Tag Archives: support

25 June, Today this is my vocation, X: being a kind friend is powerful.

Volunteers have a vocation which they might admit to, if pressed. Here is part of what the London Irish Chaplaincy has to say for itself.

The Irish Chaplaincy today

Today, we continue to meet and walk alongside Irish people, especially those most isolated and vulnerable such as Irish prisoners, older Irish people and Travellers. Our work stems from our spiritual roots, embracing the core meaning of Catholic, which is ‘universal’ and ‘inclusive’. We work with people regardless of their religious background.

Who said innovation was the only route to revolution?

Although the term ‘innovation’ seems to be the buzzword, we’ve found that most of the time it’s the little things that make a big difference. For example, simply talking to someone, holding a Travellers’ forum in a prison to offer someone a voice, or writing a letter to a prisoner are the most effective ways to lift their spirit. We know people’s needs change over time and we’ve carried out plenty of research to be sure we’re offering the most helpful services. But the message is clear, that in most cases simply being a kind friend is powerful enough to change someone’s life. For us, these simple actions have stood the test of time.

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Filed under Daily Reflections, Mission, PLaces

4 June: Praying with Pope Francis

Pope Francis’s Intention for Evangelization: – The Beauty Of Marriage


Let us pray for young people who are preparing for marriage with the support of a Christian community: may they grow in love, with generosity, faithfulness and patience.

I think we could pray also for those who do not have the support of a community when preparing to marry or live together. The couple whose wedding these flowers celebrated had family, friends, work colleagues all around them, and still do, now that they are parents. So many people, not all of them claiming to be Christian, gladly did big or little things to make the day go with a swing, but more importantly, they were friends in the times before and after that one day. The couple themselves, as well as their circle, are growing in love, with generosity, faithfulness and patience.

But sometimes growing in love can feel like one step forward and two back. Those virtues will always be needed, so let us pray for all young people who are preparing for marriage!

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Filed under Christian Unity, Daily Reflections, Mission

5 December, Going Viral LII: Street sleepers in the winter.

Another moment with Rev Jo Richards.

Good morning to you all, and another beautiful autumnal morning – though late night here last night. I was invited to join with Catching Lives, PorchLight and Canterbury City Council for their annual rough sleeper count, ie the number of folk who are sleeping rough across Canterbury (including Whitstable and Herne Bay).

To witness first hand the work that they do is quite incredible, and a privilege to have walked alongside them.  I was with the trio covering much of our Benefice, so very familiar places and homeless that I know. The streets were absolutely deserted and there was something quite special walking down these ancient deserted streets without a soul in sight, with the Christmas Lights twinkling at 2.00am. I know we often support Catching Lives and Porchlight, and it makes one realise just how important these two charities are in the way that they reach out to so many, and the work that they do.

Have a good day, God Bless
Jo
Rev Jo Richards

Rector of the Benefice of St Dunstan, St Mildred and St Peter, Canterbury

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Filed under corona virus, Mission, PLaces, winter

Some Things We Can’t Think


Frank Cottrell-Boyce

Frank Cottrell-Boyce

There’s a chance to see author and screenwriter Frank Cottrell-Boyce when he gives this year’s Sir Harold Hood Memorial Lecture entitled ‘Some Things We Can’t Think’ on 3rd December 2020 6.30pm – 8.20pm

Frank will be talking about stories which tell the world who we are. What happens if we don’t get to tell our own stories? What happens if we don’t recognise ourselves in the stories that are told about us?

This year’s lecture will also combine with the premiere of our new short documentary by Martin Freeth, ‘Hidden Sentences: Voices of Prisoners’ Families’.

Following the film and lecture, there will be a Q&A session with Frank and some of the people with lived experience of the justice system who feature in the film.

This is a free event. Donations to the work of Pact are warmly welcomed and can be made online here. There will be a brief talk by Andy Keen-Downs, Pact CEO, about the work of the current work of the charity in support of people affected by imprisonment.

Frank Cottrell-Boyce is an award-winning storyteller. Frank Boyce was born into a Catholic family in Liverpool in 1959 and studied English at Oxford where he met Denise Cottrell, a fellow undergraduate. They married in Keble College chapel and together have seven children. Frank first worked as a television critic for Living Marxism magazine, and wrote episodes for Coronation Street and Brookside. As one of the most respected screenwriters working in the British film industry, Frank has written the screenplays for many feature films including Welcome to Sarajevo, Code 46, Butterfly Kiss, 24 Hour Party People and Goodbye Christopher Robin. His first novel, Millions, was based on his own screenplay for the film of the same name, and was published by Macmillan in 2004. In 2010, Frank co-presented the Papal Visit at Hyde Park with TV personality Carol Vorderman. Frank’s long-standing artistic collaboration with Danny Boyle included their work together to craft the Olympic Opening Ceremony in 2012 telling the story of Britain through a multi-media extravaganza. He has authored numerous children’s books including sequels to Ian Fleming’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. In 2004 he was awarded the Carnegie Medal for Millions, and in 2012 his novel The Unforgotten Coat won the Guardian Prize. Frank’s most recent children’s book, Runaway Robot, was published in 2019.

The Sir Harold Hood Memorial Lecture is held most years by Pact (Prison Advice and Care Trust) as an opportunity to celebrate the life and memory of a great friend and champion, the late Sir Harold Hood. The lecture seeks to contribute to public knowledge and understanding of how we as a society can make our prisons places in which individuals can achieve personal change and growth, and leave to live good lives, in stable and healthy relationships with family and the wider community.

This is the eighth lecture in memory of Sir Harold Hood. The first was held in the Chapel of HMP Brixton and was given by Cardinal Vincent Nichols. Other lectures have been given by the late Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, Lucia do Rosario-Neil, Bishop Richard Moth, Dr Gemma Simmonds CJ, Dr Galena Rhoades (transcript not available), and His Honour Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC, Recorder of London.

To find out more and book your place please go to: www.prisonadvice.org.uk/Event/hh2020

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Filed under Daily Reflections