‘In using our gifts to help others, we play our part in building up strong, welcoming communities within the diocese.’
The wisdom of Pope Francis in calling the Year of Mercy has been clearly demonstrated in many ways, not least in the increased celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation over the past months. But it is a noble tradition of our Catholic Faith that the spiritual goes hand in hand with the practical: indeed, in Misericordiae Vultus, the Bull of Indiction of the Year of Mercy, the Holy Father gives his reason for calling the Jubilee Year in these words: ‘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.’
There are many such signs of God’s action to be seen in the Diocese of Westminster. Volunteers give generously of their time in parishes, schools and in social action: four million hours a year in total, it is estimated. I thank all those who live out their faith in this way. Their witness, often quiet and unassuming, is an eloquent and practical testament to their belief. It brings the love of God to others in ways that are as tangible as they are valuable.
Of course, those who give of their time as volunteers also receive richly, not least from those they serve. In using our gifts to help others, we play our part in building up strong, welcoming communities within the diocese. Such communities encourage their members to reach out to wider society with compassion, offering practical support and spiritual accompaniment to those in need.
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
To view and download the current published accounts, please click on HERE