As we move forward toward Pentecost after a fruitful and joyful Easter, your donations to Growing in Faith are making a tremendous difference in lives across our Diocese. We wish to share with you some of the latest and exciting news about what has happened over the past months.
Central London circuit night shelter
Caritas has organised a night circuit shelter across a network of seven churches in central London to offer an extended winter shelter from April to May. Most night shelters begin to close their doors by the beginning of April, yet homelessness is a year round problem, and the need for shelters remains.
The night shelter circuit will be based at a different church venue every night on a rota basis. Each church offers an evening meal, overnight stay and breakfast and will have the capacity to provide fifteen beds each night. Over the seven week period, this will amount to over 700 beds!
Caritas is providing the seed-funding, through Growing in Faith, for this project, as well as advice and training for parish priests and volunteers.
As one guest has already said, “Churches are actually coming together as a Body, as it should be, in the Body of Christ. I’m finding it really interesting that they are working together.”
Do you want to volunteer and make a difference in the lives of the homeless in London? You can contact Finola to see how you can get involved at email@example.com.
Caritas is supporting parishes in reaching out to those sleeping on the streets, and providing them with a warm place to stay.
Caritas Community Hubs are connecting social action across the Diocese
Another exciting initiative that is taking shape is the community hubs which Caritas is developing across the Diocese. Four hubs have been launched in the past year as Caritas members continue to meet Parish Priests, volunteers and social action groups in order to establish working relationships and identify particular areas of social need that parishes would like to develop work in.
You can keep up to date with the work happening in the Hertfordshire Hub by following Edward de Quay’s blog, which follows his experiences and interactions with local volunteer leaders. Recently, he met with a group called The Living Room which offers rehabilitation services to those recovering from addictions. The hope is to find ways in which these groups and Caritas can team up work together, thereby offering their services in other communities where similar issues are experienced.
Love in Action is one of the programmes that Caritas is rolling out across parishes through the hubs, educating catholics about Catholic Social Action.
Mapping Social Action across the Diocese
Over the past several months, Caritas has been working to map all the social action projects that are happening in the network of parishes and Catholic charities across the Diocese. David Wyatt, a member of the Caritas team, is collaborating with parish priests and volunteers to identify what projects and social needs around each parish and their communities.
He has nearly completed the mapping exercise and is now developing an interactive website so that anyone can easily access and search this information. This map, which will be available on this website in the coming months, will be of tremendous service as it will provide a visual representation of what projects are happening, who is doing them, and how to access them or get involved.
If you want to learn more, you can contact David at firstname.lastname@example.org
The following is a photo of the Map designed by Caritas Birmingham - Caritas Westminster is currently designing a similar map for social action across the Diocese.
Thank you for your continued support
We hope that you are inspired by these three social action activities. Please check back when we review the latest on the transformational projects that some parishes have undertaken in the past several months.
From brightening the sanctuary, to elaborating the environment for Holy Mass, to hiring a youth worker, all of these projects are strengthening parish life.
Cheers from all of us at the Growing in Faith Team. If you wish to learn more about other updates, please email us at email@example.com.