Formation Team

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Social Action

Our Diocese is part of the Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) a global, humanitarian movement which aims to help people who are poor, vulnerable or marginalised. Being part of CSAN helps us to promote the Social Teaching of the Church through our many parishes, highlighting Jesus’ love and care for those in need. The work we undertake with CSAN is supported by Justice and Peace groups and members of the Diocesan Social Action Commission.

The Social Action Commission meets regularly, during office hours, to discuss charitable campaigns and awareness raising initiatives and includes people from a wide range of professional backgrounds. It is made up of a number of smaller working parties which focus on a wide range of issues including: the plight of refugees, climate crisis, human trafficking and the importance of Fairtrade. You can find a list of working parties by clicking the button below.

Ongoing Caritas Projects and Events:

Living out the message of the Gospel underpins the projects our Caritas Social Action Adviser oversees. As part of our commitment to Caritas our Diocese provides furnished, temporary accommodation to victims of trafficking or exploitation, in line with the 2015 Modern Slavery Act. This supervised safe space aims to provide an opportunity for trafficked people to find refuge and begin re-building their lives.

Our Refugee Response project has been running for more than five years, highlighting the many difficulties faced by people forced to flee their homes because of violence, famine or climate crisis. We produce an annual Refugee Crisis Newsletter raising money and awareness for our Refugee Fund, with donations helping to support vulnerable refugees and their families living in our community.

People across our Diocese will be familiar with our annual Justice and Peace Assembly, held towards the start of each year. Our two most recent Assemblies have focussed on homelessness and human trafficking and have included a wide range of speakers. Details of future Assemblies will be featured in the News section of this site with tickets available through our Events page.

If you would like to know more about our Caritas projects and initiatives or are interested in Justice and Peace or Social Action please contact our Social Action Adviser here:

Inclusion

‘May the church be the place of God's mercy and love where everyone can feel themselves welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged to live according to the good life of the Gospel.’ Pope Francis

Our Church is a world church with many members. While we share one faith, we are a richly diverse community made up of many different cultures, needs and talents. Our Inclusion Adviser works hard to ensure that our churches and the Holy Mass are accessible to everyone by offering individuals and parishes a wide range of specialist advice and support.

Our Adviser can:

Help people with additional needs access the liturgies.

Support those with physical disabilities so that they can participate fully in the Mass and their wider church community.

Advise parish teams on how to implement of the Equality Act 2010, which protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society.

Train those interested in joining our ‘Ministry of Welcome’ programme, providing a warm welcome to individuals and families arriving at Mass.

Signpost the resources available to support people with additional needs as they prepare for Baptism, Reconciliation, First Holy Communion and Marriage.

You can contact our Inclusion Adviser here:

Dialogue & Unity

Dialogue and Unity is the work of fostering cooperation with other Christian traditions and other religions throughout the Diocese. Unity with other Christians is not just a task for us it is also a gift from God. Keeping our gaze fixed on Christ, we can journey together, learning from each other in humility and openness.

Dialogue and cooperation with those of other religions comes from our desire for peace amongst all of goodwill. Those Catholics who wholeheartedly engage with other Christians/those of other religions find a deepening and greater understanding of their own faith commitment. There is much work to be done in our local communities and together with other Christians and those of other religions we can make a difference for the Common Good.

Liturgy & Music

The word liturgy comes from the Greek ‘leitourgia’ a term used by the early church to mean ‘public work’. The liturgy of the church involves everyone in our church family and includes all public acts of worship in church, the celebration of the Mass and the sacraments and the Daily Prayer (Divine Office).

Our Liturgy and Music Adviser is here to support our parishes and people in the successful preparation and celebration of the liturgy, offering specialist help, training and advice on the musical elements of the liturgy - including music repertoire, how to co-ordinate and plan a liturgy, the reorganisation and embellishment of places of worship and the design of new churches and chapels.

You can contact our Liturgy and Music Adviser here:

Formation & Spirituality

Our Formation and Spirituality Adviser has four key areas of work: providing training to catechists teaching elements of the faith in parishes, offering advice and resources to churches wishing to expand their adult formation programmes, distributing Advent and Lent materials to parishes and supporting the Church’s mission of evangelisation.

Prayer deepens our faith and provides us with a greater understanding of God's purpose for our lives. One of the key elements of Bishop Richard’s Pastoral Plan ‘The Word Who is Life’ aims to help people develop their prayer lives through the provision of a ‘Week of Guided Prayer’ in each Deanery, overseen by our Formation and Spirituality Adviser. Speaking about the importance of prayer Pope Francis said 'The Lord tells us: the first task in life is this: prayer… the prayer, the heart: gazing on the Lord, hearing the Lord, asking the Lord'.

Another aspect of our adult formation programme is our highly successful Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies course (CCRS) which launched last year. This one-year course introduces important aspects of our faith and of Catholic theology, providing formation that enriches the lives of our parish and school communities. The course is open to everyone, including teachers working in Catholic schools, catechists and those involved in pastoral and liturgical work.

If you would like to apply for a place on the next CCRS course or to find out more about any aspect of our Adviser’s work you can contact them here:

Youth Services

Our Youth Adviser is dedicated to providing the appropriate training and resources to parishes, to help equip and empower them to walk with young people in their journey of Discipleship. There are also a range of events available for young people to attend at local, national and international level.

Contact our Youth Adviser here:

Marriage & Family Life

As a Diocesan community we recognise the amazing joy there is to be found in family life along with the challenges and difficulties it sometimes presents. Through different events and groups we work together to support a variety of  activities which enrich life in the various fields of family life.

If you want to get in touch about anything Marriage and Family Life related, please contact our Formation Team Marriage & Family Life Adviser.