In this month’s Voice there are many important articles, but I would just like to draw your attention to two in particular.

Our Diocesan Justice and Peace Organisation, in the light of Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’On The Care Of Our Common Home, are putting before us an Environment Policy. What are the aspirations of this policy? Very simply put there are five objectives:

  • • To encourage us all to see God our creator at work in our world, and ourselves as part of that work and include the gift of creation in prayers and liturgy wherever possible.
  • • To create a change of mind-set which will lead to changes in lifestyle – some of which may be only minor but still effective.
  • • To provide practical and tangible steps that individuals and parishes can take to promote that lifestyle which respects others and God’s creation and to believe that what we do WILL make a difference.
  • • To enable schools and young people – usually the most enthusiastic concerning the environment – to become creative partners in this work
  • • To encourage the sharing of ideas within the diocese as to “what works” within individual parishes, via articles in the Voice etc.

Please read the article in this month’s Voice for more information and inspiration.

Secondly, I draw your attention to the article on “Share The Journey”. There are so many people who have been displaced, forced into exile, terrorised into becoming refugees and asylum seekers. One of the terrible facts quoted in the article is that every minute 20 people are forced to become displaced persons, and that half of the world’s refugees are children. Again, Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, right from the beginning of his ministry has urged us not to ignore the plight of our brothers and sisters who find themselves in such situations. We need to share the journey with them.

In order to help us to be in solidarity with these brothers and sisters, CAFOD is organising a walk. Parishes, communities and schools throughout our countries can join in this walk. In this way, and with the help of CAFOD, world leaders will be shown how important we, the people of this country, feel about the plight of our displaced brothers and sisters. The world leaders are meeting in September to discuss and, hopefully, agree a policy on refugees and migration.

Again, please read the article contained in this edition of the Voice and refer to the links for help and materials. Pope Francis reminds us: “Every stranger who knocks at our door is an opportunity for an encounter with Jesus Christ, who identifies with the welcomed and rejected strangers of every age.”

Yours in blessed hope,

Bishop Terry