Archdiocese of Birmingham newsletter 12th October

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All they need to wear is the Word of God
Reflection 28th Sunday of Ordinary Time ­
Sunday’s gospel is a timely reminder for us. We see the king inviting his specially selected guests to the wedding of his son, but for many and various reasons they find excuses or reject the invitation. The loving king decides to invite everybody he can find, no matter their status or origin and the celebration begins, but there is one without the wedding garment and there are dire consequences.
We associate the wedding feast of the king’s son as the joining of Christ with his people. A great celebration was being prepared to ensure that the people were reunified with the Father who had loved them so dearly but required them to leave the Garden because of their sin. Here was the opportunity for the Chosen People to return to God, and the angels and prophets had been sent for them in order to prepare themselves for the party, but they were not interested. 
Consequently, the Father looks further afield, and we became the beneficiaries of the Father’s generosity by inviting those from the roadside to join him, those who would otherwise be apart from him. All they have to do is respect the invitation. It is an invitation to be with Christ and it is an invitation to be part of the Church.
However, they need to be clothed suitably for the banquet of the son, the heavenly kingdom, but the proverbial wedding garment is not one of fine clothes or expensive jewellery or designer accessories. All they need to wear is the Word of God and they do this by listening intently and taking it to heart, for Jesus to be at the heart of their lives and then acting on it.   
We are called by our ever-generous and ever-loving Father to the feast of his Son, the great celebration of the Lamb of God.    There is one question however that we pray that we will never hear: “How did you get in here, my friend?” 
Let us take the opportunity in our prayer time to make an examination of conscience and ask the Lord where our thoughts or our actions stop us from loving him or our neighbour and to allow us to be fully enrobed in our wedding garment. 
Let us look forward to the feast. Let us be nicely dressed!

    Now underway: the Synod ­
The Synod of Bishops started in Rome on Wednesday 4 October, focused on the theme: ‘For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, Mission’.   The Synod is, for the first time, including non-Bishop voting members, comprising of a number of laymen and laywomen.
The Synod is the result of a two-year process which started in September 2021. Catholic faithful and their communities in our Archdiocese and around the world then met in their parishes to discuss the questions posed by the synod.    The synthesis of our conversation, and of all the other dioceses in England and Wales, was sent to the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, who sent their conclusions to the Vatican.   In conversation Fr Jan Nowotnik, a priest of the Archdiocese and Director of Mission at the Bishops’ Conference, discusses what’s to come over the weeks ahead with theologian Professor Anna Rowlands. The Synod  
A Corporal Work of Mercy: Visit the prisoner ­
God calls each of us in different ways to serve Him and our neighbour. During Prisons Week, you are invited to join a live Zoom meeting online to hear the testimony of how a lay prison chaplain became involved in prison ministry and evangelisation.    There is still time to join the hour-long informal talk on: Friday 13 October at 12:30pm.
Find out more this Prisons Week

LGBTQ+ Catholic ­ Are you LGBTQ+ and Catholic? Join our gathering of members of the LGBTQ+ community, their families and friends in a safe place where you can openly share experiences, offer and receive support and engage in meaningful conversations. This meeting is open to people over 18. 

We meet monthly and the next meeting will be held at 7:00pm on Sunday 15 October 2023 at St Patrick’s Church, Deedmore Road, Coventry, CV2 2AA.  For more information please contact: [email protected]: Phone – 024 7661 2193   

Webinar with Raymond Friel OBE on Catholic Social Teaching ­ On Tuesday 17 October, the latest Catholic Union webinar will feature Raymond Friel OBE on his new book on Catholic Social Teaching. The event will start at 6.30pm online.   Raymond is Chief Executive of the Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) and before that had a highly successful career in education where he was a Headteacher for 14 years and an Ofsted inspector. He received his OBE in the New Year Honours List last year for services to education.   The event is free to attend, but you will need to register in advance. Raymond Friel Webinar  

Evangelisation: the Importance of Listening and Obedience ­
A Catholic priest with extensive experience in evangelisation, will be the keynote speaker at a free mini-retreat to show how following God’s will is a powerful element in enabling us to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.   The meeting is hosted by “ADoRE”, one of the longest-running charismatic days of renewal in the country, and includes Mass, adoration, praise and worship, inspired teaching and prayer for all participants.   Guest speaker on Saturday 28 October 10.00am – 1.00pm, on Zoom, is Fr Gareth Leyshon, former Chaplain to the Sion Community for Evangelism, an inspiring speaker with extensive experience in Parish and Diocesan Evangelisation. 
Evangelisation Mini-Retreat  

Proud 2 Profess – POSTPONED ­ The Kenelm Youth Trust’s event, in partnership with Aid to the Church in Need has been postponed. We will announce the new date for this FREE event for young people in year 9 and above (ages 14 – 18) when it is available.
Kenelm Youth Trust

Online Monthly Maintenance Surgery. October – gutter clearance ­
Looking after our buildings, the tools of our ministry.   This month’s online surgery is on Thursday 26 October at 2pm.
As the final leaves fall from the trees it is time to start getting the building rainwater goods of gutters and downpipes cleared.   Rainwater goods are there to direct water away from the building to the ground. Water will take the easiest route and so where rainwater goods are blocked then it will find other routes to the ground through the building fabric. This session will look at things to consider when getting your rainwater goods cleared and how the task can be undertaken for harder to reach areas. To sign up to the surgeries please email [email protected]   As always, Tom and Tarnia from the Diocesan Property Team are on hand to help. Just email them at:
Tom – [email protected]
Tarnia – [email protected]   For a full list of the maintenance surgery topics this year please visit the Property Resources section of the Diocesan website. Property Resources  

Get started with new xCenta ­
Congratulations parish offices, you now have a new, improved version of xCenta, the online risk management system. We hope you find this system engaging and user friendly.   If you’re not already up and running, find the login details in your email and get signed in to the improved, easier to use system. If you’re not sure what to do, there are videos on the new platform to help get you started.   You should have received an alert that a general risk assessment has been provided covering the main hazards within a parish environment. Please use this assessment to record your current risk control measures and any further actions required.   If you have been unable to set up your new account, or have not received the xCenta emails and you think you should have, please contact [email protected]  

Open for Applications: the Bill Snelson Young Ecumenists Fund ­
A new fund which will help young adults – aged 18 to 35 – to experience ecumenism outside England is now open for applications.   This experience can be study, pilgrimage, volunteering, or any activity that promotes church unity.   The Bill Snelson Young Ecumenists Fund has been set up by Churches Together in England and the Snelson family in memory of Bill Snelson. A dedicated ecumenist, he was General Secretary of Churches Together England from 1997 to 2008. Grants from the Bill Snelson Young Ecumenists Fund can be used to facilitate any  ecumenical experience outside of England.   Applications for The Bill Snelson Young Ecumenists Fund need to be submitted by Tuesday 31 October 2023. 
Young Ecumenists Fund  

Marriage Encounter and Engaged Encounter  
Marriage Encounter is a national catholic organisation that offers two experiences to enrich relationships, improve family relationships and bring God to the heart of your marriage and families. Our experiences are available in two formats as a live experience held at hotels or online.   Latest dates for October and November sessions, in-person or online, are now available.
Book now for Encounters  

The Blessing of Graves at Oscott Cemetery ­ Saturday 4 November 3-5pm.   Family and friends of those who are buried at Oscott Cemetery are warmly invited each November to the Blessing of Graves, a commemoration of all the faithful departed buried in our Cemetery and an opportunity to pray for the repose of their souls.
Blessing of Graves  

Introducing the prayer pathway ‘How to Pray’ ­ What are you doing for the Year of Prayer 2024? This November, Sycamore and the Diocesan Office for Mission would like to introduce the prayer pathway, ‘How to Pray’ – a series of six sessions that can be run at church, at home or online – and which could be delivered as a Lent or Easter course, or at any time during the Year of Prayer and beyond. Could you use this prayer pathway as an opportunity to deepen understanding of prayer, or to discover other ways of prayer which could help renew the spiritual life of your parish? Join online, Tuesday 7 November.
‘How to Pray’ online introduction  
Christian Resources Exhibition ­ On Wednesday 8 and Thursday 9 November, for the first time in its 38-year history, the Christian Resources Exhibition will come to Solihull.    Over two days, over 160 organisations will offer expert advice on everything from church heating to church seating, from pianos to preaching aids and from computers to clergy clothing.    Supporting the exhibition, a 50-strong programme of talks will cover practical subjects such as fund-raising, faith-sharing, building-maintenance, overseas mission and more. Christian Resources Exhibition  

In Our Time – The Changing Church, from Pius to Francis ­ Thursday 9 November 7pm-9.30pm, St George’s Church Worcester.   Three senior local priests will share their thoughts in a relaxed series of discussions on a wide range of subjects, calling on their combined total of 140 years as priests.   Featuring guest speakers Canon Brian McGinley, Mgr Patrick Kilgarriff and Mgr Canon John Moran.   A free event organised by the Catenians, Droitwich & District. The Changing Church  

Dance the night away at the ‘Fire and Ice’ charity ball ­ Fundraising event hosted by the Kenelm Youth Trust (KYT) at The Belfry, Sutton Coldfield, Saturday 11 November.   The theme of the Ball is ‘Fire and Ice’.   This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate youth ministry, particularly of everything that the Trust achieves year after year. The evening will also include individual awards that will specifically recognise exemplary commitment and dedication.
Fire and Ice ball  

Day of Renewal at St Thomas More, Coventry ­
Catholic Charismatic Renewal Birmingham (the CHARIS group) plans to hold a series of Days of Renewal around the Archdiocese.   The first of these will take place in Coventry on Saturday 18 November at St Thomas More, Coventry. The theme of the day is “Come to me all you who labour and are overburdened and I will give you rest”.   Everyone from around the diocese is welcome so please come and join us.   The speaker for the day is Ros Powell:  “We will be seeking to go deeper in our faith by coming before the Lord to cast our burdens on to him, knowing that Jesus came to mend the broken hearted and set the captives free by touching us spiritually, physically, psychologically, and emotionally as he breaks the chains that bind us.”
Day of Renewal  

Age UK Birmingham / Sandwell Home Energy Checks – Referrals Now Open! ­  
Age UK Birmingham & Age UK Sandwell are pleased to inform you that their Home Energy Checks (as part of the Warm Homes Project) has now opened for referrals. This service started in mid-September, running until mid-March 2024 for Birmingham and Sandwell residents. 

This service provides clients with a home visit to discuss any advice and support they may need for keeping warm and well in their home during winter.  It is assessed whether they could benefit from any free energy efficiency equipment, such as: draft excluders, energy efficient light bulbs, night lights, letter box brushes, radiator foil panels, manual socket timers. This is then fitted during the visit. 

•  Clients 65+
•  In receipt of means tested benefits, or on an income below £16000
• Suffers with long term health condition   If you are concerned about somebody who is under 65, but has cold related illnesses or is at risk of fuel poverty, please let AgeUK know. 
For older people living in inadequately heated homes with cold related illnesses, it is vital we support vulnerable people during winter months. 

As well as providing a Home Energy Check, AgeUK can provide a Home Falls Prevention assessment at the same time. This service is for Birmingham residents only.

To refer yourself or somebody that may benefit from this service, please get in touch:
Chelsea Felstead: 0121 437 0033 ext.1501
[email protected]   

Fr Hudson’s Care Seeks Chief Executive Officer, Pope Francis MAC seeks Governance Manager ­

Chief Executive Officer- Fr Hudson’s Care Based at St George’s House, Gerards Way, Coleshill, Warwickshire B46 3FG
Salary: £74,000 – £78,000 Per annum (dependent on experience) 37 hours per week   Father Hudson’s Care is a Catholic charity serving the needs of vulnerable people, without discrimination, within the large Archdiocese of Birmingham.    It is motivated by Gospel values and Catholic Social Teaching and takes Christ’s command to “Love one another” as its inspiration.    Closing date to apply is Friday 27 October   

Governance Manager – Pope Francis Catholic MAC
Permanent, part-time – 16 hours per week,
flexible, term-time + 2 additional weeks
Salary range Grade 11 (NJC points 31-34) to Grade 12 (NJC points 35-38)
FTE £37,261k to £44,539/pro-rata £13,822 to £16,522   The Pope Francis Catholic MAC in the Archdiocese of Birmingham currently comprises eleven Catholic schools in Oxfordshire, two secondary and nine primary schools.    This is an extremely exciting time of expansion as we work towards the long-term strategic vision for the Archdiocese, to secure and protect the future of Catholic education.   Reporting directly to the CSEL, based in either Oxford or Banbury with hybrid working, the post-holder will support the Board and Executive Leadership Team with all governance matters:
Jobs and Volunteering  

Dates for your diary: the month ahead  
Tues 10 – Fri 13 Oct: A Corporal Work of Mercy: Visit the prisoner  
Thu 12 – Sun 15 Oct: Cursillo Weekend – October 2023  
Sun 15 October: LGBTQ+ Catholic Gathering Coventry  
Tue 17 Oct: Restore Training Course October 2023 – session 3  
Tue 17 Oct: Webinar with Raymond Friel on Catholic Social Teaching  
Wed 18 Oct: St Edith Stein: Doctor of the Church?  
Sat 21 Oct: Christians in Health and Social Care: Ethics and Practice – session 1  
Sun 22 Oct: World Mission Sunday  
Wed 25 Oct: Online JustPeople Workshop   
Sat 28 Oct: Annual Assembly, Birmingham J&P  
Sat 28 Oct: Evangelisation: the Importance of Listening and Obedience  
Sat 4 Nov: Christians in Health and Social Care: Ethics and Practice – session 2  
Sat 4 Nov: The Blessing of Graves at Oscott Cemetery  
Tue 7 Nov: Introduction event: Year of Prayer 2024  
Tue 7 Nov – Tue 14 Nov: Living with the Spirit of the Synod  
Wed 8 and Thu 9 Nov: Christian Resources Exhibition  
Thu 9 Nov: In Our Time – The Changing Church, from Pius to Francis  
Sat 11 Nov: Kenelm Youth Trust Fire and Ice Ball 2023
    More Events  

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