Newsletter – 18th February 2018 – 1ST SUNDAY OF LENT


Genesis 9:8-15    Psalm 24

1 Peter 3:18-22          Mark 1:12-15


Last Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, we began Lent with the ceremony of the distribution of ashes.  There are two possible formulas given to be said as each person’s head is marked with the ashes.  One formula is, “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return”.  This reminds us of our mortality.  Our life on this earth is finite and Lent gives us a chance to look at our lives and say, “how would I have wanted to have lived my life if I imagine myself at the end of my life”.   This enables us to look beyond our immediate concerns and focus on the direction of our lives.  What is really important to me?  What really determines the choices I make?  How do those things appear as I look at them in God’s light?

The other formula takes up Jesus message in today’s Gospel, “Repent and believe in the Gospel”.  When we hear the word “repent” we probably think about being sorry for wrong things we have done.  Acknowledging what we have done wrong is important.  Lent particularly is a time when we can make use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, otherwise known as Confession or the Sacrament of Penance, to bring those things to God and experience of the wonder of His mercy and forgiveness.  However, the Greek word in the original text, Metanoia, which is translated as “repent”, is much broader.  It is a call to be transformed.  This transformation is ultimately the work of God.  It is brought about by the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us.  It is the fruit of the death and resurrection of Jesus which we are preparing to celebrate at Easter.  This is the Gospel, the Good News, in which we are called to believe.  Lent, however, provides us with a time when we can make ourselves more open to that work of the Spirit, when we can play our part in bring about that transformation within us.

Last week Cardinal Vincent, in his Pastoral Letter, reminded us of the three activities which characterise Lent: prayer, fasting and almsgiving.   Many of us may feel there is something a bit unsatisfactory about our life of prayer.  Maybe it is a bit perfunctory; maybe we are not really engaged by it.  Lent is a time to try and give more quality time to prayer, to ask whether we could deep our prayer, perhaps try another style of prayer.  Various opportunities are provided during Lent to help us with this.  For example, you might look at things happening in the Mount Street Jesuit Centre or other similar places.

Fasting is part of many religious traditions.  There is something about it which helps us focus more on God and less our own immediate cravings.  Traditionally people think about giving up something for Lent.  This certainly has its place.  We might ask ourselves if there is anything to which we are rather too attached.  It may be food or drink or smoking.  It may be the extent to which we use the internet or social media.

Finally, there is almsgiving.  This makes us less attached to the material things we possess but above all it helps us to focus on those in need.  In them we are called to recognised Christ himself.  There are a variety of Lenten appeals.  There is the appeal the Cardinal made last week.  We will also be having an appeal for CAFOD.  You might also think about ways in which you might give your time through some sort of volunteering.

All these things help us to respond to the call to be transformed, to “repent”. In this way we prepare to celebrate the wonders of God’s love and mercy at the end of Lent, as we remember the events of Holy Week and Easter.

Fr Chris Pedley, S.J.



Andrew White will give a talk in our Parish Hall on Monday 19th February from 6pm about his religious art. You can see his works in the church as well as in the Mount Street corridor. All are welcome. Entrance is free.


stationsThere are Stations of the Cross on Fridays throughout Lent at 12:30pm (this replaces Exposition on those days).


Fr Conor Harper, SJ, Vice-Postulator of the Cause of Blessed John Sullivan, SJ is preaching at the 11am Mass TODAY Sunday February 18th. He will then give a short talk afterwards in the Meeting Room on Bl John, who was received into full communion with the Catholic Church at Farm Street in 1896 and was declared Blessed in 2017.  All welcome. 



CAFOD is working with poor communities around the world on our behalf, helping them to tackle poverty and injustice. Fast Days are our opportunity to support this vital work. Please collect a Fast Day envelope and prayer card after Mass, and consider fasting and praying in solidarity this Friday, 23rd February. Please return the Fast Day envelope with your donation for next weekend’s CAFOD collection on 24th  -25th February.



Speakers will be  Sr Karen Marguerite OP and Sr Anne Walsh OP on  24th February, 10.00am-4.00pm (including Mass with Fr Chris Vipers). Niland Conference Centre, 93 Elstree Rd, Bushey WD23 4EE.  There is a suggested donation of £14.00. Refreshments will be provided. Please bring packed lunch. To register please email: 
or call 020 7931 6078.



Following the successful restoration of the colours and gold leaf to the Pugin high altar, plans have been approved by the Historic Churches Committee to replace the front facing altar in the sanctuary (which is made from concrete blocks faced with marble and fibreglass), clean and repair the marble floor thus revealed, and provide a new altar of carved stone.  You can read about this project on the noticeboard near the Martyrs’ Chapel.



There will be an exhibition on the life and legacy of Cardinal Henry Manning (Archbishop of Westminster 1865-1892) in Farm Street Church on March 1st -23rd. It is a great privilege to host this important exhibition remembering the huge contribution of this great figure in London’s social history and the history of the Catholic Church in England. The Exhibition will be introduced with a talk on Cardinal Manning by Fr Nicholas Schofield, Westminster Diocesan Archivist, in the church on Monday March 5th at 6:45pm.  All welcome. 



This lecture will be on Thursday 1st March at 6.30pm by Professor Roger Trigg on “Cakes, Conscience and Freedom”. Professor Trigg is the author of “Equality, Freedom and Religion”. He will address the tension between freedom of religion and the principles of equality and non-discrimination in cases such as Ashers Bakery (the so-called “gay cake” case) in the UK. Notre Dame University, 1 Suffolk Street, London SW1Y 4HG

(off Trafalgar Square).  Free admission followed by a Reception. Please register on Eventbrite or contact 020 8749 1321 or



Mount Street Jesuit Centre needs new volunteers to help at Reception on Saturdays (10am – 1pm or 1- 4.30pm). We already have a wonderful team of volunteers, but unfortunately, some of them are now moving on, and will no longer be able to help.

There is no minimum but one or two “shifts” per month would be very useful, and of course if somebody wants to do a bit more, that is fine too! 

 So if you are to spare a few hours on Saturday, contact Anne Paolino 0207 495 1673. It would be greatly appreciated.


Dr Austen Ivereigh, papal biographer and Catholic Voices co-founder will address the subject:
‘Close and Concrete: Pope Francis on how to Evangelise in a World in Flux’.
Tuesday March 6th at 7pm in the Hall. Mass in the church at 6pm; buffet reception to follow.
All most welcome.

All are invited to come and “Meet the Neighbours” here at Farm Street Church on Monday, 12th March at 6.45pm (following 6pm Mass to which all are welcome).

The visit will include

  • Welcome & Introduction to “Farm Street today”
  • The Mount Street Jesuit Centre
  • Farm Street & the English Jesuits in History
  • Tour of the church
  • Evening Prayer in the Roman Rite
  • Buffet

This is an initiative of Churches Together in Westminster called “Meet the Neighbours”. For catering purposes, if you are attending, please contact Scott McCombe at
tel (020) 7529-4829 by 7th March.

Bookings are open for the 2018 Landings UK & Farm Street Jesuits Saints of England Pilgrimage, visiting Lindisfarne, Hexham, Durham and York.  June 8th – 13th. For more information please speak to Fr Dominic or, to request a brochure and to book, contact Pax Travel direct on (020)-7485-3003;  For full details visit


Bookings are open for the Farm Street Camino in the Steps of St Ignatius, walking 200 km in the steps of the founder of the Jesuits through Catalonia, visiting the Shrine of St Peter Claver in Verdú, Igualada, the Abbey of Montserrat and Manresa, followed by a 3-day retreat and visiting the Ignatian sites in Barcelona.  September 23rd – October 6th. For more information please speak to Fr Dominic or, to request a brochure and to book, contact Pax Travel direct on (020)-7485-3003;  For full details visit



We need help at the front reception on Thursday evenings between 5pm and 8:30pm on a once a month commitment. Supper provided. Please call Leslie Giltz on 0207-408-9250.  



The LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council invites you to monthly reflections using Building A Bridge, a book by Fr James Martin SJ. These will take place in the Hall, 6.30pm – 8.30pm on Thursdays. The dates are:  22nd February, 22nd March, 26th April, 24th May, 21st June, 26th July, 20th September, 25th October, 22nd November, 20th December and 24th January 2019. Light refreshments available from 6.30pm, sessions start promptly at 7pm. For more information please contact  / 020 8986 0807


If you would like become a “Friend of Farm Street Church” to support our ministry and the care of this beautiful building please pick up a leaflet or see the application information online at


We now have access for wheelchair users to gain access into the house and so will be able to participate in courses, meetings, etc.


The Bridge Club meets here every Tuesday evening, starting at 6.30pm, all levels are welcome.  Funds raised go to the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS).


You can now use your mobile phone to make donations to our Weekly Offering:

just text FARM02 £[enter your donation amount] to 70070

You will receive a reply text immediately, with an invitation to register the donations from your phone for Gift Aid.

MSJC logo

114 Mount Street, London W1K 3AH  

Book online for any of these events

Information: 020 7495 1673 or


Our Regular Events

• Midday Meditation

Every Tuesday 1.40-2pm

• Wednesdays at the Well – Come to Rest & Be Refreshed

3rd Wednesday of each month 11.30am-3.30pm (Please note change of times)

(Next meeting: February 21, 2018)

Another Look at Why Jesus Died: At-One-Ment

Facilitated by David Cherry

Saturday 24th February 11am-4pm

People wonder why Jesus had to die.  It seems implausible that there is a God who demands a price for sin who you could actually love.  As Holy Week draws near here is an opportunity to reimagine salvation, to think and begin to feel your faith in a freeer way. 


Lenten Retreat (for Young Adults aged 18-35)

Facilitated by Anouska Robinson-Biggin fcJ

Saturday 3rd March 10.30am-2.30pm

An invitation to journey deeper into the season of Lent and what it means for you. The retreat will include input about and experience of prayer, silence and sharing.

Please bring a journal and a pen with you as well as your packed lunch. Drinks will be provided.


Dorothy Day: Following Christ to the Margins

Facilitated by Martin Newell

Saturday 3rd March 11am-4pm

After Dorothy, no one can say that they do not know how to combine faith and politics in the modern world.  Learn what it means to follow the poor Christ where he led, to the margins, which is a great place to be, to pray, and to read the Gospels, the Scriptures and the lives of the Saints.


The Passion in the Gospel of Mark

Facilitated by Brian Purfield

Tuesdays, March 6 – 27, 11am-1pm

repeated Wednesdays, March 7 – 28, 7-8.30pm

Prepare to celebrate the drama of Holy Week and Easter in the company of Mark.

This short course looks at how Mark tells the story of Jesus’ last hours.


Bereavement and Loss Group

Thursday 1st March 11.30am–1pm

Grief is a particularly isolating experience that can affect all aspects of your life physically, emotionally and socially. There are many kinds of grieving… Sr. Catherine Quane RSM facilitates this welcoming and understanding group that meets on the first Thursday of the month from 11.30am to 1pm.

You are welcome to just come along or contact Sr. Catherine or 0190 323 3904 for more details.


Ignatian Retreat Day

Facilitated by members of the Mount Street Jesuit Centre team

Saturday 10th March 11am-4pm

These are retreat days of prayer run in an Ignatian way, in which there is talk, time for personal prayer and the opportunity to listen to each other.

There is no need to book for these days, just come along.


More upcoming events on


“REDEMPTION”, a bilingual English/French music album by our parish secretary and sacristan, is now available here at Farm Street in the bookshops, Sacristy and at Reception. In Côte d’Ivoire, it is already played on national television and radios. Please visit Armel Paul Marie on Facebook or YouTube to watch his stunning video and rediscover familiar places in London. Thank you for supporting his evangelisation project.

CD of the newly released album is sold here in the sacristy, the bookshop and at Reception.

Click here to watch a video Clip of Armel Paul Marie’s song “L’ennemi”

CD visual


A musical portrait of Farm Street Church celebrating fifty years as a Parish. The album includes favourite selections from the choir’s repertoire, along with special commissions composed for the choir by Gabriel Jackson, for which the choir gave the premiere performances. Compact Discs available in the BOOKSHOP and at RECEPTIONBOTH GOD_S & MARY_S SON

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