Volunteers awarded Diocesan Medals

On Sunday 7 April 2024, Bishop Marcus made his Quinquennial Visitation to the Parish of St John the Baptist, Normanton. At the end of Mass, in front of a full church, he presented the Diocesan medals to Rachel Saul and Sarah Mitchell for their amazing work in leading the group of volunteers for the Normanton and Altofts Community Sponsorship Scheme. Parish medals, made especially for the occasion were presented to all the members of the group and to Sue Parsons, Catholic Care’s Community Sponsorship Co-ordinator, by the Parish priest, Father Mark, in recognition of all the hard work they undertook in welcoming a Syrian refugee family. As Father Mark reminded us all, the group were expecting a family of 4 and had a huge surprise when they met the family at the airport to realise that 4 would soon become 5, which it did when they soon welcomed a beautiful baby daughter as an addition to their family. With the help and support of the group the family are now settled in Normanton and enjoying their new life in the UK. All 5 family members were guests of honour at the very special Mass on Sunday.

Catholic Care first welcomed a refugee family under the Community Sponsorship Scheme, run in partnership with the Home Office, in 2019, through a group of volunteers from Settle. Since then families have been welcomed in Ripon and Nidderdale and groups in Ripon (second family for this group) and Huddersfield are now awaiting to welcome a family.

If you or your Parish would like to welcome a refugee family in need please contact Sue Parsons at sue.parsons@catholic-care.org.uk.

Johan Bergström-Allen
Communications Manager, Catholic Care (Leeds)

Award winners, Sarah Mitchell (left) and Rachel Saul (right)
Winners Rachel and Sarah with Bishop Marcus Stock, Bishop of Leeds