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This week all parishes within the diocese are being asked to reflect on the topic of Marriage and Family Life in preparation for the Synod to be held later this year in Rome. The Bishops Conference of England and Wales recently published online materials to help Catholics in England and Wales reflect on the topic. Entitled “The Call, The Journey and The Mission” we are invited to reflect upon a number of key questions and the ‘Credo’ of what we believe about Marriage and Family Life as a Church.
To aid this process Archbishop George in co-ordination with the diocesan Family Life Commission have produced a leaflet and prayer card that is being made available from this weekend and over the course of the next week. The faithful are asked to take a leaflet and card each as part of their Lenten Reflections and make response to help formulate the Catholic Church of England and Wales response to be carried to Rome in time for the Synod.
The leaflet and card is to be made available to the wider Catholic family after half term within our Catholic Secondary Schools and Colleges to gauge as wide a response as possible.
In part of its preparations for the upcoming Synod of Bishops on pastoral challenges for the family to be held at the Vatican in October, the Diocese of Cardiff will be publishing materials to help its people reflect and respond to some key issues. The materials are being distributed to all parishes, Catholic high schools and colleges within the Archdiocese to promote a wider engagement on this crucial topic. Each parishioner within the Diocese should get a copy of the leaflet and reflection card next Sunday (1st Sunday of Lent) so they have the opportunity to use the materials as part of their Lenten reflections.
The reflection card is small enough to fit inside the typical books people carry to Mass each week. It contains a ‘Credo’ of what we believe as the Church on the topic of Marriage and Family Life. The back cover also informs the reader of how they can respond and have input into the Synod in October.
The leaflet is a synthesis of the material presented by the Bishops Conference of England and Wales earlier this year. It has been reviewed and redacted to make the material more user friendly. It encourages the reader to read some key Scripture passages and reflect on some key questions on which to formulate responses for the Synod. As people respond the Diocesan Family Life Commission will collate the responses and present them to the Bishops Conference for inclusion in a wider response on behalf of the people of England and Wales.
Everyone is encouraged to take a part in this exercise as the Church discerns the way forward on a crucial topic.
This year, the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins on Sunday 18th January and concludes on 25th January. The theme this year is “The Well is Deep” and is inspired by the encounter between jesus and the Woman at the Well in Samaria (John 4:7).
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland have produced a series of useful readings, prayers and meditations that may be used throughout the week. They are available FREE of charge from www.ctbi.org.uk/weekof prayer.
The Archdiocese of Cardiff will play host to an ecumenical service of Evening Prayer at St. David’s Cathedral, Charles Street, Cardiff on Sunday 18th January at 3pm. The guest preacher this year will be Revd. Eden Fletcher who runs the successful Brunswick Methodist Church in Newcastle city centre. It would be wonderful to see as many people as possible attend this sign of desire for unity among all Christians.
The Cornerstone project has been awarded a second round grant totaling £1,206,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) allowing it to continue with plans to restore and revive Ebeneser Chapel at the heart of Cardiff city centre.
Thanks to National Lottery funding, the now vacant Grade II listed building on Charles Street will be turned into a community meeting place which will be a hub for heritage learning and local community activity, providing conference and event facilities. The refurbished chapel will also house a café, creating six full time jobs, with the project’s partner organisation, RNIB Cymru providing employment and training opportunities for the blind.
Jennifer Stewart, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Wales, said: “This is a really exciting project that will bring an unused building not only back to life, but make it a central part of the local community. We’re thrilled to be able to award funding to a project with such a wide range of purposes and all thanks to players of the National Lottery. Without them, projects such as this just wouldn’t be possible. I can’t wait to see this chapel become an integral part of modern Cardiff just as it was in the past.”
Built in 1835, the chapel was originally named the Charles Street Congregational Church, but became known as Ebeneser in 1976 when a Welsh speaking congregation took on the building, playing a key part in Cardiff’s Welsh heritage. With the chapel once boasting a congregation of 250 Welsh speakers, this important part of its history will be captured in oral testimonies collected by students and volunteers. Once collected, the research findings will be displayed within the refurbished Cornerstone building, reflecting the building’s past within its new surroundings.
Representing early Gothic Revival, the chapel also has a rich architectural history. The exterior is built with stone work made from ballast carried on ships returning to Cardiff from the Middle East. There is also a stained glass window on the north wall which serves as a memorial to the fallen of the First World War.
Welcoming the grant announcement, Archbishop George Stack, said: “We are extremely grateful to the HLF for this significant grant and can’t wait to move ahead with the building restoration. Our hope is to bring this building back to life, creating a new community hub, whilst saving a prominent historic building at the heart of Cardiff, bringing its past and present together.”
The project expects to create a number of new jobs, providing a boost to the local economy, tieing it into the planned 2015/6 refurbishment of the Charles Street business zone. Cornerstone hopes to benefit from its close proximity to St David’s shopping centre, reaching a wider range of event organisers and visitors, including its partner organisations RNIB Cymru.
RNIB Cymru’s Director Ceri Jackson sees the project as an exciting opportunity, saying: “The chapel will provide a unique chance for people with sight loss to enjoy activities they are often excluded from. We are planning to build a sensory garden and work in partnership to offer apprenticeships and training on site.”
Plans for the Cornerstone include:
Restoration of the chapel’s historic fabric and sensitive conversion for community use. The lower ground floor of the building will be transformed into a café and kitchen with the upper ground level adapted for use as a conference/wedding facility. At the rear of the chapel is a substantial hall which will be retained for community use.
A commercial tenant will oversee the café and catering operation in conjunction with the RNIB Cymru and the intention is to create six full time jobs and twenty part time ones. The RNIB will also use the building to provide employment and training in the blind gardening facility planned and the proposed outside space for guide dogs.
Cardiff University wishes to utilise the cafe area as a dedicated meeting space for international students which should provide a new dynamic for the building.
A bilingual oral history project which aims to capture the recollections of those who attended the Ebeneser Chapel. The chapel once boasted a congregation of 250 Welsh speakers and applicant hopes to collect the oral testimonies related to these people. Students and volunteers are expected to compile these oral histories and the completed recording will be made available within the newly refurbished building as well as being available on the website and also stored on an open source platform.
The Archdiocese of Cardiff and Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) are inviting Catholics in the Archdiocese to attend a Caritas Social Action Roadshow on 17 May 2014. The event will focus on tackling domestic poverty, deprivation and other forms of marginalisation and aims to energise and expand Catholic social action across the Archdiocese building on Pope Francis’ call to be a Church for the Poor.
The Caritas Social Action Roadshow, “Being a Church for the Poor” will take place from 10:00 to 15:30 on Saturday 17 May 2014 at St David’s Catholic College, Cardiff and will bring together Catholic charities, local projects, clergy and parishioners to celebrate the wealth of social action already taking place within the Archdiocese and explore how this can be further developed. Refreshments and lunch will be provided.
Speakers will include Most Reverend George Stack, Archbishop of Cardiff and Helen O’Brien, Chief Executive of CSAN. An exciting and informative programme is planned including workshops by local and national charities designed to provide practical advice to those wishing to set up new projects as well as a social action marketplace at which projects and organisations will highlight the work that they are doing to address poverty and inequality across the Archdiocese.
In speaking of the event, Archbishop George Stack has said:
“Every parish I visit in the Archdiocese of Cardiff is engaged in a significant amount of charitable work. Society describes this as “social outreach”, but we know it is firmly based on the teaching of Jesus, particularly in the Gospel of Matthew. “Lord, when did we see you hungry and give you to eat?” (Mt.25:35)”
Archbishop George is encouraging parishes, schools and religious communities to participate in the Roadshow “to help us celebrate and develop the outstanding work being undertaken by so many dedicated volunteers”.
The event organiser, Jim Barnaville, added:
“This promises to be an exciting opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the many social action projects and activities that are taking place across the Archdiocese of Cardiff and to encourage more people to be inspired to get involved in similar work for love of God and love of neighbour”
Helen O’Brien, Chief Executive of CSAN, said:
“Catholic charities and communities are witnessing soaring levels of poverty across England and Wales, with more families struggling to meet basic living costs. Church communities and projects have been at the forefront in responding to these growing needs, supporting families on low incomes, providing food distribution schemes and assisting people who are homeless. I hope that this Roadshow will help us to build on this excellent work and energise Catholic social action in the Archdiocese of Cardiff”
To register call Jim Barnaville on 07870879621 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to Jim Barnaville, Caritas Roadshow, Pastoral Resources Centre, 910 Newport Road, Rumney, Cardiff CF3 4LL
The most Sacred of all weeks is almost upon us! This Sunday we begin our Holy Week celebrations with the blessing and distribution of palms within our parishes; calling to mind Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem as he approached the city to suffer and to die for us all. During the course of this week we will gather as a diocese at the cathedral for the blessing of the Holy Oils to be used over this next year. We will also celebrate THREE extra special days of fasting as we commemorate the Lord’s Passion, Death and Resurrection during the Sacred Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Saturday).
With so much going on, it is only fitting that this Holy Week we dedicate a page on our Diocesan website to localise as much information as possible as we journey together with Our Lord. At there moment there is important information regarding the Chrism Mass and confirmed times for the Sacred Triduum from around the diocese. Future updates will include more times for services around the diocese and video reflections from the Archbishop. Make sure you check back often …. http://www.rcadc.co.uk/holy-week.html