Archdiocese of Birmingham newsletter 17th August 2023

Celebrating the Blessed Martyrs who gave their lives for the faith, that we might have the consolation of our holy religion.

Reflection: Harvington Hall Pilgrimage   This year is the centenary of Harvington Hall being given to the care of the Archdiocese in 1923.
The pilgrimage does not go back quite that far. In a letter from Archbishop Williams to Fr Alfred Whittington, appointing him to be parish priest in 1930, he says,   “There is a future for the place, if it is to become, as I hope and trust it will, a place of pilgrimage and a centre of devotion to our Martrys. That is my ambition for it, and if you are as keenly interested in the project as I am, you may feel you would like to have a share in the work…”
Over the years since that letter was written, Harvington has become what the then Archbishop had hoped – a centre of devotion to our martyrs and a place of pilgrimage.   Fr Whittington writes, “Our intention is not to be content with chance visitors and sightseers… we want something very much better than that. We want pilgrimages in the truest sense of the word both diocesan and parochial, throughout the year to honour our Midland Martyrs. For Harvington is the shrine not only of St John Wall, but of all the Blessed Martyrs who gave their lives for the faith that we in the twentieth century might have the consolation of our holy religion.”   You are invited to join this year’s pilgrimage on Sunday 3 September.  
Harvington Pilgrimage 2023

Starts tomorrow: Diocesan Novena for the Canonisation of Blessed Dominic Barberi   Friday 18 August marks the beginning of the Diocesan Novena to pray for the Canonisation of Blessed Dominic Barberi.   The Novena of Prayer lasts for nine days and concludes on his feast day on Saturday 26 August.   The annual Novena of Prayer for the Cause of Blessed Dominic Barberi is a moment to pause and to appreciate the work of this holy Passionist in our Archdiocese and to pray for his Canonisation.  
Join the Novena

Online Monthly Maintenance Surgery, Thursday 31 August   Looking after our buildings, the tools of our ministry.   Trees and Hedges
The natural landscape around parish buildings never stops growing. Now is the time to be considering what works might need to be done on any trees and large hedges at the parish.   This session will look at getting a tree risk assessment undertaken, how to go about appointing appropriate contractors to undertake the works and where permissions are required before works are undertaken.

This month’s online surgery is on Thursday 31 August at 2pm.

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 Resoources section of the Diocesan website.  
Property Resources

xCenta: Move to new online platform   Following feedback from parishes we are launching a new, streamlined and simpler-to-use version of xCenta, our online risk management platform for parish health and safety.   The aim of the system hasn’t changed, which is to provide you with access to standardised documents and help you manage the safety requirements of your parish in the best and most proportionate way.   Emails outlining this new version are due to be sent to parishes tomorrow, Friday 18 September, with log in instructions guiding xCenta users through the access and log in process.   Please look out for the email and follow the instructions.   The new online system will be fully accessible to all parishes by 27 September 2023.   Thank you for your continued cooperation in complying with the law and making our churches, halls and parish offices safe.

Invitation to join a Diocesan Worship Collective   Catholic Charismatic Renewal Birmingham (the CHARIS group) invites all established and potential Worship Leaders and Worship Musicians to become a part of a Diocesan Worship Collective.   Any musicians, singers or those who have a desire or a call to help lead worship and would like to step out and grow this ministry are invited to express their interest.   “All are welcome. God loves us to sing His praises.”   The CHARIS group would like to help grow this ministry and foster a community of like-minded people across the Archdiocese who love to give praise.  
Diocesan Worship Collective

Take survey and have your say   The Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency (CSSA) want to hear from as many people as possible to help shape the future of safeguarding within the Catholic Church.   It wants to hear from people across all areas and levels within dioceses, parishes, religious life groups (RLGs), the Religious Life Safeguarding Service (RLSS), and victims and survivors.   Closing date is Thursday 31 August.  
CSSA safeguarding survey

Calling all altar servers!   Date for the diary – Saturday 7 October.   Altar servers and their families are invited to join this year’s annual Mass of Thanksgiving for the Guild of St Stephen.   Mass will be celebrated by Bishop David Evans on Saturday 7 October at 12noon at St Chad’s Cathedral, followed by refreshments.   Servers assist the clergy through reverent service at Mass and other liturgies, and therefore serve the people of the parish in their worship of God.   The Guild of St Stephen is an international organisation of Altar Servers founded in England in 1904 by Father Hamilton McDonald when he formed a Society of Altar Servers at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in London.  
Altar Servers Mass

“Let Justice and Peace Flow”    Season of Creation: 1 September – 4 October   “Let Justice and Peace Flow” is the theme chosen for Season of Creation 2023, the ecumenical celebration we hold each year from September 1, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, to October 4, the feast of St Francis of Assisi.   In preparation for this season of celebration and reflection you can find useful resources incuding a Vigil for Creation and payers of intercession for your home, your prayer groups or your parish.  
Preparing for the Season of Creation

Book now: LOUDfence ribbon workshop   Saturday 9 September   Join talented fibre artist Mahawa Keita for a special day of creativity – responding to recent LOUDfence initiatives at St Chad’s Cathedral and Birmingham Cathedral St Philip’s.   Mahawa will be using special ribbons; which were originally dedicated and placed on the railings at both cathedrals, as a sign of solidarity with those who have suffered abuse; to create a memorable piece of art.   LOUDfence is a survivor-led initiative which encourages people to tie brightly coloured ribbons and messages in public spaces.  
Sign up for ribbon workshop

Online mini-retreat for spiritual renewal   A Catholic evangelist with a powerful ministry in prophecy, healing and deliverance will be the keynote speaker at a free online mini-retreat to show how deliverance is a powerful element in helping 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 26 August is Ros Powell, a regular speaker for many years at major national Catholic conferences such as New Dawn Walsingham.  
More information and register

‘Artificial Intelligence and Peace’ – theme of 57th World Day of Peace message   The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development has shared the next Message of the World Day of Peace’s theme, which will touch on ‘Artificial Intelligence and Peace’.   Every January 1, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, the Church celebrates the World Day of Peace.   The recurrence was established by Pope Paul VI in 1967, instituting a long tradition of messages from the Holy Father exhorting all people to reflect on important subjects in relation to the work of building peace.  
More from the Bishops’ Conference

Job opportunity: Schools and Parish Engagement Officer   Father Hudson’s Care has a vacancy for a Schools and Parish Engagement Officer.   You will be working as part of our Fundraising, Communication and Marketing team in developing our work with schools and parishes within the northern half of the Archdiocese of Birmingham.   Closing date: Wednesday 23 August  
Jobs and Volunteering
 Dates for your diary: the month ahead  
Thu 24 Aug: Free Organ Recital with David Saint – St Chad’s Cathedral  
Thu 31 Aug: Free Organ Recital with Anthony Pinel – St Chad’s Cathedral  
Fri 1 Sept – Wed 4 Oct: Season of Creation  
Sat 2 Sept: March for Life  
Thu 7 Sept: Free Organ Recital with Claudia Grinnel – St Chad’s Cathedral  
Thu 7 Sept: Cursillo Encounter Evening, Stafford  
Fri 8 Sept: Heritage Open Day – St Chad’s Cathedral (Fully Booked)  
Sat 9 Sept: ‘Monastery Day’ hosted by YouCAN  
Sat 9 Sept: LOUDfence Ribbon Workshop  
Sat 9 Sept: Heritage Open Day – St Chad’s Cathedral (Fully Booked)  
Tues 12 Sept: Call of Creation:Reading the signs of the times  
Fri 15 Sept: Online JustPeople Workshop, hosted by Pact  
Sat 16 Sept: Volunteer recruitment drive, Tabor Living  
Sat 16 Sept: Heritage Open Day – St Chad’s Cathedral (Fully Booked)  
Sat 16 Sept: Cursillo Encounter Day, Walsall        
  More Events  
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