|In this issue|
– How has Covid-19 affected you? Take the diocesan survey
– Prepare the future – workshop on 21 April
– Here: Now: Us – three more Open Evenings: a chance to find out more
– And a clutch of forthcoming events to interest you.
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Share your story of Covid-19
A survey for all Catholics in the diocese
Bishop Patrick is inviting us to share how the last year has been for us. The questionnaire is a vital piece of research for the Church and our outreach to the world. We urge you to take part.
The survey asks some crucial questions, not only about the past year, but also the future, such as:
– Your experience of your parish during lockdown
– How the pandemic has affected your faith
– What kind of support you need as social distancing continues
– What a post-Covid Church might look like
– What lessons can be learned from the last year.
The survey is anonymous but asks important questions that will help us to understand the experience of all Catholics in the diocese – for instance on ethnicity and participation in social media. Please do what you can to ensure that the fully diversity of our parishes is fully represented in the response.
Click here for the Covid-19 survey
Prepare the Future: workshop 5
Regeneration for post-Covid mission
Wednesday 21 April 2021
3.30 – 5.00 p.m. on Zoom
Now taking bookings – click here
Each Prepare the Future workshop is an opportunity to meet Catholics from around the diocese, get inspiring ideas for service in your community, and plan your own next steps for outreach in a friendly environment. Together we seek to rebuild ‘parishes of welcome, listening and hope’ ready for the end of lockdown.
The last workshop attracted about 30 people. Once again there was no shortage of enthusiasm to keep the conversation going. So we’re offering another one on Wednesday 21 April – a follow up to previous ones, and an opportunity for anyone who’s not been to one to join in.
We’ll return to some topics, bringing you up to speed if you didn’t make it last time.
– Two’s Company: setting up a parish telephone befriending scheme
– Building a Census and skills audit for the post-pandemic parish
– Opening a drop-in centre or listening café in your parish hall
And there’s the option to explore some new topics which were raised last time:
– Parish Councils organising for mission in the post-Covid Church
– Renovating and upgrading parish facilities for outreach
– Power of Four: a model for mutual aid in the parish and beyond
– Lend an Ear: plans for a diocesan Caritas listening campaign .Let us know which of these are of most interest to you when you sign up. We’ll have time in breakout groups where you can meet others from your area. Feel free to invite friends to attend from your parish, and forward Grapevine to them with an invitation to sign up too!
Book here for ‘Prepare the Future’
Three more Open Evenings
The ideal way to find out about Here: Now: Us
– without committing yourself!
Here: Now: Us is a great way for you and your parish to get back into action. But don’t take it from us – join one of our forthcoming Open Evenings, starting at 7.00 p.m. where you can find out more with no strings attached.
– Tuesday 13 April
– Monday 26 April
– Monday 17 May
The journey starts on 7 June with The Word and the Common Good – a series of six Monday evening sessions which will help you bring the Gospel to life. We’ll explore what Catholic social teaching might mean in your neighbourhood after lockdown.
Better still, pass this invitation on to fellow parishioners who might be interested. You will find an article below which can be included in your parish bulletin.
Book here for a ‘Here: Now: Us’ Open Evening
A sample article for your parish bulletin
Here: Now: Us – put your faith into action
Open evenings, 13 and 26 April, 7.00 – 8.00 p.m. by Zoom
The Diocese of Nottingham is running a programme to encourage lay leadership for outreach. Here: Now: Us brings Catholic social teaching to life, and will help us all build a confident missionary parish after the pandemic. It starts on 7 June with The Pandemic, the Word and the Common Good, a six-week interactive course for parish groups from all round the diocese. In the Autumn or next year the parish could then host a workshop to plan for mission.
The Diocese is offering a series of ‘open evenings’ where you can find out more, ask questions, and find out what’s involved, at 7.00 p.m. on 13 or 26 April and 17 May. More details at www.dioceseofnottingham.uk/here-now-us, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 07470 907656.
Framework marks 20 years
Many Catholic parishes in Nottinghamshire have supported Framework Housing Association over the last two decades. Join a special service from Southwell Minster on Saturday 10 April at 10.30am. Click the image below for more details.
Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill
Justice & Peace Commission joins expressions of ‘alarm’
Readers of Grapevine will no doubt have heard of recent controversy over the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill currently before Parliament. A broad-based coalition of over 100 civil society organisations, including CAFOD, other faith-based organisations and groups representing Travellers, has written to the Home Secretary expressing ‘profound concern and alarm’.
The Commission shares these concerns. Nonviolent protest has always been an important way of practising the Gospel and Catholic social teaching, from the earliest martyrs to the present day. It is vital to a healthy democracy.
According to the joint letter the Bill contains ‘numerous threats to the right to peaceful protest and access to the countryside, [and] criminalise[s] Gypsy and Traveller communities’ way of life’. The letter expresses concern that the Bill ‘is is being rushed through parliament during a pandemic and before civil society and the public have been able to fully understand its profound implications’.
A briefing for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Gypsies, Travellers and Roma finds that the measures, which include new criminal offences of trespass, ‘will further compound the inequalities experienced by Gypsies and Travellers, needlessly pushing people into the criminal justice system’.
The letter concludes, ‘For a country that so often prides itself on civil liberties, this Bill represents an attack on some of the most fundamental rights of citizens, in particular those from marginalised communities, and is being driven through at a time and in a way where those who will be subject to its provisions are least able to respond.’
– Read the joint letter on the website of Friends of the Earth
– Sign the petition urging the government to abandon the proposals
“A Politics Rooted in the People”
15 April 2021, 4.00pm to 8.00pm
Caritas Social Action Network and the Centre for Theology and Community are convening this international conference on Pope Francis’s new book Let Us Dream. It will reflect on the Pope’s call for the Church to embrace “a politics rooted in the people.” Austen Ivereigh, who helped Francis compile the book, will give a keynote address.
The aim is to help the Church respond at all levels to Pope Francis’ call for engagement with popular movements, and to ensure that such engagement flows from the heart of the Church’s life and prayer.
More on ‘A politics rooted in the people’
Living Laudato Si’: Your Parish and Your Planet
April 16-19th 2021
led from Boarbank Hall, Cumbria by Sr Margaret Atkins
with Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham and Bishop Marcus Stock of Leeds.
A long weekend of talks and discussions on Zoom, and practical activities, on living the message of Laudato Si’ in and through your parish. The weekend is free of charge, and aimed especially at people with parish responsibilities, or who are part of or want to start a relevant parish group.
More on the Boarbank Hall conference
Revolution of tenderness
For me, the most magical moment of the Easter Vigil is when a single flame, taken from the Paschal Candle, ignites a candle in the hand of every member of the congregation, and fills the darkened church with light.
I think the moment has such power because it tells us what we know to be true: that a single flame of love, however small and fragile it may be, can, with the active participation of God’s people, dispel the darkness of our world.
Sadly, as a precaution against infection, the candles will be staying in the cupboard this year. But let’s enact it in a different way – by being reignited as ‘light for the world’. It’s a title Jesus gave to himself (John 8.12), but in Scripture he gives it to us first (Matthew 5.14) – to the ordinary folk listening to his sermon on the Mount.
Straight after Easter Nottingham Justice and Peace Commission will be paving the way to Pentecost, and to the launch of Caritas. It is under the banner of Caritas that its work of many years for social justice, international peace and care for Creation will be taken forward.
After long months of restraint under social distancing, we’ll be offering you options through the rest of 2021 to reignite the world love. The launch of Caritas at Pentecost, that other fiery feast, is another step along the way, together with a ‘listening campaign’ to rebuild social friendship in our world after the privations of social distancing. Already the Diocese has launched a survey of your experience of Covid-19, which you will have read about above.
In Evangelii gaudium (88) Pope Francis says:
‘The Son of God, by becoming flesh,
summoned us to the revolution of tenderness’.
Easter is upon us, and the revolution starts now. I wish you a happy Easter and the start of great things.
Paul (Programme Leader for Social Action)
- Newsletter 28 March 2021
- Newsletter 04 April 2021