On Saturday November 4, Caritas in East Anglia held its first deanery festival at St Laurence’s Church in Cambridge. The day began with Mass celebrated by Bishop Peter, during which he spoke about the role Catholic volunteers play in the life of the church. At the end of Mass, the Caritas in East Anglia candle was taken through into a church hall filled with stalls showcasing the work of local, national, and international organisations such as the SVP, food banks, the Cantonese Chaplaincy, the Justice and Peace Group, UCM, and CWL. The team from the Saturday morning St Laurence’s coffee hub kindly provided refreshments while stallholders spent time getting to know each other and greeting visitors.
During the day, stallholders and visitors heard from two speakers. A local speaker, Selwyn Image, spoke about setting up Emmaus UK in Cambridge and Margaret Clark who spoke about the role the National Board of Catholic Women plays in the life of the church in England and Wales.
Afterwards, Father John Warrington, Chair of Caritas in East Anglia, said, ‘It was great to welcome so many different and diverse organisations and projects to celebrate our first Caritas East Anglia Festival. There was a real buzz in the room after Mass, conversation flowed as old friends met and new friendships were made. The speakers provided insight and reflection leading to thoughtful questions and discussion. At the end of the day, prayer and reflection drew us together and helped us give thanks for all that we shared and celebrated, guided by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.’
The next two Caritas Festivals are on February 24, 2024 at St Mary’s Church in Ipswich and May 25, 2024 at St Peter’s Church in Gorleston.
For more information on Caritas in East Anglia, see Caritas East Anglia – Catholic Diocese of East Anglia (rcdea.org.uk).
For information on future Caritas Festivals, see Caritas Festival – Catholic Diocese of East Anglia (rcdea.org.uk).