Posted by The Parish

Blue Book Page 167

The ruins of Lesnes Abbey stand within the Parish of Abbey Wood and are designated as public parkland in the London Borough of Bexley. They stand as testimony to the long history of the Catholic Faith in Great Britain. Each year there is a summer procession and pilgrimage which falls this Sunday being led by Bishop Patrick Lynch. It is a lovely way to spend a summer’s afternoon. 

The Abbey was founded in 1178 by Richard de Luci, Chief Justiciar of England and was dedicated to Our Lady & St Thomas the Martyr. De Luci, had supported Henry II in his dispute, which ended with Becket’s murder in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170. The Abbey was probably founded as an act of penance. In 1179, de Luci resigned from public office and spent the last three months of his life there. He was buried in the chapter house. The Abbey belonged to the order of Augustinian canons whose duty it was to ‘baptise, preach, give penance and bury the dead.’ The first canons came from the priory at Aldgate. 

Lesnes was not a large or wealthy foundation and suffered continuous financial difficulties. This was partly caused by the expense of maintaining the river walls and draining the marshes along the banks of the Thames. This reclamation helped transform the land from unusable marsh to valuable pasture. Nevertheless, the abbey sustained debts and through the fourteenth century its buildings fell into neglect. 

Rebuilding in the early sixteenth century came too late. In 1524, Henry VIII’s chief minister, Cardinal Wolsey, obtained permission from Rome to close all monasteries in England and Wales with less than eight members. The revenue raised was intended to finance Wolsey’s new college at Oxford. After Wolsey’s fall, with only an abbot and five canons, Lesnes quickly met the same fate as all monasteries throughout the country. With the dissolution of monastic buildings the land passed into the King’s hands, to be sold to wealthy laymen. Occasionally monastic churches survived to serve as a parish church (Waltham Abbey, for example); more usually the new owners partly or wholly demolished the buildings using the materials for secular construction. Some were converted into fine country manors or large farmhouses. At Lesnes, although most of the monastic buildings were soon pulled down, Henry Cooke, who acquired the site in 1541, retained the Abbot’s Lodging as a mansion house of the manor of Lesnes. The Abbey site later came to the possession of Sir John Hippersley, who raided it for building materials. He sold it in 1632 to Thomas Hawes of London who bequeathed it to Christ’s Hospital in 1633, in whose possession it remained until 1930, when the London County Council purchased it. In 1931 Lesnes Abbey was opened to the public as a park. The Blessed Sacrament procession is at 3pm this Sunday 24th June. This is a lovely occasion; First Holy Communion children are encouraged to dress up, joining others across Bexley & Greenwich. 

Lesnes Abbey
New Road, SE2 1AX 
Easily reached by train and bus links B11, 229, 469 (closest) 180 or 244. 


Tabitha K, Michael D, Alfreda C, Eileen P, Paul A, George T, Thomas D, Michael B, Sr Columba, Michael D

May they Rest in Peace 

A Course for Adult Instruction in the Catholic Faith 

For anybody wondering about the Catholic Faith or seeking to become a Catholic we shall run a combined OLSS/St Joseph group in the parish rooms at OLSS beginning on Wednesday 17th October. The group will meet for 7 weeks before Christmas and for a longer period in the New Year running towards Easter in conjunction with seasonal vacations. Enrolment forms will be available at both churches during the summer but meanwhile please indicate to Fr Kevin if you would like to be part of such a group in the Autumn. Sr Alice OSU will an anchor person facilitating these meetings which will run from 7.30 for an hour or so each week. 

The Great Garden Party 

Tickets for the garden party are selling quickly and we are limited to 120 total at the event so do not be disappointed! £12 for adults and £6 for children (under 16) include BBQ & live music. Next weekend (30 June/1 July) will be the last chance to purchase tickets for the garden party and for the raffle. Raffle tickets include the following fantastic donated prizes: 

The Royal Observatory – Family tkt for Planetarium
Greenwich Tavern – Meal + bottle of wine for two
Greenwich Picturehouse – Family cinema ticket
The Fan Museum – Museum entry + tea for two
Bill’s Restaurant – 2 course meal + drink for two
Luxury summer hamper by Maggie
Café Rouge – Afternoon tea for two 

Many thanks, Pat & Peter 

A Parish Afternoon Tea Party 

Thursday 12th July 2:30pm in the Church garden. A bring and share party, combining 60+ group and Mums & Tots and open invitation to parishioners. We will have garden toys for small children to play with. For more information or to get involved, please email Jenny: A Parish Quiz Night is also planned for Friday 12th October at 7.15pm. More info to follow nearer the time, put this date in your diary. 

Mums (& dads) and tots etc 

Welcome again at the Ursuline convent from 2.30 this Thursday. Don’t be stuck at home all alone with a little child come and make new friends at 66 Crooms Hill. 

Thank you for your offertory Sunday 17th 

St Joseph’s £287 Day/life £42 Candles £300 


Ten Ten Job Vacancy 

Ten Ten is a Catholic charitable organisation that uses drama to speak to the hearts and minds of young people in schools throughout the UK. They are looking for a schools’ facilitator to lead sessions on “Relationship and Sex Education” using films created by Ten Ten. This is a fixed-term, part-time role with an attractive salary and benefits. 

For more information, please visit: Deadline is Monday 2 July. 

Max/Alice and The Windrush Story 

Max Holloway is engaged in a great project that hopes to raise the original anchor from the Empire Windrush to permanently display in Brixton as a public feature. Look at his article:


This Sunday the “Birthday of John the Baptist” takes priority. The full rite is in the Blue Books page 167 

Saturday 23rd Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Della O (WB) 

Wedding Rite 2.00pm St Joseph Malcolm & Agnes 

Sunday 24th Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Anna C 

Birthday of Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: Eileen R (WB Eileen’s Daughter) 

St. John the Baptist Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Paddy C (RiP) & Frances (RiP) 

Coffee & Cakes today after the 11.00am Mass at OLSS 

Monday 25th No Mass on Monday 

Tuesday 26th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Parish & People (Lieu of Sunday) 

Mass St J’s 7.00 Int: Pru F (Death of Mum) 

Wednesday 27th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Anna C 

Thursday 28th Mass St J’s 11.00 Int: Margaret L (GW) 

1.00pm Requiem Sung Mass Paul (RiP) OLSS 

Friday 29th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: WB of Hannah L

Ss Peter & Paul Ap A Mass at 12.00Noon OLSS 

Saturday 30th Mass OLSS 6.00 Int: Parish & People 

Sunday 1st Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Thg Isaac J (Safe Delivery)

Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: Ann C (RiP) 

Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Jose R (RiP) 

Mass 12.30 Children’s First Holy Communion OLSS 

Feast of St Peter & Paul Friday. The date of this feast goes back to ancient times commemorating the death of the two great Apostles in the city of Rome. It is customary to make an offering called “Peter’s Pence” supporting social welfare projects within the church that are promoted especially by the Pope. 

New Parking Regulations at St Joseph. The Local Authority intend to introduce new parking restrictions adjacent to St Joseph’s Church. Mick has raised a petition which we invite you to sign to raise public awareness.

Post expires at 8:25pm on Saturday July 28th, 2018