IMAGINING THE FUTURE: A DIOCESE IN NORTH EAST ENGLAND TAKES THE COLLAPSE IN CLERGY NUMBERS AS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR RENEWAL

Fr Jim O'keefe

There is no roof on the Priory on Holy Island – there hasn’t been for centuries. In the 1790s there were around 200 priests in Sunderland and 100 in Berwick. In 2012, after more than 200 years of service, Ushaw College, that magnificent campus of historic buildings outside Durham, ceased to train men for the Catholic priesthood. The story of the Christian faith in the far north-east of England has been one change and decay, turbulence and revival.

In January, the bishop of Clifton wrote to his diocese asking ‘in the light of the Gospel’, What is it to be the Church for our day and our culture?  What do we need to do to make our imaginings come true?

Members of A Call to Action worked together to identify the issues these questions raised.

This is an edited version of what they said.

Clifton ACTA The Church We Want to Be - A5 Format            Clifton ACTA The Church We Want to Be - A4 Format

Jo Cox MP

One year on from the tragic death of Jo Cox, a series of events are being held across the UK to celebrate the late MP – and the message of togetherness that she promoted throughout her life.

We have become familiar enough with placards and posters proclaiming 'Justice for....', where some good cause is the subject of a campaign seeking a positive outcome.  

More and more we hear talk in the West of our unjust society, of communities living side by side whose work and living circumstances are in stark contrast.  

Grenfell Tower

                           only in the West

 

                           the sun returned

                           bringing angled shadows

                           of morning

                           back to city streets.

 

                           cars and buses,

                           trains and tubes

                           moved people

                           from home to work.

 

                           only, in the west

                           a pall of smoke

                           hung heavy

                           on the skyline

 

                           and the people wept.

 

Chris McDonnell

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