Making a film about Francis – funding appeal

Please help us make a film about Francis!

We plan to make a film this summer based on Paul Alexander TSSF’s well-known one-man performance: “The Life of St Francis”. Film crew and actors are booked to film at Hilfield Friary in July 2014. Fund-raising has begun, but more is needed to meet the £35K initial minimum cost.

Many tertiaries will have seen, or heard of, Paul’s one-man performance. He’s performed it countless times across the world over nearly four decades. Now the time’s come not just to record it for TSSF, but also to make a film version available internationally. So this is a work of mission – to make our Lord, and his servant Francis, known and loved throughout the world in line with our Aims.

The actors and crew are professionals, some of them recent film school graduates. They’re giving their time and skills for token payment, partly excited about the film itself but also because we expect a big market for the resulting DVD within the international Franciscan family and the wider church.

Paul Alexander joined TSSF Provincial Chapter in March. As a result of discussion there Averil Swanton, our Minister Provincial says:

TSSF’s Provincial Chapter is glad to support Paul Alexander’s vision for a film of the life of St Francis. TSSF cannot take responsibility for such a project, but Chapter wishes it well and will give some practical help, including the banking arrangements below. Most of all, we encourage tertiaries to help to fund this exciting Franciscan initiative.”

How to help fund the film
We have already raised £13k but need to raise at least £22k more by the end of June – filming in July cannot be postponed, as all is now in place! We are asking for advance purchase of the DVD, and/or substantial donations or loans. As examples, you can:

  • Contribute a £30 advance payment – for the DVD, an element of donation plus a Study Guide for use with TSSF or church groups, or other mission activity OR
  • Donate a substantial sum (e.g. we have already had pledges of £6000 from 5 tertiaries) for as high an amount as possible! OR
  • Offer an interest-free loan (e.g. we have had one pledge of £4,000) subject to repayment being made possible through successful sales of the DVD

How to make payments or to offer a loan

  1. Cheques to “Third Order SSF” should be sent to John Reynolds; Bursar; Hilfield Friary, Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 7BE. Please write “FILM” on the back, the type of payment and your name if it’s not on the front – and do say if Gift Aid applies.
  2. Alternatively you can make an electronic payment, and Gift Aid it, at the BT My Donate charity giving website at
  3. Or if you wish to offer a loan please contact John Reynolds at Hilfield.

Do contact any of us on the steering group to discuss any funding or other queries: Paul Alexander (TSSF), Denise Easteal (TSSF), John Fox (TSSF) John Reynolds (TSSF Treasurer) John Wiltshire (TSSF Chapter link)

General Chapter survey

Provincial Chapter is considering a “General Chapter” and wants the views of Tertiaries. There is a web survey form you may use, which you can find this most easily at and you are invited to respond with any thoughts you have. Apologies to anyone who could not find the right page with our new website. It is still a work in progress!

There is an article by Averil Swanton and Paul Bodenham about this in the latest “Little Portion” (Issue 4, pages 6-7). This has a line missing at the end of the second bullet point on page 7. That should read (with the lost text in bold here):

  • How can each vocation be valued, nurtured and empowered as it unfolds throughout profession – in our local groups, and in twos or threes; in the annual cycle of review, report and renewal; and through the roles to which we elect people?

The full article is on the web at

Chris Petrie (Communications Coordinator)

Plaistow parish – any Franciscans interested?

Helen Mossop posted to the TSSF Facebook Group:
The Team Rector post of the Parish of the Divine Compassion, Plaistow and North Canning Town is becoming vacant in May. There has been a close Franciscan Connection for over 100 years which continues-there are a dozen First Order Brothers and Sisters living in the Parish. The Friary, aka Helping Hands, is 100 yards from the Rectory. The retiring Rector and his wife are both Tertiaries. The Archdeacon wants the post to be known about in the TO in the hope that Tertiaries might consider applying. The ad, including a link to the Parish Profile, is already on the Diocesan website at
Action by 1st April.

Our New Website

There’s a time and a season for everything, and it’s the time for the Third Order, Society of Saint Francis’ European Province to have a new website!

To be honest, we were pushed into releasing this new site a little early because the old site used such old software (which had many security holes) that our website hosting company were going to force an upgrade which would have broken the website.

For this reason there will be some links on the site which do not work and some pages which do not have the relevant attachments. We (the TSSF Webteam) will be working hard to clean up the links and add the attachments over the next few weeks. Until then, please let us know if you discover a broken link or a missing attachment where you think one should be. Simply email to let us know.

Thanks in advance for your patience and help.

Pax et Bonum, TSSF WebTeam (Chris Petrie, Ben Davies & Ben Gibbs)


PNG Voting

Election for Provincial Novice Guardian

Voting forms (ballot papers) and Election Guidance Notes which include notes on how to vote, the statements from the three candidates and also the role description have been sent to Areas and should be received by every professed Tertiary.

These two documents, together with large print versions are also available to download from this web page.

Please note that voting may be done by post of by email, as described in the notes.
Votes must be received by 31st January.

Any questions should be addressed to me, as I am acting as returning officer on behalf of the Provincial Secretary.

TSSF_Election_Form_PNG_Dec2013 (.pdf)
TSSF_Election_Guidance_Notes_PNG_Dec2013 (.pdf)
TSSF_LargePrint_Election_Form_PNG_Dec2013 (.pdf)
TSSF_LargePrint_Election_Guidance_Notes_PNG_Dec2013 (.pdf)

The Francis Films

The Francis Films

Tertiaries may have heard of the film project being developed by Paul Alexander, tertiary author of The Wild Goose Chase and notable actor in a variety of fields. The project has now reached a firm stage at which a grant application for £40K is being reviewed by the SSF Central Fund Trustees, and all SSF Ministers are supportive of this imaginative initiative in the context of Mission. The aim is to present an alternative way of looking at life today that will provide a happier, more sustainable way of living based on the life of Francis, portraying the essence of Franciscan values and spirituality.

The output from the project will be two DVDs in a boxed set comprising:

  1. A film of Paul Alexander giving his performance of the ‘Life of Francis’ to an audience at Hilfield, for which Paul is well known.
  2. A film of the ‘Life of Peter Stone’. Peter is a stressed young man who has temporarily hit the buffers and goes to Hilfield to escape from it all. The film follows him round and shares his experiences there as the Franciscan story unfolds – he is in the audience for the ‘Life of Francis’ acted out by Paul, for example – and Peter gradually sees that, though still perplexed, his life needs to change in certain ways. In addition, his live-in girlfriend has given him an ultimatum to add a dramatic twist. Scenes are to be shot also on Dartmoor and Plaistow, so it will be quite a comprehensive and exciting story that will be relevant to contemporary society.
  3. A Study Booklet accompanying the two films, for use with Franciscan, Church or other groups.

Paul is well on with writing the script, and having read a recent version I have found it very exciting and realistic – it should make for a powerful communication, and be very useful for all branches of SSF. The project will be managed by a small SSF/TSSF Steering Group, and filming is scheduled to take place around mid-2014. An outline business plan has been prepared for the project, with a budgeted cost of £50K (expenses will be kept to a minimum using known actors and film students at low fees). The Trustees of the Central Fund will make their final decision in November, but we have received favourable feedback so far and are working further on certain aspects that have been requested. It is our hope that we shall also receive strong backing from individual tertiaries, with a target of £10 to £15K in total. There are two ways in which tertiaries may contribute to the cost:

  • By making a significant donation to the project. We have already received donation pledges from tertiaries amounting to £1,000.
  • By offering an interest-free loan to the project, which may or may not be needed. We have so far received loan pledges to the value of £4,000.

If you would like to find out more or make such a pledge, please contact John Fox at, ideally before the end of 2013. We would really like to see strong support demonstrated to make this important mission project happen!

New appointments, Oct 2013

Provincial Disability Advisor and Webmaster

Chapter has agreed to the creation of small teams to cover these two important offices for the European Province of TSSF. Both teams will be part of the Communications Team and any general questions should be sent to me.

Chris Petrie, Provincial Communications Coordinator

Disability Advisor Team

PDA_TeamThe team is Margaret Armstrong, Philip Blundell and Steve Nutt (reading from right to left).

We shall continue to offer support and advice to Tertiaries with disabilities, including the supply of alternative formats for printed material (audio and large print).

Margaret will be the contact person for the team;
contact E:
See also (for postal address) the usual “To Whom To Send Things” web page.

Web Team

The team is Ben Davies and Ben Gibbs with Chris Petrie. Contact E:

“Canticle” book launch

Francis of Assisi and His “Canticle of Brother Sun” Reassessed
by Brian Moloney TSSF, Emeritus Professor of Italian, University of Hull.

canticle_book_coverA launch of this book, arranged by Hugh Beach, will be held at St Mary The Boltons, London, SW10 9TB, on Thursday 28 November from 6.0-8.0pm. Professor Moloney’s health does not permit him to attend but he will send a short piece about his book, Danae Eleni will perform the Canticle to a new musical setting by Richard Moore, Paul Alexander will perform a short part of his ‘Life of St. Francis’, covering the writing of the Canticle and Francis’s death. Wine will be served and it should be an enlightening and enjoyable evening. All are welcome.
The book is available from the publishers (Palgrave Macmillan) at a discount (half the list price of £55) – a flier with the offer will be available at the launch and is attached to this page.

Canticle Flyer (.pdf)

TSSF Officer News 2

Two new Link Tertiaries will be commissioned at Chapter in October 2013:
Tim Higgins (Canon Timothy John Higgins) has been elected for the Wales, Severn, West Midlands and The Marches Cluster.
Jeremy Plummer has been elected (unopposed) for the North East and North West England Cluster
Tertiaries in the Areas making up each Cluster should receive further information (contact details, election addresses).

A volunteer has been found for the TSSF Central Fund Treasurer/Secretary role, Robert Dimmick, who is also Area Minister for Berkshire.
The Order is grateful to Roger Marks for his service in this role.

Franciscan Aid has found a new Treasurer, Roland Randall. Contact details on the Franciscan Aid page.
The Order is grateful to Philippa Bird for her service in this role.