Deanery Caritas festivals celebrate faith in action

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Deanery Caritas festivals celebrate faith in action

Deanery Caritas festivals celebrate ways through which the Catholic community puts its faith into action. Jane Crone from the Caritas Commission reports on the latest deanery festival.

The third Caritas East Anglia deanery festival took place on Saturday May 25 in Gorleston and brought together organisations involved in social outreach from across St Peter’s Coastal deanery. Each Caritas festival is unique, reflecting the nature of the local community and the talents and interests of the people living in it and this festival was no exception.

The day began with Mass in the church, celebrated by Bishop Peter and the priests of the deanery. Bishop Peter drew our attention to the colourful display of flags in the church – representing the cultural diversity and vibrancy of the deanery and thanked clergy and parishioners for encouraging an active youth ministry in the area. Reflecting on the Trinity as a community of love he said it could be seen as a good image for Caritas festivals; reminding us of why Christians engage in social action and how Caritas enhances the mission of the church.  

After Mass there were refreshments in the church hall and an opportunity to meet with representatives of organisations to find out more about their work. Groups represented included local organisations: such as On Your Side , which empowers young people from ethnic minorities to overcome marginalisation and low educational expectations, GYROS  which supports migrants in the east of England and the Stella Maris Parent and Toddler group in Lowestoft, which has been welcoming carers of pre-school children to weekly meetings for 33 years. Catholic involvement in social action is always changing and developing and it was a pleasure to welcome the new Diocesan initiative to combat modern slavery to a Caritas Festival for the first time. Caritas Social Action Network members represented included SVP and Stella Maris.  Fr Anthony, Dean of the Coastal deanery expressed the feelings of the groups attending pointing out that they were ‘energised and encouraged’ through finding out that ‘we are not alone’.

After the meeting David Livesey the Caritas East Anglia administrator said. “Parishioners from the Coastal deanery were able to discover and celebrate what was going on in their local communities. Thanks to the support of Canon Anthony and the Catholic community Caritas East Anglia has also found out about other organisations, unable to be present, such as the local foodbanks, who are addressing the needs of their neighbours in many ways”.

The next Caritas Festival is on November 30 2024 in Norwich Deanery at Our Lady and St Walstan Church Costessey. Townhouse Road, Costessey NR8 5AA.