Bishop Alan Williams travelled to Gidea Park parish on Saturday 12 October to inaugurate the Year of the God who Speaks, in the presence of about one hundred people. The Year, promoted by the bishops of England and Wales (www.godwhospeaks.uk), is intended to encourage greater love of and familiarity with the Bible Bishop Alan spoke of how we receive the Word of God and its potential to transform our lives. He also very appropriately prayed a prayer of St John Henry Newman, ahead of the latter’s canonisation in Rome the next day.
The launch also saw the unveiling of revamped evangelisation website, ‘What Good News’. Fr Adrian Graffy, parish priest of Gidea Park, member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and director of the website, introduced Jon Harris, of Wildgoose Websites, who was responsible for the redesign of www.whatgoodnews.org . “I am delighted that with his help we have managed to revamp the website and make available for a large audience the rich archive of study days and talks given both at Brentwood Cathedral and in Gidea Park over the last 10 years. And of course we will be adding to the website as the Year of the God who Speaks progresses.”
Fr Adrian subsequently gave two sessions entitled ‘Beginning with Genesis’. He spoke about the nature of the early chapters of Genesis, and explored in detail chapters 2 and 3, with their stories of the creation and of the expulsion from Eden. He noted the present relevance of Genesis to the care of creation in a time of crisis, and to the issues of human responsibility and defence of the truth. Questions followed, and the participants were able to purchase copies of the newly released Revised New Jerusalem Bible.
Fr Adrian said: “I love those opening chapters of Genesis and it is my intention to help people understand just how relevant they are to so much of our contemporary life. Pope Francis often refers to the biblical creation texts which underpin our love for God’s creation. They speak with a freshness that inspires and encourages us. There is so much in Scripture which points the way to a more fulfilled life, and this Year is a chance to rediscover the power of the Word.”
Hilary Wraight (left), chair of the Catholic Women’s League at Gidea Park, attended the event and very much enjoyed it. She said: “This was a very exciting start to the Year which demonstrated how rewarding it can be to engage more deeply with the words of Scripture.”
Fr Adrian thanked “a fantastic team of volunteers who helped make the day run smoothly, and Paul Samuels of Saints Peter and Paul, Ilford, who generously gave up his time to film the event”.
Please go to www.whatgoodnews.org for the full programme of events in the Year, and also to listen and see again all the events as they happen.
The next event will be a study day to be given by Fr Nicholas King SJ on Saturday 23 November on ‘The Scriptures in Advent’. Bookings to firstname.lastname@example.org or to the parish of Christ the Eternal High Priest, Gidea Park, on 01708 449914.