Three new parishioners joined the team which, in pairs, visited a new housing estate in St Ives called Spire Estate on September 22.
Frazer and Ian – First Timers
Myself and Ian were first time evangelists. The first two houses we had no response but at the third house the resident gladly took a leaflet. At the sith door a lady answered stating that she was ‘not religious, I’m afraid’ which became a running theme with seven people in total responding in a similar manner. At the next door we were in our stride and a very welcoming mother and son answered the door declaring that she does attend Mass at the Sacred Heart and also All Saints – her husband then came to the door who we recognised as the Curate from All Saints in St Ives – he was very pleased that we were undertaking visits – maybe we are setting a trend for other churches?
In total we visited 29 houses – had 13 responses of which there were with two declared Anglicans, one Methodist, seven ‘afraids’ and three not interested.
All received the message that we pray for them and that God loves them.
On a personal note the prayers prior to the visits in the church enhanced my trust in Jesus and gave me the comfort and confidence to go out.
David – Updated
This was my first time visiting and I found it a rewarding experience from: the welcome from all the households, even those who were emphatically non-religious or attached to other faiths, particularly a Muslim gentleman; overcoming reluctance to declare my faith to strangers on their doorsteps; personal growth in finding the right words coming into my head if I needed to speak to them.
The effort of making the visits was more than justified by just one early discovery of a family of five Polish Catholics, whom Fr Karol was able to engage in their own language.
Anne – An Uplifting Morning
As a lifelong Catholic this was my first ‘official’ go at evangelising by way of visiting homes. I decided to go along with no expectations and to just spread the word. I was pleasantly surprised.
We started with prayers which provided the inspiration I needed. It was great to be paired with Jackie, who has a great deal of knowledge about the Catholic faith. We took a deep breath and launched ourselves into it. We called on 25 homes and managed to speak with ten residents.
At the first home the reception was cool, but polite. We handed them a ‘God Loves You’ card and he replied ‘lovely of you’. We were warmly received at the next three, which gave us great encouragement.
The next few calls were brief. We handed the cards to two teenage daughters, met an extremely welcoming Muslim man, a lady that was on the phone and a resident that is soon moving out. The highlight for me was at the penultimate house where the lady had not even moved in yet and was waiting for a locksmith. We were the first visitors to her new home and she seemed really pleased with our message and offer of a blessing.
What took me by surprise was how uplifted and spiritually renewed I felt after this experience. I felt I had done something worthwhile for myself and more importantly, hopefully we made a difference to other people’s lives.
I believe in positive outcome of our evangelisation visits. Although not many people were in we’ve not met with hostility towards us. Not saying much at the visit, only accompanying Elizabeth, the most I could do was the cheerful face and big smile. Always works!
We will continue our mission once a month with one hour of knocking on doors. We are also phoning parishioners on our old database with very surprising results. Most of all I can confirm the growth of community spirit and a tremendous joy of being on the move toward those who deserve to know about the eternal Mercy of God represented in Jesus Christ.
The message we leave to all in the house is written on the little image of the Divine Mercy with the inscription “Jesus I trust in You”. On the back it says:
You think that God does not love you,
because of what you have done.
But GOD does LOVE You
and you should know how much!
Out of that love
the Son of God, Jesus Christ,
died for you on the Cross
but HE has risen from the dead
and lives among you.
In His Body and Blood,
He offers you
total forgiveness and the fullness of LIFE!
God loves you as you are
– NO preferences!
His love I directed toward each one of you
– NO exceptions!
You do not need to pay for His Love
– NO conditions!
We are glad to share this message with you
and have you among us.
May God’s peace descend on you all at this address
and remain in your hearts forever.
Pictured top in front of Sacred Heart Church in St Ives are, from the left, David, Frazer, Ian, Anne, Jackie, Magda, Elizabeth and Fr Karol.