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
With funds raised from our dedicated Justice & Peace collections and the proceeds of social events and other fundraising activities, we have raised over £45000 to support many different projects in our local area and abroad.
Ghana Bus Appeal – Can you help ?
In January 2018, our Cathedral Dean, Monsignor Gerard took up an invitation to visit the Padre Pio Rehabilitation Centre at Ahotokurom in Ghana. (Ahotokurom means ‘Place of Serenity’).
From July 2017, the Cathedral Parish has been providing financial support to Sister Pat Pearson and the ‘Daughters of Mary and Joseph’ to help with general running costs at the centre.
The Ahotokurom centre, located near Cape Coast, was established in the early 1980s as a partnership between the DMJ sisters, the Franciscan Order and local people, to rehabilitate and reintegrate former leprosy and Buruli ulcer sufferers into their communities and its list of services have expanded ever since. It provides happiness, love, care and support in a peaceful and serene environment for those who have suffered so much through their lives.
We need a new Bus!
During his visit, Monsignor Gerard witnessed the challenges faced by the local people in terms of poverty and poor health and asked Sister Pat whether there was anything further we could do in order to help. Sister Pat explained that their most desperate and urgent need is for a new bus to transport children, adults and staff to and from the Rehabilitation Centre.
Their present bus is old and unreliable and often breaks down as the harsh bush roads are very demanding. It is so small and uncomfortable that children and leprosy patients often have to stand or sit on each other’s knees.
The bus is essential as it is the only provider of transport for children, adults and staff who attend the day centre. It is a lifeline in providing this lifesaving treatment and rehabilitation for those in need and provides so many other benefits to families living in poverty in the surrounding villages.
The cost of a suitable new bus would be around £70,000 although approximately £20,000 has already been raised by the ‘Friends of the DMJ’ charity. On his return to Middlesbrough, Monsignor Gerard gave a detailed and moving presentation to the Parish about his visit to Ahotokurom and set us a challenge to try to raise the £50,000 that is required to finance the purchase of a new bus
Raising £50,000 is obviously a tall order, but given the desperate need, our Parish has already begun the fundraising task in earnest.
How can you help?
Any donation, no matter how large or how small will be gratefully accepted.
If you are local to Middlesbrough, donations can be placed in the “Ghana Bus” collection box which you will find in St Mary’s Cathedral.
One-off donations (with or without gift aid) can also be paid to us by cheque or direct bank transfer. We have a separate dedicated bank account for this fundraising and details can be made available on request.
Cheques should be made payable to “St. Mary’s Cathedral Ahotokurom Fund” and can be posted to St Mary’s Cathedral, Dalby Way, Coulby Newham, TS80TW
If you would like to add gift aid to your donation (this will increase a £10 donation to £12.50 or £100 to £125) or make a regular donation by standing order please speak to Monsignor Gerard at the Cathedral or contact either of the following:
Laurie Haley Tel: 07305 189588 or Teresa Lyth Tel: 07885 599810
Fundraising– We have ongoing fundraising events in aid of the Ghana Bus Fund. If you have ideas for fundraising please speak to Monsignor Gerard or Deacon Ray Hall at the Cathedral
Our groups also support…
As well as providing financial support to worthy causes, our group is also affiliated to, and works with, a range of other organisations including the following:
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.
Middlesbrough Foodbank https://middlesbrough.foodbank.org.uk/
All donated food is sorted and stored, mainly with the help of volunteer workers. Care Professionals (Doctors, health visitors, social workers, welfare officers, police and probation officers) identify people in crisis and issue Foodbank vouchers. Clients exchange their vouchers for 3 days supply of emergency food. Volunteers meet with clients and signpost them to other agencies to try to solve the longer term problem.
Mary Thompson Fund http://www.refugee.org.uk/node/205
Administered via the NE Refugee Service based in Middlesbrough, the MTF provides weekly carriers of dried/tinned foods, toiletries and cleaning products to the value of £5 to those asylum seekers who have had all financial and housing support withdrawn.
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.
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.