Beacons of Hope

Wednesday 27th June 2018

On the warmest day of the year, so far, over 800 school pupils joined us at St Mary’s Bamber Bridge for a day of celebration of the GIFT chaplaincy Teams.

Our GIFT chaplaincy teams are going from strength to strength with over 170 teams spread around the diocese. The teams are entrusted with a range of responsibilities in their schools including:

  • Giving joyful witness of Christ in their school – missionary disciples.
  • Assisting with the delivery and development of the prayer life of the school supporting assemblies, worship, class prayer times and prayer groups.
  • Developing and leading social justice activities in your school.
  • Developing outreach work and supporting local, national and international charities – Caritas Diocese of Salford, Cafod: working for change – being the change makers.

This celebration day is the fifth time schools across the diocese have all come together to celebrate the gifts and talents of our young people. This year’s theme was Developing Parish Communities: ‘Beacons of Hope’.

Those present were invited to explore the ideas that surround the ‘7 steps’ from school to parishes. These steps aim to promote the closer involvement of our schools and young people in parish life.

The jam packed day saw activities in the morning including many of the schools sharing their gifts and talents in helping to build up the parish communities. Each school was asked to create a poster displaying their school as a Beacon of Hope for the local community.


After a lunch in the sunshine, Bishop John celebrated a liturgy of Mission as we launched Hope in the Future in our schools.

Bishop John reminded all present that we are all ambassadors of Christ with our own purpose to fulfil. He went on to talk about the connectedness of Parishes and Schools, and that together, we can do great things to bring the energy of the gospel to life as missionary disciples.

To evidence the link between our parishes and schools, each school was presented with a framed San Damino Cross. This echoes the launch of event of Hope in the Future last October where each Parish were also presented with the same image. During the service we also heard for the first time the new Hope in the Future Hymn. 

It is hoped that each school will take the cross and the teachings of the day back to their schools and continue to be Beacons of Hope in the life of their parishes.

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