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A moment of consequence

After a year's postponement, negotiators and world leaders are about to gather for COP26 in Glasgow.  It is the most consequential international summit of our generation.  I for one will be following every move with bated breath.  I imagine that in all of our parishes we'll be praying for a courageous outcome.  Let's hope the needs of the poor and future generations win over short-term self-interest.

Immediately afterwards is our online diocesan annual Justice and Peace Assembly.  And we can have no better keynote speaker to help us make sense of the outcome than Lord Deben, Chair of the UK Climate Change Committee, which advises government on climate policy. 

The biggest casualty of a bad outcome from COP26 would be justice, and we're also privileged to be joined by Raymond Friel, Chief Executive of Caritas Social Action Network.  CSAN leads the co-ordinates advocacy and action at national level across a whole range of social concerns.  The impact of Covid-19 is giving their work - and the task facing all of us - a sharper focus than ever.

Now is the time to get your booking in - and to put the advert below in your parish bulletin!  You'll be able to join people from your parish and district in buzz groups.  Together we'll seek to navigate this 'change of era' with the Gospel as our guide.  I look forward to having you with us!
Programme Leader for Social Action, Diocese of Nottingham

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In this issue
  • A Change of Era - a notice for your bulletin
  • Solidarity with our friends from Kerala following more flooding
  • Love Christmas - connect with your community through giving
  • Find out about modern slavery on 23 November in Nottingham
  • Steps for the Synod - listening to the marginalised
Have you booked your place yet for our Annual Assembly? 
And has it been in your parish bulletin yet?  

If not here's an article you can cut and paste!
For your parish bulletin...

'A Change of Era'
Saturday 20 November

Hard on the heels of COP26, join our online Diocesan Justice and Peace Assembly, with Bishop Patrick and parishioners from around our diocese, and two high-profile keynote speakers:
  • Lord Deben, Chair of the Climate Change Committee, which advises the UK Government on climate policy.
  • Raymond Friel,  Chief Executive of Caritas Social Action Network. 

Pope Francis has said ‘We do not live in an era of change so much as a change of era’.  There is no doubting his words. Covid-19 is still rife worldwide and climate change is accelerating. In these turbulent times, three things abide: faith, hope and love.

You will be warmly welcome to join by Zoom from 10.00 a.m. to 1.15 p.m., to listen and share what the Spirit is saying to the Church – particularly as parish communities called to mission in the wake of Covid-19 and the Glasgow climate summit the previous week.

More details and booking at

More about 'A Change of Era'
Book your place here
Parishioners from St Mary’s parish, Marple Bridge met in Marple Precinct last week to pray for the success of COP 26, the crucial climate summit starting next week in Glasgow.  They joined with the neighbouring parish of Holy Spirit, Marple (over the border in Shrewsbury Diocese), other local churches and the environment group MESS (Marple, Mellor and Marple Bridge Energy Saving Strategy).

The group prayed that when world leaders come together to discuss climate change they will plan how we all move forward to protect our planet. The service was led by Fr Bill Fitzgerald, Chair of Churches Together and John Sutch from the Methodist Church (seen holding the cross). Joseph Harvey from St. Mary’s Marple Bridge read from Laudato Si
Many of our parishioners in Nottingham Diocese come from the western Indian state of Kerala.  The region was hit last week by devastating floods which have claimed at least 27 lives.  Please join us in solidarity and prayer with them, their families and the Syro-Malabar community here in the diocese, as they now seek to recover from the damage to their livelihoods and economy.

Vacancy for a Supported Lodgings Worker

Our friends at Open Homes Nottingham are a charity with a Christian ethos who provide accommodation for homeless 16-25 year olds in the homes of volunteer host families.  They currently run two projects - Nottingham Nightstop, which provides emergency accommodation, and Supported Lodgings,offering up to 12 months in the home of a host family with support and mentoring.

They are seeking someone to recruit and train more Supported Lodgings hosts and work with the young people on placement and their hosts to support them with all aspects of independent living, and in finding longer-term accommodation.  The post is 21 hours per week with occasional evenings.  Applications close on 7 November.
Find out more from Open Homes
Bishop Patrick is encouraging parishes to get involved in the Love Christmas initiative.  The scheme is a national initiative, growing through a network of thousands of churches and other local organisations to share  share 'Bags of Kindness' with people in their neighbourhoods.

In the wake of the COVID pandemic, many people continue to live isolated from friends, family and community; often struggling with financial distress, poor health, job uncertainty and bereavement. Love Christmas brings Catholic parishes and other local churches together to give, pack and deliver practical gifts.  It strengthens personal connections in communities across the UK and lets people know we are with them, and they are not alone.

It's a great way to lift our eyes from concerns about the impact of the pandemic on our own parish congregation, look outwards to the wider community, and build our confidence for mission.  Follow the link below to see if Love Christmas is something could your parish could do  
Find out more about Love Christmas
On 13 November Here: Now: Us comes to Leicester.  There's still some places left, but not a lot, so follow the link below to book your place soon!

If you're in Nottingham, you've just got time to book for this Saturday's workshop at Our Lady and St Patrick's in the Meadows.
Book here for Nottingham and Leicester
We've already held two lively workshops in Derby and Lincoln - see below of a picture of the workshop at Our Lady of Lourdes, Mickleover, on 13 October.
Click here to find out about Here: Now: Us
The Kingdom of God is slavery-free
A panel discussion and Q&A session examining modern slavery in Nottingham and how churches can contribute to making our city slavery-free

Tuesday 23 November at 7.30 p.m.
Cornerstone Church NG7 1FP

What forms does modern slavery take in Nottingham? Who does modern slavery affect in our communities? How does modern slavery intersect with homelessness, learning disabilities, asylum seeking, and other issues our communities face? How is all of this relevant to the work of local churches - such as compassion ministries?

Join an expert panel and Q&A session to explore all of these questions and more. This event is for compassion ministry leaders, church leaders, and members of congregations across Nottingham.

This event is hosted by Christian Action Network's (CAN) Slavery-Free Notts subgroup. CAN promotes collaboration, relationship, and unity among Christian organisations who tackle poverty and related issues in Nottingham. 

 Understanding these 'intersections' of modern slavery and other social concerns can support the wider work of the Church across Nottingham in taking a holistic approach to making Nottingham slavery-free.
Book for the modern slavery event
Steps along the way

This Autumn each Catholic community in our diocese is being invited to reflect on their dream for the Church and how to make that a reality. Our Synodal process, which kicked off this month, will not only listen to the leaders in parishes, chaplaincies and schools but to everyone - especially those at the margin of our community.

In the next couple of weeks, each parish is being invited to consider:
  • What is my dream for the Church, for my parish/chaplaincy so that it can become more outward-looking, more missionary?
  • To achieve this dream, what do we need to stop doing?
  • What are we doing that needs to be developed or done differently?
In mid-November, the focus moves to the following questions:
  • As a parish/chaplaincy do we know who are the people who feel marginalised or separated from the parish/chaplaincy and society?
  • How best can our parish respond? Suggest at least two identifiable ways (an immediate action and a long-term change) in which, as a parish, we will reach out to, and listen to, the marginalised or separated.
And toward the end of November, we are invited to consider:
  • How do I hear and respond to the voice of God’s Holy Spirit, in my life; what signs of the Spirit at work do I see in the life of my parish/chaplaincy?
  • What steps may the Holy Spirit be calling us to take, as a parish/chaplaincy, on our journey together into God’s future?
The conversations have a clear focus on the marginalised, both in the Church and in society at large.  Caritas is here to support you in implementing anything you discern and decide as a parish. Our Here: Now: Us workshops can help you to clarify what you would like to bring to this shared endeavour.  Let's go!
Hear Bishop Patrick read his pastoral letter, or download it here.
World Day of the Poor

Following the World Day of the Poor, Sunday 14 November, the diocesan Synod journey invites us to ask, 'Who are the people who feel marginalised or separated from the Church and from society; and how can we best respond?'.

Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) have published a Novena of prayer, liturgy and reflection, starting on 5 November.  It sets the scene well for the Synod conversations which follow.  It's ideal for use in personal reflection or in the parish.
Download the Novena from CSAN
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Diocese of Nottingham · Willson House · 25 Derby Road · Nottingham, Nottingham NG1 5AW · United Kingdom

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