News

Wanted urgently: Foodbank Warehouse Manager

Letchworth Foodbank requires a person to manage our warehouse in Letchworth. Due to varying demands during the year, hours will be flexible. Ideally, the role requires a person with experience in logistics. The warehouse is open two mornings a week but the manager will be expected to work beyond the official opening times. This position is not necessarily voluntary and an hourly payment rate can be negotiated. The overall responsibility of the position is

1. to manage and work with a team of volunteers in receiving and processing food donations.

2. Arrange collection of donations from supermarkets and other sources

3. Maintaining food stock levels and preparing a regular shortage list for the Management Team.

4. Purchasing food supplies when required.

5. Overseeing and participating with volunteers in packing food parcels mainly for clients in our three Distribution Centres

6. Liaising with and providing food to other food provision groups and charities

7. Uploading warehouse data onto the foodbank computer system and reporting to the Management Team

8. Supplying food parcels for special occasions during the year; e.g. Child school holiday lunch packages; Special Christmas parcels; Supplying food packs to Women’s Abuse Centres

9. Appointment of warehouse volunteers.

Training will be given as necessary. Further information and applications should be made to: info@letchworth.foodbank.org.uk or 07825 300437

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REFUGEES

Spring Plenary 2022 Resolution

In his 2014 message for the World Day for Migrants and Refugees Pope Francis wrote: “We ourselves need to see, and then to enable others to see, that migrants and refugees… are brothers and sisters to be welcomed, respected and loved.”

  1. This plea of Pope Francis is as urgent as ever. Given the events of recent weeks it is of particular relevance for the Catholic Church in England and Wales. Our appeal for refugees and asylum seekers to be welcomed and respected is based on the fundamental principle of the dignity of every person, created in the image and likeness of God. Every nation should recognise this dignity and the rights which flow from it.
  2. We appreciate the complexity and magnitude of the challenges being faced in the ongoing migration crisis. With over 80 million people across the world displaced by war, poverty, persecution and the effects of global warming, this challenge requires collaborative international action. Although resources are limited and there are many competing demands, wealthy countries, including the UK should give leadership in this endeavour.
  3. The value we attach to each person and the compassion which the afflicted deserve demands that we welcome asylum seekers, treating them justly and honouring their dignity as human persons.
  4. The Nationality and Borders Act fails to do this. Those seeking refuge in the UK should be provided with safe routes for travelling, have the opportunity to tell their story, be listened to and have their cases assessed justly. We keep in mind that there is no illegal asylum seeker; to claim asylum is a human right.
  5. People smugglers and modern-day human traffickers profit from the desperation and misery of refugees. We fully support their prosecution. It is imperative however to make a clear distinction between victims and those who exploit them. Crime is defeated by confronting the perpetrators not by punishing the victims.
  6. Many British people have given witness to justice through hospitality, providing a compassionate welcome and campaigning on behalf of refugees. We applaud their efforts and kindness. Our Christian faith demands that we respond generously to asylum seekers whose dignity must be protected and upheld. Jesus taught us, “I was a stranger and you made me welcome.” (Matt 25:35) so we will continue to advocate their cause.

Approved by the Plenary Assembly of the Bishops’ Conference
Friday 6 May 2022

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IN PERSON MASS ATTENDANCE

Spring Plenary 2022 Resolution

An invitation from the Bishops of England and Wales

This is the bread come down from heaven (John 6:58)

A beautiful hallmark of the Catholic faith is the profound desire to participate in the Holy Mass and share in the Eucharist. We do so with deep gratitude and joy. The Eucharist gives the Church her identity – “The Eucharist makes the Church, and the Church makes the Eucharist.” It enables us to worship Almighty God, to support each other on our journey of faith, and to be a visible sign of faith in the world. This hallmark is supported and strengthened by the precept that our fundamental Christian duty is to worship God by participating in the celebration of Mass. Attending Mass on Sundays and Holy Days is the greatest of all privileges, sometimes referred to as “the Sunday Obligation.”

Since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, until the present time, we have shared with you our judgment that the situation of the last two years has meant that the Sunday Obligation has been impeded and has needed to be fulfilled in other ways. We thank God that this situation has now changed. The pressing challenges of the pandemic have lessened significantly. Most people have resumed the wide range of normal activities, no longer restricted by the previous Covid measures. We therefore believe that the reasons which have prevented Catholics from attending Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation no longer apply.

We understand there will still be some members of our congregations who, for reasons of health, do not feel safe enough to return to Mass. It has always been the understanding of the Church that when the freedom of any Catholic to attend Mass in person is impeded for a serious reason, because of situations such as ill health, care for the sick or legitimate fear, this is not a breach of the Sunday Obligation.

Our Catholic people and parishes have benefitted during these difficult times from the online streaming of Mass and other services. “Virtual viewing” of Mass online does not fulfil the Sunday Obligation. It may, however, be a source of continual spiritual comfort to those who cannot attend Mass in person, for example those who are elderly and sick, for whom the obligation does not apply. In this context, we recognise gratefully the ministry of those who administer Holy Communion to the elderly, sick and housebound.

We are grateful to our clergy, religious and lay faithful who have served our parishes, schools and communities with dedication and distinction throughout this pandemic. Now we look forward with renewed faith and confidence.

In the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Lord’s Supper, the Lord Jesus entrusted to us the precious gift of Himself. With humility, we glory in being a Eucharistic people for whom attendance at Mass is essential. Looking forward to the forthcoming feast of Pentecost, we now invite all Catholics who have not yet done so to return to attending Mass in person.

As the Church needs the witness of the presence of each person, so too each believer needs to journey in faith and worship with their fellow disciples. Nourished by our encounter with the Risen Lord Jesus, fed with His Word and His Body and Blood in Holy Communion, and supported by the presence of each other, we receive strength week by week, to serve the Lord and glorify Him with our lives.

Approved by the Plenary Assembly of the Bishops’ Conference
Friday 6 May 2022

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Synodal Pathway Links

The Synod can be confusing. What is it? What am I expected to do?

Our wonderful Synodal Team have collated some links that can help navigate parishioners.

Two articles can start you off, one in the tone of heart-to-heart between parishioners, the other a news piece on Pope Francis’s take on the synod:

Our Mission Technique by Mark Schlingerman – Madonna House Apostolate

https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2021-01/pope-francis-communicate-by-encountering-people-where-they-are.html

This lovely cartoon animation is a light but useful tool

Our Dioceses and the Holy See have plenty of resources. The links are listed below.

https://rcdow.org.uk/synod/

https://www.synod.va/en/resources.html

Finally, this message from Cardinal Mario provides a more in-depth take on the Synodal process.

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For a Synodal Parish: Communion, Participation, Mission

A message from Dan and the Synodal Team:

Our journey together as a Church depends upon our accompanying one another in our parish, trusting that the Spirit guides us as we act together.  The joy of the Gospel remains hidden in our hearts until we come together, to offer it to one another for the healing of our parish and our world.
Two open parish-wide meetings are scheduled for us to listen and speak again as we did during the Advent listening events and written responses.  The contents of our parish synthesis statement sent to the Diocese will be presented as well as the synthesis from the Diocese sent to the bishops’ conferences and the Vatican.
The ears of the Spirit are open:  What remains to be said to one another?  To the Diocese?  To the Vatican/global Church?The hands of the Spirit are ours:  What lies before us as we discern our journey together?
Meetings in the Saint Hilda Room: 

Wednesday evening, 8 June at 7.30 pm                                                         

Saturday morning, 11 June at 11.00 am

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SASH meeting

A message from Patsy:

Seniors at St. Hughs (SASH) Our meetings are held in St. Hilda’s room every fortnight at 2.30 on alternate Thursdays.  If you are new to this Parish, have recently retired, or moved to support your family, or become rather isolated due to COVID or bereavement, and want to meet mature people, come and join our friendly group.  
On May 26th we will have discussion on “My earliest Memory” and on June 9th we will discuss “ What I did on Coronation Day”.

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Justice & Peace E-bulletin

Welcome to the e-Bulletin from the Westminster Justice and Peace Commission. Please send Events for inclusion to justiceandpeace@rcdow.org.uk. The deadline for the next e-Bulletin is 30th May 2022.

Westminster Bishops Synod Report

Everyone is invited to read the Westminster Bishops Report which is based on response to the Diocesan Synodal Pathway and was published on the Diocesan website on 11th April 2022.

This report has been submitted to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales to contribute to a national report finalised in June and sent to the Synod Office in the Vatican in July. The reports from this global exercise will then form the basis of preparatory documents for the Synod of Bishops in October 2023.

The Bishops of Westminster Diocese wish to express their deep gratitude to all who have contributed to this Synodal Process. They write: “We are embarked on a path which will now proceed in two directions – one ad extra, the other ad intra. Ad extra: we Bishops will submit this Synthesis to the English & Welsh Bishops’ Conference Secretariat as our Diocesan contribution to a National Report; this National Report will in turn form part of a European Continental submission to the Synod taking place in Rome next year. Meanwhile, ad intra: we commit ourselves to continue this process which has been launched – towards discernment of new Priorities for Mission.”

New Commission Members

This month we begin our search for new members of the Westminster Justice & Peace Commission. Terms of Reference and an application form are attached to this E-Bulletin, where it is sent as a mailing, or available from the Westminster Justice and Peace Commission website.

The deadline for applications is Friday, 17th June 2022.

We hope to recruit members who will reflect the full diversity of our Diocese and strongly encourage younger adults and people from ethnic minorities to apply as these groups are currently under-represented across the Justice & Peace network. Commission membership is a voluntary role, involving four meetings a year and advising on a variety of issues in between.

Parish Contacts

At the same time, we are also seeking more Justice & Peace Parish Contacts in those parishes where there is currently no named person in this role. A list of current Contacts and a role description can be found on our website: https://westminsterjusticeandpeace.org/parish-contacts/

DIARY OF EVENTS 2022

2nd May: Annual Mass for Migrants, Westminster Cathedral – 2.00pm Banner Procession, for 2.30pm Mass for the Dioceses of Brentwood, Southwark & Westminster.

7th May, 10.30am-3pm: National Justice and Peace Network (NJPN) Networking Day – ‘Forging a New Culture of Peace.’ On Zoom. Open to all. Register in advance for this meeting: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZErcOGuqzMqEtUwdUv6sSajCy9JJfumBsPK

9th May, 12.45-2.00pm: Southern Dioceses Environment Network – All Creatures Great and Small: Reflecting on biodiversity. Speakers: John Paul de Quay Journey to 2030 and Mary Colwell Curlew Media . Register with Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/255436105267

11th May, 7-8pm: CAFOD – Fix the Food System Campaign Launch. Online. Hear what the campaign is all about and how you can be part of it. https://www.bigmarker.com/cafod/Fix-the-Food-System

16th May, 12.30-1.30pm: Prayer Vigil outside the Home Office with Westminster Justice & Peace and London Catholic Worker to pray for migrants seeking safe passage to the UK. Contacts Barbara Kentish (J & P) barbarakentish@talktalk.net and Br Johannes Maertens (LCW) johanmaertens@hotmail.com

16th-22nd May: The Big Plastic Count – National citizen science project. Join thousands across the UK and tally all the plastic packaging you throw away for one week – 16-22 May. Then submit your results via a simple website. Register for an info pack at https://thebigplasticcount.com/

21st May – 18th September: Kew Gardens – Food Forever. Food: we love it and we can’t live without it. But the world is changing, and so is what we eat. Interesting series of talks, exhibitions and events on the future of food at West London’s famous botanical gardens. Sustainable food is a current campaign theme for both Caritas Westminster and CAFOD. https://www.kew.org/kew-gardens/whats-on/food-forever

22nd-29th May: Laudato Si’ Week. ‘Listening and Journeying Together’. https://laudatosiweek.org/

This year is the 7th Anniversary since the publication of Laudato Si’ on 24th May 2015.

23rd May 9.30-4.00pm: St Paul’s Cathedral Events – Rest as Resistance: A retreat day for weary activists: those who are active in serving in their local communities in the name of Christ. In-person event at Royal Foundation of St Katharine, Limehouse, E14 8DS. Led by Natalia-Nana Lester-Bush. There will be opportunities throughout the day to experience a labyrinth as a form of embodied prayer. Ticketed but subsidised places are available. https://www.stpauls.co.uk/whats-on/rest-resistance-retreat-day-for-weary-activists

24th May, 10am-12noon: Circular Tree Walk from Westminster Cathedral with Colette Joyce. Free. Book with Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/320637905607

24th May, 2-4pm: Laudato Si’ Study Session with Colette Joyce – at Vaughan House, 46 Francis Street, SW1P 1QN. Free. Book at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/329853740417

25th May, 1-3pm: Racial Justice: Where are we now? Updates and discussion with Colette Joyce (J &P Co-ordinator), Elaine Arundell (Primary RE Adviser), Fr Richard Nesbitt (Parish Priest, White City) and Elizabeth Uwalaka (Parishioner, White City). Vaughan House, 46 Francis Street, SW1P 1QN. Free. Register with Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/330195522697

26th May, 3.30-5pm: Diocese of Westminster Quarterly Meeting of Homeless Projects. Online. Share best practice, receive training and agree main advocacy issues. Register with Caritas

7th June, 6.30-8pm: St Paul’s Cathedral – A New Beginning? Recovering well after the pandemic. Contributions from Deborah Bull, Stephanie Flanders and Victor Adebowale. Chair: Sarah Mullally, Bishop of London. In-person or watch online. Free.

13th June, 12.45-2.00pm: Southern Dioceses Environment Network – Sustainable Summers. Register with Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/300571967847

25th June – 3rd July: London Climate Action Week – Harnessing the power of London for global climate action. https://www.londonclimateactionweek.org/

11th July, 12.45-2.00pm: Southern Dioceses Environment Network – Preparing for the Season of Creation and COP27. Register with Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/300574134327

22nd-24th July: National Justice and Peace Network (NJPN) Annual Conference – Theme ‘Hope! A verb with its sleeves rolled up.’ The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire. Booking- https://www.justice-and-peace.org.uk/conference/

26th August – 29th August: Greenbelt Festival – Boughton House, Kettering. A festival where arts, faith and justice meet. Theme ‘Somewhere to Make a Stand’. Bands, workshops and talks. Family friendly. Camping and other accommodation options. https://www.greenbelt.org.uk/

1st September – 4th October. Season of Creation. Theme – ‘Listen to the Voice of Creation.’ https://seasonofcreation.org/

3rd September, 4.00pm: Southern Dioceses Environment Network – Mass for the Season of Creation. Farm Street Church, 114 Mount Street, W1K 3AH. Followed by refreshments.

17th September, 10am-1pm: Westminster Social Justice and Peace Forum – To Accompany Refugees. St Aloysius, Euston. Hosted by Bishops Nicholas Hudson and Paul McAleenan.

24th September, 11am-4pm: National Justice and Peace Network (NJPN) Networking Day – Hosted by Hexham and Newcastle Diocese. Venue in the North-East tbc. Open to all. 24th September – 2nd October: Great Big Green Week. The Climate Coalition – Step up for climate, nature and people

7th-18th November: COP27, United Nations Conference of Parties – Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

12th November, 11am-4pm: National Justice and Peace Network (NJPN) Networking Day – Zoom and/or London/South East area tbc. Open to all.

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A LOVELY CARD FROM BAKHITA HOUSE

Dear Rev James,

this card comes to thank everyone for the wonderful donation you sent to Caritas Bakhita House.

We are grateful for any monies raised as we get no government support. Our women take part in music therapy, it is a very important part of our recovery process, so to raise the money through a concert is extra perfect. We also do many other therapeutic activities to enable the women to move on to a much better life, free of exploitation.

We are looking forward to the summer months when we can enjoy our garden much more and hope all of you have a wonderful summer.

Best wishes,

Guests and staff @ Bakhita House

This painting has been done by a guest at Caritas bakhita House, then made into a card to say
“Thank you” to you.
Bakhita House House is currently the home of 151 women aged 15-70 and 12 babies from 44 different countries
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