Praying for our neighbours

One day this week I had two phone calls just 15 minutes apart from the same street in our 3 Churches area. No, it wasn’t to complain about parishioners’ parking, or burst water mains, or enquiring about Baptism or Catholic schools! It was to thank me – and all of us – for our prayers. The callers had just had our prayer cards dropped through their letterbox, another way in which we are reaching out in love.
One woman – neither was Catholic and I have never met either of them – went on to chat with me about her life and the problems she had been facing recently which she found difficult to handle. She said it was wonderful to think that somewhere nearby whole churches were praying for her. The other person also not a Catholic also wanted to show her appreciation of our thoughts and prayers when, like so many others, she was alone – an ‘aloneness’ which often turned to loneliness. You see, it might sometimes feel that we are getting nowhere in projects like this, as with various aspects of our lives – as individuals, families or parishes. I have had quite a few similar phone calls and emails – you just never know the effect of the smallest gestures!
It’s now a while since our 3 Churches Proclaim group, which reflects on how we can bring Good News to our neighbourhood and world, launched this prayer card project. We have now covered a large proportion of our area, which stretches from Caerphilly Mountain to Colchester Avenue – and that is thanks to all you helpers, fantastic people who week by week take turns to drop the cards in people’s letterboxes. There is no obligation to engage with the resident(s), no doorstep chatter – unless residents want to. Let us know if you would like to help…
The other part of this outreach is, of course, that we all do in fact pray for those who are receiving the cards in a particular week. Each week the names of the relevant streets in the area of our three churches are on the back page of this newsletter. Please do not let your eyes just wash over those street names.
Pause, and think of those two ladies who phoned me this week, and how much it meant to them, and to many, many like them. Indeed, perhaps you could make them part of your daily prayers at some point.

Fr Matthew