Text size: AAA low graphics

Latest News


thumbnail image Advent is a season of roughly four weeks, containing four Sundays, during which we prepare for Christmas. The scripture readings for Advent encourage us to focus upon the coming of Jesus in three ways; we reflect about his birth, his presence in our lives and his return on the last day. A secondary theme of the Advent readings is the need for penitence so as to prepare for his coming. Gaudete Sunday is the name given to the third Sunday of Advent and its theme is one of joyful anticipation of the Lord’s coming. The readings describe the mission of John the Baptist and the arrival of the Messiah. The name ‘Gaudete Sunday’ is taken from the words of the introit for the day, Gaudete in Domino semper, “Rejoice in the Lord always.” This phrase comes from the Letter of St Paul to the Philippians [4: 4-5]: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”

In the past, when music and flowers were forbidden during the penitential season of Advent, they were permitted on Gaudete Sunday. Because of the more joyful tone of Gaudete Sunday, rose coloured (pink) vestments may be used instead of the more penitential purple (violet) ones. Also, on the Advent wreath, this is the Sunday when the rose coloured Advent candle is lit.

Joy, unlike happiness, does not depend upon events or whether things are going well or not. Joy comes from experiencing the abiding presence of God in one’s life and knowing that you are truly and eternally loved by Him. Joy is acquired by the expectation of something great and wonderful in our lives. The prophet Zephaniah, John the Baptist and Paul knew that the Lord was very near. God’s nearness did not make them fearful but filled them with such a joy that no one could take it from them, not even the executioner. Their joy in the closeness of God gave an edge to their proclamation to others to make ready. It also gave them the vision to see beyond any earthly suffering or disaster, that all things serve God’s purpose to redeem us. When our Lord Jesus Christ cried out from the Cross, “It is accomplished!” this too was a cry of joy amidst suffering! Similarly, the birth of Jesus happened in a dirty cave used as a stable; it is a scene of hardship and suffering, yet it heralds our redemption and so it is also a scene of great joy!

Fr Michael Donaghy
Cathedral Chaplain

See also: College of Chaplains


thumbnail image Christmas service can be found on the link below:

Related links: Christmas Services 2016

OREMUS - now available online

thumbnail image The December edition of Oremus, the Cathedral Magazine, is now out. Please take a FREE copy, available at the back of the Cathedral. Donations towards the production costs are, as always, most welcome.

The online version will be can be found here:

See also: Oremus - The Cathedral Magazine

Related links: Oremus - December Edition


Any requests made for a Priest Reference must be made to the priest that you know best. He will have to be able to say with confidence that he knows both the parent(s) and the child for whom the request is being made. Many of our schools are over-subscribed, and as a matter of justice, Certificates of Catholic Practice can be issued only to those who practice the Faith.
For parent(s) seeking a reference from Fr Brian, please note that due to the large number of requests, he will be available only at the following times during the week ahead. Other times will be made available for later weeks and will be published in future newsletters.

Monday, 12 December 11.30-12.30
Wednesday, 14 December 16.30-17.30
Thursday, 15 December 09.00-11.30

Please contact Clergy House Reception to register for one of these times. Please also note that Fr Brian will be away in January, and will return to work after the deadline for applications have passed. Requests must therefore be made before Christmas.

See also: Contact Us


thumbnail image Enrolment forms for the parish youth confirmation programme are available at Clergy House Reception. Any parishioner between the age of 13 and 15 is welcome to enrol on the programme. Please return completed forms to Fr Martin Plunkett at Clergy House Reception, 42 Francis Street, SW1P 1QW by Monday, 19 December.


thumbnail image There are sign-up sheets for ushers and collectors who can help at the two Vigil Masses on Christmas Eve and also the Masses on Christmas day. These are in the well by the Lady Chapel


thumbnail image Wednesday, 30 November: Ceilidh in aid of The Passage at The Westminster Cathedral Hall. Delicious hot Scottish supper, reels and live music. Tickets £25 from Clergy House Reception or from The Friends’ Office, 0207 798 9059. Doors open at 6.30pm and the event will start at 7pm.

Sunday, 11 December: The Cathedral Christmas Fair, 9am to 2.30pm. Come along and support Westminster Cathedral. Entrance just £1 with children free of charge. Our 500 bottle, every ticket a winner, will be the star attraction plus Father Christmas will be on hand with presents for the children. Donations for the Fair should be brought to Clergy House, clearly marked Christmas Fair. We urgently need bottles of wine and other alcoholic beverages for our bottle stall and pottery and brass plant pots for our Christmas flowers and plants. Please, no used clothing or electrical items. Cakes, homemade preserves, sweets and biscuits, also urgently required.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017: Count Beckendorff 100th anniversary. A special event to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Count Benckendorff, the only layman to be buried in Westminster Cathedral. Russian ambassador to the Court of St James, the Count’s fascinating life will be celebrated with a talk by Professor Geoffrey Hosking on pre-Revolutionary Russia, and a talk by the Cathedral archivist on Benckendorff’s conversion to Catholicism and his love for Westminster Cathedral. Drinks reception to follow. Tickets: £30 (please note the 5.30pm Mass will be dedicated to the Count).

Tuesday, 14 February 2017: Quiz and fish and chip supper. Westminster Cathedral Hall, 6.45pm. Tickets £15.

Tickets available from Clergy House Reception, 42 Francis street, London SW1P 1QW or 020 77989059.

See also: Friends News

Related links: Email The Friends

CATECHISM – WHAT WE BELIEVE What does it mean to say: I believe in the Holy Spirit?

thumbnail image Questions and answers taken from YouCat (Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church).

To believe in the Holy Spirit means to worship him as God just like the Father and the Son. It means to believe that the Holy Spirit comes into our hearts so that we as children of God might know our Father in heaven. Moved by God’s Spirit, we can change the face of the earth. Before his death, Jesus promised his disciples that he would send them “another Counsellor” (Jn 14:16) when he was no longer with them. Then when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the disciples of the original Church, they learned what Jesus had meant. They experienced a deep assurance and joy in their faith and received particular charisms; in other words, they could prophesy, heal, and work miracles. To this day there are people in the Church who possess such gifts and have these experiences.

See also: The Sacramental Life


thumbnail image This year’s Christmas Celebration will take place on Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st December in Westminster Cathedral at 7.30pm. Tickets priced £50, £40, £30, £20 and £10 are now available from the Cathedral Gift Shop and from www.ticketmaster.co.uk or 0844 844 0444.

Related links: Ticket Master


thumbnail image All are welcome to a series of talks on;The Church & Society; which will take place at 7:30pm on alternate Tuesdays from 4th October 2016 (subsequent talks are 18 October, 1 November, 15 November, 29 November & 13 December). Talks are held in the Back Room, St Marys, Moorhouse Rd, Bayswater, W2 5DJ (Tube: Notting Hill). Full dates and details are available at www.faith.org.uk/events/evenings-of-faith

Related links: Full details can be found here


thumbnail image La Nativité du Seigneur is one of Olivier Messiaen’s most evocative and beautiful cycles tracing the nativity of Jesus. Written in 1935, the first Christmas story is recounted in nine exquisite meditations in which the Shepherds, Angels and Wise Men are centre stage in this vivid and awesome masterpiece.

David Titterington will perform Messiaen’s La Nativité du Seigneur as part of the Lunchtime Organ Series and Christmas Festival.

Thu 15 December - 1.05pm - £10

Ticktes and more details here: https://www.sjss.org.uk/events/david-titterington-0

Related links: Tickets and more details here


thumbnail image The Oblates’ meeting will be held on Sunday, 11 December at 2.30pm in the Chapel of St Joseph.


thumbnail image On Thursday, 15 December Francine and Carol Baker will hold art classes in watercolour, pastel and drawing from 1.30pm to 3.30pm in the Hinsley Room. Fee will be £10 per person. Please bring your own materials. Contact: email francinegbaker@gmail.com or mobile 07580 179801.

Related links: Email


thumbnail image All the items on sale were made with local olive wood by Palestinian Christian families living in Bethlehem. The Good Shepherd company, based in Nottingham, work with the St Vincent De Paul Society in Bethlehem to support Christians to stay in the region often under very difficult and sometimes dangerous circumstances. A grand total of £2,040 was raised on the weekend of 24/25 November. Thank you to all who bought their icons and crosses.
Check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/www.olivewoodcarves.co.uk/

Related links: Facebook Page


thumbnail image Please support a Carol Service in aid of The Passage, on Friday, 16 December at 6pm in St Margaret’s Church, Westminster, the parish church of the House of Commons. Readers include Nick Hancock, Lynda Baron, Kathryn Pogson and Cardinal Vincent Nichols. Admission by advanced ticket only from The Passage tel. 020 7592 1856 email tickets @passage.org.uk minimum recommended donation £25.

Related links: Email for tickets


thumbnail image Westminster Youth Ministry are now accepting applications for the third year of the Music Ministry Scholarship, led by Edwin Fawcett, for young musicians in the area. The scholarship exists as a way of developing the skills of young people aged 14-25, who want to provide music in the life of their parish and the wider Church. The young person selected to receive the scholarship will be offered free sessions on a regular basis for a year the Diocese of Westminster’s Centre for Youth Ministry in Euston. Please contact youth@rcdow.org.uk or see http://dowym.com/ for information. Applications close Sunday, 11 December 2016.

Related links: Email Website


thumbnail image The SVP would like to thank everyone who supported last Sunday’s book sale by donating or buying merchandise. We raised over £460 towards our work. In addition to this sum, we received a large donation from one person and we should like to express our gratitude for such generosity.


thumbnail image The Filipino Club at Westminster Cathedral cordially invites you to the celebration of their traditional Simbang Gabi at Westminster Cathedral on Thursday, 15 December at the 5.30pm Mass. After the Mass, all are welcome in Cathedral Hall for light refreshments.

See also: Parish Groups


thumbnail image A new marriage preparation course takes place at Westminster Cathedral from 12 January to 18 February, with six evening sessions and a Saturday afternoon at Vaughan House. The price per couple is £80 and includes course materials and refreshments. The course is open to non-parishioners and seeks to respond to the guidelines recently produced by the Bishops’ Conference in response to Amoris Laetitia. For more information please contact Charlotte McNerlin at family@rcdow.org.uk.

Related links: Email: Charlotte McNerlin


thumbnail image This will take place in the Hinsley Room on Sunday, 18 December from 1-4pm. All are welcome.

See also: Parish Groups