OUR DIOCESAN FAMILY Ao n h
Matt Spiller, chaplaincy co- ordinator at St Benedict’s High School in Bury St Edmunds likes to plan ahead and just as he was beginning to settle into a routine discovered Year 10 retreats were coming.
“I’ll be honest: my heart didn’t leap for joy,” he said and he wrote down his experience and the aftermath.
Weeks later, when I was speaking to the form group that would be the first to take part in the (pretty compulsory) day it transpired that I was not alone in my feeling. What unsettled me most about the day that we would embark upon together was that it was not just a “play games and work as a team to build a tower” type of day but it was focussing on prayer.
A choir of over 200 Children from five East Anglian Catholic schools presented the Easter story in song, words and mime close to the end of term in March. The performance was called The Road to Jerusalem and the Cathedral was packed as the five schools from the Notre Dame cluster joined together.
The director of the diocesan Schools Service Julie O’Connor said: “It was often moving and
often joyful. This was a memorable occasion and the first time so many Catholic schools had worked on a single project for many years. It was an occasion Bishop Michael would have loved, and the perfect way to begin Holy Week. “A big Thank you to everyone involved. The schools taking part were St John’s Infant School, St Thomas More Middle School and Notre Dame High School from Norwich, St Mary’s and St Augustine’s Primary Schools in
J&P meet on water
The diocesan Justice and Peace Commission are to hold their annual gathering at The Narthex in The Cathedral of St John the Baptist, Norwich, from 11am to 3.30pm on Saturday September 15.
This meeting is an opportunity to meet, to be inspired, pray and learn. It has been held at Walsingham in the
This year the theme chosen is water - topical with the Cafod campaign, the international meeting in Rio and the drought across East Anglia.
Sarah Ebelewicz said this was a diocesan event and all were invited to attend as the subjects of water and drought are so important and topical. “We’re delighted that our keynote speaker is
writer, filmmaker and broadcaster Mary Colwell who is also the environmental advisor to the Catholic bishops in England and Wales with a particular interest in the relationship between faith and the natural world,” Sarah said.
“Mary is an experienced and well respected speaker who will inspire and challenge us. “The day will also include time for discussion, presentations, lunch and will end with a liturgy.
“Be inspired, meet and share ideas, learn more and help to influence day to day use of water and the urgent need for sustainable water supplies for all wherever we live and how our faith and church teaching relates to these issues,” she said. “We’re hoping to have contributions from a variety of organisations including Cafod, Anglian Water, WaterAid and the local authority. “It’s hoped also to have some activities for young people during the day we’d appreciate ideas of ages of children who may attend. “Why not make a day of it and perhaps come with a group from you parish or an ecumenical or inter- faith group you belong to. “A warm welcome awaits.”
For more information please contact Sarah Ebelewicz tel 01603 506873. Email email@example.com
The event will be free but we will want people to register so we can plan for refreshments.
About 50 members of the Roman Catholic, Methodist and Church of England community led by Deacon Peter Glanville, Rev Stephen Cullis and Rev Martin Greenland assembled at 5.45am on Easter Sunday outside the 12th Century church of St Mary’s Fishley for an ecumenical dawn service. The church is a short walk out of Acle and has become an annual event held for the past 10 years. The service included prayers and hymns inside a candle-lit church as it has no electricity supply. Afterwards the congregation went outside into the grounds.
The service ended with a rousing rendition of the hymn Jesus Christ is risen today” and they then went to the nearby Methodist Church for breakfast.
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r u dt eDo e e Pupils on retreat learned to pray making chaplaincy co-ordinator delighted
When I looked at the schedule I wondered if the students were up to it or whether I was simply asking too much. The retreat days were held at St Edmund’s Church. We used the newly refurbished yet still chillingly named crypt for a range of creative ways of praying, and the church itself to explore meditative silence.
People also spent time walking in
pairs—exploring how God can be found in the presence of another. The evaluation forms that people filled in were overwhelmingly positive but I was still retaining a level of uncertainty. The proof of the pudding arrived when one of the retreat days had to be postponed due to a teacher’s illness.
People were disappointed that the day had been delayed but since then
200 young people on road to Easter Costessey and Gorleston.
The choir of well over 200 children were joined by an adult band made up of staff and the acting was presented by Notre Dame. “The event tells the story of the seven days from Our Lord’s entry into Jerusalem to the crucifixion.
“It is the first time for many years that our Catholic schools have got together in this way,” Julie said.
have been actively chasing me up on when the day was going to be. This is quite a contrast from the day before the first retreat when people were asking “do we have to go? Can’t we just go to normal lessons?”.
It would seem word had got
round; the days were great and people enjoyed themselves. But better than that; people prayed!
Two schools win church awards
Notre Dame High School in Norwich is the regional winner for the East in the Church School Awards established by Emmaus Recruitment.
St John Fisher High School, Peterborough were awarded a special commendation.
The awards are supported by the Church of England’s National Society, The Scottish Catholic Education Service, Methodist Children & Youth, the Catholic
Teachers, Schools and Colleges (CATSC), and Northern Ireland’s Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS). Other support comes from aid and development organisations including CAFOD, Christian Aid, World Action in Methodist Schools, World Aims and many other supporters.
The awards are designed to promote the work done in the areas of community cohesion and global citizenship under the coalition government’s BIG SOCIETY initiative.
The St Vincent de Paul Society is looking for volunteers to help co-ordinate a youth programme in the Diocese of East Anglia. The society runs Youth SVP, which is open to all secondary schools and sixth forms, and SVP 1833 which is for young adults either at university or parish based. A society spokesman said: “In the coming year Mini Vinnies will also be introduced in primary schools in participating dioceses.
“Development officers are needed to provide assistance with new startups and maintain contact with established group leaders.
“Full training will be given both in terms of the role and Vincentian ethos.”
Further information on 0207 407 4644.
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