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Celebrations of St Richard’s Parish Golden Jubilee - 1958-2008

Father Kieron has approved the plans proposed by the parish Golden Jubilee Committee and the principal elements will be finalised by the many parishioners involved.

The Jubilee Mass

The climax of the celebrations will be the Jubilee Mass on May 21st at St Richard’s. We are delighted that Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor will be joined by the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Faustino Sainz Munoz (he’s the Pope’s ambassador to Britain and has also served in Africa) and by our Bishop Kieran Conry. You can read short biographical details later in this feature.

We are welcoming guests from the City and from neighbouring churches (reflecting our support for Churches Together in Chichester), our former priests and deacons, and have allocated two hundred seats for parishioners. These are now fully taken up.

The music will be performed by an augmented group and will draw on many talents.

Reception: After the Mass, there will be a Reception arranged by the Social Committee, held either in the hall offered by St Richard’s School - or possibly in a marquee.

Exhibition: As a curtain raiser to the celebrations, there will be an exhibition of historical photos recalling the life of the parish over the last fifty years, in the porch and parish rooms.

Jubilee Book and publications

The book is a definitive and inspiring history of the Catholics in Sussex and tells the extraordinary story of the founding of St Richard’s parish after years of persecution. The book also includes memories – moving and amusing - of parishioners and priests during the years before and since the building of the new church and the churches at Bosham, St Peter’s, Nutbourne, and Selsey.

Other Literature – there will be pamphlets with the biography of St Richard, the Life and Times of the Countess of Newburgh, who funded the first church in South Street, also our Landmarks of Achievement – and our hopes for the future.

St Richard’s famous prayer has been printed with his image from the stained glass window as prayer cards for everyone.

St Richard’s Prayer Banner –

This project involves the making of a large banner of the letters of St Richard’s prayer, done by children and others. It will be a huge centrepiece, hung in the church during the celebrations.

Visit from the Loire family - designers of St Richard's celebrated glass.

The Friends of Chartres have published news of our Jubilee - the special interest being the award of listed status to St Richard's, largely on account of the sixty-two composite and single stained glass panels, made by the dalle de verre process in the famous workshops of the late Gabriel Loire in Chartres. (The family are shown here).

Members of the Loire family are making a special visit to Chichester for the joyous celebration of the Jubilee Mass, where they and many guests will see their inspired work, which has done so much to glorify St Richard's church and its life of faith .

They and the Friends of Chartres can take especial pride in one window, a gift from Chartres Cathedral to Chichester. It is in the Blessed Sacrament chapel.

St Richard’s Life as a play – written by Chris Dwyer – is planned for production by schoolchildren and other young people.

Jubilee day Out – 26th May

As part of the Parish Jubilee celebrations we plan a celebratory journey in the Compton area with routes suitable for everyone. This event reflects the wanderings of St Richard, when the King refused recognition as Bishop, denied him access to his palace, declared him an outcast, and made him itinerant - until the monarch repented.This links our 50 year old St Richard’s Church with churches St Richard would have walked or ridden between 750 years ago.

We hope to welcome families, all ages and fitness, on foot or by car, finishing with Mass at 3pm at St Mary’s, Compton, followed by refreshments at Littlegreen. You can do the walk of about 5 miles from Littlegreen to Upmarden, starting at 12 o'clock – but for the less mobile (or less ambitious people) there’s a shorter walk of a mile – or turn up for the Mass anyway. Transport for some could be arranged – details later. Maria Whitehouse, of Event, will prepare a leaflet and application form shortly. Offers of help with planning, marshals etc are welcome. Please phone Maria on 782837.

Other events in prospect – details to be confirmed – including a special Event luncheon to bring together veterans of the Football Pool group which funded the building of four churches and other church and civic buildings during 25 years of activity.

Our Principal guests

Short biographical note – Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor.

Cormac Murphy-O'Connor was born in Reading, of Irish parents. He studied for the priesthood in 1950 at the Venerable English College in Rome. He was ordained on October 28, 1956. For the next decade he did pastoral work in Portsmouth and Fareham. In September 1970, he was appointed parish priest in Portswood, Southampton. Soon afterwards, in late 1971, he was appointed rector of the Venerable English College, his alma mater. As rector he hosted the Archbishop of Canterbury, Frederick Donald Coggan, on his historic visit to Pope Paul VI in 1977. He was elevated to the rank of Monsignor on March 10, 1972.

In 1977, Murphy-O'Connor became Bishop of Arundel and Brighton. He held important positions among the Catholic bishops of Europe and has also been consistently influential in ecumenical work. In 2000 he was awarded a Lambeth degree Doctorate in Divinity by then Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, in recognition of his work for Christian unity. On February 15, 2000 Murphy-O'Connor was appointed the tenth Archbishop of Westminster, and thus head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. He holds an unusually large number of Curial appointments in the Vatican. In 2002, in Westminster Abbey he was the first cardinal to read prayers at an English Royal Funeral Service (for Princess Margaret) since 1509 and later that year, at Sandringham, he became the first Roman Catholic clergyman since 1688 to preach a sermon to the reigning Monarch of Great Britain. Shortly before reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75, O'Connor submitted his resignation as Archbishop of Westminster to Pope Benedict XVI, who asked that Murphy-O'Connor remain in his position "until he chooses otherwise".

His Excellency Archbishop Faustino Sainz Munoz (LLD – Doctor of Laws) Apostolic Nuncio

Short biographical note:

Archbishop Faustino Sainz Munoz Archbishop has spent his entire career in the Holy See's diplomatic service, representing the Roman Catholic Church in some of the most complex and crucial negotiations of 20th Century international relations. Born in Almaden in Spain in 1937, he was ordained in 1964. His Excellency subsequently entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1970 and served in the Pontifical Representations in Senegal and Scandinavia, and then in the Council of Public Affairs of the Church of the Secretariat of State of His Holiness in the Vatican. He was appointed Apostolic Pro-Nuncio in Cuba in 1988 and four years later Apostolic Pro-Nuncio in Zaire. In 1999 Archbishop Sainz was appointed Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to the European Communities in Brussels. Pope John Paul II appointed Archbishop Faustino Sainz Munoz as Papal Nuncio to Great Britain in December 2004. He lives at Wimbledon, Surrey.

Mgr. Kieran Conry, Bishop of Arundel and Brighton.

(Who concelebrated Open Air Family Mass at St Richard’s in 2005)

Short biographical note on Mgr. Kieran Conry

Bishop Kieran Thomas Conry was born on 1 February 1951 in Coventry, England. He was educated at All Souls RC Primary School, Coventry, and Cotton College (Junior Seminary) in North Staffordshire, before moving to the Venerable English College in Rome to study for the priesthood. He was ordained on 19 July 1975. In 1976, Fr Conry taught English Literature and Religious Education at his old college. In 1980 he became the private secretary to the Apostolic Delegate (Pro-Nuncio from 1982), Archbishop Bruno Heim, and then his successor, Archbishop Luigi Barbarito. He was appointed Monsignor in 1984.

In 1988, Mgr. Conry returned to Birmingham Archdiocese as parish priest in Leek, North Staffordshire. From 1988 to 1993, Mgr. Conry was a member of the National Conference of Priests, and its Vice-Chairman from 1992 to 1993. He was also Chairman of the Birmingham City Centre Churches from 1992 to 1993. From 1993 to 2000, he was involved with training counsellors for Catholic Marriage Care.

From the beginning of 1994 to 2001, Mgr. Conry was Director of the Catholic Media Office in London, the press office of the Bishop's Conference of England & Wales.

On 9 June 2001 Mgr. Conry was consecrated as fourth bishop of Arundel and Brighton at Arundel Cathedral.