YouthGather 2014

This year’s YouthGather was held, in glorious sunshine, at St Andrew’s Catholic School in Leatherhead on Sunday 28 September. Mrs Balko, Assistant Head and Chaplain at St Andrew’s welcomed over 200 people and the day began with Mass celebrated by Fr Tony Barry.

During the Mass we listened to the Gospel story of the two disciples walking along the road to Emmaus, talking about the recent events in Jerusalem when Jesus had been crucified. When a stranger appeared and walked alongside them, they didn’t recognise that it was Jesus himself until they were sharing a meal and he broke the bread. This then set the scene perfectly for our afternoon walk, providing the opportunity to spend greater time together and the sharing of stories.

St Andrew’s School led the music at Mass and everyone was impressed by their singers and instrumentalists – drums, violin, guitars and ukuleles (even an electric acoustic one!). Thank you so much to Mrs Ridgeon, Miss Allerton and to all the students for their hard work and for sharing their gifts and talents with us.

The day was concluded with a 10k sponsored walk through beautiful nearby woodland but not before we had a barbecue to remember, with the School’s Chef serving up homemade burgers to give much needed sustenance to the walkers. We are very grateful to the School’s Caterers Pabulum who subsidised the cost to support our charities.

people registering for the walk Continue reading

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The Medaille Trust

A charity founded by Catholic religious congregations to work for the eradication of human trafficking and to offer support to those who have been trafficked.

They are beginning the process of a recruitment drive for an exciting new project to promote their good work within a number of Dioceses.  They took the decision to start this at a manageable pace and selected 3 Diocese to begin with, Portsmouth, Liverpool and Brentwood as they are reasonably close to existing staff / safe houses.

They are very pleased with the support given so far by our Diocese and said if we know of anyone that might be the perfect candidate for A&B please do let them know as they are very flexible and willing to add us!

Click below to see details of an event in London next month….

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Supporting Families for Faith in Action

Columban Justice and Peace Education, CAFOD and our Pastoral Team are currently exploring:

‘How we can support the development of ‘faith in action’ values in the home’…... And we’re starting with listening...

Share with us your thoughts and experiences at St Joseph’s Parish, Guildford on Saturday, 9th of August from 10 -12.30 pm

Please let us know if you are coming by

e: education@columbans.co.uk

Justice & Peace Assembly 2014

Israel – Palestine Any hope for Justice & Peace

What was primarily a day of learning, focused on the many sad & difficult challenges facing those seeking justice and peace in the Holy Land. Ways of how we, as Christians, should respond were identified, including by prayer. The day opened with a time of worship led by Fr Kevin Dring, Priest Adviser to the Diocesan J&P Commission and concluded with a ‘Muslim, Jewish, Christian Prayer for Peace’ read by Canon Anthony Ball.

The Assembly was held at DABCEC in Crawley on the 17 May and attended by 102 people. The timing of the event was pertinent given another round of peace talks had just broken down in April and the Holy Father was visiting Bethlehem and the region a week after our gathering.

Canon Anthony Ball

Canon Anthony Ball

The scene for the day was perfectly set by Canon Anthony who offered an historical, non-biased, context to the situation which proved invaluable in understanding today’s issues better. Canon Anthony is a former diplomat in the Middle East and now the Anglican Rector of Worth. He is also a Trustee of Embrace the Middle East who had an exhibition stand.

Mary Lucas

Mary Lucas

Mary Lucas, CAFOD’s Programme Manager for the Middle East and Sri Lanka, followed with examples of how CAFOD work with their partners in the region and shared stories highlighting the plight of Palestinians, particularly in rural areas.

Bishop Kieran opened the afternoon session with a video message that included a request to parishes to observe an hour of adoration for the Christians in Palestine to coincide with the Pope’s visit.

The final speaker was Michaela Whitton who gave a ‘powerful and thought provoking’ presentation about the 3 months she spent in the Holy Land this year. Michaela was a Human Rights Observer for the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), and they also held an exhibition stand.

Michaela Whitton

Michaela Whitton

Many of the attendees commented on how impressed they were by the quality of the three speakers.

The Friends of the Holy Land exhibited their work showcasing how they engaged with communities from the ‘bottom up’. Pax Christi and the World Development were also well represented and the Diocesan Fairtrade stand boasted of a ‘very good day for sales’!