St Anne’s R.C. Church Crumpsall.
HOPE IN THE FUTURE
Thank you Prince Philip!!!
Since dear Frances Leigh stopped maintaining the Church grounds they have begun to look a little neglected and derelict. Two years ago following an appeal, one teenager (Femil) offered to keep the grounds tidy but it is too big a job for one, already busy person.
Amy (a reader) asked if she could do her Duke of Edinburgh bronze level module in a skill, by doing some gardening at the front of Church. I hope you have noticed how good it is looking now the rockery is weed free and planted up. It now looks so much more attractive to people arriving to Mass.
As she was pulling weeds in the heat of the sun last month after the Sunday Mass another person, Tina (choir member) seeing what fun this looked, offered to come and help and has begun work on the tubs and surrounding patch in the car park. Her work then prompted yet more volunteers, namely Mary (teas) and Krysia (organist for the Polish Mass) and so we now have the beginnings of a gardening team.
If there are any other horticulturalists out there that want to join us do feel free.
A big thank you to Femil, Amy and Tina already making our Church grounds look more appealing and another thank you to The Duke of Edinburgh for inspiring our young people to be active in their communities, which in our case has inspired some of the less young to do likewise.
HOPE IN THE FUTURE
On Saturday, 23rd September three of us went to a Day Retreat held at St. Bede’s School. The purpose was to give those of us who have been involved in Hope in the Future a little ‘directed’ time to reflect on our efforts and consider what we might achieve in the coming year. We are about to enter the second year of the initiative.
The day started with a relaxing liturgy and reflective music followed by a talk by Fr. Chris Gorton. He was very entertaining, but the crux of his argument was that to attract new people into our Churches we should stop trying to be something else. We are not a social club, or an afternoon tea group – we are here to offer worship to God. He compared it to a Golf Club – which exists to play golf. To attract new members, you need to get them interested in golf not gin tasting sessions or other social events. Swap the word Golf with God and you will get the point. We all need to become more comfortable with talking about our faith and why we come to Mass. We were then directed into three smaller (but still large) groups or workshops to experience a little of three different types of prayer.
1) LECTIO DIVINA was presented by Fr. Gavin Landers, whom some of you may remember from when he did a placement here whilst training for the priesthood. This type of prayer involves reading a passage of scripture (lectio) and trying to place yourself there in the heart of the passage. Then ask God what he is trying to communicate to YOU through the scripture (meditatio). Try then to think which particular words speak to you and respond to what God is saying to you. (this is the prayer bit called oratio). Finally comes the part when you the ‘prayer’ make a decision or change of heart (contemplatio) in the light of the word God has spoken to you. This type of prayer can be made alone or in a group or with a prayer partner. I have simplified the formula for brevity’s sake, however there are little pamphlets and a book available in the parish library if you would like to pursue this yourself. It might be good if a group of you could get together to try this out.
2) Daily Prayer of Awareness (the Ignatian Examen) was presented by a Jesuit Priest from the Holy Name. This involves 5 stages usually towards the end of the day. You look back over your day and ask God for to bless them. Good moments give to God with joy. Bad moments give to God to heal. Look to tomorrow and give the moments to God to fill with hope. Again, this is an abbreviated version but there are cards available at the back of Church for you to take and give it a go.
3) Personal prayer led by a Sister from the Daughters of Charity. This was the easiest to do but the hardest to describe! Start by knowing that GOD is in love with you. Ask yourself and God whether you are in love with him? Prayer in like a relationship that grows and develops but will flounder if the lovers fail to talk, meet up or make the effort. God is always faithful and patiently waiting for you to come to HIM. Again, there are leaflets available at the back of Church which might help with this.