a beloved one

reclining into you, holding dusty feet as you poured water

over them, the tug at the hem of your garment,

touch us now,

unable to receive your risen body in church,

unable to gather as your body

touch us with your word,

handed on from your mouth, from memory,

written down, broken and shared over centuries

from the pulpit, the kitchen table;

touch us with the glimpses we can see of spring,

of our vulnerable brothers and sisters,

of your presence within.


Raymond Friel





Newsletter Pentecost 31st May 2020 Yr A.[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [262.6 KB]

Fr DAVID’S WEEKLY RAMBLE – Saturday, 30th May 2020


Dear People,

I hope you are all keeping safe & well

and continuing to trust in the undeserved

love of God which holds us, everyone and everything in being. Fr David


Many folks want to serve God, but only as advisers.

People are funny; they want the front of the bus, the middle of the road, and the back of the church. (Thanks to Sarah Roche)


The Bishop has been consulting with senior clergy and his Diocesan managers about re-opening the churches. We are due to receive the latest version of the guidelines shortly. A lot may depend on how the easing of the lockdown goes and whether, nationally, we have done enough to prevent a second wave of infections.


Talking of “R” numbers you may be thinking that these ramblings are lengthening at an alarming rate. So I will endeavour to be brief. Olly had his first swims this week which he greatly enjoyed. But he needs to have a ball thrown in the water. Unlike Oscar who just swam for the joy of it. Once again this year the beach is subject to a swathe of algae which has a less than pleasant odour. So Olly was subject to a thorough rinse down when he got back. Not something he exactly enjoys.

Linda has been beavering away at the flower boxes, pruning back on the shrubs & bushes and giving the lesser plants a chance to thrive. Apart from the lack of bedding plants the boxes are looking very fine. She has also been re-painting the yarden shed which now compares favourably to the most colourful beachhut!


It always pays to check the diary. This was something I forgot to do this week. There was I all poised to participate in the St Anne’s PPC meeting via Zoom, patiently waiting to be admitted by the host and chair. The little window on the computer assured me the meeting was set to start at 6.30pm on Thursday, 28/05/2020. The time came and the minutes ticked by with nothing happening. Then a little glance down to the right-hand corner of the screen suddenly caused the penny to drop. Yes, of course, Thursday is tomorrow. Today is Wednesday!! It always pays to check the diary.


I’m really enjoying the swifts when they come swooping and screeching over the car park with rapid wing movements and amazing aerial manoeuvres.


Managed another trip to the water. This time it was not far to Lymington harbour, in fact. The purpose was to acquire the skill of dock starting a foil board. I knew beforehand that this was going to be a difficult and humiliating learning experience. So much like the jumbo jet & the space shuttle I paddled over to the jetty on the other side of the railway bridge with the specially adapted foil board somewhat precariously perched on the deck. Thankfully, any curious onlookers were far enough away. All they would have seen was me launching myself off the jetty& falling into the water about 20 or more times and the foil board flying off in all directions. Thankfully, there was some progress but not of the kind that is visually obvious. Many more training sessions will be necessary no doubt!


Which reminds me of a lovely saying which popped up on Facebook, from the Persian poet, Rumi, (12th cent): You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop!


The plans for reopening the churches are with the Bishop in consultation with the Clergy. The Diocese has to be compliant with Government guidelines. As instructed by Bishop Philip, we are waiting to see the final draft of the guidelines before we can consider opening any of our churches.

When the final draft is submitted by the Bishop, Linda, as our 3 parishes H&S co-ordinator & myself have been asked to do the risk assessments of all 3 churches and work out the possibilities which will be, of course, different for each of our churches.

Therefore, as the person legally liable for the safety of my parishioners I must insist that nothing is done without my express permission. Fr David

Newsletter 24th May 7th Sunday of Easter[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [299.4 KB]

Fr DAVID’S WEEKLY RAMBLE – Saturday, 23rd May 2020

Some people are kind, polite, and sweet-spirited .....

until you try to sit in their pew

The good Lord didn't create anything without a purpose..... but mosquitoes come close.

(Thanks to Sarah Roch for the above)


I’ve just finished the newsletter and I’ve sat down to write my ramble and of course my mind has gone blank! I surely must have done something this past week apart from the usual domestic routines, doing meditation and reflection ( in a kind of free-flowing way) & celebrating Mass, supported by my dutiful server, and taking Olly the dog out.... and back in again... and out... & in again.... and out & in again……


Speaking of Olly, he has been to the groomers this week which means that he is slightly more fragrant than usual but that doesn’t last long, of course! Olly sleeps in my room and what with his snoring and his, what sounds like, hyperventilating it’s a wonder I get any sleep. The combination of dog noise and early morning sunlight means I’m waking up most days fairly early. So, the first job is to let the dog out (can’t risk accidents – Cocker Spaniels have no propriety in that respect). The second job is to let the dog in. Then he must have his breakfast, a few morsels of pilchard. Then of course he’s off to sleep again, while I am wide awake.


My idea of keeping a daily diary never quite materialised. I have a vague idea that there were lots of little fixing, tidying & sorting jobs. And I’ve just remembered the few hours spent pigeonholing all the accumulated emails on the parish address. Then there were the hours reading and digesting the Bishop’s proposals on re-opening the churches (strictly confidential & not for general consumption at this stage) and crafting the requested feed-back. This is a work in progress, and we have just received further material to be mulled over and commented on. And then we delivered some Easter eggs to lucky winners!


I’ve just remembered too the7.30am (yes, I can’t believe it either!!) school governors meeting via Zoom. It was my first experience of this technology which had to be conducted in Linda’s study because she is a governor too and her computer is the only one with a built-in camera and microphone. All in all, it was a very good experience. The pros are: no early morning driving, no sitting in a cold classroom on kiddie’s chairs, having tea or coffee & a snack close by (out of camera!) and being able to nip to the loo without being missed too much. When I can think of some cons, I will let you know. For PPC meetings it would certainly be an advantage in the Winter and would save on the church travel and heating bills.


Managed to have a trip to the water last Tuesday. We went to Branksome Beach. The car park was virtually full but the parking angels (Don’t ask! I can’t explain it either. Just talk respectfully to your parking angels, give them as much notice as possible and usually with a little patience on our part they come up trumps) got us a prime spot looking over the water thanks to the kindness of someone leaving who was happy to wait for me to move the van down from a less ideal spot. Good social distancing on the beach & no dog restrictions so Olly was happy. But I only just managed to avert disaster when he was about to wee on some child. The parent, initially shocked, was then immediately grateful that unpleasantness had been avoided! However, the promenade was a different story: runners, cyclists, walkers, groups of people clearly not all family – social distancing out the window!

Managed to get out on the water (eventually – getting the kit together is a palaver) trying the 6-metre wing with my foil board. The wind was not quite at the ideal speed & so combined with my lack of skill it was a case of 99% winging and 1% foiling with a few graceless falls into the briny. Apparently, the spectacle was quite entertaining to the onlookers and I must have appeared very amateurish compared to the two kite-foilers who were flying backwards and forwards like children on a swing.

The wing came neatly folded & packed in its bag. It went back to the van looking like scrunched up wrapping paper. I appreciate sand under the water but give me grass on the beach every time!


CORRECTED NEWSLETTER 17 May25 - 6th Sund[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [318.1 KB]
Newsletter 17th May 6th Sunday of Easte[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [316.6 KB]

From Fr David 17th May

First of all, please continue prayers for Eileen Griffiths who, at the time of writing, is receiving end of life care in SGH and being lovingly supported by her two daughters Jacks & Colette and the hospital chaplain, Fr Joe McNerney.

Last Wednesday the Diocese migrated the email system back inhouse. It has absorbed quite a bit of time ensuring everything keeps working. It wasn’t helped by the fact our internet was down for two & a half days. There have been a few minor issues with email addresses & mailing lists so apologies if you get things twice.

Our Bishop is anxious to re-open the churches. As far as I am concerned the first priority is the health and well-being of our parishioners. So, nothing will happen in our parishes until it is absolutely safe to do so. We also must wait and see if the recent Government relaxation of the lockdown has any negative consequences on the rate of infection. The Diocese is considering what kind of measures will be needed. There will be no “one size fits all”, every church and community are different. Everything will have to be carefully considered so there will be no rushing into things. As I am personally liable for Health & Safety in our parishes I will be taking things very seriously.

And now to happier things! Olly the dog is certainly happy this evening. Not only has he been to the beach for the first time in two months, he has also beaten me to the water! Hopefully the paddleboard will be out soon. We saw the local seal too, about 100 yds out, and quite a large creature. He seemed to be hanging around one spot for some reason. Olly doesn’t swim unless its to fetch a ball or if the water is very calm, but he does like to splash about in the shore break.

A little Jenny wren (or was it a Jack wren) came into the yarden (no, that wasn’t a typing error. it’s a yard with over 90 pots in it.) yesterday evening, very vocal! He or she was feeding on the insects on the honeysuckle. Much appreciated!

Some achievements this week: the extractor fan finally got cleaned, thoroughly. I must say I did a pretty good job. Its one of the things I enjoy about the Repair Shop. Those brilliant craftspeople, Rob, Steve, Suzie, Will, Dominic, Kirsten, Lucia, Amanda, Julie, Brenton & others (thankyou Wikipedia!), don’t need to boast but when they’ve done a good job they just acknowledge it in a very matter of fact way - true humility. We still enjoy it even when we’re watching repeats (sad people that we are!). I’ve finally sorted the pile of invoices and generous contributions to the parish & myself (those cheques will finally get cashed!). Frances our ever-patient parish accounts person will be relieved but still anxious for the information. Report on its way, Frances, I promise.

I wore a mask for the first time this week for going into the banks. I didn’t wear my glasses though because they can steam up. It was my first time in Lloyds, lots of space in there. Thankfully my sums were OK, thanks to Excel. It seems most people are not wearing masks at the moment.

A dear friend has been popping by once a week &, observing due social distancing, has been giving us not only the joy of their presence but also leaving a little gift, usually a bottle of something nice. This week our friend brought us something that’s been hard to find & much needed: antibacterial wipes & spray!

One last true story, Linda is acquainted with this family, not Christian. They have a young daughter who is really (& mysteriously) interested in God. She asked her Dad “Where does God live?” He replied: “He lives in heaven.” “No, Daddy,” the daughter replied, “that’s where he works! I want to know where he lives!”

Reading this Sunday’s Gospel we can begin to find out where.

Catholics admitted to Hospitals

It is important when a Catholic is admitted to hospital, the family ensure that the Catholic Chaplaincy is contacted so that appropriate support can be given. As access to the hospital may be restricted, it is suggested that the patient have a note to give to hospital staff on admission notifying staff that they are Catholic and would appreciate the Catholic chaplaincy service. This could be followed up by a telephone call from the family to the ward making the request.


Coronavirus Appeal

Coronavirus (Covid-19) has now spread worldwide, with confirmed cases in several countries where we work. Its spread to countries with poor health systems will be devastating. Our local experts need your support to continue protecting lives.

Newsletter 10th May 5th Sunday of Easter[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [311.3 KB]

10th May

Hello Dear Sisters & Brothers,

(Some of you might want to recall last week’s instruction on how to

side step the trivial ramblings of a parish priest (obviously suffering the effects

of social distancing & who knows what else!) and go straight to the important stuff).


The above punctuation reminds me of a crossword clue I came across in the very difficult and challenging Womens Weekly. The clue was “brackets”. So here I am scratching my head thinking of hinges, corner fixings, shelf mountings and other DIY sundries. This was all to no avail, nothing

seemed to fit. Later, of course, someone, who shall be nameless but whose mind doesn’t naturally turn to artisanship or things mechanical, filled in the answer. Yes, you’ve guessed it already – parenthesis!


Well believe it or not I have established a “new normal” already. The daunting task of spring cleaning my bedroom has finally been completed. There just remains the sorting out and filing of my personal finance records which, much like the parish office paperwork, has been accumulating in a disorderly pile for a couple of years. But at least I can look forward to the joy of discarding (after careful shredding, of course) all those things I’m no longer legally bound to keep for tax purposes. The current year plus six, if I’m not mistaken. I always

find I have to write it out to get it clear in my head. I digress.


The “new normal” involved the opportune re-configuration

of my bedroom furniture. I moved a couple of wardrobes, made easier because they were on casters, and a couple of small cupboards. And voila! more light and usable space. The one thing that couldn’t be moved was an old wardrobe

that was already in the room. For some unknown reason it had been sawn in half and then put back together again in a way that betrayed a serious lack of artisanship. To attempt to move it would be too risky altogether. Thankfully

my dissatisfaction with being unable to do a thorough cleaning job was somewhat assuaged ( I just had to check the meaning of that

word on Google) by the fact that, armed with the appropriate attachment, the vacuum cleaner was able to reach the parts I couldn’t.


And that just reminded me of a rare self-deprecating advertisement many years ago that was a bit too subtle to air for long. You may remember “Heineken, the beer that refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach”. One of those adverts featured a very wealthy man suffering from ennui (Google is working overtime tonight!). Mansions, luxury yachts, fast cars, faster women, nothing could rescue him. So finally, his last hope, a glass of Heineken! Attending servants waited with anxious anticipation, hoping for the joy to return on their master’s face. But, oh no! His listless spirit was left unmoved.

The final blurb was something like: O well, there are some parts even Heineken can’t reach! Thankfully, as Jesus said, it’s impossible for mortals but not for God. For with God all things are possible.


A quick resume of other unimportant stuff: the ducks down at the park still have seven duckling left. They seem to have trebled in size in a matter of days. If it was the same for human babies stretch lycra would have been invented centuries ago!


I’ve failed miserably in my exercise routine. Partly because I missed my slot, in other words Linda got to the bike first! Partly because spring cleaning used up

a good part of my energy reserves. Olly the dog can now safely plead for treats from two humans. But as we are often in different rooms he has to decide who is likely to be the softer touch. This sometimes means I can sneak a biscuit without him knowing, a rare moment of quiet satisfaction. Two shameful confessions!!

Firstly, we must confess that we have now missed the communal expression of gratitude to the NHS staff on two occasions. Sadly that’s what can happens when one gets the cleaning bug, the time flies by. Secondly, we’ve been watching BGT! I know it’s a cynically manipulated exploitation of human emotions & possibly herd immunity: sweet children, octogenarian soloists, scary stunts, painfully untalented no-hopers, genuinely gifted artists (see the £££ signs spinning in Simon’s eye sockets) and this evening DOGGIES (with a laudable but almost unwatchable expose of the cruel dog meat trade)

Finally, one of our dear families in Brockenhurst has been flying the flag recently: the French flag on Wednesday and lots of Union Jacks and the EU flag on Friday. I’m intrigued by the mixed messages.

Well, hopefully you’re asleep by now, which is what I should be doing as its 1.02am!


Keep safe & well and God bless.

Fr David.

from Rev David Adams

For those who persevered to the end of the ramble:

All is revealed about the wonderful commemorations of

historic victory and European accord in Brockenhurst!


Fr D


Dear Fr. David

Thank you for your newsletter and amusing anecdotes.

For a moment I wasn’t sure if it was our flag flying you were referring to in Brockenhurst as it was the Netherlands flag ?? that was flown for their Liberation Day not the French flag ?? which will of course be flown on Bastille Day on July 14.  

The EU flag was flown on Friday as our bunting went up because of course it was Victory in Europe - though the Union flag was properly flown on VE Day. The EU flag was back up the next day on 9 May for Europe Day which marks the Schuman Declaration which put the production of French and West German coal and steel production under the joint management. This peacetime pact led to the creation of the EU on the principal that countries that traded together and had common interests would never go to war against one another again.

Our education of Brockenhurst village on flags of the world continues!


God bless to all!

Madeleine and Paul

Good Shepherd Sunday 3rd May

World Day of Prayer for Vocations

We would normally send out resources (prayer cards and posters) to parishes this weekend, as we join in prayer for Vocations. Despite our lockdown, we can still reflect on Vocations and pray that we all, especially our young people, come to know what God is asking us here & now.

Pope Francis has offered a wonderful reflection for us focused on gratitude, encouragement and courage.  Do try and take some time to read it in full. You will find it under 'The Pope' on the left hand menu.

Good Shepherd Sunday Collection - for Clergy Training

Please consider supporting our Seminarians with a financial donation, especially as we are unable to take this important collection in our parishes.  We are blessed with eleven students this year, with possibly five more starting in September.


by Sara Parvis, a senior lecturer in Patristics at the University of Edinburgh. Published in The Tablet, 30-04-20


Devotion to the Blessed Sacrament is part of the lifeblood of the Catholic faith. A theologian writes of the depth of her grief at being unable to receive the Eucharist – and why we must not allow self-pity to distract us from our responsibility to protect the most vulnerable

The little Catholic chapel in Edinburgh that I normally attend has a glass front, and looks on to a garden. This means that you can still see both the tabernacle and the lit sanctuary lamp next to it from the lane behind the church, even when the back gate is locked.

I was enormously proud of the Church’s prompt response to the coronavirus pandemic, and had little time for those who thought otherwise. It was just the reverse of the child abuse crisis: we saw the institution moving swiftly to protect the vulnerable, showing intelligence and resolve, and swallowing the probable cost to its own status and financial security without hesitation. Led by Pope Francis, who smothered all self-pitying tendencies by directing our gaze to the health workers, bus drivers and supermarket workers daily risking themselves for others, the Church laid down its life, the life of its public Eucharist, for the good of the people, in hope and trust that in due time God would allow it to take it up again.

Our local community of Dominican friars moved quickly to become connected to their people in other ways, broadcasting their celebrations of the Mass on their Facebook page and sending out a daily email with spiritual reflections and jokey video clips intended to keep our spirits up, braving for the common good the risk of inciting volatile responses from pent-up parishioners with frustration in their hearts and too much time on their hands.

I have always had a strong devotion to receiving the Eucharist; praying before the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle and on the altar has also become very dear to me in recent years. We need a tangible sense of Christ’s presence. We need to know that Christ is with us. Of course, you can find Christ in others, in prayer, and clothed in the flesh of Scripture. You can find Christ in your heart, in your memory, understanding and will. But Christ in the Eucharist has a sureness, a concreteness, that is irreplaceable. Yet I knew we had to give that up to safeguard as far as possible the lives of our fellow parishioners and their families.

I was surprised, therefore, at the strength of my reactions to watching from afar the Dominican community celebrating the Triduum without the people. I felt not only terrible desolation but also naked jealousy. It looked like some kind of clericalist fantasy: no lay people, and above all no women. I so missed every lay reader, psalm singer, coffee maker; I missed the thrill of gathering in the fresh, cold night as a raggle-taggle group in the lane for the blessing of the new fire, the dark, excited procession back into the church, the organ and bells at the Gloria, the invocation of the saints and the sloshing of the holy water over us all, ending with sharing the Eucharist together. I missed joining everyone afterwards to share our Easter joy. So many are Vatican II Catholics in their seventies and eighties, my parents’ generation, who had remained faithful and joyful over so many years. These were also the people most in danger from the virus. I thought of what the chances were of going back to normal again next year, and wept.

Instead, we watched other people feast on the risen Christ together while we fasted separately from behind an impregnable online wall. It was meant to comfort, but it felt like being shut out of Paradise. The “Act of Spiritual Communion” said at every Eucharist jarred more than anything. “Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.” “At least” spiritually! “As if” you were already there! What atrocious theology! St Alphonsus Liguori was bad enough; the suggestion, widely offered by friends both clerical and lay, that being separated from the sacraments might somehow help us appreciate them more was salt on the wound. It seemed to make a mockery of my fast, dictating the terms of my grief, somehow hinting that it was my faith that was lacking.

Yet I also recognised over the successive liturgies the shining witness of the friars to Christ in the quiet dignity of their celebrations, and their care for one another and for us. So I carried on wrestling with it all. I started a series of arguments with different people (over the phone and by email), and did some further reading and thinking. Another Dominican, expert in the theology of sacramental desire, took me to task for misprizing the notion of Spiritual Communion as somehow second best, argued it all out with me, and sent me off to read St Thomas Aquinas on the subject (Summa III.80.1, since you ask). I realised that he was right that physical and Spiritual Communion are equivalent in Thomas’ teaching (much to my surprise). I also saw that, for St Thomas, although the Eucharist heals and feeds us as individuals, just as important is its function of making us into the Church, joining us as Christ’s members to the Head.

At this, it all fell into place, with a bit of help from Mary Magdalene. The deep grief I felt was her grief at the apparent disappearance of Christ’s body, the gathered Church. Only the dry bones, dismembered and deprived of flesh, seemed to remain of the assembly of the people that we had been. But Ezekiel had prophesied to us resurrection as a people, a rejoining of bone to sinew and flesh to flesh. Christ would still raise Lazarus for Martha and Mary, no matter how late his coming seemed, and in the meantime he would weep with them. While we wait and watch and ponder the Crucifixion from afar, or in some cases very close-up, only a truly sacramental desire, continually renewed in our hearts, to be again the re-membered Church, can keep us from oblivion and allow us to see and hear the resurrected Lord once more. It is and has long been the depths of our longing to be the Church, our longing to be the Body of Christ, which is the source of our grief. This is why we mourn, and this is how and why we shall be comforted when Christ shall choose to raise us.

Meanwhile, we must stand at the gate and gaze on Christ until it is opened and we can enter the garden once more.

Newsletter 3rd May 4th Sunday of Easter [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [313.2 KB]
Newsletter 26th April-3rd Sunday of East[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [339.2 KB]
Part 2 of newsletter 26th April Keep cal[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [111.3 KB]
Part 3 of newsletter 26th April Light a [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [96.8 KB]
Newsletter 19th April 2nd Sunday of East[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [332.5 KB]
20 - Easter Sunday Yr A 120420.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [338.1 KB]
Newsletter Palm Sunday 5th April Yr A .p[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [325.4 KB]
Newsletter29th March 5th Sunday of Lent [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [324.3 KB]
Newsletter 22nd March 4th Sunday of Len[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [342.1 KB]


          REIMAGINING THE EUCHARIST           

by Professor Thomas O’Loughlin
(an article from The Tablet, Thursday, 26th March 2020)

Masses have been suspended throughout Britain and Ireland. A leading theologian argues that, as well as a time of loss, this might be a moment to broaden our understanding of the Eucharist and to deepen our spirituality beyond the walls of our usual place of worship

“All Masses Cancelled.” That sign went up today outside my local church. Who could have imagined it just a couple of weeks ago? Most Catholics recognise it’s a sensible decision: large gatherings are just what we do not want at the moment. The loving thing right now is to keep our distance, lest we transmit the virus.

There are those who do not like the idea of “missing Mass”. Could they “get Mass”, they ask anxiously, even if they are not able to be physically present at a service? I have heard priests saying that they will not have “the state” – imagined as somehow the enemy of the Church – ordering them to close, and talking of “defending the freedom of religion” by “providing Mass”, even though it would be endangering the very people they are claiming to serve.

But the fact that many regular Massgoers will not be in a church this weekend – and most likely not even over Easter – might actually help us to broaden our understanding of the Eucharist and deepen our spirituality. For too long – some historians would say since the seventh century – Latin Christians have tended to think about the Eucharist as an object (something that happens due to the activity of the priest, which the lay faithful observe rather like the audience at a play or a concert) or as a commodity (with those present behaving as religious consumers). The language we use is the giveaway. We talk about “getting Mass” and “attending a Mass”, of “getting Communion” and “taking Communion”. The image in our minds is that the Eucharist is something “out there”, which we watch or somehow obtain and make our own, as if we were theatregoers or consumers.

But the word “Eucharist” relates to a verb: it is something we, the whole People of God, do. It is the activity of thanking God the Father as a gathered community – and we offer this praise and thanks through Christ our Lord. The focus is on thanking the Father. The access to the Father is provided to us in the Spirit through Jesus Christ – and the prayers are led by the priest. It is our basic activity as Christians, not some “thing” that the priest does for us or makes for us.

So if we cannot gather because of the coronavirus, can we still offer thanks to the Father through Christ? Let’s relearn some basics.

First, Jesus is present with us. Many Catholics treat church buildings as if they were pagan temples: as if God is only “in there”. But God’s presence is everywhere and the risen Christ is not limited by space. This presence of the risen Jesus among the community is captured in this saying preserved in Matthew’s Gospel: “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them” (18:20). Even the smallest gathering – just two people standing two metres apart so as not to spread the virus – has the risen Lord among them. It might be two people in a house together; it might even be two people talking together on their mobile phones or on Skype. This is expressed in another ancient Christian saying – preserved in the Didache (a first-century new disciples’ guide): “Wherever the things of the Lord are spoken about, there the Lord is present” (4:1).

Second, your room is a basic place of prayer. We sometimes think that we are only commanded to pray in a church building – we have grown up with the idea of attendance at Mass on Sunday as a regulation – but it is sobering to recall this instruction by Jesus: “And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the gatherings and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:5-6). We are now being advised not to go to work or use public transport, not to attend church services and to keep our distance from people. It’s a moment for us to rediscover the art of closing the door and praying alone – knowing that the Father will listen to our prayers.

Third, we describe the Eucharist as “the centre and summit of our Christian lives”, which is true, but we often make the mistake of regarding it as the whole of our religious life. This crisis calls on us to build up the surrounding foothills, by caring for one another and thanking God at home and in our place of study or work as well as in church. If we are not thankful for the meals and the friendship we share at home, we are hardly ready to be thankful at the Great Thanksgiving that we call “the Eucharist”.

And finally, every table is a sacred place. Jesus encountered people and taught at their tables: every table is a place where we can encounter the Lord in those with us. We will not be eating together as sisters and brothers in a church for the next few months, so let’s start recalling that whenever we eat, we should be thankful: “You shall eat your fill and bless the Lord your God for the good land that he has given you” (Deuteronomy 8:10). We should always be thankful for the food we eat (saying grace before meals) and for the pleasure of eating and being together (grace after meals).

Most Catholics today can barely remember the time when few of those present at Mass actually ate or drank. This was partly because of fear of condemnation for “unworthy reception” – based on a misreading of 1 Corinthians 11:27 – or for an imagined breach of the fasting regulations. An idea had also taken root that one could gain grace by attending additional Masses (or at least consecrations) – a work of “supererogation” at which one could never “receive” – which led to the development of the notion that one could obtain the spiritual blessings through a mental act of intentional volition without any physical contact. These ideas can be traced, not surprisingly, back to the Cartesian world of seventeenth-century France, and the rarified and cerebral spirituality that flourished in the Jansenist community at Port Royal near Paris. They belong to a world that saw faith as an action of the intellect, and which placed minimal value upon the liturgy as a holistic encounter of the actual body of the Church. (Since we will all be staying in for the next few months, you might want to read the two brilliant and surprisingly entertaining chapters on Jansenism in Ronald Knox’s Enthusiasm.)

Some have been tempted to reach for the idea of “spiritual communion” as a sort of “fix” in this emergency. Better to simply acknowledge that this is a weird time: we cannot meet up, we cannot shake hands, and we are temporarily – for very good reasons – unable to behave in the normal human way. So we cannot behave in a liturgically normal way, gathered as a people, as sisters and brothers, to be together, to sing together, to listen together while sitting in a group, to shake hands with our neighbours as friends (John 15:15) and then to share a loaf and a common cup. Until we can get back to normal, let’s just note its loss, concentrate on what we can do while we are living in isolation from one another, and then, when the restrictions are lifted, rejoice that our fellowship is restored.

We will not be gathered as large groups for the next few months – let’s use this experience to rediscover that we are the Church (it is not a building, or the preserve of the clergy), that we must be eucharistic every day (it is an act of attitude of thankfulness for all the good things of creation, particularly meals, not a performance we “attend” or an object we “get”, “take” or “receive”), and that the risen one is with us, interceding for us with the Father, in these worrying times.

Thomas O’Loughlin is professor of historical theology at the University of Nottingham, and a former president of the Catholic Theological Association of Great Britain. His latest book is Eating Together, Becoming One (Liturgical Press, £23.99; Tablet price, £21.59).