Bishop Alan relaunched the new Commission at the White House in Poringland on Saturday September 19, by reminding the members that the Church exists to evangelise.
The Bishop was particularly keen to reach out to those who are fearful of returning to church, those who for the moment have decided to follow services online, and “those who have no faith”. The Commission, he said, would bring new vision and fresh ideas to the parishes and share good practice of what was already happening.
Bishop Alan said that part of the purpose of the Commission would be to once again bring together small groups of like-minded people who are enthusiastic to promote evangelisation in the parish.
Fr Karol Porczak, who is leading the Commission, showed a video of interviews with parishioners from St Ives who had taken part in door-to-door evangelisation. “It’s been really helpful in our life of faith,” said one. “We found it very enjoyable, and we miss it.”
“The Commission is inviting all Catholics to reflect on the strategy outlined in the letter ‘The Day of the Lord’ sent this April by the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales,” explains Rebecca Bretherton, who is coordinating the Commission for the New Evangelisation. “We hope that parishes will discuss this letter together. It could spark ideas for inviting and welcoming people to encounter Jesus Christ in our Church.”
The letter identifies a threefold pattern to the challenge of restoring communities impacted by Covid and renewing their practice of faith. It encourages Catholics to reach out to:
The relaunched Commission so far includes members from the deaneries of Peterborough, Cambridge, Norwich and Bury St Edmunds, and it is hoped that the remaining deaneries will also be represented in future meetings.
Pictured above are some members of the Diocesan Commission for the New Evangelisation. From left to right, Elizabeth Barker, Ciaran Losasso, Bishop Alan Hopes, Rebecca Bretherton, Philip Kemp, Mel Ward, Fr Karol Porczak.