Synod Consultation: Week Two
Even more turned up last Monday to look at the negatives of our Church, and even more of you have sent in written submissions. Thank you all so much. Last Monday was never going to be a comfortable session, and sometimes comfort isn’t what we need. You spoke very honestly about your own experiences and those of your family friends: experiences of not being made to feel welcome and of positive rejection. That very warmth of belonging to a community that featured so strongly in Week One can be painfully cold when you feel yourself on the outside. At the same time, we are not always proud of the institutional church, and the Clerical Abuse scandal came up again and again. As it needed to. Not too late by any means to put in your written submissions on the negatives if you’d like to do so.
Week 3: Monday 14th Feb: What Needs to Change?
As I’ve often told you, I was lucky, and loved my six years in Seminary, a very golden time. I was blessed by a wonderful Seminary Rector in Mgr Jack Kennedy, a Liverpool priest, who was a big influence on me. One of his favourite questions to us lads (yes, it was a long time ago!) was, “If you were Pope tomorrow, what would you change?” No right answer, but two wrong ones – everything and nothing. If your answer was the former, are you sure you ought to be training for the Catholic priesthood? If your answer was “nothing”, can you tell us the precise date you switched your brain off and stopped thinking? So, what’s YOUR answer to Fr Jack’s question? Come along Monday night or put it in writing. But, either way, do tell us!
Week 4: Monday 21st Feb
“Dear Bishop Mark…” What do we want to say in our Parish Submission to our Bishop for him to take on to the other English & Welsh Bishops and for them to take on to the Pope?
After 21st February
our Planning Group – Anne Proctor, Zosia Archibald, Lyn Williams, Syd Jones and myself – will craft all your submissions into a single document for sending to the Bishop. I’m sure this document will reflect a variety of views rather than a single opinion. If you want your views to be taken into consideration, this is your opportunity!
Synod Consultation Exercise: Questionnaire
Pope Francis set us ten areas where we might “walk together better”: 1. Evaluating what we’re doing and whether we’re doing it well or badly. 2. Being better at listening. 3. Being better at speaking out to the world. 4. Celebrating our Liturgy better. 5. All of us being more engaged with mission and outreach to those not in the Church. 6. Being better at promoting dialogue with others. 7. Working better together ecumenically. 8. Being better at exercising authority, deciding what our rules are and how they should be enforced. 9. Being better at decision-making at all levels. 10. Being a more learning Church. Next week, our questionnaire comes out, in which everyone will be asked to tell us their three top priorities in that list. You can do it online or by filling in a sheet, but the more you all participate, the more valuable the final data will be.
CAFOD Afghanistan Emergency Appeal
You can donate on the CAFOD website: cafod.org.uk/AfghanistanAppeal
On the Free Table This Weekend…
As you all know, I am an incredibly tidy person who cannot abide mess or untidiness. So, we’re having a clear-out, and each week there’ll be something on the free table at the back of church. Today, a very nice portable table where the legs unscrew. Ideal for a student going off to college and needing to bring it to and fro with them. Plus, two Disability “Walkers” for anyone who needs a bit of extra support as the years creep up on them. (Choir?)
The Repository: Two More Weeks for Pre-Loved!
We’re finishing at the end of February, so do have a good look at all our goods before then. No reasonable offer refused! (For the goods, you fools – not for Bernice or Paula!)
St Werburgh’s Feast Day and Social – 18th Feb
Parish Social in the Club on Friday 18th February. We’re limiting numbers this year to SIXTY. Tickets (free) available today. Free Buffet, and your ticket entitles you to your first drink free! The other ten you have to pay for. The tickets are going fast - so do make sure you grab yours today (from FP) for a fun evening together. You’ll be sorry you missed it…
Appeal from a Parishioner for Tutor
“I am looking for a face-to-face GCSE Science tutor for my daughter, and I’d be most grateful if anyone knew of one who might be available. Thank you.” Please let FP know if you can help out.
Chester Gang Show
www.chestergangshow.net Always a wonderful show, and lots of Werbie Beavers, Cubs, Brownies, Scouts, Guides, you name’em, taking part this year. Don’t miss it! King’s School, 15th – 19th February.
Christian Aid Lenten Lunches: 12 noon- 1.30 pm
- Monday 7th March: Wesley Methodists
- Thursday 17th March: Hoole URC, Hoole Road
- Monday 21st March: Wesley Methodists
- Friday 1st April: Vicars Cross URC
- Wednesday 6th April: St Mary’s Church Handbridge
On Monday 7th March, it’s St Werburgh’s turn to make the soup, with City Road to help us. It’ll mean another 2.00 am start in the kitchen for me, but, in the cause of church unity, I’m willing to suffer.
Confirmation at St Columba’s
Bishop Mark is coming to St Columba’s the week after next for their Confirmation, and it would be great to keep all these youngsters in our prayers at this wonderful time in their lives., Sadly, because numbers are limited, it isn’t possible for them to welcome everyone who’d like to attend, but we can certainly, all of us, hold them all in prayer.
Chester Retreat House
The Retreat House, based here in the Cathedral, are offering Lenten Retreats to local churches and faith groups, in their own premises. Max of twenty people. Good informal interest last week, so now we’ll come to you with a definite date!
Photo of the Week: Katikati, North Island
Another super photo from our resident New Zealand correspondent, Mrs Davies: Church of St Pius X in the Bay of Plenty, not that far from Auckland. A strikingly modern church dating from 2010.