St. John’s parish family welcomed some three hundred people from
the local community many of whom had never been into a Catholic or
Christian church before. This simple act of friendship has been organised by Building
Bridges in Burnley each year.
Thank you to everyone who helped. It was a great team effort,leafleting,catering,welcoming and guiding.
Visitors saw St. John’s church still richly decorated for the Christmas season. A leaflet explained the significance of the different religious features of a Catholic Church.
A rich banquet of food was available in the parish hall together with
displays about the life and activity of the parish.
The Lord Mayor and Mayoress, the Bishop of Burnley and the Member of
Parliament all attended together with local clergy and imams.
Though there are profound difference between different religions,
visitors also discovered much in common: belief in and prayer to
Almighty God, reverence given to sacred spaces and scriptures, the
use of water and prayer beads and the practice of penance, pilgrimage and
charity. Many Protestant visitors raised questions about reservation
of the Blessed Sacrament, the practice of confession and devotion to the
Blessed Virgin and the saints.
The whole afternoon was a wonderful
opportunity for dialogue and witness. The feast of the Epiphany was
an appropriate time to sensitively reveal the Lord Jesus Christ and his
Catholic Church to our local community in our own age.
Fr Michael Waters