Walsingham Festival @ Durham Cathedral

5 of us made the long journey to Durham for the Walsingham Festival in Durham Cathedral. This was also an opportunity to inspect Richard’s circumstances at university and to meet with many familiar people. To my great surprise and joy the cathedral was completely packed with people – and Durham is not one of the smaller cathedrals or England.

Many small changes make a huge difference

In case you did not notice – the piano stool has been restored to its former glory and will hopefully last another hundred years. Before he left for France Ben repainted the old street sign now in St John’s Chapel and finished the decoration of the High Altar.

Kevin has finished the restoration of the board in the Lady Chapel by adding a central piece to make it fit the size of the altar. The lettering MR is an abbreviation of Maria Regina – Mary, Queen (of heaven or of angels).

Thanks to the Harvest Festival I had some pictures which seemed to show what’s going on inside the church and I had two new banners printed for the outside of the church – they seem to work!

Walsingham Parish Weekend

18 of us have been to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in Norfolk for the annual Pilgrimage Weekend. The weekend for next year is booked – we are going 27. to 29. October 2023. Reservations for the 20 places are on first come, first served basis – please talk to me if you would like to take part. Cost for the weekend with full-board is likely to be in the area of £150 per adult.

Are you new to Leicester (or don’t know your way round that well)?

Laura and I talked to some people at church who were fairly new to Leicester and realised that there are some burning knowledge gaps! As both of us are immigrants to Leicester, incredibly streetwise and also of very different age (and thus like very different things), we thought we together could offer 3 dates for a little city tour tackling questions like:

  • what’s the history of Leicester and why do so many people come here from all over the world?
  • where can you buy good and cheap food?
  • what are reliable and good restaurants?
  • where are the theatres and the cinemas and what else is there to see and do?
  • what do you do when you are off work and your friends have to work (and you don’t want to spend a lot of money)?
  • where can you buy nice clothes?
  • where do you need to be careful?

Feel free to bring your friends to this – whether they come to church or not is completely irrelevant. If you are curious about Leicester and want to find out more, please meet us in the Parish Hall at St Andrew’s on Gateway Street on either

  • Thursday 10th November, 6pm
  • Tuesday 15th November, 6pm

We aim to be back around St Andrew’s around 8.30pm.

There is no need to sign up or let us know whether you are coming, but there is a little flyer as a reminder in church on Sunday.

Upcoming Events

All Saints Day

Tuesday 1st November, 7pm, All Saints Church, Narborough
There is an 8am Mass at St Andrew’s on All Saints Day, but we are invited to join the congregation in Narborough for their evening Mass together with the Diocesan Catholic Fellowship. This is their Patronal Festival on this day and we are invited to celebrate with them and to support their new Parish Priest, Fr Stewart Betts.
Celebrant: Fr Christopher Johnson, Associate Vicar, Wigston.
Preacher: Fr David Jennings, Canon Theologian Emeritus.

All Souls Day, Wednesday 2nd November, 7pm

This year the Cathedral Choir is coming to St Andrew’s on All Souls Day to perform the Durufle Requiem – which is a wonderful piece and very much worth listening to. It will be sung during our Requiem Mass on the evening and will set the reflective tone as we remember those who have died and pray for the repose of their souls.

Compline & Benediction, Sunday 6th November and 4th December, 7pm

As mentioned previously I would like to try out a new, simple, short and meditative service once a month on a Sunday evening (followed by a drink in the pub). We have done Exposition and Benediction many times before, but not regularly. This is a service of Night Prayer followed by some time of silent prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Come and find out!

German Academy St Martin’s Service, Saturday 12th November, 6pm

St Martin is a big event in Germany, particularly for people of Kindergarten and Primary School age. I am delighted the German Academy is coming again to St Andrew’s for their service with traditional song, lantern procession, St Martin’s fire and seasonal St Martin’s pastry. If you find all this strange and bewildering and are curious to see what it is about – please join us!

Remembrance Sunday, 13th November, 10.30am

As every year we will include an Act of Remembrance at the Mass on the Sunday closest to Remembrance Day, commemorating all who have fallen in wars of the past and present – with a particular focus on praying for Ukraine and Iran.


I know – it’s still a while off, but some dates are worth noting.

Advent Course

Fr Stephen is running an Advent Course with 4 sessions of 90 minutes, including coffee and cake – very little happens at St Andrew’s without the help of cake!

Helping unlock the New Testament…Challenging Fr Stephen’s Sunday School!

This is happening twice on four Tuesdays:

  • 22nd November, 4pm & 7pm
  • 29th November, 4pm & 7pm
  • 6th December, 4pm & 7pm
  • 13th December, 4pm & 7pm

Choose the time which suits you best. It’s perfectly possible to mix and match times according to your availability. Please bring a bible plus notebook and pens. Designed for all comers. Enough for thinkers…plenty for those afraid!

Compline and Benediction, Sunday 4th December, Advent 2, 7pm

see above – the second in this mini-trial for a new service pattern.

Leicestershire Chorale Christmas Concert, Saturday 10th December, 7.30pm

Many will remember their beautiful concerts from the last two years – their Christmas Concert has now become a tradition in our December diary.

De Montfort University Carol Concert, Tuesday 13th December, 4pm

I am delighted this returns to St Andrew’s this year – please join the Vice Chancellor, students and staff for this traditional Carol Service.

Advent Meditation with music and readings, Saturday, 17th December, 4pm

Come along for an hour of music, poetry and scripture readings celebrating Advent and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of St Andrew’s – followed by a drink and a mince pie.

Carols, Beer & Christmas Cheer!
Wednesday 21st December, 7.30pm in the Sir Robert Peel Pub

Join us for your favourite carols with a drink around the piano in the Sir Robert Peel on Jarrom Street. Christmas jumpers and hats are particularly welcome!

Let’s decorate the church! Thursday 22nd December, 4pm to 7pm

Please give us a hand to decorate the tree and the rest of the church and get everything ready for Christmas! Obviously some serious work needs doing, but this is an occasion for all the family. I can also promise an abundance of cake and mince pies for this one!

Christmas Service Schedule:

Christmas Eve, Saturday 24th December, 6pm: 1st Mass of Christmas with Choir

This is a full choral Mass for Christmas, not a service specifically designed for children. Nevertheless, it’s sufficiently short and varied to be suitable for all the family. The service should be over by around 7pm and is followed by a glass of celebratory Prosecco (or alcohol-free Nosecco).

Midnight Mass @ St Mary de Castro, Castle View, Leicester LE1 5WH, 11.30pm

You are most welcome to join St Mary’s congregation for their Midnight Mass with choir. They are keen for people able to support their choir for the night – please have a word with me if you would like to sing!

Christmas Day, Sunday 25th December, 10.30am: Mass of Christmas Day

Please join us for the Solemn High Mass of Christmas Day. As everybody wants to open their presents there won’t be any hospitality offered after Mass.

New Years Day, 1st January, 2023, 10.30am: Mass of Mary, Mother of God

The days following Christmas are crowded with feasts and celebrations – as a parish with a particular devotion to Our Lady we keep the feast of the Θεοτόκος – the Mother of God or the God-bearer.