Thursday, October 29, 2015

Spread the word...

...about the Festival, and come and join us at the Opening Ceremony at 10.30am on Sat Nov 28th.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Come and meet...

...the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, the Catenians, Youth 2000, the Association of Catholic Women...and lots of other groups and organisations that make Catholic life in Britain hum with activity and prayer...

Westminster cathedral Hall, sat Nov 28th. Things will start with music from the choir of St James School, Twickenham, at the Opening Ceremony, 10.30am....

Sunday, September 27, 2015

A project for pupils...

...at  Catholic secondary schools in the dioceses of Westminster and Southwark, and all Catholics of secondary school age living in those dioceses.  As part of the 2015 TOWARDS ADVENT Festival, we are awarding a prize to the student who writes the best essay on the topic "The real meaning of Christmas". The prize will be presented at the Festival on Sat Nov 28th at Westminster Cathedral Hall. For more info, send a Comment to this Blog WITH YOUR FULL NAME AND POSTAL ADDRESS so that we can send you details. Every Catholic secondary school in these dioceses is being notified.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

TOWARDS ADVENT 2015...

...looks set to  be wonderful!

The Choir from St James School, Twickenham will be singing at the Welcoming  Ceremony at Westminster Cathedral Hall, at which Cardinal Vincent Nichols will declare the Festival open. There is always a special moment as the choir leads the singing of "O come O come Emmanuel" and the whole hall takes up the chorus:"Rejoice" rejoice" Emmanuel shall come to Thee O Israel..."

 We have held the TOWARDS ADVENT Festival every year of this new Millennium, and it has become an established part of the London Catholic calendar. There will be stalls and displays by a great range of Catholic groups and organisations, and visitors (Entrance is FREE - all  are welcome!) will be able to browse, meet friends, enjoy freshly-brewed coffee and tea and delicious sandwiches and cakes, and buy gifts, Christmas cards, Advent calendars, books, DVDs, CDs, and more...and more...and during the day there are talks and workshops on Gregorian Chant , the life of the Franciscan Friars, and the urgent needs of Christians in the Middle East and elsewhere...

Come and be part of it. Saturday November 28th, Westminster Cathedral Hall, Anmbrosden Avenue London SWI. Doors open 10 am. Nearest tube: VICTORIA or St JAMES PARK.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

THIS YEAR'S FESTIVAL...

...is on Saturday November 28th 2015, at WESTMINSTER CATHEDRAL HALL.

Opens 10am,  official welcome from Cardinal Vincent Nichols, 10.30am  with music from the choir of St James' School, Twickenham...

Events during the day include a special presentation from the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal - come along and find out what it takes to live without owning any property, working with the poor, open enetirely to whatever adventures God sends along...

There will also be the always-popular WORKSHOP ON GREGORIAN CHANT - anyone and everyone can learn to sing, and it will make your parish liturgy into what it ought to be!

There will be delicious refreshments - freshly-brewed coffee, home-made sandwiches, cakes, snacks - available all day, and a vast range of displays and sales, with Catholic groups from across Britain. The hall is now fully booked as the Festival grows hugely in popularity each year...

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

We have been presenting prizes...

..at St Mary's school, Bishops Stortford, to young winners and runners-up in the Towards Advent Essay Project. There were several essays of a good standard: pupils were invited to write about St John Paul and/or St John XXIII, in this year when both have been canonised...and we wanted the essay to reveal an understanding of what a Pope is, and what the Scriptures teach us on this subject...

The Project was such a success that we may make it an annual event, linked to the Festival and open, as in 2014, to pupils at all London Catholic secondary schools. The 2014 Project was for schools in the Westminster diocese only, but it could usefully be extended to schools in Southwark, Brentford, and Arundel and Brighton dioceses...people from all of these areas come to the Festival and/or have stalls and displays there...

For further information on this year's project, scroll down...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

MGR KEITH NEWTON....

...of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham will be opening the 2014 TOWARDS ADVENT Festival at Westminster Cathedral Hall on sat November 22nd.

And he'll be blessing a specially-made portrait of St John Paul the Great, which will be carried on pilgrimage to Walsingham in 2015.

The hand-embroirdered picture will be displayed at TOWARDS ADVENT after the blessing, which will take place as parrt of the Opening Ceremony.

The pilgrimage is the John Paul II Walking Pilgrimage for the New Evangelisation, organised annually by the Dominican Sisters of St Joseph, and involving people from all ages from across Britain.  It starts with an open-air Mass at the ancient Abbey at Bury st Edmunds - where Magna Carta was first drawn up - and finishes three days later at the national shrine of Our Lady in Walsingham.

The pilgrimage began in 2005, the year that St John Paul went "to the house of his Father", and so 2015 is its 10th anniversary year. The pilgrimage starts on Aug 6th and finishes at 12 noon with Mass at the Shrine in Walsingham. Walkers covers approximately 20 miles a day, along the Norfolk fields and lanes.

The Blessing of the St John Paul picture will form part of the ceremonies at Towards Advent, which also include music from the choir of the John Fisher School, Purley. By tradition, the Opening Ceremony concludes with everyone singing "O Come O come Emmanuel".

Catholic groups and organisations of all sorts will be at the Festival - from the Knights of St Columba to EWTN, from the Ladies Orfdinariate Group to the Catenians. Entry to the Festival is free and the doors open at 10am. To find the Cathedral Hall, just walk down Ambrosden Avenue, along the side of the Cathedral. Nearest tube: VICTORIA.