Advent radio broadcast answers call to missionary discipleshipSaturday 10th December 2022
A Bolton parish is hitting the airwaves this Advent in an effort to share God’s message of love and hope beyond the pews of the parish.
The Parish of St Cuthbert’s has become a regular feature on Bolton FM this Advent with a special festive-themed broadcast on “The Spirit of Bolton” programme.
Responding to our diocesan Hope in the Future Programme, the Parish Leadership Team has been working hard with parish priest Fr Chris Gorton to explore more ways of living out the call to be missionary disciples – a theme that is particularly relevant as we enter into the Third Sunday of Advent.
Fr Chris explained: “This Sunday’s Gospel acclamation has an important message for us all as we continue on our journey as missionary disciples:
‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.’
“Through the Spirit we receive in baptism, we are given a special purpose, a special mission to share God’s message of joy, peace, and love to the world around us.
“Our Advent radio broadcast is our way of answering the call of our baptism, by using the story of Christmas to “bring glad tidings” to all in our community and beyond.”
Hope in the Future is an invitation to every parish to recognise and develop this missionary identity and call to evangelise.
Formally launched in 2017, the programme is now entering its fifth and final stage – called “Sharing the Hope” – but parishes are invited to embark on the journey in their own time and at their own pace.
Inspired by the teaching of Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium, the programme strives to provide guidance and resources to help parishes, schools, and families with the “proclamation of the Gospel in today’s world.”
Pauline O’Rourke, a member of the Parish Leadership Team at St Cuthbert’s, was delighted to work on the project and share the wonderful message of Christmas with the wider community.
She said: “Our Parish Leadership Team met with Fr. Chris to consider how our parish could achieve not only stronger links with young people and younger children in our parish and parish schools and their families, but also to include the whole parish and wider community.
“We came up with the idea in 2020 of putting together a presentation of “The Christmas Story”, which was narrated by individuals and interspersed with carols. The broadcast went ahead in the week leading up to Christmas.”
The broadcast was then developed and expanded on in 2021, and is now being repeated once again on Bolton FM (96.5 FM) at 7pm on each of the Sundays in Advent.
The programme consists of readings, reflections, hymns, prayers, presented by parish co-ordinators, the parish music group, the music ministry team, and young people and children from the parish.
Pauline and the team have been delighted by the response to the programme and how it is helping them live out their parish mission.
She said: “The initiative was warmly received, particularly by the families of those involved, and parishioners were appreciative and supportive of the ambition and creativity of the parish coming together in this way.
“Our three parish priorities here at St Cuthbert’s are to be open to the Holy Spirit, to grow together as a family, and to bring others to Jesus.
“It is of the utmost importance to us as a missionary parish, as it is for all parishes, to deliver this undertaking by seizing every opportunity in whatever way possible to take God’s message of love and hope out to the wider community.”
Click here to find out more about our Hope in the Future programme and don’t forget to join us on Saturday 21st January for our first Sharing the Hope Day.
The day aims to provide an opportunity for individuals, parishes, and deaneries to learn more about the needs in their community and then prayerfully discern how best to respond.
The session is specifically aimed at Bolton, Salford, Bury/Rochdale deaneries but all are welcome to attend.
Click here to find out more and book your place now.