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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
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.
A parish outing to Worcester Cathedral yesterday gave the opportunity to learn something more about St Wulfstan (aka Wulstan) – one of the saints of the Archdiocesan calendar – and to enjoy one of the glories of England’s Catholic Christian Heritage.
Check out the parishnewsletter for details of upcoming trips.
All photos (c) 2019, Allen Morris
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, as President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, goes to Rome today to take part in the meeting called by Pope Francis to address the protection of minors within the Catholic Church worldwide in the light of the abuse suffered by them within the communities of the Church.
The meeting runs from 21-24 February. You can find details, and background here.
The broad themes of the meeting are those of responsibility – knowing what is to be done; accountability – the ways in which we are responsible to each other; and transparency – the determination that there be no hiding places in these matters. These are the virtues, the qualities of our life together, that need to be renewed and strengthened.
Please pray for Cardinal Vincent and the other participants, and for the positive outcome of this meeting.
And, of course, please pray for all survivors of such abuse who will perhaps be grateful that the Meeting is taking place, but will also find these days difficult as so much public attention is given to what has caused, and still causes, such hurt and damage to them.
As well as offering our own personal prayers we will be praying as a parish.
- Each Friday after the 7pm Mass we have some time of exposition and we pray for the victims of abuse. Perhaps you can join the parish at this prayer this week.
- Our Saturday evening Mass coincides with a Penitential Liturgy for those taking part in the Meeting in Rome. We will be joining our prayer with theirs.
- And on Sunday morrning too, as the Meeting in Rome concludes with Mass, we will pray at Mass for all those who have taken part, for victms, and for the Lord’s blessings on the work accomplished and for the challenges ahead.