September Congress has something for everyone

By Steve Atherton, Justice & Peace fieldworker

However the summer might be unfolding for you, one thing we can know for certain is that an amazing Catholic day out lies in store in September when the Eucharistic Congress takes place in Liverpool on Saturday 8 September.

Every parish in England and Wales has been invited to send two delegates to the main event at the Echo Arena where there will be talks and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament as well as a youth event being held at the same time.

For those who cannot get tickets for the Arena, there is a parallel programme of events running in churches across the city. If the focus in the Arena will be on adoration (the proper title of the Congress is Adoremus), the parallel programme is concentrating on how we respond to the Eucharist in the way we live our lives.

Fliers about the programme have been distributed to parishes and the whole programme is available on the diocesan website:

The full address is

Below are a few events that I wish to highlight:

• 'On the Altar of the World' at St Philip Neri church. Here we can be inspired by a meditation on the Icon of Reconciliation led by Pat Gaffney from Pax Christi; join in a conversation with Jenny Sinclair from Together For the Common Good; learn how to make eco-bricks and bird-and-bat boxes with the northern dioceses' environmental group; share the experience of CAFOD volunteers on how their parishes gained the Livesimply award; hear Father Eamonn Mulcahy explain the encyclical Laudato si'; share in a conversation on reconciliation with an all-women panel; listen to Fr Tom Cullinan's understanding of Eucharist.

• 'Broken' at SFX church. This is a rare opportunity to watch an episode of the TV programme in the company of the writer, Jimmy McGovern, and hear his inside account of how the programme was made.

• 'Welcoming the Stranger' at St Anthony of Egypt church. Here the J&P Commission, with help from the Historic Churches group, will show how the north-west has welcomed people fleeing persecution and how we continue to do so through our care for asylum seekers and refugees. The final section will be an introduction to developing diocesan involvement with the Community Sponsorship Scheme for displaced Syrian families.

• 'Feeding the Hungry'. This takes place at two venues: first at St Vincent de Paul's, where the Liverpool order of deacons will introduce groups who are actively responding to increasing food poverty by campaigning and distributing food; second at the Nugent kitchen in Epsom Way where bread will be made and an invited group of decision-makers, volunteers and local people will sit down and eat together.

• 'Eucharist: the bread of life'. This ecumenical conversation between Archbishop Malcolm McMahon, Bishop Paul Bayes and Rev Dr Cheryl Anderson takes place at Our Lady and St Nicholas on the waterfront and is the only event in the parallel programme that is ticketed, via Eventbrite, with details on the diocesan website.

Everything is free and we look forward to seeing you in Liverpool next month.