Words, dance and song will all be used to help to tell the story of the Church’s social outreach in our diocese in a major celebration at St Mary’s Cathedral on Saturday November 16.
The event, which will culminate in a liturgy led by Bishop Terry, is taking place to mark the third World Day of the Poor, when Pope Francis asks us to reflect on how poverty is at the very heart of the Gospel.
It’s hoped that as many people as possible will attend, with every parish in the diocese sending at least one representative.
“We really want people to see all the good work that goes on to help those living in all kinds of poverty or oppression, whether it be material, physical, spiritual or social,” said Canon John Lumley, Episcopal Vicar for Christian Discipleship.
“Everyone is welcome to come and join us for all or part of the day and will hopefully return to their parishes inspired and with a renewed sense of optimism and purpose, knowing there is so much we can do that really does make a difference to people’s lives.”
The day will begin with a keynote speech from Sister Lynda Dearlove MBE, who is returning to her hometown to talk about her pioneering work.
Sister Lynda, a nationally and internationally renowned champion of women whose lives are caught up in the world of prostitution, will also preach at the closing liturgy, presided over by Bishop Terry, which will be a combination of reflection, dance, story and music.
Sister Lynda founded the Women at the Well service at Kings Cross, London, and has spent her life speaking up for vulnerable women.
In recent months the Voice has been highlighting some of fantastic work carried out by the wide variety of organisations that make up Caritas Middlesbrough, which is chaired by Canon John.
“This event is a unique opportunity to celebrate the ways in which the Gospel is being put into practice in service of those whose lives are blighted by poverty or exclusion,” he said.
“You will be able to hear the stories of those who have been helped to overcome the challenges of poverty in its many forms. There will be stalls with information about various groups involved in all kinds of social outreach. Come and celebrate how the good news of our Catholic faith is being put into action!”
Organisations taking part include CAFOD, the SVP, those working with dementia and with migrants and refugees and Justice and Peace groups.
The theme for this year’s World Day of the Poor, set by the Holy Father, is: “The hope of the poor shall not perish forever.” (Ps 9:19)
He asks all Christian communities, and all those who feel impelled to offer hope, love and consolation to the poor, “To help ensure that this World Day of the Poor will encourage more and more people to cooperate effectively so that no one will feel deprived of closeness and solidarity.”
The event begins at 11am and ends with a liturgy starting at 2pm. All are welcome. Bring a packed lunch. Tea and coffee provided.
*Visit middlesbrough-diocese.org.uk to download a resource pack that includes materials and ideas to help you and your parish or group prepare for World Day of the Poor.