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A change of era

There is no doubting that these are turbulent times.  The UK may seem to be emerging from Covid, but vaccine inequality means that it is still rife around the world.  Meanwhile the pressure is on the UK government to secure a meaningful deal at the Glasgow climate summit, COP26. 

And yet a global network of development agencies (including CAFOD) recommended recently that COP26 should be postponed because the countries most vulnerable to both Covid and climate would be unable to able to participate fully - until the UK government stepped in to pay for their delegates' vaccines and quarantine.

In the midst of this, we are being reminded of our dependence on fossil fuels by queues at petrol stations and rising gas prices.  Poor households are threatened with with yet more hardship as they try to make ends meet, after losing the £20 top-up to Universal Credit on which many families' finances have come to rely.

Perhaps the three most important words in Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si' are these: 'Everything is connected'.  Poverty, family breakdown, environmental damage, disease, xenophobia - all must be tackled together, or none will be eradicated.  

It may seem impossible, but this is the justice which the Gospel makes possible.  Jesus called it the Kingdom of God.  In this edition we invite you to a great opportunity to discover your own part in this vocation - bookings are open for our Justice and Peace Assembly.  We’re privileged to have two keynote speakers with national profile, who will help us to tackle the twin crises of climate and coronavirus.  Join us to discern our mission as a post-Carbon, post-Covid Church, globally and locally.
Programme Leader for Social Action, Diocese of Nottingham

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In this issue
  • A Change of Era, the 2021 Justice and Peace Assembly - 20 November
  • Sisters divest from fossil fuels
  • Prisoners' Sunday - 10 October
  • Here: Now: Us: Lincoln City and County - 23 October 2021, now booking
Straight after the COP26 climate summit,
Caritas Diocese of Nottingham invites you to
its online 2021 Justice and Peace Assembly

'We do not live in an era of change so much as a change of era’, said Pope Francis in 2015. In 2021 there is no doubting his words.

Covid-19 is still rife worldwide, climate change is accelerating, and both of them are deepening the injustices which wound the heart of our world. Action in this decade will seal the fate of future generations. Amid the changes required of us these three remain: faith, hope and love.

Join us via Zoom, just days after the COP26 climate summit closes, to listen for what the Spirit is saying to the Church – particularly as parish communities called to mission in these turbulent times.

A change of era will be the centrepiece of a process for building our social mission as a post-pandemic, post-carbon Diocese. It will:

  • build on a series of Here: Now: Us workshops in the Diocese in Autumn 2021
  • launch our diocesan environmental policy, and the journey to fulfil it
  • chart a course for works of justice and charity in our parishes and diocese.

Our keynote speakers
Lord Deben is Chair of the Climate Change Committee, which advises the UK Government on climate policy.  Our assembly takes place less than a week after COP26 ends in Glasgow, so it will be an opportunity to absorb the outcome of the climate summit, and its implications for our future.  We will be launching our diocesan environmental policy framework.
Raymond Friel was appointed early this year as Chief Executive of Caritas Social Action Network.  As well as a varied career in education and social action, he has written several books, including The Revolution of Tenderness: How to be a Catholic in today’s Church, and is an engaging commentator on challenges facing the Church and society after the pandemic.
Find our more on the diocesan website
Book your place at 'A Change of Era'
A service for Creation

Ann Neale writes...

On Sunday 19th September the newly enlarged pastoral area of St Philip Neri, St Joseph’s Shirebrook, St Theresa’s Warsop, St Bernadette’s Bolsover, St Patrick’s Forest Town and St George’s Rainworth held a Service to celebrate creation, and a parish picnic.

The day was picked, and a small group came together virtually to organise the day.  Each person was allocated a task.  The music for the day was provided by George Stanton at Sound Advice Education and he proceeded to ensure that the children in our three primary schools would know the Worship songs which would be sung on the day.

The day dawned and the weather didn’t look promising as there were very heavy showers in the morning. However, the second reading for the day was James 3:16-43 all about praying for the right things o not to indulge ourselves, so it was decided that prayer for fine weather for a service for creation was the right thing to pray for and sure enough the afternoon was dry and at times very sunny.

We were lead through a simple service of prayer and action.  Sr Mary Deane led us in a Salute to the Sun
And the children brought up prayers they had written boats they had made to represent the people whose land will be lost due to rising sea levels and flooding.

We ended with a blessing from Fr John Kyne followed by a picnic.  For some people it was a lovely experience to celebrate with others after this long lockdown away from people.

Thank you to the organisers, Sr Susan Richert, Sr Mary Deane, Marianne Topliss, Ann Neale and particularly to George Stanton for providing our music.  Thanks also go to the Head Teacher of St Philip Neri with St Bede’s school in Mansfield, Mr Stelle for allowing us to use the school grounds for the occasion
CSJP Sisters divest from fossil fuels

The Sisters of St Joseph of Peace, several of whom are based here in Nottingham Diocese, have completed the divestment of their UK investment portfolio from fossil fuels. The sisters made the decision to divest in 2018 and were 100% fossil free in 2019. 

The decision to divest was part of a wider commitment made by the Sisters of St Joseph of Peace to reduce their carbon footprint and pray, study and act to promote a sustainable lifestyle – a process that started in 2008. The sisters developed a Land Ethic recognising ecological sustainability as one of the most urgent religious and moral challenges of our time.

‘The climate crisis calls each of us to conversion of heart and change in behaviour,’ said Sister Bridgetta Rooney, a trustee of the congregation’s charity. ‘We felt compelled to divest of fossil fuels to reflect our values. We are also committed to using our resources to make positive investments that will help the transition to a zero-carbon future.’

The Sisters of St Joseph of Peace are striving to take a holistic approach with their investment policy. In addition to divesting from fossil fuels, for the last three years the congregation has also actively invested in a fund which focuses entirely on sustainable investments.
With acknowledgments to Operation Noah

Below: Sisters of St Joseph of Peace at the Nottingham Climate Strike in 2020 (photo credit: Sisters of St Joseph of Peace)
Prisoners' Sunday, 10 October
Theresa Alessandro, from our own diocese (pictured), is thrilled to have been appointed as the Catholic Community Engagement Manager at Pact, the national Catholic charity for prisoners and their families.

It is Prisoners' Sunday on 10th October.  Theresa can come and speak about the work of Pact in your parish on that weekend, or at another time that suits better.
Prisoners and their families have been severely affected by the pandemic; in an effort to  stop the spread of the virus, people have been confined to cells for 23hrs a day. Families  have suffered prolonged separation as visits have been largely suspended since March  2020. Now, more than ever, Pact need the support of our parishes to enable them to continue  to support families and to help rebuild relationships. 

In England and Wales there are almost 79,000 people in prison and just under 90,000  children with a parent in prison. Research shows that keeping links between those in  prison and their families reduces the risk of prisoners committing further crime after release by 39%. This is a key aspect of Pact's work.
Pact are also looking for people who would like to be ambassadors for Pact by:
  • Giving a short talk after Mass about Pact’s work and its impact, with a script provided by Pact
  • Being a Pact presence, ensuring that posters are displayed and leaflets distributed.
Click below if you'd like to find out more about Theresa's offer to visit your parish, or opportunities to volunteer as an ambassador yourself.
Find out more about how your parish can mark Prisoners' Sunday
Contact Theresa at Pact
If you're in Lincoln or the wider county of Lincolnshire, and would like to see your parish developing its mission and outreach, come to Here: Now: Us: Lincoln.  It takes place on Saturday 23 October at SS Peter & Paul parish hall, 2A Skellingthorpe Road, Lincoln LN6 7RB.
Click here to find out about Here: Now: Us
Book your place here!
This Sunday, 26 September, was the World Day for Migrants and Refugees. 
'Towards an ever wider We'

Prayer for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees

Holy, beloved Father,
your Son Jesus taught us
that there is great rejoicing in heaven
whenever someone lost is found,
whenever someone excluded, rejected or discarded
is gathered into our “we”,
which thus becomes ever wider.
We ask you to grant the followers of Jesus,
and all people of good will,
the grace to do your will on earth.
Bless each act of welcome and outreach
that draws those in exile
into the “we” of community and of the Church,
so that our earth may truly become
what you yourself created it to be:
the common home of all our brothers and sisters. Amen.

The Bishops' Conference has gathered some informative resources which show why the Church cares so deeply for those who have had to leave their homeland for our shores.
Find out more from the Bishops' Conference website
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Diocese of Nottingham · Willson House · 25 Derby Road · Nottingham, Nottingham NG1 5AW · United Kingdom

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