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Bishop announces East Anglian Caritas festivals

A series of Caritas festivals across the Diocese of East Anglia, starting this November, has been announced by Bishop Peter Collins as a celebration of love and concern for our neighbour in action.

Caritas East Anglia is set to host a series of Caritas Festivals across various deaneries in the diocese. These events are aimed at encouraging and amplifying the social outreach efforts of the Catholic community. The first one in the Cambridge deanery will be held at St Laurence’s, Cambridge, on November 4, 2023. Dates in 2024 for the other deaneries will be announced later this year.

Bishop Peter Collins explains the purpose of these festivals: “At the end of every Mass we are reminded of the Gospel call to love God and our neighbour. In every deanery in the diocese over the next two years I have asked that we celebrate the ways through which the Catholic community puts faith into action via Caritas and other outreach organisations (e.g., Foodbanks). I hope that at each of these Caritas Festivals we will all be encouraged to participate in some of the wide variety of our local social action and outreach activities. Also, it will be an important opportunity to learn about what is done elsewhere and start locally new activities that will accompany the needs of our neighbours.”

Each festival will feature presentations from representatives of various groups, providing an overview of their social action activities. In addition, the events will also host talks by leaders of established social action projects, presenting a platform to exchange ideas and share experiences.

The structure of the festival day will begin with Mass and conclude with a prayer service. Visitors are welcome to join at any time during the day in this informal and enlightening event. Refreshments, such as coffee, tea, and biscuits, will be served throughout the festival.

Caritas East Anglia, the organiser of these festivals, is a member of the Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN), the social action arm of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. This initiative aligns with their ongoing mission to support and coordinate social outreach in the diocese.

Through the Caritas Festivals, Caritas East Anglia aims to create a platform for fostering understanding, engagement, and inspiration among the Catholic community in their pursuit of social action. The initiative stands as an embodiment of Bishop Peter Collins’ call for active faith that seeks to meet the needs of our neighbours.

Pictured above are volunteers at a Food Hub at St Luke’s church in Orton Malborne, Peterborough which has been giving food and much-needed support to those in food need in the local community as an example of Caritas social action.