This coming Saturday, 2 February, the Archdiocese of Liverpool is hosting ‘Crossing the Threshold’: a day for the north-west to reach out to non-Churchgoers.
With the Archdiocese of Liverpool, and the Dioceses of Lancaster and Salford taking part, the free event is at St Mary's RC Church, Broadfield Drive, Leyland, Preston, PR25 1PD from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm. The Right Reverend Thomas Williams, Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool will be taking part together with the Right Reverend Michael Campbell OSA, Bishop of Lancaster, who will give the main address, and the Right Reverend Terence Brain, Bishop of Salford.
The invitation to play a part in the Church’s mission is for every member of the Catholic community in the Archdiocese and beyond. It comes following Pope Benedict XVI’s affirmation that evangelisation is a priority for the Catholic community worldwide. A repeated theme in the Pope’s addresses and writings is the urgency of the task to proclaim, witness to and share the faith with those who have ‘drifted away’. With around two-thirds of the Catholic community in England and Wales deemed non-churchgoing or lapsed, approximately 4-5 million people, there is a need to explore and try new ways of reaching out respectfully, warmly and in a non-judgmental way. Listening is a central part of the process of rebuilding relationship and trust, with many people carrying hurts and a breadth of issues. The Church teaches that it is the duty of all baptised to play their part in reaching out to people wherever they might be on their journey of faith.
The day is part of a national initiative of the Bishops’ Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis, chaired by Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton, called ‘Crossing the Threshold’. It is a project that focuses on trying to develop and provide events and resources to help Mass-goers reach out to people who never or rarely attend. Over the past 15 months free resource days have been offered throughout England and Wales. Each day has offered prayer, Mass, talks, workshops, discussion and resources. Following the event in Leyland the team will compile a national resource to support outreach to non-churchgoing Catholics which will be made available online in the autumn.
More information about the ‘Crossing the Threshold’ initiative is available at: www.catholicnews.org.uk/Home/Features/Crossing-the-Threshold