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Father Hudsonís Care and the Catholic Church

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Father Hudson’s Care provides social care throughout the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

While it has its own identity and is a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity, Father Hudson’s has close links with the Archdiocese that are greatly valued.

The Archbishop of Birmingham is the President of the Trust and attends at least two of the Trustees’ meetings each year, including the AGM. His contribution to discussions is always wise and thoughtful.

Father Hudson’s works in partnership with statutory services and third sector organisations to bring a greater coherence to the meeting of need within the community, and has recognised that the Church has a very significant role to play in this.

It takes great encouragement from Pope Francis’s vision of a Church that is, through its very nature, driven by a mission to reach out to those who are suffering:

“The Gospel tells us constantly to run the risk of a face-to-face encounter with others, with their physical presence which challenges us, with their pain and their pleas, with their joy which infects us in our close and continuous interaction.”

(Evangelii Gaudium : Apostolic Exhortation on the Proclamation of the Gospel in Today’s World (24 November 2013)

Wherever possible it will work with parishes and deaneries to create services for the wider community, using whatever resources the Church can make available. The generosity of parishes in making available their community centres, volunteers, and often providing financial help, has led to the development of powerful community services.

Over the years, Father Hudson’s has been invited to work with parishes to develop community projects. This was particularly the case with Hope at St Patrick’s in Wolverhampton, Brushstrokes at St Philip’s in Smethwick, Maryvale and Christ the King parishes in Birmingham with the Maryvale Community Project and the New Heights project, and with the parishes of Meir, Hanley, and Kidsgrove in North Staffordshire with the Young at Heart project.

Other parishes have been very helpful in making their centres available to serve the wider community; this is the case at Anawim in Birmingham, where Ss John & Martin’s have been very supportive.

Oscott College, a seminary that serves the Archdiocese of Birmingham and many other dioceses, has regularly invited Father Hudson’s to deliver training as part of the formation of priests and deacons.

The annual collection in September makes a great difference to Father Hudson’s. This money enables the development of community projects, which rely entirely upon charitable donations.  

More than this, it demonstrates the Diocesan recognition of the work carried out in the name of the Church for the wider community.

The relationship with the Catholic schools of the Diocese goes back to the days of Father Hudson himself. The support they give by their fundraising, and the opportunity they give Father Hudson’s to share the importance of social care in the formation of the young people, is becoming more important every year.

Since Father Hudson’s became a separate charity, the Archdiocese has been keen to ensure that the Chair and other key roles were occupied by laypeople with the appropriate professional experience needed in today’s society to run a professional social care organisation. It is the Trustees as a body who take all the key decisions that determine the future of the work; however, ties with the Church remain a key driving force behind all work undertaken.

 

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