St Chad’s Cathedral Flower Festival

St Chad’s Cathedral Flower Festival


Circles in Province 6: come and join us for the 2020 Annual Flower Festival of St Chad’s Cathedral. Throughout 2020, the Catholic Church in England and Wales, in partnership with the Bible Society, is focusing on meeting Christ in the Scriptures with their exciting new campaign: ‘The God who Speaks’.  2020 will be the 10th anniversary of Verbum Domini – Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Exhortation on: ‘The Word of the Lord’ and the 1,600th anniversary of St Jerome’s death, providing us with a strong rationale for deeper diocesan–wide Scripture engagement. This gives us an opportunity to make this an even more spectacular event than ever. We hope you will put the dates in your diary straight away. We are keen to encourage people of all faiths to join us to make this a truly ecumenical event. Due to the link to the diocesan-wide initiative the flower festival will need more careful planning from our point of view. Not only will there be your flowers in the Cathedral but also the publicity material that is touring every diocese in England and Wales throughout the year.

The theme will be ‘The God who Speaks’ for all three categories: parishes, convents and flower clubs, primary schools and secondary schools. This is a very wide theme and may be approached in many different ways.

A coffee morning has been arranged on Wednesday 18 March at 9.30 am, in the Canons’ Dining Room at Cathedral House, St Chad’s Queensway, Birmingham B4 6EU, organised by Anne Symonds, Vice Chairman of the St Chad’s Cathedral Association. The morning will include guidance being given on the interpretation of the theme, a walk around the Cathedral to choose locations for displays and any questions answered. Wives and widows of Province 6 members: why not encourage your parish to organise a display this year or if you know any flower arrangers who might like to take part.  You will be made very welcome and make many new friends. Please ask them to contact: Anne Symonds on 0121 249 1487 , 07976165799 or

To see photographs of previous flower festivals go to the St Chad’s Cathedral website and search under galleries. They are also on the diocesan website.

The Museum of Saint John Henry Cardinal Newman

The Museum of Saint John Henry Cardinal Newman

from the website of the Birmingham Oratory:

The Museum of Saint John Henry Cardinal Newman was opened in October 2019 to celebrate the canonisation of our Cardinal.

For the first time, Newman’s possessions, manuscripts and liturgical objects are available for general viewing. Visitors to the Museum may see precious historical items, including pages from the manuscripts of the Apologia and The Dream of Gerontius, the chalice with which Newman celebrated Mass and personal articles such as his spectacles and Rosary beads. In addition to the numerous items on display, the Museum contains a video tour of Newman’s room, preserved as he left it when he died in 1890.

Entrance is free, but visitors are asked to donate to help us secure the survival of Saint John Henry’s patrimony for future generations.

Please visit the website for more information, including opening times.

200 Club: April & May 2019

200 Club: April & May 2019

Province 6 runs a 200 Club to raise money for the Bursary Fund.

The April winners were:

£70 Brother John Neale (Vale of Evesham)

£45 Brother John Barley (Stourbridge)

£30 Brother Gerry Higginbotham (City of Coventry)

£20 Stoke Circle

And the May winners were:

£70 Brother Alf Dineen (Sutton Coldfield)

£45 Brother Bernard O’Keefe (Vale of Evesham)

£30 Brother Rory O’Donnell (Streetly)

£20 Brother Fred Kettell (Sutton Coldfield)

Public Speaking Contest

Public Speaking Contest

One of the principal aims of the Catenian Association is to advance the interests of young people. Every year regional heats are arranged by local Catenians for students aged 16 to 18 in Catholic education to participate in public speaking competitions to find the contestants for the Association’s National Public Speaking Contest in Manchester later that year.

In our modern world it is essential that young people equip themselves with the skills to communicate clearly and effectively. To this end, competitors from 10 Midland Catholic secondary schools, their families, friends, teachers and Catenians converged on Bishop Milner Catholic College in Dudley on the afternoon of Sunday, 7 April for the Midland area heat of the Contest, which was organised this year by the Stourbridge Circle of the Association.

His Grace Archbishop Bernard Longley is the Patron of the Contest and he was joined on the judging panel by chief adjudicator Mr David Handy, Senior Student Recruitment Manager from Newman University, and by Mrs Angela Clancy, an experienced teacher. The judges and audience were treated to an extremely high level of speeches, with the contestants speaking on a number of subjects chosen by themselves from a varied list, ranging from ‘The pen is mightier than the sword’ to ‘Are freedom fighters terrorists?’.

Niamh Gibbons, Bishop Milner Catholic College, Dudley.

As the students waited for the panel of judges to deliberate, the audience was entertained by Andrew Temba, a talented student pianist at Bishop Milner College. Before announcing the winners, Mr David Handy commented on the quality of the speeches and gave the young people some advice on how to improve on their already high standards, particularly with regard to their choice of topic. He suggested it should be one that they are passionate and knowledgeable about, as this will show in the quality of the presentation.

John Smith, St Edmund’s Catholic Academy, Wolverhampton.

After Archbishop Bernard had presented every competitor with a certificate and a £20 gift voucher, the top three places were announced. In third place was Natalie Andrews from Bishop Walsh Catholic School, Sutton Coldfield and in second place was Niamh Gibbons of Bishop Milner Catholic College. They received certificates and gift vouchers for £50 and £75 respectively. In first place was Linto Tom from St Augustine’s Catholic High School in Redditch, who received a certificate, a voucher for £100, the Catenian Association Shield, and £100 for her School.

1st Place – Lintu Tom – St Augustine’s Catholic High School, Redditch.

The main organiser for the competition, Stourbridge Catenian Peter Harrington, said in conclusion, ‘We offer a big ‘thank you’ to the teachers who give so much of their time working with the students and all those who have supported them in their endeavours. We hope that all who have taken part today will draw positives from the experience and we wish them well, both for today, and more especially in their future chosen careers.

About the 200 Club

About the 200 Club

Province 6’s 200 Club was formed just over 40 years ago and has about 250 members — it’s an Irish 200 club! It’s only purpose is to support the Bursary Fund which provides financial support to young Catholics who are performing various charitable good works worldwide such as teaching English or helping to build schools, toilet blocks and hospitals in deprived areas of the world. They also help with the sick at Lourdes. Our support helps them to see how other societies live and maybe appreciate how lucky they are. It might even open up a career they had not thought about.

What does it cost to join the 200 Club? Just £12 a year, payable by standing order. Of your £12, apart from a little for postage, roughly half goes to the Bursary and the other half in prizes. We award four prizes each month: £70, £45, £30 and £20. (Prizes will increase if the number of members increases.)

To join, contact Brother Denis Heaney, City of Lichfield Circle.