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Schoolchildren care for people in need

2019 Coventry Good Shepherd Mass

In May and June, schoolchildren from across the Archdiocese of Birmingham joined staff and volunteers from Father Hudson’s Care at a series of Masses to present money they raised for our annual Good Shepherd Appeal.

The appeal sees children in around 200 Catholic schools raise funds to support our work through sponsored events, bake sales, odd shoe days or simply by collecting coins in the famous Good Shepherd boxes. At the end of the appeal, Father Hudson’s, with the support of schools and parishes, holds seven Good Shepherd Masses at churches across the Archdiocese. The Masses enable the schools to come together as one to worship and present their donations. It also offers an opportunity for Father Hudson’s to thank the schools for continuing to support the century-old appeal.

At each Mass schools led the music, read prayers and Bible verses, and took part in a bright offertory procession during which they presented their donations to the principal celebrants – Archbishop Bernard Longley, Bishops David McGough and William Kenney, and Monsignor Tim Menezes. 

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Speaking at the Masses, Andy Quinn, Chief Executive of Father Hudson’s Care, gave several examples of the work made possible by these funds. “Without your help,” he told the children, “Martin would still be living in a tent in the undergrowth on a roundabout on the ring road in Birmingham. He lived there for two years because he was afraid. Now, at Tabor House – a night shelter provided by Father Hudson’s Care and partners – he can sleep safely at night. Martin recently had help to find a job and look for his own flat. He said that since moving there, the darkness has started to lift and he can see a future. And Amman would not have been given permission to stay by the British government. In 2017 her asylum claim had been turned down and she came to stay at Fatima House – another partnership project. In 2018 she was granted asylum. Finally, she was believed.”

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The Good Shepherd Appeal runs each year in a tradition dating back to the early twentieth century, when children collected coins during Lent for what was then the Diocesan Rescue Society. It remains one of the most important means of raising funds for the charity’s work, collecting around £60,000 each year.

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This year’s Masses were in St Mary’s Church, Leek; St George’s Church, Worcester; Holy Family Church, Coventry; Corpus Christi Church, Oxford; St Michael’s Church, Wolverhampton; and St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham.

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