The 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”.
The Confraternity of the Holy Apostles was envisioned in 2013 as a way to promote and encourage ecumenism among Christians descended from Apostolic churches. Because of errors of history and disagreements, Christians have been divided to the present times.
The words of His Holiness Pope John Paul II provided insight into the need for the Confraternity. “Restoration of unity among Christians is one of the main concerns of the Church… and this task is for all of us. No one can claim exemption from this responsibility. Indeed, everybody can make some contribution, however small it may seem, and all are called to that interior conversion which is the essential condition for ecumenism.” Also invoked are the words of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople: “Our faith is not a compilation of diverse opinions promulgated to integrate discussion in a harmonious way; it is the revelation of the singular truth expressed through and in the divine person of Jesus Christ.”
All Christians, both lay and clergy, who meet all the below eligibility guidelines are invited to join the Confraternity. It should be noted that there is no screening process for joining the Confraternity, and that the Confraternity assumes no liability for any of its members.
1. Belief in the Nicene Creed (with or without the filioque).
2. Active participation in a local faith community.
3. Belonging to a Church holding apostolic succession and belief in the Real Presence.
Membership is free. However, members may wish to purchase a membership packet below that includes a medal, membership certificate, and prayer for Christian unity.
Members commit to the following:
1. Weekly praying the prayer for Christian unity:
Let us pray. O Lord Jesus Christ, who saidst unto Thine Apostles: Peace I leave you, My peace I give to you; regard not our sins, but the faith of Thy Church, and grant unto her that peace and unity which are agreeable to Thy Will; Who livest and reignest ever, one God, world without end. Amen.
2. Promotion, where possible, of Christian unity among the Apostolic Churches.
Benefits of Membership
Members are especially remembered at Holy Mass during the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul. Members may also contact each other for local fraternity and fellowship.
Click here to apply!
The Brighton Oratory has been assisting with the provision of food and clothing in partnership with the Salvation Army at Brighton Congress Hall for the past year. Having already played an active role in recruiting and coordinating volunteers and donations of clothing and personal hygiene items from local churches, for the past three weeks His Grace, Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJV has also been cooking!
His Grace has been preparing and cooking a variety of meals for nearly a hundred drop-in visitors every Wednesday with a small but dedicated team of volunteers. Msgr Lloyd put his past skills in the leisure and hospitality industry to good use when the regular Chef had to leave the post at short notice. Visitors to the dropin receive a three free course meal consisting of soup and/or salad, a hearty main course and a dessert. The food is provided by FoodShare Brighton and topped up as and when by donations made to the Salvation Army.
The visitors to the dropin range from the truly homeless sleeping rough, squatters and recovering addicts from bedsits through more recently to people who have lost job and home due to the recession and financial crisis. An interesting ecclectic mix of social and professional demographics are represented amongst the visitors, from a few Eastern European immigrants who became stranded after the economic downturn through a wide range of former professional artists, musicians, carpenters and teachers.
Originally begun by two previous Salvation Army commanding officers (posted to Dubai last January), the dropin has been running for two years and Msgr Lloyd hopes when the new commanding officers arrive, to develop the project further in conjunction with other local churches and statutory services. Already he has introduced barbers for free haircuts and hand masseurs to the visitors who appreciate the welcoming hospitality and “safe” space the volunteers strive hard to provide. Some of the dropin visitors even attended the Archbishop’s Inauguration as Metropolitan and as one of them said, “I bet there’s not many homeless people can say they had lunch cooked by a bishop!”
The Brighton Oratory hires one of the halls from the Salvation Army as a Mass centre for its Sussex based mission which provided the opportunity for the two churches to work together. Last Christmas Day, following their respective morning services, the two churches provided Christmas Lunch for elderly people living alone and homeless dropin regulars, some of whom attended the preceding services. “It was the first time I’d been to a Latin Mass since I left Ireland as a boy” said one of the regular dropin visitors, “it was beautiful, I cried.” Through their contacts the two churches identified elderly people living alone and coordinated transport via minibuses to get to and from the centre on Christmas Day. Msgr Lloyd was invited to bless parcels of food and presents for poor families before being distributed by the Salvation Army.
Many are amazed at the way in which two churches of such different traditions doctrinally are able to work together, but both the Salvation Army officers and Msgr Lloyd emphasise the joint charge to live out charity which is at the heart of the Gospel. When asked if it was appropriate for an Archbishop to be cooking and washing up, His Grace replied
“I want to be able to answer ‘I was there’ when Christ asks me, “Where were you when I was hungry, thirsty, naked, sick and in prison” when I face the Judgement. Sacred Ministers are called to be “servants of the servants of God” after that favoured title of St Gregory the Great, what better than way this is there to serve Christ than in the poor and outcasts of our society?”
Canon Emilio Tundidor-Suarez OSJV co-founder of the Oratory of St John Vianney [with HE Archbishop Lloyd OSJV], was formally confirmed as a member of the Metropolitan Chapter and nominated to act as Dean for the forthcoming inauguration of the Metropolitan Archbishop in Brighton on May 25th. Canon Tundidor will oversee the proceedings and preach as well as play host to the ecumenical and VIP guests.
Monday, May 21st Canon Emilio Tundidor-Suarez OSJV formally instituted as ‘acting Dean’ of the Metropolitan Chapter.
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