Talking Point in The Caversham Bridge

The following is the text of what Fr Patrick says in the Talking Point article of The Caversham Bridge, our local monthly newspaper:


I am familiar with Caversham Bridge since my first day at Our Lady & St. Anne.  Given that I arrived in Reading by train, it was impossible for me to get to 2 South View Avenue without crossing the Thames.  This newspaper is named after the town’s principal landmark.  Its vocation is to keep people informed about what is going on in the town and in the various Christian communities in particular.  In the case of Caversham, the bridge is the gate of entry into the town; once you have crossed the bridge, you are here.  It is also the gateway to Reading, a bigger city with which we have so many ties.  Were it not for the bridge, communication with our neighbours the other side of the river would be much more difficult.  Caversham Bridge links the Catholic dioceses of Birmingham and Portsmouth, particularly necessary for me, given that I have priestly duties in two deaneries in the two separate dioceses.  Some of the most magnificent engineering constructions in the world are bridges: the Clifton Bridge in Bristol, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Golden Gate in San Francisco or the new bridge linking Copenhagen and Malmö at the entrance to the Baltic.  There are bridges which played a very important role in history: the Milvian Bridge to the north of Rome where Constantine won the imperial crown, the Charles Bridge in Prague from which St. John Nepomuk, patron of confessors, was thrown into the River Vitava for refusing to reveal the confessional secrets of his penitent the Queen of Bohemia, or the bridge on the River Kwai.  Bridges connect people.  When nations or peoples are in dispute, we often say it is essential to build bridges.  We talk of negotiations between couples at odds, between employers and employees in an industrial dispute, or between countries at war as bridge-building exercises.  It is significant that on each Euro note we find a viaduct, aqueduct or bridge: the European project is about linking nations together, enabling people to move freely, assisting those of different languages to communicate.  One of the titles given to the Pope and taken over from the Roman Emperor was pontifex maximus, the supreme bridge-builder.  And the Pope so frequently reconciles parties who are at odds within the Church as well as reaching out to other denominations and the family of nations to bring them together and facilitate communication with one another.  The (re)construction of a bridge is often a powerful exercise in reconciliation: the old bridge in Mostar, destroyed in 1990 in the Balkan conflict and restored in 2004 as a UNESCO protected monument is but one eloquent recent example.  This meandering reflection on bridges suggests that the title of this newspaper is singularly apposite.  It nods in the direction of Caversham’s most significant monument.  It provides a pathway between people who are secure in their different identities but desire to share more of what they have in common.  It links diverse individuals and groups and, above all, it is itself an exercise in bridge-building across a multi-cultural community, because it informs, it explains and it is inspired by a dedication to Him who prayed “that they may all be one.”

Father Patrick H. Daly

Parish Priest Our Lady & St. Anne


The Reading Churches Men’s Breakfast on the subject of ‘Faith in a Digital World’, which had to be rescheduled due to the inclement weather in March, will now take place on 23rd June 2018.  Booking and contact details are on the notice board in the narthex of the church.  If you paid for the March meeting but are unable to come on this date, please contact John Broady to let him know what to do with your cheque.  Please book by Friday 15th June 2018.


If your child does not attend St Anne’s school and you would like them to prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation this year, the two remaining preparation sessions will take place in the church at 5.00pm on Wednesday 30th May and Monday 4th June.

Lent Course – Notes and Questionnaire

The Lent Course is now finished but the notes for each session may be read, and printed if so desired, from the PDFs that may be found further down this page.

Fr Patrick has produced a Questionnaire, and asks that it might be completed by those who have attended all or most of the six evenings of the Lent Course.  The form may be printed from the Word file that follows, completed by hand, and addressed to Fr Patrick at the presbytery (address on the form).  Alternatively, the Word file may be typed into, saved on your own machine, and attached to an e-mail addressed to

Questionnaire Lent Course

Lent Course notes:

Lent Course Six Profiles of Jesus

Lent Course Evening 1 (Summary)

Lent Course Evening 1 (Texts)

Lent Course Evening 2 (Summary)

Lent Course Evening 2 (Texts)

Lent Course Evening 3 (Texts)

Lent Course Evening 4 (Notes)

Lent Course Evening 5 (Notes)

Lent Course Evening 6 (Notes)

Fr Patrick’s Induction 2nd February 2018

Fr Patrick’s induction as parish priest of the Parish of Our Lady and St Anne took place on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord (Candlemas) , 2nd February 2018.  The Rite of Induction was presided over by the Dean of South Oxford, the Reverend Paul Fitzpatrick.  Fr Patrick was the main celebrant at Mass, and preached the homily. 

Fr Patrick was parish priest of the parish of Saint Peter & Saint Paul, Wolverhampton, from 1999 to 2013, and a large group from this parish was present at the induction ceremony and Mass, and at a celebration in the Cenacle afterwards.  The chasuble that Fr Patrick is wearing in the picture above, and which he wore for the Eucharistic liturgy, was given to him by the parishioners of Saint Peter & St Paul for his Silver Jubilee.  A selection of photos from the evening can be seen below and Fr Patrick’s message, contained within the order of service, can be read here: Fr Patrick’s induction message.

Fr Paul’s Presentation and Homily

At the 10.00am Mass on Sunday 21st January, Fr Paul Martin was presented with the parish gift of a cheque by Damian Colehan as Chair of the Parish Finance Committee.  Damian spoke of the contribution to the life of the parish that Fr Paul had made over the four years as our parish priest and, on behalf of the parish, gave thanks for that.  Fr Paul expressed his gratitude for the gift, and assured us that he was very happily setting into his new life as Director of the St Barnabas Society.  During the Mass, Fr Paul had preached a fascinating and uplifting homily which can be found at the end of this item or in the Gallery section of the website: Fr Paul Martin’s Homily 21Jan18