Visit to an inspiring parish

The photo is a stock one from Fr Stephen Langridge, parish priest of the Holy Ghost, Balham. It was dark and raining this evening when I was over there for the last in this term's series of talks for Forum Christi, a group of young adults who meet after Mass on Sunday evening. They asked me to speak about the Church's moral teaching and Civil Partnerships. I went through the basics of Catholic teaching on sexual morality and original sin and how this applies to homosexual acts and the "gay lifestyle" and then dealt with the specific question of homosexual partnerships. Fr Marcus Holden, the author of Evangelium and assistant priest at Balham, introduced me.

Balham is an inspiring parish to visit. There is always a lot going on and the Mass attendance has increased significantly during the past few years. Fr Langridge is vocations director for the Archdiocese of Southwark and he is always on the look out for new ways to encourage priestly vocations. There is now a parish blog for Holy Ghost Balham in addition to the Southwark Vocations blog that Fr Langridge maintains. Holy Ghost are having a Youth 2000 retreat for young people in the new year. There's information at the post "Is it really for young people?" and here is the video from last year's:

It occurs to me that Fr Langridge would make a good Bishop.

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