Chesterton Knew The Importance of Ecumenical Dialogue

Chesterton Knew The Importance of Ecumenical Dialogue

Monday, 5 August 2013

Sermon For The 3rd Annual GK Chesterton Pilgrimage

The 3rd Annual GK Chesterton Pilgrimage has taken place! I hope to write a report shortly, until then here is Fr Schofield's Sermon from the Mass. (Photo shows, Father giving Pilgrims a Catholic history lesson on the way)

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you once again to Uxbridge as you make this third Annual Chesterton Pilgrimage.

Your final destination is Beaconsfield , G. K. Chesterton’s home from 1909 until his death in 1936. A year or so after his wedding he and Frances went on an excursion which he described as ‘a sort of second honeymoon’. He later recalled in his Autobiography:

I saw a passing omnibus labelled “Hanwell” and, feeling this to be an appropriate omen [for Hanwell was the location of a notorious lunatic asylum], we boarded it and left it somewhere at a stray station, which I entered and asked the man in the ticket-office where the next train went to. He uttered a pedantic reply, “Where do you want it to go?” And I uttered the profound and philosophical rejoinder, “Wherever the next train goes to.” It seemed that it went to Slough; which may seem to be singular taste, even in a train. However, we went to Slough, and from there set out walking with even less notion of where we were going.

Without intending to, he reached Beaconsfield and realised that ‘this is the sort of place where someday we will make our home’.

That passage is very telling. Chesterton spent his life searching for the Truth. It involved, if you like, catching trains without knowing exactly where they were going, trying different routes, until he was led through agnosticism, sceptisicism, spiritualism and Anglicanism to the bosom of the Catholic Church – in a humble room at the Railway Hotel in Beaconsfield, then serving as the town's mission.

It was in Beaconsfield that Chesterton lived, far away from Fleet Street; there that he wrote some of his most famous works, and eventually there he died and was laid to rest. Beaconsfield and Catholicism perhaps came to be closely-intertwined – they were simply ‘home’.

Chesterton is still admired today not only for his writings but his holiness of life. Many hope that one day he will be raised to the altars of the Church. Perhaps the most appealing aspects of Chesterton’s holiness were his wit and his humility. He was not just a ‘funny man’ but even developed a sort of theology of Christian humour. He thought it very telling that ‘alone among the animals, he [man] is shaken with the beautiful madness called laughter.’ Humour was linked to an appreciation of reality, of truth. ‘Honesty always laughs,’ he wrote, ‘because things are so laughable. Of course life is a serious business and we cannot shrug off important matters with a smirk or a laugh, but, on the other hand, to take everything seriously is to make everything into an idol.’ Chesterton thought that a common theme in comedy is ‘the primary paradox that man is superior to all the things around him and yet is at their mercy.’ Stand-up comedians are always observing the ridiculous side of human existence. And if we have the sense of the ridiculous in the things around us and, crucially, in ourselves then we are acknowledging that these things are not the centre of the universe, that (in most cases) these matters that consume so much of our time are passing away. Why can the angels fly?, Chesterton famously asked. Because they take themselves so lightly.  

Closely linked to this gift of joy, this lightness of being is the virtue of humility. One of my favourite stories with regard to this is told by Maisie Ward:

During the [1932 Dublin Eucharistic] Congress an Eastern priest accosted G. K. with praise of his writings. His own mind full of the great ideas of Christendom and the Faith, he felt a huge disproportion in the allusion to himself. And when later the priest asked to be photographed at his side it flashed through G.K.’s mind that he had heard in the East that an idiot was supposed to bring luck.

Chesterton was a gentle giant, a man with a sharp intellect but completely without guile, who gave his gifts freely for the service of the Lord and knew exactly his place in the order of things. Let us pray that we defend the Faith with the same wisdom and live our life with the same innocence:

God Our Father, Thou didst fill the life of Thy servant Gilbert Keith Chesterton with a sense of wonder and joy, and gave him a faith which was the foundation of his ceaseless work, a charity towards all men, particularly his opponents, and a hope which sprang from his lifelong gratitude for the gift of human life. May his innocence and his laughter, his constancy in fighting for the Christian faith in a world losing belief, his lifelong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and his love for all men, especially for the poor, bring cheerfulness to those in despair, conviction and warmth to lukewarm believers and the knowledge of God to those without faith. We beg Thee to grant the favours we ask through his intercession, the end of abortion in this Country so that his holiness may be recognised by all and the Church may proclaim him Blessed. We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Fr Schofield 30th July 2013

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

3rd Annual GK Chesterton Pilgrimage Tuesday 30th July!

Today is GKC's Birthday! So the 3rd Annual GK Chesterton Pilgrimage will be held on Tuesday 30th July. After the first Annual GK Chesterton Pilgrimage, someone pointed out that we couldn't call it 'annual' as we'd only had one! Well we can now, as we are into our 3rd year! (Report, with photos, of the 2nd GKC Pilgrimage can be read here)

"Why on a Tuesday?" Well. William & Lucy, of last year's Annual GK Chesterton Pilgrimage, are getting Married on the nearest Saturday. And Fr Schofield couldn't do that Saturday. And Bishops are not often available on Saturdays. And the Metropolitan Police force said "it is to be hoped that less people will attend on a weekday, and thus we will be able to control the crowds........"

As Tuesday 30th July is the 91st anniversary of Gilbert Keith Chesterton becoming a Catholic, the theme and prayer intention of this year's Annual GK Chesterton Pilgrimage, will be the Conversion of my Mum. Oh, and the Conversion of anybody you would like us to pray for along the way! You can leave names of people to be prayed for in the comments below (they will not be published) or you can send me a DM on twitter (@Stuart1927).

Dale Ahlquist of The American Chesterton Society has a list of over two hundred people Converted by GKC. You can read Dale's Conversion story here. The result of GKC Converting Dale to the Catholic Church is amazing, hundreds of thousand of people, or maybe millions, have seen him promote Chesterton on EWTN. You can learn a lot about GKC by watching Mr Ahlquist each week on or sky 589, on Tuesdays at 5pm, Wednesdays at 6.30am or Thursdays at 10pm.

BRING A PACKED LUNCH! After Mass last year we had to go back to the shops to buy lunch for 75% of those attending the Pilgrimage! We will not be doing this again. BRING A PACKED LUNCH! Some unkind sorts last year blamed this on the organiser (who had bought a PACKED LUNCH) as they claimed that LUNCH had not been mentioned in the posters, blogs, etc! BRING A PACKED LUNCH!

Plan for the day; Meet outside St George's C of E Church, Aubrey Walk, London, W8 7JG, where GKC was Baptised as a baby. Then at 8am start walking to Uxbridge (15 miles approx).

1.30pm Old Rite Mass (which will be a Sung Mass due to the support of The Latin Mass Society), in thanksgiving for Chesterton's Conversion, which took place 91 years ago on this day. Our Lady of Lourdes and St Michael, Osborn Road, Uxbridge, UB8 1UE. You are welcome to attend the Mass even if you are not doing the walk. Walk on to Beaconsfield (10 miles approx) where Chesterton lived, converted, died and is buried. Then we will say the prayer for the Beatification of GK Chesterton at his graveside. You can find the prayer here;

For more details or to join the pilgrimage email or DM on Twitter and/or follow on the day, @Stuart1927 or sign up on Facebook.

"Have we now, [seventy-eight] years after Chesterton's death, reached a kind of tipping point in his reputation, of the same kind that Newman's reputation reached, leading to the opening of his cause in 1959, seventy-eight years after his death?" Dr Oddie

Saturday, 23 March 2013

"Abortion Is Safe", "What's That Ambulance For Then?...And That One? And..."

Safe, Legal Abortion?

Above: Marie Stopes Ealing - ambulance is called for client in the first week of 40 Days for Life, 13-22nd February 2013.
Ambulance Marie Stopes Ealing 28th February 2013
Paramedics and Ambulance attend Marie Stopes Ealing 1st March 2013
Ambulance Marie Stopes Ealing 9th March 2013 
Paramedics and Ambulance Marie Stopes Ealing 14th March 2013

Abortion Providers are always striving to portray Pro-lifers as liars, especially when we talk about the risks of abortion. marie stopes, that bastion of honesty and integrity, take it upon themselves to take our leaflets from girls as they enter their centres. And BPAS can be seen here on Twitter attacking that same leaflet.

Yet as the above pictures of ambulances show, abortion is far from the safe, simple procedure with no after-affects that these groups pretend it is. Since BPAS and marie stopes deny almost every complication of abortion, it is hard to believe that the women who were taken away in these ambulances were forewarned that this was a possible outcome.

Our volunteers have helped sick and faint girls to their feet outside the abortion centre when they are vomiting or weak and sick on leaving on several occassions.

So as we reach the final two days of the 40 Days for Life Campaign, we are aware of well over 20 women who have kept their babies, just from the vigils at Whitfield St and Ealing, not including those from the Bedford Square campaign. Please sign up here to join us this Saturday and Sunday.
For the Whitfield St Vigil:
For the Ealing Vigil:
It looks like the weather will be terrible, so please come out and support those who have been suffering this weather all week at the vigils, especially if you haven't been able to be involved much up till now. Those who are seeking to destroy life don't take time off when the weather is attrocious.

Please support our work via the Pro-Lifers Give Double During 40 Days for life appeal by following this link or visit our website here for all the options to donate via This helps us to provide ongoing support and help to the Mothers we have offered help to.

As always, we have ensured that any women entering the abortuary were NOT captured in any of the pictures taken.

Please note: These photos belong to the Good Counsel Network you may reproduce them on condition that you include a link to this original blogpost.(
Clare McCullough

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Pro-Lifers Give Double In Response, To pro-abortionists

Having spotted pro-death supporters on twitter, in Cardiff planning to give money to bpas, because of 40 Days for Life, I thought I'd re-post this blog post from Good Counsel. Do keep an eye on their blog at the moment, as their When Pro-Choice Means No Choice, articles are very good.

"Dear Friends,
It's back, our fundraising campaign which runs during every 40 Days for Life Campaign.
During "40 Days", women are called away from the selfish act of abortion to a selfless and sacrificial acceptance of Motherhood in difficult circumstances.
Can we pro-lifers match their sacrifice?
This is why we are asking pro-lifers to give double during 40 Days for Life.
We have already had 7 turnarounds in the first 4 days of 40 Days for Life. We also had 2 turnarounds today from a Helper's of God's Precious Infants Vigil. All 9 of these women need concrete practical and financial support, and that is on top of another harvest of turnarounds just before 40 Days started as well as our normal stream of visitors seeking assistance in difficult pregnancy situations.
Can we help them?
Yes with a little support from you.
And please sign up for our 40 Days Campaigns at Whitfield St and Ealing [see here for other locations]
Thank you and God bless"

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Highly Successful First London GK Chesterton Meeting

The first 'meet up and discus' your favourite Chesterton piece of work, took place in Wandsworth on Sunday 3rd February. As 50% of the members attended, more than expected, we had to move to a different Public House, so that we could all be seated!

It was brave of Rick to risk this venture, as he had no idea if anyone was interested. William arrived with a bag full of books, which he was told, by me, was against the rules (bring your favourite piece of work). He told us that he is to Marry later this year, and is getting rid of one copy of any books that he and Lucy both own, for a small donation to the Chesterton Society, much cheering! And so I went home with a Chesterton and Belloc book!

Rick went for GKC's, The Ball and The Cross, as his favourite, William opted for the poem, A Hymn of The Church Militant and I after much agonising went for The Nepoleon of Notting, and even read a small bit about the meeting with the President of Nicaragua.( And one Priest sent in via email; "My top three (I think) - 1. Anything in 'Orthodoxy', 2. Lepanto, 3. Thomas Aquinas"

When will the next meeting be? I don't know, but a Saturday would be good for me. Where will it be? I don't know, but Wembley would be very good for me, but Central London would be fine. Just sign-up here and you will be informed.

And let's have no talking while I read the menu! I saw 'Pasta' looked up chatting away, glanced at the menu and spotted duck and Stilton in the same meal, put my finger on that and continued to talk/listen. The waiter arrived, I ordered the duck & Stilton thing and was horrified when a salad come back!

Monday, 11 February 2013

Four London Pro-Life 'Rallies', All On One Day!

Four London Pro-Life 'Rallies'
Tuesday 12th February
The 40 Days for Life Rallies are starting at;
7pm at 26-27 Bedford Square WC1B 3HP
8pm at 108 Whitfield Street, W1T 5EA
8pm at 87 Mattock Lane, Ealing W5 5BJ
There are 128 abortions every day in London, please attend at least one of these events. Pro-Death supporters are planning a counter 'demo' at Bedford Square so it is important to have a good Pro-Life turnout.
There is also an IHOPE 'rally'
The schedule for the IHOPE Prayer Procession Vigil on the 12th Day February
11:45 - Gather on Westminster Bridge, London SE1 7UT
12:00 - Begin: Middle on Westminster-Bridge (Big Ben-side) Rosary-Procession to Southwark Catholic Cathedral, Westminster Bridge Road SE1 7HY
12:30 Holy Mass at Southwark Catholic Cathedral finish at 13:00
13:00 Rosary Prayer Procession to Newhams Row SE1 3UZ which is the HQ of IPPF (International Planned Parenthood Federation).
13:30 Arrive at Newhams Row SE1 3UZ where we pray until 14:30
14:30 Return to Southwark Catholic Cathedral
15:15 End of procession
We will have with us an icon of the Mother of Life, rosaries, the Union Jack and other national flags of those present and representing the global struggle. We have no permission to carry any other banners, posters etc. of any sort. Please remember our battle is spiritual and our weapons are prayers for all who are involved in abortion therefore we must remain in this state in mind, heart and spirit. Our prayers will be answered for we pray for a enlightenment of the mind and conversion of heart for IPPF workers.
IPPF in Brief
International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is the world's largest abortion provider and has a large number of organisation that make up its federation such as FPAs (Family Planning Association of India, South Africa, Ireland etc.). IPPF is gets most of its finance through governments including USA, UK, EU, UN. The USA alone gives over $200 million annually which funds their business model that feeds on itself. Namely Sex instruction (in schools etc), which stimulates sexual activity, contraception to protect against the consequences of the activity and abortion for when contraception fails. IPPF's claim that abortion is a woman's human right but never considers the girls that have been aborted. Abortion is directly responsible for the gender imbalance in many countries such as India and China where 100s of millions of girls have been aborted. IPPF promotes the use of condoms to stop the spread of STDs but never informs their clients/users that condoms are totally ineffective against the most common STDs (especially amongst teenagers) such as (HPV) Human Papilloma Virus and Chlamydia which we are told is the main cause of cervical cancer which is deadly for so many women. IPPFs claims that their services reduces maternal mortality but countries where abortion is heavily restricted such as Ireland have much lower maternal mortality than the UK and the rest of Europe.
IPPF has its headquarters in London and yet has no abortion facilities in the UK, however it has many affiliates such as Marie Stopes International, BPAS and the NHS where most abortions are done. Margaret Sanger, who was a racist and believed that only the fit should be allowed to live, founded IPPF and its mission it would appear is to kill as many unborn, disabled and so called 'unwanted' babies since these were considered 'unfit'

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Cardiff, Wales, 40 Days For Life, Wales!

This Lent, from February 13th - March 24th, our community will be one of many cities joining together for the largest and longest coordinated pro-life mobilization in history -- the 40 Days for Life campaign.
40 Days for Life is a focused pro-life effort that consists of:

We are praying that, with God's help, this groundbreaking effort will mark the beginning of the end of abortion in Cardiff -- and throughout Wales. Here are the details of the vigil beinf held in Cardiff this Lent. Go to the website of your local vigil and click on the vigil schedule to sign up to cover some of the hours needed. 6,749 babies saved ... 27 abortion centers closed by God through 40 Days for Life, World wide!

Clare Jackson 07580275698

Oh, it does seem that some vigils will also take place in England and elsewhere, details below.

London Whitfield Street
Eddie 07932105696 or 02077231740

London Ealing
Justyna 07540286688 or 02077231740

London Bedford Square
Robert - 07947698195
Email -
Facebook -

Isabel - 07773501721 or Aline - 07861005895
Email -
Facebook -!/event.php?eid=158146297591490


Leamington Spa
Eera 07801819855

John 07909 920 739

Milton Keynes
Andy Burton 07765 884791


For America, Australia, Canada, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, South Africa and Spain see here.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

The bbc's "Father Brown" Etc.

Father Brown À La BBC

I dusted off my copy of “The Complete Father Brown”, which of course is incomplete, to re-read “The Hammer of God” before it appeared on the BBC on Monday. It is a fascinating story of a murder in a small English Village. There is a Catholic Priest - Fr Brown, an Anglican Curate, a Presbyterian blacksmith with Catholic wife, an atheist cobbler, a number of policemen and poor Joe the village idiot. It is a story rich with Catholic theology, common sense, adultery, plenty of mystery, and lots of fun. Then we have the BBC version, which claims to be based on a “character” (Father Brown) by GK Chesterton, which has some of the above minus most of the religious element, half a dozen extra characters, allowing the programme to be longer than the 25 minutes it really needed, but this will no doubt increase the BBC’s revenue when selling the series abroad. They have added homosexuality/bisexuality to the programme, along with some blackmail, all of which detracted from the original story as opposed to enhancing it.

Chesterton’s Fr Brown is the sort of person who may awkwardly carry and drop a number of brown paper parcels as in “The Blue Cross”, I can even imagine him having trouble tying his laces, but I cannot imagine him having any difficulty dealing with an atheist or a C of E Curate. I felt that the BBC’s depiction of Fr Brown himself was a tad confused, for he bumbled in areas where he wouldn’t and made comments which I think it would have been unlikely for him to have made. For example at one point he enters a police officer’s office to take a sneaky look at the suspect’s file regarding evidence which was totally unnecessary for the BBC’s Fr Brown as he already knew whether the said evidence existed or not. Had this bit even been in the book, Chesterton’s Fr Brown would not have needed to ask, for he would have known. And later, in conversation with the homosexual character Fr Brown kindly says “If you ever need to talk...” but then added that he would not try to convert him. Chesterton’s Fr Brown always showed massive compassion for those that the Church would say are sinners, but the idea that he would not try to call him to repentance and conversion is preposterous.

On a positive note, the inclusion of one superfluous character in the programme allowed us to have a scene with an old steam locomotive in it and that probably makes their invention tolerable.

Had the programme not been called “Father Brown” and had I not read the original story and if I was interested in detective stories, then I would have found this programme rather pleasant (minus the BBC’s obsession with homosexuality). There was a mystery, a number of suspects, some heroism, a glimpse of Merry England and the steam train!

One good results of this series is that a larger number of people in England and Wales will hear the name of Chesterton again and as the BBC have republished “The Complete Father Brown”, we can hope that a large number of people who enjoy the series will now read the original stories and be suitably impressed.

You can watch the programme here on BBC’s iplayer

You can read many of Chesterton's books for free here; inclueding Fr Brown.

And don't forget to see; to see if he is a Saint.

The American Chesterton Society sell Father Brown Readers for children.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

GK Chesterton on BBC1, on EWTN & an online meeting

GK Chesterton's Fr Brown will be on BBC1 (I think you can watch it online here; ) this coming Monday at 2.10pm. The Hammer of God, Episode 1 of 10, Duration: 50 minutes. When an ungodly man is murdered at the unveiling of a new church clock, Father Brown must find the killer before an innocent woman is sent to the gallows.
You can also see GK Chesterton; Apostle of Common Sense, each week on EWTN. You can watch it at 5pm on Tuesdays, 6.30am on Wednesdays or 10pm on Thursdays. Online; or on sky 589.
And on Monday 14th January you can join the American Chesterton Society online meeting at 8pm EST, . (That is, 1am GMT Tuesday 15th January to those of us who live over here!)
Do let others know about this and keep saying the prayer

Thursday, 10 January 2013

LMS launches Sodality for lapsed or non-Catholic friends

St Monica and St Augustine
The Sodality of St Augustine of Hippo is a new initiative, launched today.

From the website:
The purpose of the Sodality is to unite the prayers of members for the conversion of those dear to them. There can be few Catholics today who do not have family members or close friends who have either lapsed from the practice of the Faith, or never had it; it is a particular source of grief when parents see children and grandchildren living without the support of the Sacraments. We take heart from the example of St Augustine, converted at last by the prayers and tears of his mother St Monica, and wish to demonstrate our fellowship with others in the same position, by praying not only for our own dear ones, but for those of others who will do the same for ours.

The Sodality takes advantage of three principles of Catholic prayer:

1. The Public Prayer of the Church is more pleasing to God than private prayer.
Not only are the Sodality's prayers supported by regular Masses, but the Sodality's own prayer is a Collect of the Roman Missal, linking our individual prayers further to the Church's prayer and the Masses being said for the same intention.

2. The united prayer of a group of Catholics is more pleasing to God than the prayers of individuals alone.
The prayers of Sodality members are united for a single intention: the conversion or return of our friends and family to the Faith.

3. Prayers motivated by charity are more pleasing to God than prayers motivated by necessity.
By praying for each others' friends, members of the Sodality show fraternal solidarity and charity, even towards those unknown to them.

St Thomas Aquinas wrote (quoting someone else):
"Necessity makes us pray for ourselves, fraternal charity urges us to pray for others. But sweeter before God is prayer which is not sent from necessity, but commended by fraternal charity."
(" se orare necessitas cogit, pro altero autem, caritas fraternitatis hortatur. Dulcior autem ante Deum est oratio, non quam necessitas transmittit, sed quam caritas fraternitatis commendat.")
Summa Theologica II, Q88 a.7 c.
So please join the Sodality! There is no fee, you just send us an email:

The penitant Magdalen
You can arrange your own Masses for the intentions of the Sodality, but the LMS is offering the service, which will be convenient for some people, of passing on Mass Offerings to priests for such Masses. We are also going to have at least one Mass a year said publicly, with more solemnity, for this intention, which we will advertise, towards which you can make a donation.

The Sodality prayer (Collect of the 'commemoration' pro devotis amicis):
Deus, qui caritátis dona per grátiam Sancti Spíritus tuórum fidélium córdibus infudísti : da fámulis et famulábus tuis, pro quibus tuam deprecámur cleméntiam, salútem mentis et córporis ; ut te tota virtúte díligent, et quæ tibi plácita sunt, tota dilectióne perfíciant. Per Dóminum nostrum Iesum Christum Fílium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte eiúsdem Spíritus Sancti, Deus, per ómnia sæcula sæculórum. Amen.

O God, who, by the grace of the Holy Ghost, hast poured the gifts of charity in the hearts of thy faithful, grant to thy servants and handmaids, for whom we entreat thy mercy, health of mind and body; that they may love thee with all their strength and, by perfect love, may do what is pleasing to thee. Through our Lord Jesus Christ thy Son, who liveth and reigneth in the unity of the same Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

Masses said for the intentions of the Sodality should when possible make a 'commemoration' as per the above Collect, and its accompanying Secret and Postcommunion. These are found among the 'various prayers' in the Roman Missal; they were included in the first printed Missal, that of 1474. They are said in addition to the Collect, Secret, and Postcommunion of the day. This liturgical commemoration can be done at any Low Mass on a day of the 4th Class (ie, not on important feast days). The LMS Ordo has more details on these rules.