Archdiocese of Birmingham newsletter 15th June 2023

‘Listen to Her’ – marking Day for Life

Reflection – Day for Life  
This weekend, the Catholic Church in England & Wales, Scotland and Ireland marks the annual Day for Life.   This day each year gives us an opportunity to reflect on the gift of life which is precious from conception to natural death.   How can we fail to contemplate the precious gift of life for the victims of the attacks in Nottingham this past week. The tragic deaths of the two 19-year old students has touched the lives of so many people: young people, parents, people who recognise how the gift of life which we sometimes take for granted can be so fragile. We pray for all those affected and commend them to the compassion of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.   The theme given for this year’s Day for Life is ‘Listen to Her’ and focuses on the trauma that can follow abortion, for women and for others by association.   Jane’s Story is a powerful account of a young girl who appeared to see no alternative to abortion when she became pregnant and after her abortion hoped that life would return to normal. It was many years afterwards that a retreat experience with Rachel’s Vineyard led her to a journey of healing from the trauma.   This is most topical in the light of the recent story of a woman who is now serving a prison sentence for taking abortion pills after the legal time limit in our country for abortion. And soon afterwards there are calls to revisit the law…but presumably only to extend the time limit and to make abortion more accessible.   Closer to home, it has also become a matter of conscience that has questioned such fundamental rights as freedom of religious belief and the right to pray privately about abortion.   On the Church’s annual Day for Life, may we recognise the many complex situations that can lead people to consider abortion.   Our society sees abortion more and more as a right that should not be obstructed.   As, too, this weekend is Father’s Day, let us pray that those who embrace the vocation of fatherhood may recognise the privilege of their calling.   May the rights and responsibilities of both parents always be held in balance for the good of the child.
‘Listen to Her’ – Day for Life  
This year’s theme is ‘Listen to Her’ and focuses on post-abortion trauma and the impact of abortion primarily on women, but also men and others.   The 2023 Day For Life message is unique in that the bishops have given it over to a Catholic woman who has had an abortion to share her experiences.   Often the voices of women who have had an abortion are silent in Church and in society. The hope is that this will help break this silence and offer further opportunities for healing and reconciliation.  
Information and Resources
Bishop Stephen Wright appointed Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle  
Prayerful congratulations to our Auxiliary Bishop Stephen Wright, who was appointed the Fifteenth Bishop of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle yesterday (Wednesday 14 June) by Pope Francis.   He will be installed as the new Bishop on Wendesday 19 July.   Please keep Bishop Stephen in your prayers as he prepares to take on this role.  
New Bishop announcement
Jessie Childs – The Siege of Loyalty House   Saturday 29 July 3 – 4.30pm, Harvington Hall, Worcestershire.
The story of one of the most extraordinary episodes of the Civil War. A thrilling tale of war and peace, terror and faith, savagery and civilisation drawing on unpublished manuscripts and the voices of dozens of men, women and children caught in the crossfire.   To the parliamentarians, Basing House in Hampshire was the devil’s seat. To its royalist defenders, it was ‘Loyalty House’. Over two years, its residents were battered, bombarded, starved and gassed.   From within they faced smallpox, spies and mutiny. Their resistance became legendary, but in October 1645, Oliver Cromwell rolled in the heavy guns and the stage was set for a last stand.​   Tickets £15, part of the Harvington History Festival.  
Harvington History Festival
Sign up now for the KYT Summer Camp!  
The Kenelm Youth Trust are inviting all young people aged year 7 – year 13 to take part.   Summer Camp takes place at Alton Castle from Monday 7 to Sunday 13 August.   The camp week involves a range of exciting activities including a day at Alton Towers with its brand new roller coaster – ‘The Curse of Alton Manor’. There is also messy games, a day trip to a secret venue, our camp live band, night prayer and daily Mass all with the Alton Castle Mission Team.  
Sign up to Summer Camp
Achieving our Vision Together  
Archbishop Bernard Longley has released a video inviting you, in our parishes, clusters and deaneries to reflect together on our great gift of faith, and as with the Synodal pathway, to meet and look to our future.   Archbishop Bernard asks us to look, within our parishes, clusters and deaneries, at how we can share our resources and to look at what we are called to do within:   evangelisation formation liturgy and worship social outreach   He asks us how we can more effectively follow that pattern with the mandate given to us by the Lord Himself to be the church in any given place.  
Diocesan Vision: Unfolding God’s Plan
Maryvale Institute recruiting students now for BDiv and Licence Programmes  
Maryvale Institute has just announced the continuation of the Bachelor of Divinity (BDiv) and Licence Programmes, allowing them to begin recruiting new students immediately.
The Maryvale Higher Institute of Religious Sciences (HIRS) is the only ecclesial institute of this kind in the English-speaking world. It operates both the B.Div and Licence Programmes.
The Ecclesiastical BDiv is a five-year part-time, collaborative-learning degree programme in Catholic theology providing a comprehensive exposition and analysis of Christian doctrine based on the study of the sacred Scriptures, the works of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and the documents of the Magisterium.
The Licence in Divinity: Pathway in Catechetical Sciences is another qualification of the Holy See, distinct from an STL, It is a three-year, part-time, programme aimed at those in leadership positions in catechetics and in other positions of responsibility.  
BDiv and Licence programmes
The Great Big Green Week   Running until Sunday 18 June
The Great Big Green Week is the UK’s biggest ever celebration of community action to tackle climate change and protect nature. Check out the events being organised or organise your own! For more information see the website:  
St Joseph’s Catholic Primary is the latest to scoop the Livesimply award. Pupils and staff from St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Dudley achieved the LiveSimply Award after taking action to demonstrate they are living simply, sustainably and in solidarity with the world’s poorest communities.   Championed by overseas development charity CAFOD, the award was presented to pupils and staff: St Joseph’s LiveSimply Award  
Season of Creation: Celebration Guide launched
On 5 June, the Season of Creation Celebration Guide was launched.
Each year from September 1 to October 4, the Christian family unites for this worldwide celebration of prayer and action to protect our common home. As followers of Christ from around the globe, we share a common call to care for creation. We are co-creatures and part of all that God has made. Our wellbeing is interwoven with the wellbeing of the Earth.   This year, the theme for the season is “Let justice and peace flow”. The guide will help you learn about the season and plan to celebrate it. More resources, including webinars and prayer services, sample flyers and bulletin inserts are available online.  
Season of Creation
OVERFLOW comes to the Archdiocese this summer  
OVERFLOW is the first national gathering organised by CHARIS England and Wales (CNSC).   CHARIS seeks to bring together individuals, communities, prayer groups and movements in Catholic Charismatic Renewal, who share in baptism in the Holy Spirit in the Catholic Church and beyond.   OVERFLOW will take place on Saturday 1 July at Bethel Convention Centre in Birmingham.   Speakers include popular American speakers and couple Deacon Larry and Andi Oney, the Bishop of Northampton David Oakley, and young people from the Ascent – the discipleship movement which is sweeping across today’s youth like wildfire and raising up a new generation of passionate disciples of Christ.  
Tabor Living Seeks Volunteers  
Tabor Living, Birmingham’s only permanent shelter has recently expanded and is keen to recruit volunteers to support our roles:   Hospitality Befriending Activities   Volunteers are at the heart of Tabor Living and have helped change the lives of homeless individuals since we opened in September 2017.
We urgently require volunteers to support our shifts: Evenings— 6pm-9pm (Sunday-Thursday) and 6pm-10pm (Friday/Saturday) Weekend day shifts of 8am-1pm and 1pm-6pm Overnight shifts Thursday & Sunday 9pm-7am or Friday 10pm-8am Befriending and activities volunteers— various hours throughout the week   Frequency can be weekly, fortnightly, monthly or whatever you can offer.
Come and join us at one of our open days:
Wednesday 12 July— 11am-1pm
Saturday 16 September—9.30am-11.30am
Jobs and Volunteering
National Church Awards 2023 – enter now!  
The National Church Awards – the ‘BAFTAs for churches’ – is back and bigger than ever.   Nominations will close on Sunday 23 July.   Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on Monday 6 November 2023. Information on tickets and how to join the livestream of the ceremony will be available nearer the time.   This year’s awards are:
Church architecture awards
Church maintenance awards
Church tourism awards
Church volunteer awards
Friends award
Church of the year award.   If you would like to discuss submitting an application please contact Tom Stockwell, Diocesan Property Team.  [email protected]     National Church Awards
PrayerGuide Training Course   Starting in January 2024, Manresa Link is again offering our PrayerGuide Training Course.
Manresa Link and its members lead on Ignatian based Retreats In Daily Life, weeks of guided prayer and more!
We offer this in parishes, chaplaincies, one-to-ones – and more!
If you think you may be called to engage with others in this way, and would like to train, please contact them about the next course.
The course will consist of 10 Saturday mornings, starting on Jan 13, and then some practice retreats.
To enquire – [email protected]
Would love to hear from you.
Fit for Function: Save the Date   Volunteers, visitors and keeping churches open
  Wednesday 4 October 9.15am registration for 10 – 16.15.
Taking place at Norton St James and The Beechill Room, Church Lane, Norton juxta Kempsey, Worcester, WR5 2PX.
Do you want to find out more about recruiting and retaining volunteers, setting up a Friends Group or making the most of tourism opportunities in your church building?   Church buildings have been used for activities beyond worship for hundreds of years and are perfectly placed to provide essential local services, enable wider social connections and for showcasing local and national heritage.   However, as custodians of these wonderful buildings, it is not always easy to work out what is possible, where to start, and what help is available to achieve this.   Booking details will be given when available.
  Dates for your diary: the month ahead  
Until Fri 16 June: Annual Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus  
Fri 16 June: Renewal Night with Divine Renovation  
Sat 17 June: An Evening with St Thomas More  
Sun 18 June: Day for Life 2023  
Mon 19 June: Being a Welcoming Church: Session 4 – Homelessness  
Wed 21 June: Restore Training, week 3  
Sat 24 June: Bishop’s Mini Retreat on the Power of Forgiveness
Sat 1 July: OVERFLOW – CHARIS national gathering  
Sun 2 July: Annual Hednesford Pilgrimage  
Sun 2 July: Day of Celebration sharing in the gifts of people who experience disability, at Aylesford Priory Kent  
Mon 3 July – Thu 13 July: Oasis of Silence 10-day retreat course  
Mon 3 July: A Celebration of Christian and Jewish Music  
Tue 4  – Thu 6 July: Three-day Kairos Conference, Aylesbury  
Tue 11 July: Racial Justice in the Church Webinar  
Thurs 13 – Sat 15 July: Triduum Retreat to Our Lady of Mount Carmel   
Sat 15 July: Pact Roadshow comes to the Archdiocese  
  More Events  
Supporting your parish   You have asked us how you can continue giving to your parish.   Parishes still greatly need your support.   We do though recognise that many parishioners may be struggling financially, and there is no expectation to give where you are unable to do so.   You can donate via standing order or single donation.   Support your Parish
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