Brushstrokes Community Project
Strengthening and supporting refugees and migrants across Sandwell,
West Birmingham and beyond
News Letter - May 2020
Phone: 0121 565 2234
Brushstrokes Community Project is part of Father Hudson’s Care
Father Hudson’s Care is a working name of Father Hudson’s Society
Registered in England & Wales, no. 1653388
Registered charity no. 512992
Reaching out to provide Social Care in the Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham
Restore's vision is for a society into which all refugees and asylum seekers are welcomed, valued and integrated.
Please follow link to:
Restore News June 2020
Jeremy, Rachel, Andy and Geraldine
Restore Staff Team
Thank you for everything you have done, and continue to do, for CAFOD within your parish. Your support is essential so that we can help the most vulnerable across the world.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown and social distancing are changing the way we gather as a Catholic community and how we can fundraise in parishes.
You are on the frontline of this. We need your help to find out how we can continue to respond in the best way possible. If you have 5 minutes available please could you complete our survey on how parish life has changed for you?
Your responses will help us plan and react to the ever changing circumstances we are facing due to coronavirus, how we can share information about our coronavirus emergency appeal and also, importantly, stay in touch with our wonderful parish community.
Thank you so much for your support during this difficult time.
Please complete parish survey
Please stay safe and well,
Love and prayers,
CAFOD Parish Support Team
Please follow link to CAFOD Emergency appeal
July 2020 Bulletin
Two comments in Becoming, the recent Netflix documentary about MIchelle Obama, seem significant in the light of the killing of George Floyd and its aftermath. Obama said that although she became the most prominent person in the US, she never forgot that her great-grandmother had been a slave. She also expressed profound disappointment that Black Americans hadn't bothered to vote in the 2016 election: it felt like a betrayal of what the first African American presidency had hoped to achieve. If the Black Lives Matter movement is to have real and (we hope) lasting success it will come through the ballot box, establishing strong support for change in Congress and the Senate, but this will only happen if Black and Hispanic communities turn out in force to vote in November. Following the weekend protests across the UK in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the US, it was disappointing but sadly not surprising to see the government’s reaction. Focusing on ‘damage‘ and ‘thuggery’ completely misses the point; likewise implying it’s a US issue only. A failed opportunity to engage with the many many people in the UK who suffer racial abuse. And a failure to read the signs of the times and show some much needed empathy.
The July edition of the NW NJPN E Bulletin is dominated by the brutal murder of George Floyd with several hard-hitting opinion pieces. Book reviews also feature as well as a look at how the poor have been adversely impacted by the Covid19 virus.
Please read and pass on.
Best wishes and stay safe.
Live streaming of Mass
Please click on the links below, which will show you which parishes are live streaming and when their Mass times are:
Masses in Warwickshire
Masses in the West Midlands, including Coventry
Masses in Oxfordshire MCN Media
Masses in Oxfordshire Church Services.tv
The National Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham is live-streaming all Masses.
Others that we know of :
St Joseph's Whitnash
St. Elizabeth's Coventry
with Stations of the Cross each Friday at 6pm
All Souls Coventry has recently started to broadcast daily Mass at 9:30am using YouTube channel: Mass from All Souls. The text of An Act of Spiritual Communion is available here
Make an Act of Spiritual Communion – This can be done whilst you watch a live stream of Mass being offered. You can make an act of Spiritual Communion by saying the following prayer:
“My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.”
Coronavirus Situation/ResourcesHere is a link to the Catholic Bishops Conference website.
Practice: Lamentation for a Time of Crisis
Intelligently responding to the Coronavirus demands that we access resources of physical, emotional and spiritual resilience. One practice Christianity has developed to nurture resilience is lamentation. Prayers of lamentation arise in us when we sit and speak out to God and one another—stunned, sad, and silenced by the tragedy and absurdity of human events. . . Without this we do not suffer the necessary pain of this world, the necessary sadness of being human.
Walter Brueggemann, my favourite Scripture teacher, points out that even though about one third of the Psalms are psalms of “lament,” these have been the least used by Catholic and Protestant liturgies. We think they make us appear weak, helpless, and vulnerable, or show a lack of faith. So we quickly resort to praise and thanksgiving. We forget that Jesus called weeping a “blessed” state (Matthew 5:5) and that only one book of the Bible is named after an emotion: Jeremiah’s book of “Lamentation.”
In today's practice, Reverend Aaron Graham reflects on the elements found in prayers of lament. I hope that you will find in his words and in the text of Psalm 22 a way to voice your own complaints, requests, and trust in God, who is always waiting to hear.
We need to be reminded that our cries are not too much for God. [God] laments with us. In fact, [God] wants us to come to the [Divine Presence] in our anger, in our fear, in our loneliness, in our hurt, and in our confusion.
Each lamenting Psalm has a structure;
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
and by night, but I find no rest.
Yet you are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
In you our fathers trusted;
they trusted, and you delivered them.
To you they cried and were rescued;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame (Psalm 22:1-5).
At Pax Christi, we are committed to nonviolence and we accept Pope Francis’ challenge to ‘set aside every act of violence in thought, word and deed, whether against our neighbours or against God’s creation.’
Electronic copies of the booklet and resources are here
Faith and Justice Commission
I have attached a copy of the July F&J E-Bulletin.
I hope you will be able to take the time to read and share the newsletter.
The newsletter can be downloaded at
Reports and newsletters mentioned in this issue are available at
as well as the July NW NJPN Newsletter and the NJPN Newsletter. Also a copy of the newsletter in Word as some find this easier to use the information
Peace & best wishes
Administrator Lancaster Diocesan Faith& Justice Commission
St Bernadette’s Parish House, Bowerham Road Lancaster LA1 4HT
E: email@example.com Office T: 07885809935 M:07864012385
You may have heard that Traidcraft will finish trading at the end of the year and that may have frightened you to death. How can we continue to run our Traidcraft Stall or get supplies?
The information we have received from Traidcraft is that, although details are not yet available, we WILL be able to continue to get supplies, although the set-up will be different. However, the new arrangements in 2019 will take time to put in place, so we think it would be wise to stock up before the end of the year.
If you want any further information, you can phone their Customer Services on 0191 491 0855.
"Our Common Home: Caring for God's Creation" an example of a Study Course for Lent that you may find interesting.
Clingfilmed coconuts? Shrink-wrapped turnips? Cauliflower 'steaks' in plastic bags?
Many of us have experienced the frustration of unpacking our weekly shop and finding we're filling our fridges, rubbish bins and recycling with pointless plastic - and it's no surprise when supermarkets are producing 800,000 tonnes of plastic a year!
Enough is enough. Will you help expose supermarkets' ridiculous packaging practices?
1. Next time you spot some excessive plastic packaging, take a photo.
2. If you use Twitter, tweet the photo using #PointlessPlastic (don't forget to tag the supermarket too!)
3. If you don't use Twitter, you can either post it on another social media channel (like Facebook or Instagram) or alternatively email your picture to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll post it for you!
Some people are concerned that plastic is necessary to reduce food waste - but a new study has shown that in some cases it might actually be making the problem worse.
When plastic packaging requires food to be a specific size or shape, edible food is rejected because it doesn't look the right way.
And whilst some people need pre-prepared fruit and vegetables because of mobility issues, no one needs them to be provided in plastic.
If hundreds of us share these pictures of pointless plastic packaging online, together we can show supermarkets that their use of plastic is out of control, and that their customers have had enough.
'Unwrapped: How throwaway plastic is failing to solve Europe's food waste problem (and what we need to do instead)'
Link to Green Peace video clip on reusable energy
The Birmingham Diocesan Justice and Peace Commission is funded by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham and the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) and is a member of the Caritas - Archdiocese of Birmingham Network