It’s my fifth week as Leeds Diocesan Manager and I managed to find a couple of hours to catch my breath in the company of the wonderful parishioners at St Joseph’s church in Huddersfield.
It was my first visit to St Joseph’s and I noticed that near the altar there was a framed, handwritten document titled St Joseph’s “Charter for the Poor”. The people of the parish felt it important to codify their commitment. To me it showed that a group of people, over different generations, had placed their brothers and sisters living in poverty at the heart of their actions and prayers. Which brings me to my lunch…
I was invited to a soup lunch which is being run every Wednesday during Lent in the church hall. I was warmly welcomed by the parish’s CAFOD group, the organiser Joan Cheetham and parish priest Fr Nicholas. The lunch was followed by a raffle and the sale of homemade biscuits and cakes. I wasn’t quick enough to buy any cake but visitors to the Leeds office will be welcomed with some homemade ginger biscuits (while stocks last). The group are aiming to beat last year’s heady total of £1,000 and if the amount of empty bowls are anything to go by, they have made a great start.
As we approach fast day, events like these will be replicated across the diocese and even the country. Lent Fast Day encourages us to change the priorities of our busy lives for one day. By fasting for one day, we can place the people living in poor communities in our closest thoughts and prayers, placing them at the centre of our lives. By donating the money that we have saved during that day we can bring about practical and long lasting solutions.