The United Benefice of Sharnbrook, Felmersham and Knotting with Souldrop

15. Joint Pilgrimage to the Shrine of our Lady of Walsingham - 2013

Over the weekend of 18-22nd  July we welcomed the parish priest – don Fabio and sixteen parishioners. We joined with them and many of our own parishioners on a two day pilgrimage to Walsingham in Norfolk – the site of an 11th. Century vision by Richeldis de Faverches  which resulted in it becoming a place of Christian pilgrimage through the ages. We visited  both the Catholic and the Anglican  Shrines in the village and took part in joint acts of worship. Following a visit to Wells next the Sea we returned to Sharnbrook and following a joint benefice Holy Communion service in St. Peter’s on Sunday 21st. July at 10.15 a.m. at which the Bishop of Bedford celebrated, we enjoyed  a benefice lunch together in the village hall. Below: Rt. Revd. Richard Atkinson - Bishop of Bedford with don Fabio and our friends from Calpino. For further pictures click this link.
Ecumenical Link wuth the Catholic Parish of Christ the Worker - Calpino - Italy

14.  Visit to Calpino – The Marche – Italy. 1st. – 5th. November 2012

Following a difficult period for the parish of Calpino and don Peppino’s untimely death earlier in 2012 don Fabio, a young priest who had helped in the parish and carried on the ecumenical work, was appointed permanently by the new Bishop of Urbino. It was with joy therefore that we were invited to take a group of people back to Calpino to renew our link with old and new friends of the parish. Led by Rev. Robert and Caroline Evens the group also contained: Colin & Hazel Scott, Pam & Martin Tidy, Paul, Caroline and Oliver Hayward, Judy Lee, Alexandra, Stephanie and Christian von Caron. For seven of the group this was their first visit.  We stayed with families in the parish, which despite the language difference, is always the best way to experience the wonderful Italian warmth and hospitality. We were not disappointed. On Friday 2nd. November  (All Souls Day) we were taken to the beautiful hilltop medieval village of Monteguiduccio where don Peppino had been born and was now entombed. We were privileged to share in the Mass held outside the small cemetery chapel joined by many others who were also remembering their loved ones. Later that day, we were taken to an ecumenical gathering in Fano where representatives from all three dioceses were addressed by Robert on ‘Preaching the Gospel in an Anglican Parish.’ Quite a daunting task, but delivered with his usual light style and with a pre-translation provided, it was well received by all. The discussion groups which followed gave us all useful windows into each other’s faith and challenges. After a day in Urbino and some surrounding villages on Saturday it was a fitting conclusion to participate in the main Sunday Mass in Calpino on Sunday morning. The 57th. Anniversary  of the Church was being celebrated and the Bishop of Urbino was present to welcome us and join us in the excellent lunch which followed.
The United Benefice of Sharnbrook, Felmersham and Knotting with Souldrop

16. Visit to Loreto, Calpino and Urbino. 30/4 - 4/5  2015

Fourteen people from the benefice including, for the first time, four from St. Mary’s Felmersham went on this visit which included a Pilgrimage to Loreto with don Fabio  and our friends in Calpino. We spent the first night at the John Paul II youth centre in Loreto where we were welcomed warmly by the Chaplain - don Paolo and Sister Marija, who spoke good English and helped us with all our needs at the centre. Sister Marija also prepared a vigil prayer which we held that evening at the Holy House of Mary at the Basilica. We were joined by by don Fabio and an advance group from Calpino and this private, spiritually moving service gave us a great start to the weekend. On Friday morning, a coach arrived from Calpino with more of our friends and we all returned to the Basilica for a guided tour of the upper fortress and time to explore the many internationally sponsored chapels of the Basilica itself. We then returned to the J.P. II centre for lunch before setting off for Calpino via the beautiful nearby resort of Numana where we had time to explore and have gelato. Having settled in with our family hosts in Calpino, on Saturday we had a relaxing day in Urbino as many of our group were visiting for the first time.  We had lunch at the diocesan office and were treated to a guided tour of the magnificent Ducal Palace before returning to dinner with our hosts. On Sunday we were as usual welcomed to join and participate in the main mass at the church of ‘Christ the Worker’  Jane Templeman and Laurie Mills read the lesson and Gospel in English and Andrea translated don Fabio’s sermon. After our great lunch together in the new Parish Room next door, more fun was had at the evening Taglitelli Festival in nearby Fermignano.  As always - an amazing weekend both spiritually and socially, further cementing the link between our parishes.
The Group at the Basilica in Loreto For further pictures please click:   Loreto_Calpino 2015
17.   The Visit of twelve Italian Friends from our Link Parish of Calpino, and the neighbouring parish of Mazzaferro  (14 - 18 July 2017) This included don Fabio, the parish priest of Calpino and don Agostino, the parish priest and three people from from Mazzaferro,also in the Urbino Diocese.  Mazzaferro are interested to form a link with Ashwell, Robert Even’s parish and spent some time with Robert and the people of Ashwell during the visit. Right:  Carla, don Fabio and don Agostino with Robert & Caroline at Ashwell, Saturday 15th. July.  Below: don Agostino & don fabio con-celebrate the Catholic Mass at St. Peter’s - Sunday 9.30 am Right:  After the Ecumenical Communion Service at Felmersham. 11.00 a.m. Sunday. Left:  Presentation of Marquetry picture designed by Francesco Angeli depicting ‘Jesus the Young Worker’ (inspired by the film ‘The Passion’) Right: After Evensong at St. Peter’s sunday evening withRichard - the Bishop of Bedford. For further pictures of the visit click:!Ak_6wnUVSbpDiFjMbiHcGfKlFiII 


 18.  January 2018 Week of Prayer visit to ITALY

On 20th. January. Fr. Reuben and seven people from St. Peter’s visited our link parish of Calpino in the Diocese of Urbino in the Marche region of Italy. This visit was also to join in the Urbino Diocese – ‘Week of Prayer and Christian Unity’ celebration which took place in the church of St. Francis on the evening of Sunday 21st. January. Revd. Robert Evens together with three people from Ashwell parish also accompanied us as they were setting up a parish link with the parish of Mazzaferro near to Calpino and also in the Urbino Diocese. The following picture shows the Sharnbrook Benefice group with some of our Italian friends after the Mass in Calpino on Sunday morning. For further pictures of our visit please click the link:    Week of Prayer Photos
From 12th. - 16th. July, a group of nine people from the Benefice visited our link parish of Calpino. We were accompanied by twelve people from Ashwell parish including Rev. Robert Evens and Caroline who now have an ecumenical link with the parish of Mazzeferro, also in the Urbino Diocese of Italy. With the meetings, visits and joint services it was a spiritially uplifting experience for us all. Further details and a full report of the visit (Copied to the Chair of the Diocesan Eurpoean Group and Bishop Alan) can be found here:


Right:  A joint tour of Urbino and the Ducal palace.
Left: lunch together at ‘The Fortress’
Right:  After Mass at Calpino, Sunday morning.
19. July 12th. - 16th. 2019 - Ecumenical Conference on Prayer and  Spirituality in Urbino       and a visit to La Verna
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For further pictures click:  2019
For further pictures click this link: July 2017 Visit