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Letter to the King, Thetford Lent talk, SVP conferences

Latest news from the Diocese of East Anglia includes a letter from Thetford to Buckingham Palace, a Lent talk on friendship, and how to start an SVP conference.

St Mary’s in Thetford has written a letter to Buckingham Palace upon the occasion of HM Charles III’s Coronation. 

In the letter, the parish community express their heartfelt good wishes and prayers for their majesties for the occasion and wish them all the best and happiness for the future. 

Fr Pat Cleary, parish priest and Paul Gilbert, Chairman of the parish council worked closely together in the wording and as such felt that it was great that something could be sent from a small parish to mark the historic event next month. 

Many of the community of Thetford remember the visit of the then Prince Charles to Thetford in 1999 and thought it would be great way to bring the past back to the present. 

As part of their Lenten programme, St Mary’s Thetford had a Lent talk in the parish hall. The talk was entitled “Can we be Friends with God?”

Fr Bob Eccles of the Cambridge Dominicans explored the teaching of St Thomas Aquinas who says that charity (love) is best described as friendship. The talk inspired a hearty discussion.

On March 4 Al Perna and the Sacred Heart and St Oswald’s SVP conference hosted an information Session for parishes wishing to start or restart an SVP conference. A very interesting afternoon was had, with prayers, discussion and some very nice refreshments provided by the SVP members.

The session was attended by Jon Cornwall, National Membership Director, and Joan Wall, East Anglia Central Council President.

All parishes, or parish groups, in East Anglia Diocese are encouraged to develop an SVP conference and existing conferences can ask for support from Joan, Jon and the National Office. SVP can help with combatting loneliness and poverty and facilitating Stewardship.

A new conference recently sent the following statement: “We have been prompted to set up a conference to ensure that nobody has to be indispensable: many people in the parish already help those in need or who are vulnerable in some way, so the Conference will provide a safety net for them so that those whom they help can always be sure of the support that they need, regardless of the circumstances of the individuals around them. We also felt that having an SVP Conference in the parish would demonstrate our commitment to Catholic Social Teaching.” 

If you would like further information, please contact Joan Wall  or ring 07510 359845.

Pictured above is Fr Bob Eccles giving the Lent talk in Thetford.