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A message for Christmas 2016

December 23, 2016 Leave a comment

abplloydselseya1The Metropolitan of Europe’s Christmas message for 2016 is published ahead of the celebration of the commemoration of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ this coming Sunday. In his message, Metropolitan Jerome OSJV, Archbishop of Selsey, reflected on the meaning of the Incarnation as a practical reality in the lives of those seeking to realise the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity. His Grace referred to the many hundreds of volunteers who will be hosting and serving Christmas Day lunches “to the poor, the disadvantaged and the unwanted of society” expressing the significance of the Incarnation i.e. “the manifestation of God’s love in Christ Jesus” by their service “giving of their time and energy”.

Referring to a “host of cherubic volunteers” – a nod to the Cherubs Kitchen apostolate he founded in 2013 – Metropolitan Jerome made mention of his own efforts to provide hospitality to one hundred of the homeless of the city of Brighton & Hove on Christmas Day in conjunction with the Brighton Corps of the Salvation Army; His Grace will be the chef! Inspired by “The Hub” homeless drop-in with which he partnered The Brighton Oratory with the Salvation Army for over six years, the Cherubs Kitchen apostolate operates commercial franchise kitchens“not for profit” fundraising to support local homeless projects and provide NVQ catering apprenticeships and work experience/rehabilitation placements.

The central message of the broadcast however, emphasised the possible universal application of the meaning of Christmas, i.e. the Incarnation of God’s love in Christ, through following the command of Our Lord “to love one another” cf John 13:34-35. His Grace suggested that was the simplest way to interpret the meaning of Christmas and to “receive faith, be inspired by hope and by experience in the sharing of both, God’s love toward us and toward each other”. His Grace concluded the broadcast by imparting his apostolic blessing to all viewers.

The film was recorded in the main kitchen of the Cherub’s apostolate and the music composed by Kevin Macleod is titled “Everlasting Hope”.

Ash Wednesday – an opportunity for witness

February 13, 2013 4 comments

outlineme2His Grace, the Metropolitan Archbishop, Msgr Jerome Lloyd OSJV will use Ash Wednesday as an opportunity to witness to Catholic culture and Tradition today by making himself available to  impose ashes on any passer-by who would like them at Churchill Square in Brighton during lunchtime i.e. between 12-2pm. The timing is deliberate so that workers unable to attend Mass may receive an opportunity “to be ashed” during their lunchbreak. The ashes were blessed during the live broadcast of daily Mass at 0830am from the Archbishop’s private Oratory.

“Flash mob alert”

Following the success of various similar enterprises of Catholics just “showing up” at busy commercial shopping areas for an impromptu act of witness, Msgr Lloyd invites anyone who would like to assist, to “just turn up”!  Prayer Cards will be distributed entitled “The reason for the season” explaining the meaning of Ash Wednesday and what Lent means for Christians together with the Collect from the Mass of Ash Wednesday. His Grace hopes to be joined by a few brave souls happy to share what Lent means to them with any enquirers, Christians prepared to “give an account for the hope you have in you” (cf 1 Peter 3:15) and seize this opportunity to bear witness to the Faith and heed the call for the “re-evangelisation” of Europe commended by Pope Benedict XVI. Full details are available here.

ashingWhy we receive the ashes

Following the example of the Ninevites, who did penance in sackcloth and ashes [Joel 2:12-19 the Epistle for Ash Wednesday], our foreheads are marked with ashes to humble our hearts and reminds us that life passes away on Earth. We remember this when we are told

“Remember, Man is dust, and unto dust you shall return.” Genesis 3:19

Ashes are a symbol of penance made sacramental by the blessing of the Church, and they help us develop a spirit of humility and sacrifice.

The distribution of ashes comes from a ceremony of ages past. Christians who had committed grave faults performed public penance. On Ash Wednesday, the Bishop blessed the hair shirts which they were to wear during the forty days of penance, and sprinkled over them ashes made from the palms from the previous year. Then, while the faithful recited the Seven Penitential Psalms, the penitents were turned out of the church because of their sins — just as Adam, the first man, was turned out of Paradise because of his disobedience. The penitents did not enter the church again until Maundy Thursday after having won reconciliation by the toil of forty days’ penance and sacramental absolution. Later, all Christians, whether public or secret penitents, came to receive ashes out of devotion. In earlier times, the distribution of ashes was followed by a penitential procession.

ashwediiThe Ashes

The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year. The ashes are christened with Holy Water and are scented by exposure to incense. While the ashes symbolize penance and contrition, they are also a reminder that God is gracious and merciful to those who call on Him with repentant hearts. His Divine mercy is of utmost importance during the season of Lent, and the Church calls on us to seek that mercy during the entire Lenten season with reflection, prayer and penance.

Metropolitan quoted in article about the homeless in Brighton

October 26, 2012 1 comment

The impact of the financial crisis on the city of Brighton and Hove was highlighted today in a feature article by Sussex newspaper “The Argus”. The Brighton Oratory has been volunteering with the Salvation Army Homeless dropin on Wednesdays since it started two years ago. Msgr Lloyd was interviewed on Wednesday together with the Salvation Army officers and ecumenical volunteers about the increase in attendance at the Homeless project. Msgr Lloyd was quoted:

“In the last six months the people coming here has gone from being more or less people living on the streets or squatters through to now where people who lost their jobs and are finding it difficult to make ends meet, and ended up homeless.

“We have had various stories. “There was a chap whose job was working in a burger shop and had a flat upstairs. When the shop closed he lost his flat and his job in one go and was living in a tent in Preston Park.

“We have had young mothers as well, who bring their children in during half term or the school holidays – the children are fed at school but when it’s closed they struggle to feed them.”

The article included interviews from both the statutory and voluntary sector and highlighted the significant increase in demand on the various shelters and food stations across the city.

The Argus “Brighton and Hove in grip of poverty crisis” published. 26/10/12
Read more about the Homeless drop-in here “More soup your Grace?

Metropolitan in solidarity with prolifers

September 13, 2012 Leave a comment

His Grace, Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJV has demonstrated solidarity with Andy Stephenson and Kathryn Sloane by attending their trial in Brighton Magistrate’s Court in a landmark case concerning freedom of expression. The pair work full time for the charity Abort67, and were arrested in June last year outside Wiston’s abortuary in Brighton, after they refused to take down a 7ft by 5ft illustrated banner. Monsignor Lloyd has frequently attended the presentations himself and was a defender of the charity’s support of the 40 Days for Life campaign in Brighton last year outside the same abortuary, defending them rigorously on Facebook and Twitter.

Mr Stephenson, 37, a father of three, has been charged with causing “harassment, alarm or distress” under the Public Order Act 1986, and with obstructing a police officer by refusing to hand over the banner. Miss Sloane, 21, faces one count of obstruction. They are both committed Christians. Abort ’67 deliberately uses graphic images showing the effect of abortion on foetuses as a public service to show what takes place in abortuaries.

Mr Stephenson, from Worthing, West Sussex, quoted in The Daily Telegraph said: “We are as passionate about free speech as we are about the abortion issue. Showing these images is absolutely crucial to our campaign. We are determined to fight it all the way. All we were doing was showing what is taking place legally inside abortion clinic every day, some of which are funded by the taxpayer.”

Abort ’67 say their use of graphic imagery is critical in shaping public opinion about the 200,000 terminations which take place in Britain each year and is rooted in the tradition of civil rights campaigning with such notables as Wilberforce and Martin Luther-King. The two campaigners are being represented by Paul Diamond, a leading human rights barrister. Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said: “This is an important test case for freedom of expression in our nation. Andy and Kathryn were simply displaying true images about the reality of abortion. Such images should not be suppressed from the public consciousness any more than pictures of famine or the reality of war. If we cannot face the pictures how can we conceive of endorsing the reality?”

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