Last week we welcomed Christopher Robson from Aid to the Church In Need to our parish to tell us about the charity's work and to make an appeal for much needed funds.
Once again I am overwhelmed by the generosity of our parishioners. A total of £967.50 was raised and there is still some more money to come in.
Christopher has written to thank everyone and I copy his letter here.
Dear Father Wadsworth,
I am writing to you and the parishioners of St Marie and St Joseph for their great generosity to Aid to the Church in Need. The total sum contributed was £967.50. This comprised of three components: £400.50 in ninety three gift aid envelopes; £331.19 in loose cash; and £235.81 from the sale of merchandise.
The charity's priority at the present is the Middle East. Across the region ancient apostolic communities are under sustained pressure, which includes violence, to emigrate from their homelands. We are attempting in modest ways to keep the Church functioning in the area, and thereby to stem the outflow of Christians.
I very much enjoyed the three Masses I attended, and the choice of hymns was excellent. Also seeing so many families coming to church as part of an induction programme - and the very important business of reaching out to the lapsed - commanded my admiration. While hearing the Hail Holy Queen and the Prayer to St Michael at the end of Mass boosted everyone's morale. I might add that your proficiency is sign language is formidable.
Is there any chance that two of your parishioners, one from St Joseph's and one from St Marie's, could be persuaded to be ACN Parish Reps? All that is involved is sticking the occasional poster on the notice board at the back of church.
If any more money from the appeal comes in, I should be grateful if you could forward it to my home address.
After I left St Marie's on Sunday, I drove to Shuttleworth, and went walking in the piece of countryside that lies between Rochdale and the Bury- Ramsbottom area. Taking a south easterly track I came to a reservoir on the Rochdale road, and turned southwards to Ashworth Hall. Then I went across the Cheeseden Brook, and had to negotiate a barbed wire fence before I could get to Birtle. Proceedings after that involved countering the south westerly bias of communications, and making it back to Shuttleworth. Occasionally it was disheartening and frustrating, but in spite of a series of checks and disappointments, I made it in the end.
My best wishes to you, and your fellow parishioners. Thank you for making me welcome.