Day for Life, June 17, 2018

September 29/30, 2018: St James the Less, Rawtenstall

Anthony Brown spoke at the 6.30 pm Mass on the Saturday, and the 8.30 am and 10.30 am Masses on Sunday.  See a copy of the talk.  St James the Less parishioners were particularly responsive and with well chosen hymns, and well chosen words from the Parish Priest, Canon Tony McBride, the Mass was a clarion call for action.

This was a follow on from June 17 (Day for Life – theme: Human Trafficking) and we gave out cards to those who hadn’t received them on the day or who had mislaid them.

We also trialled an idea by Meriel Woodward to have parishioners sign a pledge to pray, be aware and act.  See a copy of the pledge.   We obtained 76 signatures suggesting that there is great potential here to get Catholics to commit to effective action requiring minimal effort.

Note the commitment made by senior law enforcement officers from around the world at the first Vatican conference on human trafficking in 2014.

September 15, 2018: Caritas Reps Workshop

Around 20 reps attended the workshop which was an opportunity to talk about trafficking and revisit June 17.  A show of hands indicated that most of the reps in the room were from parishes where our initiative had featured in some way.  The cards had been distributed according to plan.

September 3, 2018: Oldham FM

The invitation to speak on Oldham FM was a direct result of a Day for Life talk at St Aiden’s and St Owald’s, Royton, a valuable spin off from the June 17 initiative.  The programme was broadcast live at 11.00 am on September 3 when Anthony spoke about the growing awareness of human trafficking from the 2004 Morecambe Bay Cockle Pickers tragedy to the present time.  Although there is much greater awareness and Police action now,  a great deal more is needed from the public.   Anthony referred to a talk by Bishop Patrick Lynch of Southwark in 2014 when he outlined his own journey to action in Four Steps: Being Aware, Being Convinced, Being Compassionate and Being Collaborative.   It is difficult to move people from being aware to being convinced that the issue is as huge as it is and on their doorstep;  more difficult still to get them to the final stage of collaboration with Police and alerting them to something that doesn’t look right and probably isn’t.   The message of the programme was the need for listeners to heed the signs and act by calling the National Slavery Helpline number 08000 121 700

August 3, 2018: Some reflections following June 17

We put a lot of effort into the build up to June 17 but it is difficult to know how much impact we have had.

In the build up to June 17 we communicated and publicised widely:

  • Apart from the two deans we know well we had personal meetings with five of the other six deans and spoke at three deanery meetings
  • There are around 100 Caritas representatives in the Diocese who promote the charitable work of Caritas in their parishes. We spoke about Day for Life at one their meetings with an attendance of around 25 and the message was communicated to all via email
  • Four newssheets went to all priests and all schools in the Diocese
  • Two Beacons (the Caritas Salford newsletter which goes to all parishes) featured the Caritas Anti-Trafficking Day for Life exercise, as did Caritas Refugee Response Newsletter Number 7 for June, and the Diocese of Salford July E newsletter
  • A letter about the day went to the entire Caritas Salford email listings of 1,241 people
  • Bishop John did a short video about the issue of human trafficking in which he urged people to take one of our cards
  • A newsletter insert went to the other eight Christian communities in Clitheroe

Without doing a formal evaluation we only have  limited information on what actually happened on the  day. However, arising from the day,  or from communication before it,  we have spoken in, or had invitations to speak in, seven Catholic churches, one Baptist church, one charity and a local radio slot.

Feedback has been very positive where we have sought it but we need to remember that that is entirely from a small sample of people already committed. Of over 160 churches in the Diocese we have feedback from 17.

We asked trafficking representatives covering 16 churches in St John Southworth Deanery:

  • Did the cards arrive on time?
  • Was it clear what was expected of parishes?
  • Was it clear that Day for Life this year had the theme of human trafficking?
  • Did prayer and awareness raising feature at Mass?
  • Did parishes succeed in handing cards out to all (or most) Mass attenders?
  • Were there enough cards or too many?

The result of  that gave a positive indication that the exercise had gone well in eleven churches.   The representatives covering five churches did not respond.

In other deaneries two people said the day had gone to plan. One of these was particularly positive and had generated interested contacts.   Two said they had been away and couldn’t  comment.  One had little recollection but said that most of the cards remained in the porch.

We asked deans to get back  from their next deanery meeting which we had assumed would be July but turned out to be September by which time memories and interest may well have faded.

For the future we need to build on what we have achieved by keeping the topic live and encouraging people to keep their cards.  What seems to be clear is that whilst it is probably the minority that respond to any great extent, there are a number that do so very positively and subsequently engage with others.  From experience we know that positive affects only come to light later and sometimes under chance circumstances.    We almost certainly impact in ways we will never know.

 July 14 and 15, 2018: Talk at St Aiden’s and St Owald’s, Royton, Oldham

Ten minute talk at Mass at 5.30 on Saturday and 10.30 on Sunday.

This arose following a recommendation from someone who had heard Anthony Brown speak on the subject of human trafficking elsewhere.  St Aiden’s and St Oswald’s didn’t receive the Caritas Day for Life cards in time for June 17 so we agreed to focus on those and the Caritas/Lancashire Police partnership in raising awareness on human trafficking: Please keep the card with you to remind you to be on the look-out for victims of human trafficking, and to know what to do if you see something.  If all the Catholics in Salford Diocese did what I’m asking we would rid the Diocese of human trafficking.  Pope Francis wants to rid the world of it by 2025 so let’s help him to do that in Salford Diocese by 2020. 

Apart from a very positive response from the Parish which is good for fostering links, we have an invite to speak on Oldham local radio.

Concern was expressed by one parishioner after the Saturday night Mass about the appropriateness of the material for children and Fr Stephen gave out a health warning before Sunday Mass.  This does raise the issue of how to tackle subjects, which need to be addressed by Catholic congregations, in a way that gives them sufficient substance in an audience which includes young children.  It is something we will pursue with Diocesan Safeguarding.

Although this was a Caritas Salford Anti-Trafficking exercise St Aiden’s and St Oswald’s had agreed to give a donation to the Medaille Trust.  In the event they doubled it.

June 17,2018: Day for life talks in church

We don’t know the extent to which Salford Diocese parish priests engaged parishioners is supporting Day for Life but some certainly did.  Apart from dealing with posters and giving cards out to parishioners, our supporters in three parishes gave talks at Mass, urging people to note the signs of human trafficking and act.

Margaret McNulty spoke at St Peter in Chains, Blackburn on the Sunday morning.  Angela McKay spoke at St John Vianney, Blackburn at Saturday night and Sunday morning Masses.  Margaret and Angela had consulted over their script and agreed to ask people to take out their mobile ‘phones and insert the National Slavery Helpline number there and then.  This had some success but with mobiles turned off not everybody managed at the time. Hopefully it would be a spur for them to do it later.  If this exercise were repeated parishioners could be asked to turn their ‘phones on at the start of the talk but keep them on silent.

Anthony Bridge spoke at Our Lady of Lourdes, Farnworth at Saturday night and Sunday morning masses and the Legion of Mary gave a donation to the Medaille Trust

 

June 17, 2018: Day for Life

Poster available from ModernSlavery@caritassalford.org.uk

 

Cards available from ModernSlavery@caritassalford.org.uk

 


Day for Life is the day in the Church’s year dedicated to raising awareness about the meaning and value of human life at every stage and in every condition. The Church teaches that life is to be nurtured from conception to natural death. This year’s Day for Life is celebrated on 17 June in England and Wales and the theme is human trafficking.

The previous weekend and into Monday we packaged and posted posters, “signs” cards, Medaille prayer cards and a covering letter from Mark Wiggin, Caritas Salford, to 132 parishes in the Diocese.  We hoped the meetings, newssheets and other communications would encourage priests to ensure that every parishioner received a card.

June 15, 2018:  Bishop John’s message for Day for Life, theme Human Trafficking

This was a last minute thought and with technical problems it didn’t go out till today.  Worth listening to though https://youtu.be/WFLLg_pOJHA 

For more information on Day for Life and what is happening in Salford look at these weblinks:

Cartias Salford

Santa Marta Group

Day of Life

June 12, 2018: Caritas Salford Anti-Trafficking Newssheet Number 4

The newssheet, which is part of the build up to the Day for Life (Theme: Human Trafficking) June 17, is below.  Click to get a full size pdf version.

 May 22, 2018: Caritas Salford Anti-Trafficking Newsheet Number 3

The newssheet, which is part of the build up to the Day for Life (Theme: Human Trafficking) June 17, is below.  Click to get a full size pdf version.

May 15, 2018: St Chad Deanery meeting and lunch

Thank you to Fr Philip Brady for the invitation to speak and share lunch at his deanery meeting.  We had 45 minutes on the issue of human trafficking and the Day for Life, June 17, awareness raising launch, with questions and answers, followed by an excellent lunch by the Presentation Sisters at the Presentation Convent.

April 30, 2018:  Santa Marta Group Telephone Meeting

Meeting to go through the detailed plan for Day for Life, June 17.  We learned that as well as our own materials within Salford Diocese there will be  a letter to parish priests from Bishop John Sherrington, Auxiliary  Bishop of Westminster, along with A5 leaflets for parishioners.

April 16, 2018: Medaille Newsletter, Easter Edition

Over the last few days we have posted out copies of the Easter edition of the Medaille Newsletter to all churches in Salford Diocese, in order to raise the profile of the Medaille Trust’s work in the build up to Day for Life.

Download a copy below.

April 14, 2018: Caritas Diocese of Salford Representatives Workshop

Presentation on the Day of Life, June 17 Trafficking Awareness Raising Launch

See the PowerPoint

April 10, 2018: Caritas Anti-Trafficking Newssheet 2

The newssheet, which is part of the build up to the Day for Life (Theme: Human Trafficking) June 17, is below.  Click to get a full size pdf version.

March 20, 2018: St Joseph Deanery meeting and lunch

Thank you to Fr Kevin Foulkes for the invitation to speak and share lunch at his deanery meeting.  After a 15 or 20 minute presentation on human trafficking and the Day for Life, June 17, awareness raising launch, it was good to talk informally over a good meal.  Two of the priests had personal experience of victims of human trafficking

March 6, 2018: Meeting with Fr Philip Brady, Dean of St Chad Deanery

Meeting to discuss our diocesan awareness raising launch on Day for Life June 17.   Fr Brady invited Anthony Brown to come to his deanery meeting and lunch to talk to the deanery priests on May 15.

February 21, 2018: Telephone Conference between Caritas Salford and the Santa Marta Group

Discussion of resources for the Day for Life Launch on June 17

February 20, 2018: St Therese of Lisieux Deanery meeting and lunch

Thank you to Canon Paul Brindle for the invitation to speak and share lunch at his deanery meeting.  After a 15 or 20 minute presentation on human trafficking and the Day for Life, June 17, awareness raising launch, it was good to talk informally over a good meal.

February 2, 2018: Canon Paul Brindle, Dean of St Theresa of Lisieux Deanery

Meeting to discuss our diocesan awareness raising launch on Day for Life June 17.   Fr Paul invited Anthony Brown to come to his deanery meeting and lunch to talk to the deanery priests on February 20.

February 1, 2018: Fr Kevin Foulkes, Dean of St Joseph Deanery

Meeting to discuss our diocesan awareness raising launch on Day for Life June 17.   Fr Kevin invited Mary and Anthony Brown to come to his deanery meeting and lunch to talk to the deanery priests on March 20.

January 30, The first Caritas Anti-Trafficking newsletter

This newsletter went out just prior to the feast day of St Bakhita on February 8 but is the start of a diocesan wide awareness raising initiative which will focus initially on June 17, the Day for Life.  The newsletter went to all churches and all schools in the diocese.  Click on the picture to get a full size pdf version.

January 18, 2018: Fr Phil Sumner, Dean of Mount Carmel Deanery

Meeting to discuss our diocesan awareness raising launch on Day for Life June 17.  Fr Phil had a number of interesting ideas on materials and media we intend to use which we will take to our next meeting with the SMG.

January 15, 2018: Mgr. Paul Smith, Dean of St John Deanery

This was the first of six meetings with deans to discuss our diocesan awareness raising launch on June 17.

December 12, 2017: Fr Peter Hopkinson

This was a useful informal meeting at Costa Coffee with Fr Peter who is Dean of St John Vianney Deanery and would be attending the Council of Deans meeting on the 14th.  We briefed him on our planned Diocesan awareness raising launch on the  Day for Life (June 17 2018) so he could give the deans an update.

We also discussed preliminary details of a Mass Fr Peter will celebrate at St Mary’s of the Assumption, Burnley, on or around the Feast of St Bakhita (February 8)

December 11, 2017: Santa Marta/Caritas Salford Telephone Conference

Present: Mark Wiggin (Caritas Salford), Mick Duthie (Deputy Director SMG), Phoebe Prendergast (SMG), Anthony and Mary Brown (Caritas Salford and Medaille)

This was a follow on to the November 8 meeting in which we extended our aspirations to include all eight Salford deaneries in a larger exercise with a remit beyond the earlier one.

Anthony Brown reflected on the efforts and energy required to engage people at parish level.  His  strategy has been to make small incremental gains in awareness  raising concentrating on individuals and extending his network of concerned individuals.    He proposed a diocese wide awareness raising initiative which would be a joint Caritas, SMG, Medaille Trust effort with funding support from all for materials and staff.

Mick Wiggin emphasised the need to constantly engage the audience and acknowledged that energy and strategy needed to create traction in the diocese on the subject of trafficking/modern day slavery.   Getting the diocesan clergy on board is essential and we expect Bishop Pat Lynch will do a pastoral letter for 17th June (Day for Life) which would be a good day for the launch of a diocesan wide awareness raising initiative in all parishes.   Mark supported the idea that SMG branding was essential to feel part of a bigger global movement.

Phoebe Prendergast offered links to other dioceses and noted national awareness opportunities such as the Feast of St Bakhita on 8th February.   SMG are developing resources for awareness raising and prayer and will use the SMG website and social media to good effect.   Follow up after a launch is critical to maintain momentum.

All agreed on the need for a resourced strategy that could eventually include a part time diocese coordinator.

Agreed action included:

  • Planning for a diocesan awareness raising launch on the Day for Life (June 17)
  • Use the Feast of St Bakhita (February 8) as precursor to Day for Life
  • SMG to visit Caritas Salford to further plans
  • Possible diocesan round table meeting to share practice at diocese/parish level and agree action and delivery plans towards a diocesan model