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This annual event in the calendar of the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton took place this June in the Cathedral for the first time. A group of pupils from Salesian School Chertsey were selected to represent Chertsey at a celebration of Christ’s care for his people.

Numerous primary schools from West Sussex, East Sussex and the parts of Surrey outside the greater London area were represented. Salesian School Chertsey was one of several secondary schools invited to the celebration as were primary schools from the Weybridge deanery.

With a selection of hymns, readings, liturgical dance, intercessions and processions with school banners, each school had an opportunity after the event, to pose for photographs with the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, the Rt. Rev. Richard Moth, before a picnic lunch in the grounds of Arundel Castle.

Fr Marco Villani SDB


Fr Marco and students at the Cathedral

Monday, 25 July 2016 14:12

Holy Door & secret chapel

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Photo: Fr Cyril and a student looking at 16th century artefacts from the secret chapel


We began our day at the entrance of the Church of Our Lady of Consolation in West Grinstead. Here we were greeted by a ‘veteran’ father of the church. There was an array of tents set out, ready to welcome the current Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, Bishop Richard. Fr David explained the fact that there was a 16th century cottage built a few hundred years before the church was, where we were standing. He explained that the first few priests secretly used this type of house to celebrate Holy Mass, without alerting the Protestant soldiers that patrolled the early streets of historic England. This would usually, unless another plan was made, be happening in a ‘Secret’ Chapel at the top area of the cottage.

We were then led into the tent and walked through the entrance of the church. At this point we saw the Holy Door; this is a newly decorated door which symbolises the fact that Pope Francis named 2016 the YEAR of MERCY. There are commonly 2-3 in every diocese. Fr David went on to say, “This is a gateway not to a church, but to the Kingdom of Heaven”. This idea of self-renewal and respect for God was talked about and explained throughout the day.
Shortly after we celebrated Mass in the main church. Many of the students that attended the pilgrimage helped out in this special procession, including readings, altar serving and the responsorial psalm. Many of the students were willing to do what they could for the celebration of the Mass.

Later we were told to follow a guide up two flights of narrow, spiral stairs and found our way up to the secret chapel. A secret chapel was used in 16th century England as an unknown area at the top of a house or cottage, where a Catholic priest would be able to celebrate Mass with a small number of devout or religious Catholics. The priest himself had to travel up through the floor boards, so as to have the least possible chance of being caught by Protestants. This dangerous task was also made easy by the fact that there was a wall built in the central part of the room and that the room would usually be a place for the keeping of hay (known as a ‘hay-loft’). Another surprising thing we saw was a priest hole, which is a small, cramped hole where a priest would hide for a number of hours, to avoid detection by the Protestants.

Knowing all this was happening a few hundred years ago makes you wonder what it must have been like all those years before for devout Catholics. The fact that a great number of priests risked their lives day and night for the blessing of others, puts into perspective what we do for the ones we love (or complete strangers). Do we help them when they are in need, sacrificing our own freedom for the betterment of their lives or not bother because we aren’t up for it or we don’t feel like it? Just remember that you are not being requested to sacrifice much when being asked a favour by someone in need, to decline your help goes against all that Jesus taught us to do. This year of mercy reminds us not only that God shows us mercy but that we too must show mercy to others.

Delroy Pinto – Year 9


Read more about the Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation and the ancient Priests' House





Preparing to serve Mass



Our Lady of Consolation and the historic 'Priest's House'

Friday, 29 July 2016 15:46

Salesians at World Youth Day, Krakow

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Salesian Sisters URSpace with the Recotr Major - Photo: URSpace

With hundreds of thousands of young pilgrims from around the world, a Salesian Youth Ministry group, and a group from the Salesian Sisters URSpace Glasgow project, arrived in Krakow this week for the 31st World Youth Day.

One of the highlights was the Salesian Youth Ministry day, attended by Mother Yvonne Reungoat, Superior General of the Salesian Sisters, and Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The international event was attended by around 6000 young people. Mass was celebrated, the Blessed Sacrament exposed for adoration, and plenty of fun and games were had, with singing and dancing thrown in. The Good Night was given at the end of the day by Mother Yvonne and Fr Ángel. Read more about it on ANS.


Salesian group with Rector Major - Photo: Anya Garth

Although the weather was sometimes a little British, it didn't dampen the pilgrims' spirit at the open air masses or the amazing catechesis experiences, and the excitement of being with Pope Francis and hearing his message to them brought plenty of sunshine. 


We wish them, and all the WYD pilgrims, every belssing for the rest of their time in Krakow, and a safe journey home. 



Mother Yvonne & Brother Joseph - Photo: URSpace



Photo: URSpace



Salesian group arriving in Krakow - Photo: Georgia White



Salesian Sisters URSpace group at Mass- Photo: URSpace



URSpace waiting for the Pope to arrive - Photo: URSpace





Claire Fryer and James Fuller from Salesian School Chertsey organised an end of year summer disco to raise funds for Don Bosco Ashalayam and the work of the Salesians in Kolkata.

Salesian School has a special link with Don Bosco Park Circus School in Kolkata, India, run by the Salesians of Don Bosco, and also supports Ashalayam, a Salesian project in Kolkata working with street children. A variety of events each year enables the school to contriute £8000 a year to the Ashalayam, which pays the running costs for about a month. 

A number of staff and Year 10 boys helped with the evening that managed to raise over £400.00 in total. From the photographs you will see that a good time was had by all.


Fr Andrew Ebrahim SDB



Wednesday, 20 July 2016 10:01

Sacred Heart Battersea - Community Day

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What are the ingredients for a perfect barbecue?

Good company, a barbecue, and the sporadic showers you can expect in London. And, according to Br Kevin, there is no other way you would enjoy an original British barbecue.

Good or bad weather, the parishioners of Sacred Heart in Battersea celebrated the community with an open-air day together on Sunday the 17th. Games and a barbecue in the playground of St John Bosco College were the protagonists. As mentioned, the day started with some clouds, that brought a quite heavy shower, to then leave the space to a bright sun from early afternoon.

While the cooks were rapid in moving tables, grill, and sandwiches when the increasing rain threatened to spoil the food, the children strolled from one side to another with their colourful umbrellas. Some others kept on flipping the ball under the wet glass of the table football.

Kids were not put off by few drops, so did the adults, who, as soon as the bad weather stopped for a moment, moved again bowls and sandwiches under the gazebos. The queue for fresh grilled meat was made on the opposite direction – so that people would have been covered from the occasional rain that reappeared a couple of times more – and the party went on.

A group didn’t wait for the first sun rays to appear to walk back again in the football field. And actually, the smiles, friendly conversations, and the games that resumed, made soon the good weather.

The Filipino community prepared a traditional dance. With floral decorations and bright skirts, the women performed perfectly coordinated, cheering up the whole community.

A presentation was also made to thank Father Peter, who has served as Parochial Administrator in the last two years and a half. Fr Peter will remain with us at Sacred Heart, but from this summer on, the Parish will welcome a new Parochial Administrator.

The afternoon, later on, saw a completely different performance in the school hall of St John Bosco College. In this latest weeks, we have heard a lot about unity and foreigners. The Slovak Community Theatre presented a play all about the challenges and thoughts of the young and growing population of migrants: Migrants’ Rhapsody.

On the stage, the beginning of the journey, the encounter with a chaotic London, the strenuous conditions of dreaming about the future. The young actors from Slovakia brought to life these and many more of the components of the fragmented and often lonely life of a migrant.

Because of the norms of security, as a line of the play goes, you cannot bring your whole heart with you, in the country you are moving to. So, as a foreigner, the risk is to live half, with part of you here, and part in your motherland. Where is home? How will improve your future life?

A shared joy is a double joy. And the time spent together at Battersea was just another proof of the enjoyable atmosphere a community gathered can recreate, no matter what the weather will be like.

Cristiana Ferrauti

Filipino traditional dance 4

Traditional Filipino dance



Young people enjoying some football


presentation to Fr Peter

Presentation to Fr Peter

cakes sale 2

The delicious cake stall


Slovak Community Theatre 4

Sloval community theatre


Thursday, 21 July 2016 13:25

Salesian YM counting down to World Youth Day

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The nineteen Salesian Youth Ministry pilgrims are making their final preps and checks ready to set off for the 31st World Youth Day in Krakow.


One of the many highlights of the pilgrimage will be the International Salesian Festival, where our group will also meet up with the 21 young adults from All Saints, Sheffield, who took part in the GBR Salesians WYD preparation day.


The Festival will be held on 27th July at the EXPO fair site, with Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the SDB, and Mother Yvonne Reungoat, Mother General of the FMA attending, and giving the 'Good Night' at the end of the evening of spirituality.


We wish them a safe journey and pray for them and all the WYD2016 pilgrims during this life-changing experience.



The Salesian and All Saints pilgrims during the training day at Savio House

Thursday, 21 July 2016 11:55

Thornleigh College group off to Tanzania

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A group of twelve students and three staff from Thornleigh Salesian College, Bolton, (plus Fr Bob Gardner!) have set off on their journey to Moshi in Tanzania, where they will spend the next month volunteering in clinics and youth projects. 


The annual event is part of the college's Tanzania Project, which also calls on the students to raise funds for their trip and to provide materials for the projects  they will be working on. This year, every child at the orphanage will be given a teddy as a gift. Fundraising events included the 'Old School Disco', supermarket bag packing, entering a team in the Great Manchester Run, and obtaining a cash award from Asda. The students also took part in an intensive training programme at Savio House to prepare them for their experience.


In addition to their volunteer work, the group will spend time getting to know young people and learning more about their lives and their home town.


We wish them a safe journey and a wonderful experience with the young people of Moshi.










Owen Bond, a Year 11 student at Thornleigh Salesian College, Bolton, received a Barbara Ward Award for Caring for the Environment this week at the Celebrating Young People Awards in London this week. Owen is pictured with Maria Pavlovski, the teacher who nominated him.


In a society where we too often devalue our younger members, the Celebrating Young People Awards was devised by Million Minutes, an organisation inspired by Catholic Social Teaching, to recognise the inspirational efforts of the remarkable young people in contributing to community life and making our world a better place.


As the leader of the College's ECO Group, Owen and his team do all they can to enhance the school's environment, including fundraising to cover the costs of their imporvements. He campaigned to reduce litter around the school by delivering assemblie - from a bin! Owen has also worked with the school and the local authroity's refuse deprtment to introduce recycling in the canteen. 


Read more about Owen's remarkable achievements on the Million Minutes website



Salesians, family and friends were welcomed by the Thornleigh community at the weekend, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Fr Bob Gardner's ordination to the priesthood. 


A beautiful Mass was celebrated in the chapel, followed by a buffet in the community dining room. Tributes were paid to Fr Bob's enthusiasm and ability to connect with young people by the Provincial, Fr Martin Coyle and Fr Michael Winstanley, Rector. Fr Michael also presented a mosquito net and some other items that Fr Bob will find handy on his forthcoming trip to Tanzania.


The celebration was a joyful occasion , and very much enjoyed by all who attended. Fr Bob also appreciated the many messages and assurances of prayers he received. Thanks you to the community, Julie, Janet and Brenda of Thornleigh House for the superb catering and organisation, to Dan Antonio for the lovely music at Mass, and to all who helped to make the celebration such a happy and memorable occasion.


We wish Fr Bob every blessing for the next 25 years and more!




Young people from in and around Chertsey gathered in the Salesian community on the evening of 12th July to share friendship and to relax after the long and stressful lead up to the GCSE and A Level examinations. The young people were mostly from Salesian School, Chertsey and St John the Baptist School, Woking.

They got to know each other quite quickly and discussed their GCSE exams, their career goals, ambitions in life and different universities and colleges that they have applied to. They discussed the ranking of different universities in UK and the reasons why some universities rank higher than others and the requirement for students to get admission in the top ranking universities.

The students shared their experiences about different jobs they were doing now after their exams and how they helped others who were looking for part time jobs to get into the companies that some of them were working for.

They discussed their faith and the possibilities of keeping the faith alive while living away from parents and friends in the coming years. From this sharing emerged the idea to conduct a ‘home mission’ among the young people around to mobilize young people in the community to get involved in the Church and local community events more actively.

After the sharing and discussions the young people gathered in our community chapel and recited the Holy Rosary and prayed for themselves and for the whole world.

The gathering came to its conclusion with a shared dinner. The young people brought several food items from home and shared what they had. They all enjoyed being together and benefitted much from the discussions.


Fr Cyril John Edamana SDB


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