Bishop calls for continued mission in final Hope in the Future celebrationSaturday 7th October 2023
This week saw the conclusion of our Hope in the Future journey as our fifth and final stage drew to a close with a joyful celebration.
On Tuesday 2nd October, parishes and schools came together for two fantastic events that celebrated all that we have learned and achieved over the past six years.
The first event welcomed almost 500 schoolchildren who raised the roof with a whole host of prayerful songs performed by creative worship group One Hope Project, before enjoying fun-filled talks about faith and mission, learning a signed prayer, sharing stories and ideas, taking part in group projects, and more.
As the schools departed, preparations were made for a quick turn around before representatives from parishes across the diocese arrived for the second event, which offered an insight into how our parishes have responded to the fifth stage of our Hope in the Future programme.
This beautiful stage of the programme invited us to reflect on our relationship with others in our communities, as well as across the world, in a bid to live out Jesus’ call to love both God and neighbour.
Our parishes responded with great kindness and creativity and it was a pleasure to welcome parishioners from St Cuthbert’s in Bolton and St James and All Souls in Salford to share details of their own projects.
Talks from lay missionary Pippa Baker and Fr Chris Gorton – parish priest at St Cuthbert’s – presented the group with a wonderful vision of the future: a future where each and everyone of us plays an active part in bringing Christ’s love to all and making our parishes vibrant hubs of fraternity and worship.
Bringing the event to a close, Bishop John reminded us that our work doesn’t simply end with the programme; it merely provided a bedrock for each one of us to live out our mission as individuals and as parishes and schools.
He said: “St Paul tells us: ‘Just as a human body is made up of many parts and all those parts make up one body, so it is with Christ’. We don’t act alone. We are parts on one body. The body of Christ needs all its parts to be functioning well and that’s what we have to cling on to when we’re speaking about the diocese and its mission – and all our parishes, working together.
“We can’t privatise our faith; it can’t just be something internal – we are missionary disciples. We have got to go out, to walk with people, and show Christ’s love to them in all that we do.”
Click here to access our Hope in the Future resources to continue or begin your own journey.
Click here to read our Hope in the Future Legacy Booklet