Caritas, Justice & Peace: A Synodal Way Forward

Register for this event here.

Do you see Caritas, Justice & Peace as integral to your Catholic faith?

We want you to help shape the future work of the Caritas, Justice & Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh. 

Our aim is to re-imagine how we promote our work, doing so in the light of the ongoing Synod, where Communion, Participation and Mission are key elements.

There will be brief presentations from our four working groups which currently focus on:

At this event we will be joined by others involved in this part of the Church’s mission and will hear from our friends in groups such as Justice and Peace Scotland, Pax Christi Scotland, and the Society of St Vincent de Paul.

The final session of the afternoon will focus on the future: how does our work go forward in the Archdiocese? By doing so we we can listen and collaborate to help those in need in our Archdiocese and further afield.

We look forward to welcoming you!

Register for this FREE event on our Eventbrite page here. Please bring a packed lunch (tea/coffee and biscuits will be served). Organised by the Archdiocesan Commission for Caritas, Justice & Peace. 

Church leaders call on governments to tackle cost of living crisis

The Catholic Church in Scotland has joined other Christian churches to call on the Scottish and UK Governments to “set aside political differences” and “seek effective solutions” to the cost of living crisis.

The Church leaders, including Hugh Gilbert, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, express serious concerns about the significant increase in energy costs and rising inflation which risk pushing more people into deep poverty and creating for some, “the grim choice between eating or heating.”

Read their statement below.

STATEMENT

“The Church of Scotland, the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Roman Catholic Church, along with Christians and people of other faiths and those of no faith, are deeply concerned about the cost of living crisis. The cost of living is rising fast. Energy bills are expected to increase significantly in April and inflation is pushing up the cost of essentials, including food. This will hurt low income families more than most and push more people into deep poverty, creating for some the grim choice between eating or heating. These are not luxuries, they are the very basics.

It is a tragedy that poverty, especially child poverty, continues to be a significant problem in the United Kingdom in 2022. We urge both the Scottish and UK Governments to set aside political differences and come together in a spirit of pragmatism and compassion to seek effective solutions to this very serious and worsening situation. We call on political leaders to listen to those who have lived experience of poverty and to follow this engagement with the creation of conditions necessary to support people out of poverty and to prevent people falling into poverty in future.

At the same time we applaud the hard work of third sector and charitable organisations who, despite having to contend with a surge in demand and financial challenges of their own, continue to support the poor and vulnerable in our communities through essential and life-sustaining services.”

Rt Hon Lord Wallace, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Rt Rev Hugh Gilbert, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Scotland.

The Most Revd Mark Strange, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church.

Fife Furniture Project: helping those in need

In the lead up to World Day of the Poor on Sunday 14 November, we're highlighting the work of the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SSVP) in our Archdiocese. Volunteers David Hunter and Moira McCrae (above pic, right) from the SSVP Furniture Project in Fife explain how it works.

Generosity

"We took over responsibility for the running and management of the Furniture Project from John Barrett in 2012. The Project has grown exponentially since this time; however, it continues to be sustained by the kindness and generosity of parishioners, community volunteers, family and friends. This ethos remains central to its success."

Helping all

"The Furniture Project operates on a non-denominational basis (we help everyone, not just Catholics) and works in collaboration with other charitable and community organisations.

"Our furniture storage facilities are provided free of charge by a local business owner. The Project has also provided opportunities for young people to undertake volunteering as part of the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme."

Delivering the goods

"We have two vans which are used to uplift and the deliver donated furniture and other household goods. In-demand tems include beds, settees and white goods and we have also fully furnished homes.

"We have also been involved in supplying more uncommon items such as a mobility scooter, which helped a man's independence and integration into his community."

Supporting refugees

"We also provided sewing machines which are sought after and used by the refugee community. We have recently supported RE: ACT, a charity supporting refugees with resettlement and integration in Scotland. We work closely with S.H.I.E.L.D. which supports vulnerable people and families with food and financial issues."

An all-round approach

"The remit of the Project has expanded beyond supplying furniture. For example, we established links with local food banks when food poverty is identified, clothes banks where shortage of clothing is identified and where fuel poverty is identified clients are signposted/referred toan energy/debt advic service called Cosy Kingdom. This helps alleviate some of the day-to-day stresses that many vulnerable people experience."

Pandemic

"During the pandemic we were successful in securing a government grant for £6,000 from the Cora Project. These funds were used to purchase white goods, food and fuel vouchers, which were then distributed to members of the community.

"How do we find out about the people we help? Most referrals come from Social Work services as well as Housing Support Services, Criminal Justice Services and Mental Health Projects. Due to the close working relationship established with some of these agencies, a few of the recipients of our help have gone on to volunteer for the project!"

The Fife Furniture Project can be contacted on 07939 223680 or at moirammccrae@gmail.com The annual SSVP Archdiocesan Mass takes place at 11am in St Patrick's, Cowgate, Edinburgh, on Saturday 20 November.