“My hope and prayer is that the presence of Caritas will play an important role in enabling and strengthening our parishes and chaplaincies to be more outward looking, more engaged with the needs of the most needy and marginalised of our society and world.”
Bishop Patrick at Kindle the Fire on 22 May 2021.
The Caritas covenant
On the eve of Pentecost, 22 May, we launched Caritas at Kindle the Fire, a memorable online liturgy with Bishop Patrick and over 60 others from around our diocese and beyond.
It was a moment for unleashing hope after a year that has been difficult for many. It was a sign of encouragement for what the Church can be as we seek to rebuild and reopen.
And it was also an opportunity to make a new covenant, as we committed ourselves afresh for service and mission. If you weren’t there, we’d like to invite you to join the movement.
We listened to the Gospel reading (in Luke 4) in which Jesus took the Holy Spirit’s anointing for his own:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor…”
What is the anointing you receive from the Spirit? What are you sent to do? I invite you to spend time pondering the invitation of this Gospel for your own life. It’s a question to be constantly lived and discovered afresh, rather than answered once and for all.
Join us as a ‘Friend in Caritas’ as explained in this edition of Grapevine. Let your mission be part of our mission, and ours part of yours.
Paul (Programme Leader for Social Action)
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In this issue
– Join as a Friend in Caritas
– Young people of our diocese share their hopes for the future
– 5 July: ‘Open with Care’ – a second workshop on safely resuming parish life
– Returning, Recovering, Renewing – new Covid guidance for groups
– 6 July: ‘Renewing the face of the Earth’ – join our follow-up workshop
– Green Church Showcase – a chance to shine
– An offer of volunteer help from Lloyds Bank
Monday 5 July 2021
2.00 – 3.30 p.m.
Open with Care
Getting your parish group started safely
The government has announced what everyone expected – that lockdown measures are to be extended. But there is still plenty of scope to reopen many face-to-face parish activities safely – friendship groups, coffee after Mass, external bookings, young people’s catechesis, parish council meetings and so forth.
Our second Open with Care workshop will help you make practical plans to get your activity started, while still observing public health restrictions. Catherine Scholes, Health and Safety Property Officer, will be on hand again to answer your questions. Click the link below to book your place.
You are welcome to use the article that follows in your parish bulletin or social media, or send it on to group organisers in your parish.
Book here for ‘Open with Care’
New guidance is available on the diocesan website to help your parish safely return to cherished groups and activities. Returning, Recovering, Renewing illustrates just a few scenarios of how parishes might enrich lives in the parish and wider community, while caring for people’s health, including:
– Groups for parents and carers and young children
– Support and bereavement groups
– Group meetings for formation, business and planning.
Download the guidance
Renewing the face of the Earth
A follow-up workshop for care of Creation
Tuesday 6 July, 7.00 – 8.30 p.m.
There was a great turnout for ‘Renewing the face of the Earth’ on 8 June, and a strong appetite to meet again. You are invited to jump on board. We’re holding a second workshop to help you plan environmental action in your parish, and develop a network of parish eco-representatives.
Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ calls us all to an ‘ecological conversion’. The coming Autumn months will be a valuable time for us to answer that call as a Church, in our parishes and as individuals. Here are some of the events coming up:
– The Season of Creation runs from 1 September to 4 October, St Francis’ feastday
– Climate Sunday takes place on 5 September, or any other suitable Sunday
– ‘Cry of the Earth’, a seminar on Laudato Si, the latest science and the challenge before us is planned for 6 September
– COP26 takes place in Glasgow in early November
– On 20 November we’ll have a conference to launch the diocesan environmental policy. We’re delighted to announce that Lord Deben, chair of the government’s independent Climate Change Committee for England has accepted an invitation to speak.
It was agreed at the workshop that a network of parish eco-representatives would make a big difference to support people who are the environmental pioneers in their parish – especially as we plan to make the most of the opportunities this Autumn.
So, whether you are an eco-worrier, eco-warrior, or new to the whole thing, join us for a practical action-planning session on 6 September. Let’s explore how we can help each other do what is waiting for us to do.
Book here for the follow-up workshop
Resources for renewing the face of the Earth
Highlights and useful links from the last workshop
At the workshop on 8 June we shared opportunities to ‘green the parish’. A wide range of initiatives and resources is available, which you can now access via a new ‘Environment and ecological conversion’ page on the diocesan website.
We also heard how to help CAFOD build demand for decisive action on climate change at COP26, the crucial climate summit this autumn.
– Tales from the G7 – Tuesday 22 June, 6:30pm: Meet CAFOD’s G7 young people’s delegation, fresh from their trip to Cornwall to campaign, unite and learn alongside the G7 conference.
– Reclaim Our Common Home – CAFOD’s online petition to the PM
– Cooking and Climate Change: Ethiopia special, Thu 17 Jun @ 1pm (repeated Fri 18 Jun @ 6:30pm): join CAFOD as we cook up a tasty Ethiopian dish with Connor Molloy providing an insight into the link with climate change
– What is COP26?
– SCIAF’s guide to COP26
– Parliament in your parish – host an online meeting with your MP
It’s also worth reading this strongly-worded letter from the Bishops of England, Scotland and Wales to leaders at last week’s G7 meeting, which highlighted “the urgency of the global ecological crisis” and the need to work for “a future whereby we radically reduce our use of fossil fuels”.
The Green Church Showcase
A hunt for inspiring church initiatives
to protect and preserve the planet.
The Bishops’ Conference’s and the Church of England are inviting parishes, schools, dioceses, and Christian groups to submit details of work that they have undertaken to combat climate change, protect nature, and involve their communities in making changes. Could your parish be one of them?
The deadline for submissions is 21 July. Selected projects will feature in a specially commissioned video — the ‘showreel’ — to be launched during the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow at the start of November.
Bishop John Arnold of Salford said: “Catholic communities are already pioneering change in various ways, including engaging with CAFOD’s livesimply award, transitioning to greener energies and developing education on this issue in our schools. As we move towards COP26, we hope that ‘Green Church Showcase’ provides a platform that will enable and encourage churches to learn from each other across denominations.”
Green Church Showcase: click for details
Friends in Caritas
– Do you feel a call to care for the world around you?
– Would you like to team up with others in your parish and diocese?
– Shall we help each other explore where God is calling us next?
If you’re saying ‘Yes!’, become a Friend in Caritas. Your mission is the Church’s mission. Together let’s change the world.
Friends in Caritas are folk from around our Diocese who want to grow in their practical witness to the Gospel, and find mutual support. As Caritas Friends we will help each other:
– Nourish our faith and the unique vocation God has given each of us
– Be inspired by others, and in turn encourage them
– Build a network of fellow Catholics inspired by God’s kingdom
– Learn from Catholic social teaching – by putting it into practice
– Become part of Caritas, the worldwide humanitarian network.
Find out more about how Friends in Caritas can help you
Staff of Lloyds Bank, which looks after the diocese’s money, are more than happy to consider requests for help from parishes. Caroline, our account manager says:
“Every year colleagues in Lloyds are encouraged to go out into the local community and support the local charities/schools etc and this year my team and I have been trying to think what we could do to still support the community even with the restrictions. I was wondering if there was anything we could support you or one of your churches with. I was thinking maybe gardening, clearing the grounds of litter or something similar ? It would be great if we could give something back to you.”
If there’s anything you’d like help with, reply to this email, and we’ll pass it on to Lloyds.
Young people of our diocese and their hopes for the future
As part of the launch of Caritas, we asked young people in some of our schools what kind of world they wanted to create, and how Caritas could help. Here’s what they told us. Let’s take up their challenge!
At ‘Kindle the Fire’ on the eve of Pentecost, we opened the liturgy with this prayer to the Holy Spirit, calling down God’s blessing and challenge on ourselves and our work. We invite you to pray this prayer with us.
Before the Earth was made, God’s Spirit brooded over the waters.
Come Holy Spirit, and heal our wounded world
Into the lungs of Adam you breathed, our Lord and giver of life.
Come Holy Spirit, and make us signs of a new creation.
From age to age you send forth your Spirit to renew the face of the Earth.
Come Holy Spirit with wisdom for the crises our time.
With a prophet’s words, Jesus announced the gospel of justice and peace.
Come, Holy Spirit, and grant us your anointing in ourselves.
On the disciples the risen Christ breathed his gift and promise.
Come Holy Spirit and inspire us for our work of Love.
On the day of Pentecost, you fell in flames on each of the faithful.
Come Holy Spirit and ignite us with the fire which transforms.
In each Eucharist, you fall like dew to nourish us with Christ our life.
Come Holy Spirit and sustain us in your service.
In our weakness you pray for us with groans too deep for words.
Come Holy Spirit, and supply our strength for your service.
Come among us, O Love Divine, and make your dwelling in us,
now and always. Amen
- Newsletter 13 June 2021
- Newsletter 20 June 2021