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The year 2020 will be the 10th anniversary of Verbum Domini – Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Exhortation on ‘The Word of the Lord’ and the 1,600 anniversary of St Jerome’s death. These dates have motivated the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales to make 2020 a year of focus on The God Who Speaks.
In 2020 we will be celebrating, living and sharing God‘s word with an exciting new initiative. It will be an opportunity to enrich current practice and to develop and explore new ways of responding to The God who Speaks.
Throughout the year, there will be a range of events, activities and creative resources to participate in all around the country. The public launch of The God who Speaks will be 30th September 2019.
In the meantime please spare a few moments to complete a short survey on The Bible and You here
you are close to the broken hearted.
Look with compassion on those
whose lost memories have robbed
them of home and belonging.
Comfort and strengthen
those who care for them.
May all make their home in you.
This we ask through Christ Our Lord.
Our Archdiocese this week keeps a week of prayer for those with dementia and their carers.
Today our parish keeps these people especially in our prayer today at Mass.
Image taken from https://www.brightfocus.org/alzheimers/article/what-causes-dementia
February 2019 Figure 1,085
Increase of 114 or 11.74% on February 2018
2019 January – February 2019 – 2175
2018 January – February 2018 – 1,909
Overall increase for the same period in 2018 – 266 or 13.93%
The start of the new year has as previous year, experienced an increase on both the previous years and month as you can see.
We can only hope that the increase is not so dramatic as the previous years.
Our Clients are now coming from a wider area than before and thankfully last year we were approached by schools, health centres, hospitals and other community groups from the wider areas who are now working alongside us and our existing sponsors, partners and friends to support those in need. This helps us meet the ever increasing needs around us and we know we could not do this work without them, or our volunteers who have done and are doing an amazing job
We are working closely with the Job Centre as Universal Credit is still being rolled out across our area, and also with Clarion Futures who offer free e-training to get people back into work or retrain, we will be posting more about Clarion over the next few weeks as we consolidate the work being undertaken.
This winter the Birmingham Winter Night Shelter offered in a number of church halls across the city did not operate because of lack of central organisation.
There was a promise to look at other, more manageable, ways forward.
There is a meeting today to consider one possible way forward.
The proposal is to continue the model of each church taking a different night a week but rather than hosting in their own church a team of volunteers from each church would run the shelter together but at one central venue, namely Birmingham City Mission Care Centre.
Birmingham City Mission Care Centre have been involved with the shelter in some form since it began in 2012. In last couple of years the care centre has been one of the venues for the shelter, initially having stepped in when one church was not able to host at the last minute. Their role in the shelter and their understanding of the complexities of homelessness have made their contribution to the shelter invaluable.
A few years the ago the care centre was refurbished and BCM are keen to find ways to use it further to support homeless and vulnerable people. With this in mind and in conversation with the shelter working group we are proposing a new model for the shelter which we would like to pilot next year.
There is still a lot to be worked out but having discussed this at length with the shelter working group this is the direction being explored now.
The proposal is a 6 week pilot next winter, and so if this is to go ahead the team will be looking for 7 churches willing to participate next year.
There are some significant advantages to the one venue model, in particular it would create a more settled environment for guests who would not have to move around each night of the week and would therefore have a bit more stability. It is also much more manageable from a central coordination perspective cutting down on the need for transport and bus pass costs. We recognise that one of the appeals of the previous model is that each church was able to host in their own space, but we hope that in each church being responsible for a particular night of the week that the sense of team that has worked so well in previous years will continue.
Given that each church will be hosting in a venue that is unfamiliar, BCM are keen to make sure that there is an experienced person/people at the venue during the evening who can help should any issues arise.
In the meantime please remember that the permanent provision for homeless people that is now offered by the Catholic Church at Tabor House.
Tabor House, Birmingham’s only permanent night shelter, is looking for volunteers to help, especially overnight and mentors.
Interested in finding out more?
Come to Open evening: Weds 20 March 6pm – 8pm at St Anne’s Training Room, 96 Bradford Street, Birmingham, B12 0PY.
Contact Sharon McCall: 07387 418319 for further information.
If you have a view on all this please email the parish office.
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On Monday 7 January 2019, the Council of Christians and Jews and Cumberland Lodge brought together representatives from a range of religious groups and community organisations for a symposium: Democracy in Crisis? Moral and Spiritual Resistance. The event explored potential faith responses to the challenges faced by communities today, due to the rise of populism, extremism, antisemitism and Islamophobia in the UK and beyond.
Delegates explored issues such as: social media and online extremism; inequality and living standards; identity and integration; and faith and the public sphere.
The Symposium Papers are now available to download here including the keynote addresses, panel addresses, and a summary of the group discussions.
Senior Programme Manager
Lots of extraordinary disciples to choose from down the centuries to mark this day… but today let’s focus on Mary Magdalene – apostle to the apostles.
Go, get ’em, Mary…
Image: Stained glass, St Mary Warwick. (c) 2016, Allen Morris.