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Preparing ahead!

thumbnail image In the coming week I will be leading a group from the parish on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. During our visit we will be staying in Jerusalem at the top of the Mount of Olives overlooking the city. We imagine this great hill to be covered in ancient trees, but in fact this site contains the most ancient and important Jewish cemetery in Jerusalem. For the past 3,000 years, the Mount of Olives has been the holiest place to be laid to rest, because the Jews believe that when the Messiah comes again, the dead will rise from their graves and walk to the holy Temple in Jerusalem’s Old City. With the cemetery just a few hundred metres away, this has been seen as the best location to be buried and so the cemetery contains between 70,000 to 150,000 tombs. People have bought plots in this place for their families for generations, to ensure that they have the best position on the day of the final judgement.

In this month of November when we have been remembering and praying for all those who have died, those close to us, those who have died in war and of course the many who do not have anyone to pray for them, it is also a time when we should perhaps think more carefully about our own mortality. And just like those people who have a place prepared for them on the Mount of Olives, so those of us who believe that at our physical death our journey continues in a new and glorious way as Jesus has promised us need to prepare for what lies ahead.

Amongst all the pain and sadness of a loved one dying, often the most stressful part of their departure is trying to work out what should appropriately happen at their funeral. The Church provides rich resources at the time of death and encourages us to think and pray about what we need at our funeral. We should record it and keep it safely alongside our Will, so that our relatives and next of kin may be sure both of fulfilling our wishes and commending us to God according to our faith. Throughout the rest of November forms entitled ‘Preparing for my funeral’ are available in the Holy Souls Chapel to help you record these decisions. Further information on what readings and music are appropriate for a Catholic funeral can be found at www.rcdow.org.uk/diocese/liturgy/preparing-for-a-funeral.

As we pray for those who have died, let us also help those who will mourn us to pray for us when we die, to help us on our journey to the eternal kingdom that we all seek to enter.

Fr Andrew Gallagher

See also: College of Chaplains


thumbnail image You are warmly invited to the annual CAFOD Memorial Mass, in memory of all our supporters and volunteers, at the Church of Christ the King, 29 Bramley Road, Oakwood, London N14 4HE on Wednesday, 20 November at 11am, followed by refreshments in the Parish Centre. If you would like someone to be included in our Book of Remembrance, please send us their name by calling CAFOD Westminster on 020 8449 6970 or emailing westminster@cafod.org.uk


thumbnail image Our next meeting of the cathedral interfaith group will be on Wednesday Nov 20 from 4 to 5pm in the Hinsley room. Raya Tibawi will talk about her sponsored trek in support of Medical aid for Palestine. All are welcome. All are welcome. Please contact John Woodhouse on 020 8653 2373 for further information.


thumbnail image Learn to Pray, Learn to Live, following Fr Ignacio Larrañaga’s method, at Sacred Heart Church, Horseferry Road, London SW1P 2EF. All sessions run weekly and take place either on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, from 7pm to 9pm.


thumbnail image The Victoria Childrens Choir sings once a month in Westminster Cathedral, alongside preparing for other concerts and services. The choir is now two years old, and we are looking for new members between Year 3 and Year 6 to join. The choir rehearses on Tuesdays in term time from 4.45-6pm in the Hinsley Room, Morpeth Terrace. More details can be found on www.victoriachildrenschoir.com or from the director Jonathan Schranz on jonathans@stgeorges.org.uk.


thumbnail image The Friends of Westminster Cathedral urgently need donations for the Christmas Fair on, Sunday, 1 December including bottles of all shapes, sizes and description for our ‘every ticket wins’ Tombola. Please give us your unwanted gifts, plant pots, toiletries, jewellery, bric-a brac, books etc. Please, no electrical goods or used clothing. All donations should be brought to Clergy House clearly marked ‘Christmas Fair’. We are looking forward to seeing you all on 1 December! Please look out for our raffle ticket sellers who will be in the Cathedral from Saturday, 26 October.


thumbnail image Tuesday, 12 November: Fr Nigel Woollen – St John Henry Newman and the Rosary. Talk in Clergy House Library. Talk will begin at 7pm. Doors at 6.30pm. Please come to Clergy House Reception. Tickets £10.

Thursday, 14 November: The Mithras Temple and the Guildhall Art Gallery with Paul Pickering. Meet at the main entrance to London’s Mithraeum at 10.45am for our group booking at 11am. The visit will last approximately one hour. We then have free time for a sandwich lunch before meeting at the Guildhall at 1.45pm for our art tour to start at 2pm. We will also be visiting the amphitheatre in the Guildhall. Tickets £25.

Sunday, 1 December: Westminster Cathedral Christmas Fair supported by the Friends of Westminster Cathedral. Doors open at 9.30am and the Fair closes at 2.30pm. The raffle will be drawn at 2pm. Tickets £1 (children free of charge).

Monday, 9 December: The Big Give Donors’ Supper with the Chaplains of Westminster Cathedral. Donors who give individually £1,000 or more to our Big Give Appeal will be invited to supper with the Chaplains. Please contact the office on 020 7798 9059 for details of how to donate.

Related links: Email for Friends Office

Organ Concert: La Revolte des Orgues

thumbnail image Wednesday 20 November 2019, 7.30pm. Tickets priced at £15.

Tickets are now available at the Gift Shop and from Ticketmaster (0844 844 0444/www.ticketmaster.co.uk) for the nine-organ extravaganza by the late, great Jean Guillou: La Revolte des Orgues. This will be the UK premiere of this seldom-heard piece, which combines the power of nine organs and percussion in Westminster Cathedral, involving organists from around Europe and the UK. There will also be popular organ works by Bach, Vivaldi and more.


thumbnail image The Passage is the Cathedral’s charity working with homeless people. As part of its service most of the people visiting the centre take a shower. The Passage needs to provide a bath/shower towel. The stock of towels is low. Could anyone with old towels no longer in use but still in good condition donate those towels to The Passage. They may be taken to St Vincent’s Centre in Carlisle Place on weekdays 8.30am to 4.30pm or 9am to 12.00 noon at the weekend.

The Passage raises funds through collecting in Underground Stations. If anyone would like to help with this, particularly first thing in the morning, we would be really grateful. Please contact collections@passage.org.uk if you would like to help


thumbnail image Croissants and Christianity: coffee morning with faith and fellowship for those with bumps, babies and toddlers. Join us on Monday morning from 10am to 11.30am in the Hinsley Room off Morpeth Terrace. We have a cup of tea and chat while children play, enjoying an opportunity to pray the rosary together, share common concerns and lend each other spiritual support in an informal and friendly context, often benefiting from input from one of the Cathedral priests. It is free and runs during term time and occasionally during school holidays. The Hinsley Room is on the left as you walk down Morpeth Terrace to Francis St, accessed via an iron gate and up a path alongside the little garden.


thumbnail image Sycamore, is a pilot course for exploring questions about faith and life.
If you are between 18 and 40 years of age and struggle with your faith or know someone who does, why not join us? Pick up a leaflet at the information desk or mail us at hello@sycamoreyoungadults.com for more details.

Christmas Celebration

thumbnail image Tickets for the Christmas Celebration for Wednesday, 18th and Thursday 19th December are now on sale in the shop and on Ticketmaster. www.ticketmaster.co.uk.


thumbnail image “JOIN THE NEIGHBOURS”

- A Memorial Service for those who have died Homeless in London in the past year organised by The Connection at St Martin’s, St Martin-in-the-Fields and Housing Justice 11am Thursday, 14 November.

- “World Day of the Poor: Homeless in London” an Ecumenical Service at The Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street, W1K 3AH 3pm Sunday, 17 November.

The CTiW 2019 Advent Service will be held at 6pm on Sunday, 1 December 2019 at St James’ Church, Piccadilly, W1J 9LL. All are very welcome!

‘St Barnabas Church Pimlico Road, will be hosting the Westminster Area Metropolitan Police Service Carol Service on Tuesday 10th December at 6pm. It is great opportunity to support all those who serve our area. Police Horses are usually in attendance. The Met Police Choir and St Barnabas School Choir will be singing. Fr Pat Brown will be giving the Homily. And afterwards there is always a very jolly reception. Please feel free to to circulate this information. For more information please contact the parish administrator, Daren Pearson-Hicks on darenadmnin@icloud.com.'

Related links: Churches Together in Westminster Recitals


thumbnail image The Cathedral Café will re-open on 14 September from 10am-4pm for drinks, lunches and snacks. Please do pay a visit the next time you are in the Cathedral. Normal opening days Tuesday-Saturday.


thumbnail image Meditations take place in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament in St Pauls Bookshop each weekday from 12.30 to 1pm. All are welcome.


thumbnail image The Holy Land
The Guild of the Blessed Sacrament’s Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, led by Fr Andrew Gallagher, will be from 18-25 November 2019, cost £1,445. For further details, contact Pax Travel on 020 7485 3003 or info@paxtravel.co.uk.

Passion Play of Oberammergau, Munich and Salzburg
A pilgrimage to see the world famous passion play that takes place every 10 years, combined with discovering the rich cultural history of its surrounding area, led by Fr Andrew Gallagher and Fr Kevin Moule, 14-20 September 2020. More details available from Clergy House Reception or Pax Travel at info@palxtravel.co.uk, or 020 7485 3003.

Related links: Email: Pax Travel


thumbnail image American taxpayers can receive a US income tax deduction for their contributions to support the work and heritage of the Cathedral by directing their contributions to American Friends of Westminster Cathedral, Inc., a non profit 501(c)(3) Organization (EIN # 13-2983174).

They will also enjoy special events and receive newsletters about Cathedral activities. Donations may be made through bequests and charitable trusts.

Contact Ms. Una Chang, President, American Friends of Westminster Cathedral, Inc., P.O. Box 92, New York, New York 10185-0092, e-mail UChang1@aol.com

Related links: Click here for email


thumbnail image This takes place in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel every Monday to Friday following the 1.05pm Mass until 4.45pm.