Parishes use talents for goodMonday 15th July 2019
On Saturday 6 July, more than 150 parish delegates from all over the Diocese of Salford filled Holy Cross College, Bury, to celebrate Hope in the Future.
The parish social action day was organised by Caritas Diocese of Salford as part of the second stage of the Hope in the Future programme.
Hope in the Future is the parish-based programme re-energising the Diocese of Salford and encouraging the faithful to become ‘missionary disciples’ by reaching out to their local communities and putting faith into action.
Attendees at the Caritas day heard from a range of speakers including Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, John Battle, Chair of Leeds Justice and Peace group and Leeds Citizens, and Sir Peter Fahy who was formerly the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police.
John Battle opened the conference by inviting delegates to respond to the cry of the poor by supporting organisations and groups that addressed poverty, saying that “even in small ways, we can and do make a difference.”
Sir Peter Fahy, who is a trustee of both Caritas and the Diocese, spoke passionately about the importance of supporting church and faith-based communities that can reach to the grassroots of society and can work with the local community. He said: “No amount of government spending or statutory services can be a substitute for a good neighbour in the community.”
Voluntary organisations joined parishioners on the day, including Aid to the Church in Need and the YCW Impact group, to share how they could support them and make an impact on their local community. Lee House and Modern Day Slavery also offered an interactive refugee experience which helped parishioners from the Diocese to place themselves in the shoes of others and empowered them to use their own gifts and talents to take action in their own parishes.
Workshops followed in the afternoon focusing on the need to promote Catholic Social Teaching and encourage fostering-friendly parishes, as well as hearing about wider current issues that Caritas are working on such as refugees and the environment.
The strong commitments made by parishioners who attended the event illustrate the community spirit of those in the Diocese, with attendees pledging to reach out to the wider community and those on the margins, to support Community Sponsorship programmes to resettle refugees and to use their parish buildings for social action and community outreach.
On the day, Sr Joan led beautifully simple prayers and reflections and uplifting live music was provided by members of the Caritas team.