At the height of the intense heatwave, Sisters Maura and Maureen with their Mercy Associates and friends held their 18th Annual Garden Party on Sunday 15th July 2018 in the Gardens and Parish Room of Corpus Christi Church. Plenty of gazebos afforded shelter for stall holders from the strong sun! We were delighted to welcome Sr. Margaret IJ, director of St. Chad’s Sanctuary for Asylum Seekers and Migrants and Debbie and friends representing the Lisieux Trust, two of our three chosen Charities this year. Our Priests and parishioners joined us after the morning Mass with Parishioners from Holy Family, Small Heath and St. Thomas More, Sheldon.
At the end of a truly enjoyable (but VERY hot!) day, an amazing total of £5,040 was reached. This consisted of proceeds made on the day itself, money raised from a sale of knitted and Christmas Craft goods in Autumn 2017 and some very generous donations. We had decided ‘to go local’ in choosing our Charities for 2018.
The Lisieux Trust based in Erdington - a small Charity started 30 years ago by Catholic families looking after a loved one with learning difficulties and inspired by St. Therese and her family. The Charity is now registered and non-religious but retains its lovely name and offers support and resources to adults with special needs.
Help Harry Help Others (HHHO) which runs a new Drop-in Cancer Support Centre in our local area. Having been diagnosed with cancer as a child, Harry started his own Charity making bracelets in a huge effort to raise money for others in similar need. Sadly, he died aged just 11 but his mother Georgie bravely carried on the Charity in Harry’s name and now raises funds through personal sponsored events like mountain climbing, speaking to schoolchildren, young offenders and others.
St. Chad’s Sanctuary which gives support to destitute Asylum seekers and migrants in multiple ways and is situated near the Cathedral.
We were delighted to present the 3 Charities with £1,680 each towards their vital work. Sr. Margaret IJ, Jess and Georgie each representing their own Charity, attended our first Associates’ meeting of the Term on Wednesday 5th September and inspired us with input about their dedicated work. They stayed with us for our ‘September Prayer’, appreciating Sister Annette McCartan’s theme of ‘Silence’ and the quiet reflective time we offered in the midst of their busy lives. Sr. Philomena Bowers’ Reflection on ‘making small changes’ like Venerable Catherine McAuley was very apt on this occasion and gave much food for thought.
We thank God that our Mercy Garden Party has indeed made a difference and brought some positive changes to so many needy people this year.