I really don’t know where the time is going. There is a big feast not far away… A lot needs to happen between now and then. Keep an eye on the newsletter over the next weeks – there is a lot going on. We are remembering – not nostalgically looking back – but contemplating the foundations on which our church and our faith are built.
This month we have our Adult Formation sessions on Thursday evening. Believe and Belong is the theme. In a Church after the pandemic – how can we reach out and grow? How can we become more and more a community open to the needs of those around us?
In the build up to Christmas, we will be asking for gifts for our Christmas Raffle. This helps us help others as this money is for our charitable causes. As last year we won’t be having a “Christmas Fayre” where we are crammed into the hall – but will have Advent Sunday – with bacon butties and something a little more than tea and coffee…
During Advent, we will be contemplating the theme of the open door – and will be collecting food and toiletries for Red Door in Bury – one of our Caritas projects….
As we move out of lockdown, we are looking to make sure we do not lose the many people who have been helping us out through lockdown. We have learnt a lot about communication and building teams to look after the different aspects of our community life. Of course, we have our Masses and services, but our Church is about so much more.
Looking at the pandemic, we were a lifeline to many. If I think of those who were isolated or sick. If I think of the grieving. If I think of those who had no one to help, A big lesson learnt from the pandemic – community is important. I am looking at our young people and wondering how we can support their journey. I am thinking of our knowledge of our faith and how that can grow.
Over the last couple of weeks, people have been returning to the Hall, including our Dramatics Society as well as our coffee mornings. Soon fish and chips will be on the menu. Our volunteers are still taking out newsletters and info to those who don’t have access to the internet.
A key element of sustaining our community in the long term is enabling the community to manage itself and grow. We have worked on the traditional model of the priest being available at the heart of the community. Decisions can be made quickly, and it is a model that makes things “easy” (depending on who the priest is of course). But as we know, both from a theological and a practical point of view – the Parish is much more than the priest!
There is a lot to be done – and the only way we can build a self-sustaining community is if we have enough people to make things not only work – but thrive. People can be confident that when they volunteer, they can make a difference. It is not enough just to turn up on Sunday – it is not enough just to say “give me a call if you need anything” – get involved. I am asking everyone to give one hour of their time to our community each week…
Over the coming weeks, there will be more info on how to get involved…
Gratitude is an important attitude. Scientifically it is known to enhance well being if nothing else. In our consumer, throw away age, we can take things for granted. It can become really hairy when we not only take things for granted – but when we take people for granted.
We started our recognition and learning last week with a group of volunteers that is very visible. What is important to note is that there are many groups that work invisibly to make sure that we can come to Church safely week after week. I would like to pick out one of those groups today.
A great team has been working extremely hard in the background. As you can imagine, with COVID there has been a great need for enhanced cleaning in our Churches. In fact we have had to clean after every use. I am so grateful that we have not closed un-necessarily on any days that we were allowed by law to be open. This is due to the fact that we had a great team that covers these extra events and keeps us going. Thanks go especially to Susan Boddy and all those who worked along side her over those weeks and months….
There are many people who do their part to support our parish whom you will never see. From experience, I know that many people volunteer for the great and the grand tasks and offices. But without these important, seemingly menial, tasks being taken up quietly in the background – we would literally grind to a halt. It’s amazing how much needs to happen in order for us to function….
Thank you all!
I would like to encourage everyone who comes to our Church to find. Little “hidden” task that they can help out with. It all adds up to the complete picture of who we are.
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