"Love and charity, are service, helping others, serving others. There are many people who spend their lives in this way, in the service of others. … When you forget yourself and think of others, this is love! And with the washing of the feet the Lord teaches us to be servants, and above all, servants as He was a servant to us, for every one of us." Pope Francis
Our parish outreach includes: London & Slough Run, Slough Homeless - Our Concern, St Vincent de Paul, Justice and Peace Group, CAFOD, Fairtrade, Traidcraft, Catholic Women's League, APF Mill Hill Mission, Friends of Life and Cameroon Education Fund.
The London Run helps the homeless and people in need.
For over 20 years the parish of St Joseph’s has joined with other Christian Churches in the area to provide food, drink and other sustenance as well as bedding and clothing to the homeless and people in need on the streets of London and Slough.
Each Monday many of our supporters bring wrapped sandwiches, fruit, crisps, cakes and soft drinks to the Priory, where they are sorted and packed by a team (The Packers). These items are then loaded into the London Run van for a team of volunteers (The Runners) to take to the West End and Slough for distribution. The Runners leave about 8pm every Monday and return about midnight.
We have rotas for The Packers, The Teamakers and The Runners. If you would like to join the Packers, please come along to the Parish Centre any Monday from 1:30pm.
The aim of SHOC, Slough Homeless – Our Concern, is to enable homeless people to get health support, accommodation and jobs, with the long term aim of ending homelessness in Slough.
SHOC is very grateful for the support that it has received from St Joseph’s Parish over the years. It continues to rely on the help of volunteers. Teams from local churches and other organisations prepare and serve lunches at the day centre and other volunteers help with fundraising. If any parishioners from St Joseph’s would like to contribute in this way, please contact Ray Waite on 01753 891442 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ST VINCENT DE PAUL SOCIETY (SVP)
The St Vincent de Paul Society is an international lay Christian voluntary organisation actively working in over 130 countries with the poor, disadvantaged and marginalised. The aim is to tackle poverty in all its forms through the provision of practical assistance to those in need by offering friendship and practical help without regard to faith, ethnicity, status or sexual orientation.
Here in St Joseph’s we provide support to a number of individuals and family groups suffering from loneliness, mobility issues and poverty. This takes the form of social visits to the elderly and housebound, practical support (such as food, clothing and furniture) and the provision of transport to Mass, other parish events, shopping, medical appointments, etc.
We are always looking for new members who have a little spare time to provide this sort of help to fellow parishioners. Please get in touch via the Parish Office.
You pray for the hungry. Then you feed them. That's how prayer works. Pope Francis
JUSTICE AND PEACE GROUP
Promoting Justice and Peace has long been central to the Church’s mission.
Pope Francis has stressed the importance of issues regarding migrants, those in need, the sick, the excluded and marginalised, the imprisoned and the unemployed, as well as victims of armed conflict, natural disasters, and all forms of slavery and torture. These are our concerns.
Justice and Peace work is led by a department in the Vatican. England and Wales have the National Justice & Peace Network and their website contains a great deal more information as well as links to like-minded organisations. The Northampton Diocese has a Justice and Peace Commission on their web pages.
We are a campaigning group. In line with our objectives we try to encourage parishioners to support national campaigns whether they be promoted by the church or others.
We promote Fair Trade goods throughout the parish, especially during the annual Fair Trade Fortnight.
The group coordinates the parish’s support for CAFOD. We run Tea and a Chat sessions at St Joseph’s on Thursday afternoons.
In short, the group's objectives are very wide and cover any and all aspects of Catholic social teaching. Membership of the group is not limited to Catholics nor does it impose any specific level of commitment in time or anything else.
Our meetings are held at Holy Cross Convent mostly monthly on dates fixed to suit members’ availability. Dates are advertised in the parish newsletter. We welcome new members. If you are interested then, please, just turn up, or if you want further detail contact Stephen Forster on 01494 875485.
CAFOD is the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development and is the official aid agency for the Catholic Church in England and Wales, guided by the values of compassion, solidarity and hope. Together, with the help of our volunteers, we put our faith into action to help our sisters and brothers living in extreme poverty to reach their full potential, regardless of religion or culture.
We believe that everyone in the world has the right to live their lives with dignity. That’s why we work through the local Catholic Church and other partners in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East to fight poverty and injustice, wherever the need is greatest.
CAFOD is a member of Caritas International – a group of over 160 Catholic agencies from around the world – known as ‘the helping hand of the Church’. Because we work through the local Church we can reach people and places that others can’t.
How can you help?
On the Friday afternoon a week prior to Lent and Harvest Family Fast Days, you can help staple Fast Day envelopes to the Parish Newsletter and, for those with public speaking skills, give a 5 minute talk at a Mass. Help is also welcome at the two Friday Fast Day Soup Lunches held at St Joseph’s.
You could further help by:
- Organising a petition signing, postcard action, or another campaign event after Masses.
- Working with other groups, such as the Justice and Peace group to encourage others to act.
- Sharing the news about what campaigning is doing with others in your community.
- Become an MP correspondent and write to your local MP about current campaign issues.
There's a way you can use the time you have to help us make a difference, whether it's a few free minutes in the day, days in the week, weeks in the year, or more! Many of the opportunities above can be tailored to fit into your schedule.
For further information visit www.cafod.org.uk or email email@example.com
When you volunteer for CAFOD, you have the chance to enable our parish community to take action for global justice and put the Gospel into practice.
Fairtrade fights poverty through trade, helping people in developing countries to transform their lives. We have created an unfair, global trading system, which gives us relatively cheap food and clothes, but causes other people to suffer.
Fairtrade stands for equality and social justice and it gives a chance to help those who need help in a fair and dignified way.
St Joseph’s Parish has been a Fairtrade Parish since 2012. We support Fairtrade in our Parish by using Fairtrade products.
Choose products with the FAIRTRADE Mark.
Traidcraft was established in 1979 as a Christian response to poverty, they are the UK's leading fair trade organisation. They run development programmes in some of the poorest countries in the world and campaign in the UK and internationally to bring about trade justice. Not only does Traidcraft trade with producers, they also support their growth as businesses. In this way they hope to ensure many people have jobs well into the future.
Traidcraft products are on offer after 9am Mass in the Parish Centre and after 11am Mass in the First Committee Room on the first Sunday of each month.
CATHOLIC WOMEN’S LEAGUE (CWL)
The Gerrards Cross Section of the Catholic Women's League was founded in 1958. The League is a national organisation with members in England and Wales. We are affiliated to other CWL Branches in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Africa. We are also members or the World Union of Catholic Women's Organisations (WUCWO), which is concerned with the rights of women and children throughout the world.
As CWL members were involved in the first Family Fast Day collections, we support CAFOD as its natural successor. The League has a strong spiritual base with retreats and days of recollection. We support our own CWL charities - Relief and Refugee, Our Ladies Catechists and the Services Committee.
We were involved in the beginning of the London Run for the Homeless through our connections with Burnham Section and we continue to raise funds for them each Christmas. We support local charities such as Thames Hospicecare and we lay a wreath on Chalfont St Peter's war memorial each Remembrance Sunday.
We welcome women of all ages as members. Our motto is Charity, Work and Loyalty. We work, but we also enjoy social events in a friendly atmosphere.
APF MILL HILL MISSION
Missio is the Pope’s official charity for Overseas Missions and is part of the Worldwide network of Pontifical Mission Societies. It comprises the Association for the Propagation of the Faith (APF), The Society of St Peter the Apostle (SPA), Mission Together (Holy Childhood) and the Pontifical Missionary Union (PMU). Registered Charity No 1056651. The Mill Hill Missionaries (Society of St Joseph) founded by Cardinal Vaughan, was the first English Catholic religious missionary order. Today they are an international fellowship of Catholic missionaries dedicated to announcing the Good News of Jesus Christ to people throughout the world. The Mill Hill Missionaries are currently working in 19 Countries Worldwide. (Registered Charity No 220690).
Parish Contact : Peter Freeman on firstname.lastname@example.org or via the Parish Office.
FRIENDS OF LIFE
Respect for life requires that science and technology should always be at the service of man and his integral development.
Society as a whole must respect, defend and promote the dignity of every human person, at every moment and in every condition of that person’s life. Evangelium Vitae
Life is unique in the UK, and Chalfont St Peter Life Group was set up in 1974 here at St Joseph’s Church.
The National Life charity combines prolife advocacy and education work with nationwide services providing positive alternatives to abortion. Support is available for both men and women facing unexpected pregnancy, seeking support following abortion, miscarriage or stillbirth, struggling with infertility or seeking palliative care or respite care for sick children aged 0-5.
Our local group has been involved in many things over the years - prayer vigils; supporting the Life houses in Slough which house women and children in need; fundraising; promoting the support that is available for those who might need it; speaking out about the truth of abortion; being the voice of the unborn, politically when necessary by writing letters; collecting donations of baby clothes and equipment; financially supporting the Family Life Apostolate in Cameroon.
Recently, Life has been going through a complete re-organisation due to recent legislation affecting all charities, organisations and fundraising. Our members have chosen to become individual ‘Friends of Life’ and we are now part of the local Hub – Life Link Three - which covers a fairly large area containing houses, centres, groups and it is hoped a shop. We are finding our place in this new exciting dynamic alongside the many recently employed young energetic Life team.
Anyone who may be interested in helping with their time, skills, donations of baby goods, etc. please contact us through the parish office.
Only respect for life can be the foundation and guarantee of the most precious and essential goods of society, such as democracy and peace. EV
I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made, wonderful are your works. You know me through and through. Psalm 139
CAMEROON EDUCATION FUND
Since 2005 our parish has worked with the Family Life Apostolate in the Diocese of Kumbo, Cameroon to support the education of the orphaned and vulnerable children in the Diocese.
We are most grateful to everyone who has supported this project over so many years.
The project is managed in Cameroon by the Family Life Apostolate in Kumbo. Children across the Diocese are offered financial support to help with their education both in primary and secondary schools.
If you would like to know more about the Cameroon Education Fund please contact the Parish Office who will ask one of our parishioners who run the project in our parish to contact you.