Friday, November 26, 2010

Parish Mission begins TODAY!!!

Today, we are excitedly awaiting the arrival of the thirty young people from the Emmanuel School of Mission in Rome! They will be with us at Holy Ghost for ten days, until 5th December, leading our Mission - "Come to Me - let not your hearts be troubled". There has been a lot of work, preparation and build-up to the Mission and we will bring you regular updates on all the activities through the Blog.

Why are we having a Mission? There are two main reasons: Firstly, to evangelise those who don't have any or little contact with the Church. Secondly, to re-energise us in our faith as a parish. All of the events of this week will be about these two aims.

Street evangelisation is a particular charism of the Emmanuel Community and this week the missionaries will be on the streets of Balham each day (particularly around Balham Station and Clapham South Tube station) engaging people in conversation. Evangelisation means proclaiming Christ - and the beginning of Advent is the perfect time to speak to people in an attractive and inviting way about the Good News of salvation. People will be invited back to the Church for the main evening event of the day, or to pray in the Church at any point during the day. Street evangelisation is about spreading the true joy of Advent, and inviting people to think about what meaning this time of year has for them.

Tonight the missionaries will be holding an Evangelisation Training event at Holy Ghost School, Nightingale Square, from 8pm. All are invited to come and meet them and learn about how to evangelise!

Keep tuning in to hear the latest news from the Mission.....!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Resurrecting the Blog

It's been a long time since we posted anything on the parish Blog - partly because we prioritised other things but mostly because we ran out of things to say! Recently, however, we have been thinking about the whole question of effective communication: there is so much happening in the parish and yet most of our parishioners are simply unaware of what we do. Many of our activities rely on the generosity of our parishioners in their weekly giving. Without their support we would simply be unable to do all the things we do. It seems a good idea to try to find new ways of communicating our life and good news.
Recently we reformatted our parish newsletter. We've moved from an A4 folded to A5 format, to an A3 folded to A4. It is a bit more cumbersome for those who want to stuff it into their back pocket but it does greatly increase the amount of space available to us. It means that we have now been able to incorporate a "This week at the Holy Ghost" column with a day-by-day listing of all our talks, catechesis, and other activities. We also have space for a featured spotlight each week. This week for example we focus on "Christian Initiation", explaining what RCIA is and announcing the commencement of a rolling 'pre-catechumenal' or enquiry course that will continue throughout the year on a six-weekly cycle. This course will lead into the RCIA classes which begin in September.
Another new feature is the "Defending a Culture of Life" column which advertises Natural Family Planning and also important life issues. We have currently, for example, a little piece on the Westminster Declaration and another on the General Election.

The resurrection of the Blog is part of our effort to communicate effectively. The plan is not to simply repeat what you can read in the newsletter. Instead we want to give a greater insight into what goes on at our events. For example, rather than simply advertise the 'Echoes' course we are currently running, we could give a more detailed account of what is covered in each session. More than that, however, the Blog may be a useful tool for pulling together comment on wider issues affecting the life of the Church. We can provide links to other good articles or informative pieces.

So... watch this space!