4-2. THE CHURCH IN THE COMMUNITY

Last time, we considered our Parish as a Church Community. This time our focus is on the Church in the Community. This overview offers a broad perspective on how individuals reach out to fellow parishioners and, importantly, to other people near and far as we are called to do as part of our Christian vocation. There is extensive evidence the Church is active locally.

Agency For Overseas Development (CAFOD)

An international development charity funded by donations, it is the official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. It is part of the largest global aid network with a strong local presence.

Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP)

Motivated by the spirit of Christian charity and funded by donations the members of the society visit the elderly and the sick to help them and, in a spirit of justice, to tackle poverty where they can.

Survive-miva

With talks in different parishes, it raises funds for missionary transport in challenging terrains.

Catenians

Our local Circle is committed to strengthening family life through friendship and faith. It supports the clergy, vocations and charities like CAFOD, and invites wives and children to many activities. Our Bursary Fund provides financial help for young Catholics (16-25) who volunteer in developing countries and who help the less fortunate at Lourdes.

Historic Churches

Provided planning expertise to a diocesan team for granting faculties for alterations to historic churches enabling them to comply with planning regulations.

Regular participation in the European Heritage Day (Open Doors in Monmouth) giving access to the public to share and explain our churches’ historical treasures.

Churches Together

A national ecumenical organisation of churches in Wales with Catholic membership to foster good relations with fellow Christians. Locally there is the annual Passion enactment, Stations of the Cross in different Monmouth churches, and Food Bank provision and distribution for people in need.

Parish & Social Events

Support for parishioners and visitors at the annual St John Kemble pilgrimage with refreshments, organisation of the annual Autumn Fair and parish social events by the Social & Fund-Raising Committee. Coffee mornings and raffles inside and outside the parish with the proceeds going to charities. A bi-monthly Come And Meet Each Other (CAMEO) meeting, featuring speakers of interest, especially for new and recent members of our church community.

Local Community

Parishioners are, or have been, active in many local organisations including but not limited to:

  • Town councillors and planners and working for Local Authorities
  • School Governors, Headteachers, teachers, support and administration staff, and pupils in local schools. School Advisers and Inspectors at Archdiocesan, Diocesan and Regional level.
  • In the medical profession as surgeons, doctors, nurses, ophthalmologists and dentists
  • Law & Order as members of the Police Authority, magistracy, their selection and supervision
  • Prisoner care by saying Mass and arranging tea in Usk Prison weekly
  • Caring professions such as support for the elderly in Bridges Community Centre and elsewhere.
  • Fund Raising for good causes such as Llamau for young homeless and vulnerable women.

“They also serve who only stand and wait” – John Milton “On his blindness”