A Joint Parish Day at the Immaculate Conception, Herringthorpe.

On Saturday October 8th the Immaculate Conception, Herringthorpe hosted a parish day for the parishioners of the Immaculate Conception and St. Gerard’s, Thrybergh with parishioners from Blessed Trinity, Wickersley also attending.  

Over 80 parishioners ranging from 3 months old to 88 years of age were welcomed at 10 am with refreshments, followed by a joyful introduction of music and videos showing how we are all connected. The children   then attended sessions on Godly Play, icon painting and music. Adults listened to a bible reading then split into smaller groups to share their experiences of faith and listen to each other. This was an opportunity to learn how to share and listen, becoming comfortable with moments of silence and providing the type of synodal experience Pope Francis wishes for all God’s people.  Feedback on the experience of the morning session indicated that it was challenging but also liberating to be able to be listened to and humbling to listen. ‘A safe space’ was the phrase often used to describe the experience

Over a delicious lunch of curry or homemade soup etc. (and including cakes from our famous “cake fairies”) even more relaxed conversation took place. The afternoon continued with Godly Play for adults – a quiet reflective time with opportunity for further comments on how we see our faith community. Time was spent on considering  how our parish welcomes newcomers as well as ‘old faces’, encourages all in their faith and take the message of Christian hope and love beyond the church walls.

The day ended with the regular evening mass being brought forward to 4 pm. Parishioners unable to attend the day were able to hear what had been going on and everyone enjoyed the joyful contribution from the children of liturgical music and enthusiasm.

Those taking part were asked to make note of their thoughts at the end of the day. The theme among them was a generally positive reaction to sharing their faith and a desire to grow as a community.

Here are some comments:

“Beautiful thought provoking day. Loved the stories.”
“Enjoyed every part of the activities and would like to participate in the parish day in the years ahead.”
“Excellent presentation, reflection and opportunity to become an outgoing community”
“Today has been a needed and much appreciated re-fuelling – like slaking a thirst – with lots of visuals to help remember the teachings.”
And a prayer from one attendee:

And a prayer from one attendee:

“O Lord help us to share our faith in an open and caring way.”  

Written by Tony Dodsworth and Frances Taylor – parishioners