Social Responsibility

Social Action 

Cathedral Prayers for Peace and Justice

On the first Tuesday of every month, from 12.00 noon until 12.20pm, there is a time of prayer in the St John the Baptist Chapel: Prayers for Peace and Justice.  The prayer intentions focus on social responsibility issues, largely, but not exclusively, drawing on the Cathedral’s four priorities in this area: homeless and vulnerable people; mental health and wellbeing; young people; and environmental sustainability. 

The service includes time for silence and personal prayer, and is open to all.  We will also use this time to welcome members of local charities and include prayers for local activities and initiatives.  Please support this time of prayer through your personal prayers and tell a member of the clergy about issues you would like included in the prayers.  If you can, please do come along. 

Click on the link below to download Prayers for Peace and Justice.
July 2020:  Prayers for Peace and Justice

Breakfast Club

Supporting the homeless and vulnerable is core to our values, our vision and mission and is realised through our Social Responsibility work. The challenges of Covid-19 and the resulting lockdown saw the temporary closure of both our Breakfast Club and our Walking Rugby sessions for the homeless and vulnerable. We have had to work creatively and find alternative ways to support those in need.

During lockdown our Community Engagement and Social Responsibility Manager worked with a local community artist to put together online Art for Wellbeing resources and Art Packs. Art Packs were distributed by Gloucester City Homes to families they have housed during lockdown and by Gloucester City Mission to individuals who are experiencing homelessness. Gloucester County Council homelessness team have also been in touch to distribute Art Packs to those in emergency accommodation.

As lockdown has been easing we have also been assisting Gloucester City Mission, joining their outreach teams to provide food, clothing and support to individuals who are in temporary accommodation or street sleeping. This opportunity has given us experience of delivery post-lockdown and we are really grateful to the team at City Mission for sharing their expertise with us.

This work has strengthened our professional partnerships and built relationships with many homeless in the city, including families. We have found different ways of working to help us build on our existing successes, but not without times of frustration and sadness that we couldn’t do more.

We are delighted now to report that a small team of staff and volunteers will be restarting our own Breakfast Club provision from the first week of September. Taking place on Thursday and Sunday mornings, the team will initially serve takeaway bacon rolls and hot drinks, utilising new spaces to ensure guests can observe social distancing when queuing whilst still receiving a warm Cathedral welcome.

In coming weeks we hope to get back to hosting weekly Walking Rugby sessions in partnership with Gloucester Rugby Foundation and Gloucester City Mission. These sessions provide low impact activity in a group setting and are ideal for anyone who is homeless, at risk of  homelessness or who is socially isolated and would like to join a sociable group. No experience is necessary.

Our revised Breakfast Club provision will re-open on Thursday 3 September 2020.  We will provide take away bacon rolls and hot drinks to people in need every Thursday and Sunday morning from 7.30am-8.30am. Guests are asked to convene at the West end steps of the Cathedral where a queuing system will be set up.  We ask guests to wear face masks whenever possible and observe social distancing.

Gloucester City Mission also provides a hot meal and outreach services for those in need.  Visit their website www.gloscitymission.org.uk for more information.

Wellbeing Walking Rugby

In partnership with Gloucester Rugby Foundation & Gloucester City Mission these sessions provide inclusive physical activity for anyone who is affected by homelessness, and/or living with or in recovery from mental illness.

Sessions are currently paused due to Covid-19 however we hope to resume them soon.  Contact Helen.Jeffrey@gloucestercathedral.org.uk  if you’d like any more information.

Artists in Recovery

Artists in Recovery are a self-led art group who meet at Discover DeCrypt https://discoverdecrypt.org.uk/ weekly, focusing on art and craft activities. The group have displayed their work in the Cathedral and sold several pieces at local craft fairs.  The group meet informally on a Thursday morning at 10am however have paused activities during lockdown. 

The Cloister Challenge

The Cloister Challenge is a fundraising initiative where people are sponsored to spend a night sleeping in the Cathedral Cloisters. The money raised goes to various organisations within the city that are involved in supporting the homeless community; including the Cathedrals own Breakfast Club. If you would like to get involved in this fantastic event then visit their website to sign up: www.cloisterchallenge.co.uk

Gloucestershire Suicide Prevention Partnership Forum

The Cathedral is a member of the Gloucestershire Suicide Prevention Partnership Forum. The Forum comprises of partners from public, private and the voluntary and community sector, as well as people with lived experience, who work together to discuss and progress the shared aim of preventing suicide in Gloucestershire. The Forum co-produced the Gloucestershire Suicide Prevention Strategy.

The Cathedral works in partnership to programme events, activities, courses and exhibitions that increase awareness around suicide and suicide bereavement, previously hosting a World Suicide Awareness Day Service and exhibition.  Working with the GSPPF is key to widening the reach of all awareness raising, preventative and service support work relating to mental health, wellbeing and suicide in the county.

The Cathedral Social Responsibility Group.

The aim of this group is to shape a coordinated, seasonal approach to events, exhibitions, activities and worshipful activity that fall under the Social Responsibility header. The group will contribute/develop policy and programming in this area making recommendations to Chapter. Deepening a commitment to Homelessness had been a particular area of focus for the group and wellbeing and mental health is another other key area. The group’s activities are linking not only to the worshipful life of the Cathedral but also to the Diocese as a whole.

Social Justice Exhibitions

The Cathedral is working with partner organisations to create alternative and accessible events, activities and art exhibitions, aiming to raise awareness of social issues through creativity. Working collaboratively allows us to tell real life stories in distinctive ways, challenging preconceptions and motivating change. One example of this is the Exhibition My Solitude (10-30 March 2018) which is the result of collective working between organisations and individuals with a shared goal of positive change about how people perceive homelessness and how we can help. There is a clear message: those who are homeless have a voice.

If you are an organisation interested in working together to highlight a key social justice issue/issues please get in touch helen.jeffrey@gloucestercathedral.org.uk

 

 


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