|Reweaving the parish|
A couple of weeks ago 30 people joined the first ‘open evening’ for Here: Now: Us. It was a great opportunity to share impressions of the impact of the pandemic on the life of our respective parishes, and the steps we can take out of lockdown and into mission.
In the breakout discussions, one parish group found an arresting and inviting image for what lies ahead. It is time, they felt, to ‘re-weave’ the parish. The edges might be frayed; the fabric might have worn thin, and we might find a hole or two where once there was a person, or a family.
But with care and creativity, nothing is beyond repair. New colours can be added, and new hands might join the work. The tools and threads are Scripture, Catholic social teaching and each other’s gifts and skills. That is the invitation of Here: Now: Us, and of Caritas, which will be launched at Pentecost.
Another Open Evening for Here: Now: Us takes place on Tuesday 13 April – and there is a link in this edition of Grapevine to book your place. And you will find other opportunities to reweave the parish, the common good, and even the damaged web of Creation.
Paul (Programme Leader for Social Action)
In this issue
– Community organising with the Church and Citizens UK: this Thursday, 11 March
– Prepare the Future: next Thursday 18 March – still time to book
– Meet the Laudato Si’ trainees, and become one yourself
– Here: Now: Us Open Evening: 13 April
– Official inquiry into allegations of modern slavery in Leicester
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Prepare the Future: workshop 4
Building parishes of welcome, listening and hope
Thursday 18 March 2021, 3.00 – 4.30 p.m. on Zoom
Still time to book – click here
People from about 20 parishes gathered for the last Prepare the Future workshop. They found it so useful that we were asked to make it a regular thing. Here is the kind of thing they said after the last one:
‘Good to hear what others are doing and share our own experiences, and seek advice’
‘Excellent…meeting us where we are at the moment’
‘Helps me discern what a way forward for our parish might be’
Join us next week for the fourth in the series. Among the issues we’ll cover at the workshop are:
– Establishing a telephone befriending service, such as Two’s Company
– Developing a toolkit to help you navigate safeguarding, data protection and other requirements
– Building a new census or database for the post-pandemic missionary parish
– Reaching out with minority ethnic and diaspora communities in our parishes
– Exploring a model for mutual aid and practical support for families and individuals, rooted in Catholic social teaching
Let us know which of these are of most interest to you when you sign up. We’ll have time in breakout groups on some or all of them. We look forward to meeting you!
Book here for ‘Prepare the Future’
Apologies that the link to Two’s Company, the telephone befriending model for churches, didn’t work in the last issue of Grapevine. Click the link below, and it should work this time.
Find out here about ‘Two’s Company’
The Church, social justice and community organising
This Thursday, 11 March, 7.30 – 8.30 p.m.
Several parishes in the city of Nottingham have played an active part in Nottingham Citizens, a Chapter of the national movement called Citizens UK. Its methods of community organising are an ideal way for Catholics to be ‘salt and light’ in their communities.
Scaled up to parish level, a partnership with Citizens enables the Church to be everything Pope Francis invites us to be: a ‘home among homes’ in the local neighbourhood, a ‘sanctuary where the thirsty come to drink’, and a ‘field hospital’ after the trials of Covid-19.
We’re looking to reinvigorate the partnership with Citizens, and have been kindly invited to join an event this week, which Nottingham Citizens are organising with the Anglican diocese of Southwell and Nottingham. It’s short notice, but worth changing your plans for!
You don’t have to live in Nottingham to take part. There is a Chapter of Citizens in Leicester and Leicestershire, and the principles of community organising serve the Gospel well all round the diocese. If you make it on Thursday, let us know how you found it, and what you think we can learn.
Book here for ‘The Church, social justice and community organising’
Join our Team Laudato Si’!
Training to inspire your parish and diocese to care for creation
Find out more on 30 March. Training starts on 14 April
Laudato Si’ Animators are local leaders who strive to care for the Earth in their own lives, while inspiring and motivating others in their communities. Two parishioners, one each from Leicester and Derby, are already planning to train as Laudato Si’ Animators. Would you like to join them?
The training is provided online by the Global Catholic Climate Movement. It’s an amazing opportunity to meet Catholics from around the world who share your passion to protect life on Earth.
You’ll also be able to make a difference here in the Diocese. We’re developing an environmental strategy which will include becoming a ‘zero-carbon diocese’ and safeguarding our common home. As a Laudato Si’ Animator, you could, if you wish, play a part in driving this effort.
If you’re tempted, you’ll be welcome on Tuesday 30 March at 7.00 p.m. to meet others in the diocese who are thinking of doing the course. We’ll explore how training as a Laudato Si’ Animator can help you, and how you can use what you learn. Then you will have another week to make your mind up, before registration closes on 7 April.
Many thanks to Sister Elizabeth at the Poor Clares’ Convent, Bulwell, for the illustration of St Francis of Assisi, and congratulations on your profession!
Let us know if you’d like to join on 30 March
Click here to find out about the training
Here: Now: Us is a three-part programme to help you put your faith into action, bring Catholic social teaching to life, and build your parish into a confident, outward-looking community. For you, your faith, and your parish, it offers a three-stage journey out of lockdown with fellow Catholics from around the diocese.
– A seven-week programme of Scripture-based workshops on Catholic social teaching, ideal for parish groups, starting in May 2021 on Zoom
– A Saturday workshop in your parish when Covid restrictions allow – it’s not too early to start planning
– Support for your post-pandemic mission and outreach through the new diocesan Caritas network.
A second Open Evening will be held on Tuesday 13 April, 7.00-8.00 p.m. ‘Dip your toe in’ to see if it’s something you and your fellow parishioners would be interested in. It’s an ideal opportunity to satisfy your curiosity, ask questions, and find out what’s involved.
Book here for the ‘Here: Now: Us’ Open Evening on 13 April
Allegations of modern slavery in Leicester
Bishop Patrick has welcomed reports that an official inquiry is due to be launched into allegations of modern slavery. The clothing giant, Boohoo, is coming under increasing scrutiny following allegations of exploitative practices at its factories in Leicester and is now facing an investigation into its practices by the US Customs and Border Protection.
Bishop Patrick said: “I was disturbed to hear of allegations of labour exploitation in some of Leicester’s clothing factories and I welcome reports that an official investigation is due to be launched.”
As Pope Francis has previously said, ‘every human being is a free person destined to live for the good of others in equality and fraternity. Every person, and all people, are equal and must be accorded the same freedom and the same dignity.’ “The Diocese of Nottingham and the wider Catholic Church in England and Wales will continue to fight for the human dignity of each individual and support international efforts, to hold to account, anyone who violates this inalienable right.”
We’re thrilled to announce that Caritas in the Diocese of Nottingham will be launched with an online celebration of prayer for the eve of Pentecost on 22 May 2021. It will be an opportunity to thank the dozens of generous volunteers who have made Caritas happen here in the diocese, and to share our plans for the future.
Whether you’ve been part of the journey so far, or would like to join up, make a note of the date in your diary. Booking will open soon.
The National Justice and Peace Network produces a fantastic monthly bulletin of news, campaigns, events and articles.
Topics this month range from strengthening the Environment Bill, ethical eating, Pope Francis’ visit to Iraq, and praying with immigration detainees.
To subscribe, just visit NJPN’s website, and sign up at the very top of their webpage.
And finally, an inspiring story from Australia:
‘Eight teenagers and a literal nun’ are taking on the environment minister to protect future generations.
Read The Guardian‘s story here.
- Newsletter 07 March 2021
- Newsletter 14 March 2021