Fr Dominic Howarth writes:
The long-postponed interviews for the Caritas Development Co-ordinator have now been held and Siân Thomas has been appointed to the role. She will begin work on Monday 12 April.
Siân will work from home, with the role intentionally designed for her to be able to travel around the Diocese, to meet those involved in extraordinary and wonderful charitable projects in parishes, reaching to the margins. Her exciting new role will involve enabling those working locally to network with others running similar projects; expanding the website to help those seeking to volunteer, and those providing volunteering opportunities; as well as helping with training and grant applications, and inspiring those who want to begin projects but are not sure where to start. The role is funded by legacy money given specifically for this purpose within the Diocese.
Siân already knows the Diocese well: 12 years ago she was part of the Walsingham House Team, having attended St Peter’s, Billericay and the Brentwood Ursuline. After leaving the House she completed a Theology Degree at St Mary’s Twickenham and has spent much of the last decade working as part of the LaSallian network in the UK, Malta and the Mediterranean. During that time she has been a staff member at the De La Salle Brothers’ retreat house for young people, the St Cassian’s Centre, Kintbury, and more recently served as a School Chaplain at a De La Salle school in Liverpool.
Siân writes: “It is wonderful to return to my spiritual roots in Essex and East London. I am honoured and ready to take on this new challenge as Caritas Development Co-ordinator and I promise to be committed to the service and needs of others. I look forward to meeting and working with you all, and together making a difference to those in need.”
At a time when the effects of the pandemic will begin to show themselves more and more in economic hardship, the work of Caritas is vitally important. Please do keep Siân in your prayers, and please offer her any support and encouragement that you can once she begins after Easter.
Caritas Diocese of Brentwood was launched on the Second World Day of the Poor, 18 November 2018, after a year of consultation and dialogue with groups from across the Diocese that began on the Feast of St John Bosco, 31st January 2018, with Mass and a conversation at Walsingham House at Abbotswick.
It exists to support and encourage the living out of Catholic Social Teaching within the Diocese. Its website is a key tool to match those seeking volunteering opportunities with local groups who are desperate for volunteers to help them continue and develop their work.