Justice and Peace Group

Justice and Peace Group

The parishioners of Saint Mary’s Cathedral have supported many local and international causes over the years with generous financial donations and by providing practical help and support. To build upon this firm foundation and to further our mission to help our brothers and sisters in need, a ‘Justice and Peace Group’ for the Parish was formed in 2011.

The aims of the group include :

  • Coordinating fundraising to provide support to those in need, in the UK and around the world.
  • Raising awareness of Justice and Peace issues at home and abroad.
  • Increasing our awareness of the social teaching of the Catholic Church and disseminating information received on important social issues.
  • Providing support to organizations which look after refugees, the poor and the disadvantaged.

We are open for new members to join our group at any time – if you would like more information please contact :

Teresa Lyth Tel: 07885 599810 or Laurie Haley Tel : 07305 189588

Financial Support

With funds raised from our dedicated Justice & Peace collections and the proceeds of social events and other fundraising activities, we have raised a total of around £100,000 to support many different projects in our local area and abroad. Our last major fundraising effort in 2018 raised just over £50,000 to purchase a Bus for a medical and educational centre in Ahotokurom, Ghana.

Our Current Directly Supported Causes

From January 2019 our fundraising efforts and support will be directed in the main to the following three causes:

Mary Thompson Fund    http://www.refugee.org.uk/node/205

Established in 2001 in response to the urgent needs of refugees and asylum seekers in the Tees Valley, the Mary Thompson Fund relies on the generous support of individuals and groups in the area. The work of the fund is carried out by volunteers and it is a hardship fund responding to the critical and emergency needs of those who are seeking sanctuary or are settled refugees in our area. The fund provides the following :

  • medical expenses
  • emergency food packs
  • furniture for unfurnished accommodation
  • maternity wear and baby needs
  • expenses incurred when meeting solicitors
  • phone cards
  • travel costs to visit detained relatives
  • help towards college expenses
  • travel arrangements for school children
  • three nights’ emergency accommodation

The Middlesbrough Foodbank   https://middlesbrough.foodbank.org.uk/

The following is an extract from their website – click on the link above for more information.

The ethos of the Foodbank is that nobody in our community should have to face going hungry. The foodbank provides three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people who are referred to us in crisis. We are part of a nationwide network of foodbanks, supported by The Trussell Trust, working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK’

Interplast UK           https://interplastuk.org/

Interplast (now called ReSurge) is an international organisation of Plastic Surgeons and associated professionals who provide free reconstructive surgery for underprivileged patients in the developing world.

Dr Donald Laub of California established the charity in 1969 and Mr Charles Viva of Middlesbrough was asked to form the UK affiliate in 1990. Each affiliate has an independent Board of Directors and is responsible for fundraising and administration.

Interplast UK Facebook Page : https://www.facebook.com/Interplast-UK-329978633854068/

Our group also supports…

As well as providing financial support to appropriate causes, our group is also affiliated to and works with a range of other organisations including the following:

CAFOD          https://cafod.org.uk/

CAFOD is the official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. CAFOD’s aim is to bring hope and compassion to poor communities across the world, standing side by side with them to end poverty and injustice.

Justice First:           http://justicefirst.org.uk/

Justice First was established in 2006 to help people in the Tees Valley who are seeking asylum in the United Kingdom and whose appeals have been rejected, to re-engage with the legal system.

North of England Refugee Service: www.refugee.org.uk/middlesbrough  

From its base at Grange Road, Middlesbrough, NERS acts as an agent of positive change to improve the conditions of life for asylum seekers and refugees and promotes social inclusion by facilitating their integration into and participation in our society.

Open Door North East :   www.opendoornortheast.com 

An organisation with similar goals to NERS, they aim to befriend and help asylum seekers and refugees.

Acat(UK)                               http://www.acatuk.org.uk/

Action by Christians Against Torture, Acat(UK), was formed in 1984 by the then British Council of Churches, with the active support of Amnesty International and Society of Friends. The aims of acat(uk) are to raise awareness of the widespread use of torture and to work as Christians, for the abolition of torture worldwide by campaigning and prayer.

Together Middlesbrough & Cleveland             www.togethermc.org.uk

We work in conjunction with ‘Together Middlesbrough & Cleveland’ on various initiatives, including:

  • The ‘Feast of Fun’ Project which provides local families, particularly those who live in poverty, with food, fun and activities for their children during the Summer Holidays at various local churches, community centers and schools.
  • As part of a Dementia Friendly Churches working group, we are supporting people living with dementia and their carers and becoming more dementia friendly. “Music for the Mind” sessions for Dementia sufferers are held at the Cathedral every second Wednesday in the month.
  • We also work with Faithfully Ageing Better a partnership between Together Middlesbrough & Cleveland and Ageing Better Middlesbrough, aiming to reduce loneliness and isolation for people aged 50 and over in Middlesbrough providing support and care to older people who are isolated and bringing generations together.

Also, at the St John Paul Centre in Middlesbrough, support is given to the homeless and those struggling in life for many reasons. This includes collections of food, toiletries and clothing and the provision of lunch and hospitality in the ‘Upper Room’ most Saturdays.