We are Caritas together: so what next?
Paul Bodenham invites you to continue shaping Caritas through 2022
I'd like to close this bulletin, and the year, with a word of personal appreciation and encouragement to the many people I've had the joy to travel with over the last year. Our attention is turning to planning for next year, and it would be valuable to hear how you feel Caritas can best support you from here on, and where we should focus our shared endeavours.
First a short review. The journey started in 2019 as the Justice and Peace Commission took up Bishop Patrick's invitation to establish Caritas in our diocese. Every Caritas is different: some employ dozens of staff, others are simple networks of groups and individuals. It soon became clear that Nottingham's Caritas would be different again - a movement of people who share a dream for the Church here in the East Midlands as a sign of God's kingdom. We support each other to realise that dream through prayer and practical action. locally and globally.
It has not been easy to hold a vision during the protracted uncertainty of Covid 19 and the rigours of social distancing. But together we've managed it thanks to the commitment, generosity and creativity of the nearly 200 people who have participated in Caritas events - mainly online - over the last year. Here are just a few highlights:
- Workshops like Prepare the Future and Open with Care to help parishes recover and thrive through lockdown
- The online launch of Caritas at Pentecost, hosted by the diocesan Youth Service, together with our Caritas prospectus and Friends scheme
- An online course The Word and the Common Good leading to six Here: Now: Us workshops around the diocese which engaged nearly 100 people on Saturdays this Autumn
- Just last month, the launch of a diocesan ecological journey through this critical decade, including an environmental policy framework and Pioneer Parishes scheme, with input from Lord Deben and Raymond Friel.
As the pandemic goes on we must continue to be attentive to need and resourceful in responding. A forthcoming edition of Grapevine
will outline our proposed priorities for the coming year - but not before you have been able to contribute your own aspirations.
It's likely to be a quiet Christmas for many of us, so let me ask a favour. Find a moment to help Caritas to discern a focus for next year which helps us all to grow in living the Gospel. A good place to start is the prospectus
which expresses the vision we started the year with. Here are some questions that might prompt your thoughts.
- What will help you and your fellow parishioners grow in confidence and leadership for mission?
- How in practice should we get together to build common cause and shared endeavours?
- What are you and your parish discovering through the Synod process that Caritas can help you implement?
- And is there anything you personally would like help to get 'off the ground' that Caritas can support you in?
To share your ideas, click the link below to send us an email. Let's be the best that God calls us to be in the coming year. I look forward to hearing from you, and wish you a happy, healthy and peaceful Christmas.