Edition of Grapevine 52


Warm welcome: what next?

Before long the weather will be getting warmer.  Let's hope so, anyway!  We will be able to turn the heating down, but the cost-of-living crisis its not going away.  Fuel bills will remain high for months, possibly years, to come. 

At least 25 parishes in the Diocese have been offering a drop-in or Warm Space open to the public during this Winter.  There is only one word I can use for how I feel about that: proud - and I had very little part in it. 

If you've been involved, thank you for all you have been doing.  You have been chipping away at social isolation, and enriching our communities - socially if not financially.  

Your endeavours are part of a spontaneous mission initiative driven by lay people at the grassroots of the diocese - maybe even the largest mission endeavour the diocese has seen in recent times.  And it was all driven by people like you.

In this issue of Grapevine we explore some possible next steps for parish outreach as we move into Spring.  You can also download some useful tools and resources which you to help you 'read the signs of the times' and respond as the Gospel calls you.

There are also a wealth of events, organised by ourselves and our partners.  Reach for your diary!

-- Paul
Caritas Diocese of Nottingham
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In this issue:
  • Warm Space: what next?
  • A template for signposting to crisis services
  • Caritas and SVP join forces in the diocese
  • A City on a Hill - planning outreach in Lincoln
  • Broken and Shared - Lent course on food poverty at the Cathedral
  • Listen again to Anna Rowlands on a 'politics of communion'
  • Living Laudato Si - Zoom retreat, THIS WEEKEND!
  • Faith and Footprint - Parish environmental workshop
  • Young adults: step into the gap with CAFOD
Living 'Laudato Si': Your Parish and Your Planet
This weekend, 17- 20th February 2023

with Bishop Patrick McKinney and Sr Margaret Atkins
There's still time to book - scroll down for details!
Letting great little things happen

The cost-of-living crisis is not going away any time soon - the roots of isolation and inequality run deeper than the recent crisis.  But our parishes are also part of the solution and are helping to create resilient neighbourhoods.  And what are parishes if not people - people like you?

The relationships between us are a rich resource that we can too easily take for granted.  And our buildings provide shelter for 'great little things' to happen.

If you have been involved in a 'warm hub' in your parish or neighbourhood, we have one plea: don't give up when the weather gets warmer.  Keep going.  The experience of many warm hubs is that word will continue to get round, and more will come.  

Nonetheless, with Spring just round the corner this is a good time to take stock. So we've prepared some conversation starters and ideas, which we'll explore further at a 'Warmer Welcome' workshop on 14 March.  You'll find out how to book for that below.
Warm welcome: what next?

Whether you've been running a Friendship Group for years, or have only just opened a warm space, here's something you might like to share with your fellow volunteers.  Click the button below for a guide for reflection, exploring questions like:
  • How have we developed since we first began?
  • How have I been changed by the conversations I've had?
  • What impact have we had on pastoral care and outreach in the parish?
We'll explore further at a 'Warmer Welcome' workshop on 14 March.  You'll find out how to book for that later in this bulletin.
Download Warm Welcome: What Next?
Signposting to crisis services

People often come to us with needs which are beyond our expertise - just ask any priest who's had a knock at the presbytery!  We've gathered into a single page sources of support which you can confidently recommend to people experiencing difficulties, ranging from debt, to domestic abuse, to children's support.  It will help you to find national helplines and local public services, and you can also add to it details of local projects and charities in your own area. 

Download and save the template in Word on your computer.  Feel free to add your local information.  Keep a copy at your drop-in or by your presbytery door!
Download the Template for Crisis Services
Parishes supporting mental health and wellbeing

Come as you are is a two-part workshop from our friends at Transforming Notts Together to equip churches to consider what might be the next (or first) step towards purposefully supporting their congregation and community in the area of mental health.  It's ideal for anyone exploring how to go further with their drop-in or Friendship Group.

Part one is designed to help us consider mental health from both a professional and a biblical perspective, as well as creating good foundations for our own wellbeing before we seek to walk with others.

Part two will think specifically about wellbeing in a church context - What barriers exist? What practical foundations do we need to consider? Which charities or projects are already working in this area and how can we partner with them instead of reinventing the wheel?

Watch the organiser Sue Buckby in the video below to find out more.  Sessions take place on Zoom as follows:
Part 1: 21 February or 14 March
Part 2: 24 February, 7 March or 28 March
Find out more about Come As You Are
Warmer Welcome Workshop
Book now for 14 March

Caritas hosts a regular online get-together on Zoom for anyone offering parish-based hospitality and outreach in the cost-of-living crisis.  The next workshop is on Tuesday 14 March at 7.00 p.m. As the weather gets warmer, we’ll be exploring ‘What next?’ for our local projects.  Click below to sign up, and a Zoom link will be sent to you a day or so beforehand.
Book for A Warmer Welcome
Caritas and SVP join forces

The Society of St Vincent de Paul has been at the heart of the Catholic social action landscape for many years.  At Caritas we were particularly impressed, and sobered, by their recent report Stories from the Front Line: The Real Price of the Cost of Living Crisis, which you can download below.

As part of our shared commitment to those in need, Caritas and SVP in the diocese are actively exploring how we can deepen our collaboration and work more effectively together for those we seek to serve. 

We're delighted to welcome Joe Gasan as the newly-appointed Membership Support Officer for the SVP's Nottingham Central Council, which supports parish SVP conferences around our diocese.  Here are a few things we're planning with Joe and his SVP colleagues:
  • SVP conference members are cordially invited to any of our events, including our Warmer Welcome workshops
  • As with any parish group, Caritas is happy to offer SVP Conferences support for project development and fundraising
  • We're looking forward to collaborating with SVP for our annual 2023 Caritas Assembly, at a date to be arranged in November 2023
  • We'll also aim to work together to support parishes which are undergoing restructuring, helping you to take all the opportunities which a merger provides.
Download SVP's Stories from the Front Line
If you're in the Lincoln area, join us in a couple of weeks with Deacon Warren Peachey to explore how Lincoln's parishes can work together for mission across the city, with each other and with local partners and faith communities.
Book for A City on a Hill
Towards a politics of communion
Catch up on Anna Rowlands' fascinating talk last month

On 18 January, Anna Rowlands, St Hilda Associate Professor of Catholic Social Thought & Practice at the University of Durham, gave us an inspiring talk and interview.  It was billed as taster for anyone who wants to know about Catholic social teaching but was afraid to ask!  Click the video above to watch her in conversation with Paul Bodenham.
For those in Nottingham, here's a great opportunity to learn more about the impact of poverty, with first-hand stories shared across cultures.

'Broken and Shared'
Food Poverty and the Gospel

A free 5 session Lent Course on Thursday evenings, from 23rd February at St Barnabas' Cathedral Hall, 7.30 - 9.00 pm.  Following the Lent Sunday readings, the sessions will explore the reasons for food poverty and how we can address it locally and globally.

The course, led by Patricia Stoat and Ruth Shelton, will be workshop-style with plenty of discussion.  They will also welcome guests from Emmanuel House, SaSh and the Mount Zion Food Bank.

Please book by emailing via the button below or telephone Mrs. Alison Lokes 0115 953 9839 ext 7
Book for Broken and Shared
***  This weekend!  ***

Living Laudato Si
Your Parish and Your Planet

Zoom weekend from Boarbank Hall, 17- 20th February 2023
Bishop Patrick McKinney has kindly agreed to introduce the weekend.

The Retreat will be led by Sr Margaret Atkins, an Augustinian Canoness at Boarbank Hall in Cumbria and author of Catholics and Our Common Home: Caring for the Planet in a Time of Crisis (CTS).  She will be joined by Trish Sandbach, who worked in Oxfam Education and is an assessor for the CAFOD LiveSimply  ward and John Paul de Quay, founder member of the Ecological Conversion Group and Journey to 2030.  There will also be a panel discussion for sharing advice on practical projects.

Voluntary donations gratefully accepted, but there will be no fee for the weekend.
Book for Living Laudato Si this weekend
Faith and Footprint: Caring for Creation

Tuesday 7 March 2023 at 7.00 p.m. on Zoom

If you’re looking to develop an eco-initiative in your parish, however modest, this Caritas workshop is for you.  Join us for inspiration from CAFOD’s Livesimply scheme and our own Pioneer Parishes.

Caritas supports a network of people like you who see how our faith calls us to live on the Earth.  Join us to answer the call of Pope Francis in Laudato Si to care for our common home.

We'll explore how to:
  • 'join the dots' between faith and footprint and help our fellow parishioners do the same
  • reduce our parishes' own carbon footprint, and our own
  • help to restore nature at our church and at home
  • contribute to the renewal of our parish and our own faith in harmony with creation
A warm welcome to you and to Will Cruddace who will be joining us from CAFOD.

We are planning three of these get-togethers through the year which you are very welcome to join.  The others are as follows - make a note in your diary:
  • Monday 5 June, World Environment Day
  • Tuesday 3 October, eve of St Francis' Day
Book for Faith & Footprint, 7 March
Step into the Gap with CAFOD

CAFOD are offering opportunities for 18-30 year olds to gain experience, develop leadership skills and spend a year in service of others, enabling them to influence and inspire a generation of younger people and others to make the link between faith and acting for the poorest and most marginalised.

By being in either a retreat centre or school chaplaincy you can volunteer as part of a programme which works alongside the Catholic community and others to bring about a more just world. This programme offers the opportunity to gain varied work experience, develop a range of skills and deepen your knowledge and experience within the context of your faith.

Find out more about 'Step into the Gap'
Racial Justice Sunday was on 5 February.  The work of racial justice is year-round.
Donate to CAFOD's earthquake disaster appeal