Diocesan Annual Accounts 2016

‘Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy.’

With these words, Pope Francis opened the Bull of Indiction which announced the Year of Mercy. Jesus radiates the truth about God whom we call our Father.  He proclaims that this Father loves us and entrusts to us as our mission: the service of his people, his creation. Our mission is to serve each person we encounter, of whatever race, religious affiliation or state of life, and to help them to live in a manner that is consonant with their innate dignity, as children of the one Father.

In this task we must be aware that the well-being of every person goes beyond the individual. We exist and flourish only in relationships, despite the individualism of our culture. Enhancing and promoting good relationships among people and communities of all backgrounds, thereby building  a strong society, is so much part of our mission, too. At the heart of this mission is the proclamation of Jesus as Lord, for through his presence and grace our service of others is to be effective and life-giving.

The Church, then, is the work of Christ.  He is with us always in our search for the truth, in our attempts to live by that truth and to live always joyfully in the hope that he gives us.  He is present in our love and service for others, especially for those most in need, who are closest to his heart.

In 2016, we fully launched Proclaim Westminster to encourage our parishes to proclaim the Good News of the Gospel to others in a truly missionary spirit. As they deepen their own faith, parishioners are inspired to reach out to their communities in service of their neighbours, especially those who suffer from any kind of physical or spiritual poverty.

These acts of love and solidarity have taken on a special meaning in 2017 as we join with many others to care for those in our midst who have suffered from a succession of terrorist attacks and catastrophic tragedies here in London.

Pope Francis shows us the way:  ‘At times we are called to gaze even more attentively on mercy so that we may become a more effective sign of the Father’s action in our lives.’ It is by gazing on Jesus, who radiates depth, beauty, and all that is best in the human person, that our witness can grow stronger and become more effective.

This Annual Report shows us some of the particular ways in which so many in the diocese seek to respond, in faith and with generosity, to the needs they see around them. I am most grateful to them all. I extend my gratitude, too, to those who have compiled this report and the Annual Accounts.

 His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster

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