On Saturday, 12 May, 2018, Caritas Diocese of Hallam was launched at Blessed Trinity Church Hall, Wickersley.
A gathering of fifty people were addressed by the Co-ordinator, Stuart Hanlon, who gave the background to the decision by trustees of the Diocese. He outlined the advantages of being a member of the Caritas network together with results from a questionnaire sent to all parishes. In total, 143 social action projects had been identified in the diocese, of which 80 were initiatives within parishes.
Dr Phil McCarthy, Chief Executive of Caritas Social Action Network, spoke about the origins of Caritas, and welcomed Hallam as the latest member of the Network.
Bishop Ralph Heskett described the event as a celebration of social action. This was enacted in the form of prayer, worship and song prepared by Sr Clare Grimes, setting the event in its true context, and quoting Pope Francis: “Everyone should be able to experience the joy of being loved by God, the joy of Salvation! It is a gift that one cannot keep to oneself, but it is to be shared.”
Catherine Hand, Irvine Peacock and Fr Shaun Smith (representing Coping With Loss, Credit Union and Food Banks) gave presentations and described the positive benefits of their projects to people they serve and participating parishes.