On Saturday 23rd January 2016 a gala evening in Aid to the Church in Need Appeal for Syria was hosted by St. Anselm’s Parish, Tooting Bec. The event was the inspiration of Father William Hebborn, who together with the parishioners of Tooting Bec have been fund-raising in aid of Sister Annie in Aleppo and her worthwhile work in aid of the many displaced men, women and children in the area.
The event was part of the ongoing support offered to Aid to the Church in Need as part of the Parish of St. Anselm’s commitment to supporting the persecuted church.
John Pontifex – Media Director to Aid to the Church in Need is a parishioner and MC of the Parish and has been instrumental in bringing this worthwhile cause to our attention. John gave a key note address at the start of the evening to set the scene as we began our old fashioned “Music Hall’ evening in the crypt of St Anselm’s.
The event was produced by Martine Mercer and Tom Gately with the position of “Chairman” (the man who gets you to say ‘oh’ and ‘ahs’ with his use of big words) being filled by Brendan Kearns. Director of Music was Catherine Pontifex with Nina Ketiladze and Michael Crean additional accompanists. Soloists performed in tried and tested fashion by Bill Cox ‘And her Mother came too’, Emily Pontifex,‘Drink to me only with thine eyes’, Michael Costello ‘Bring him Home’, Emer Dineen, ‘Stormy Weather’, Daisy Wade ’A nightingale sang in Berkley Square’ and our most juvenile member Todd Datchler who stole our hearts with his rendition of ‘My old man.’ There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as Mary Dineeen, Christine Keunen and Frances Cernuschi squeezed every ounce of emotion out of popular Victorian recitations. An International flavour was added by Marion, Yves and Benoit Berger singing ‘Les Champs Elysees.’ Father Will and Father Chris Connor were not going to be left out and regaled us with a ukulele accompaniment to “Underneath the arches”
Fruit of the vine and a hearty warm supper was served in style by the ladies of the Social Committee and the amount of £5000.00 was raised through ticket sales and donations, and future events are planned.
What this event taught us was the importance of community and the relevance of how we can be bring home the words of Pope Francis to our hearts.
Sister Annie thanks St Anselm’s Parish
Prayer for Persecuted Christians
Please join in us in praying this prayer for persecuted Christians around the world
Father in Heaven, you make your sun shine
on good and bad alike.
Your Son Jesus Christ died for us all
and in his glorious Resurrection.
He still retains the five wounds of his Passion.
With his divine power he now sustains
all those who suffer persecution and martyrdom
for the sake of their fidelity
to the faith of the Church.
Merciful and mighty Father,
do not allow Cain to return again to murder
helpless Abel, innocent Abel.
May persecuted Christians around the world
remain, like Mary, their Mother,
together at the foot of the cross
of Christ the Martyr.
Comfort those menaced by violence
and those oppressed by uncertainty.
May your Holy Spirit of love
make fruitful the witness and the blood
of those who die forgiving.