The Brentwood Cathedral Parish Mission took place from 20 – 24 November, and it’s estimated that some 2,000 people came to it; the mission team also visited hundreds of children and teenagers in their schools. The mission team was led by Fr Frankie Mulgrew, who in a former life was an entertainer, and John Pridmore, who lived the life of an East End gangster before a profound and life-changing encounter with Christ. The music for the week was led by Brother John Bosco of the Friars of the Renewal, Edwin Fawcett, the well known composer, and Alice Hall and Peter Moran from the Sion Community. Through powerful testimonies, music, worship, word and sacrament, the mission team guided the parish community into a deeper relationship with Christ.
The parish community were also very much involved: planning for the mission, making sure it happened and ran smoothly. For example, every morning there was a pre-work and school Mass at 6.30 am followed by breakfast prepared and served by a team of parishioners. Said Dean of the Cathedral Fr Martin: “What better way to start the working day than with Mass and, afterwards, a bacon butty.”
He continued: “The aim of the mission was to give people time to reflect on their faith and have it strengthened by the power of God and the witness of the mission team. Most of us lead busy lives and it is our faith that is often weakened by the demands and busyness of life. The mission gave people the space and time to bring their lives to God: all that is good in their lives, but also those parts of their lives and relationships that are fractured and, in some cases, broken. This was a time of grace and healing for many people. It was also a time to simply rest and bathe in the grace of God, to allow him to come into our lives and inspire us. So many people were touched by God’s presence in the Mission and sense that they can live their faith with greater love and joy. A faith lived without love and joy attracts no one and, where love and joy was missing in people’s lives, the Mission helped restore them. This was a time of grace and blessing for our parish community and a time of healing for many individuals.”
Pictures by Graham Hillman. For more go to www.cathedral-brentwood.org/