Saturday, 15 October 2011

AGM of Josephine Butler Society

The Annual General Meeting of the Josephine Butler Society held on the 12th Oct, 2011 at St. Peter's Church Eaton Square, London.
I left with Valerie who is the chairman of the society at 1.30pm to board a train at Faversham. She began by looking into the minutes of their last meeting which were approved by the members.
Valerie Gore, Chairing the Meeting

After that, there was refreshment of sandwiches, soft drinks and tea which was followed by an input by a retired Chief Constable who has always worked hard against human trafficking,
Dr. Timothy Brain.

The Josephine Butler Society is a society of people who work hard to stop human trafficking and help those who are victims, whether they chose to do that or they have been forced into it. Much mention was made of children, and he praised THE CHILDREN'S SOCIETY for raising awareness of children on the street prostituting and BARNARDO'S for doing a report with recommendations. Both charities are organisations whose work is to help children involved in any kind of abuse. Dr. Brain said that human trafficking and prostitution has been an issue in this country and that they have been working hard on it. Any kind of work relating to that should always be dealt with and not be ignored. He said that one of the major problems police face today concerning prostitution is that some police look at it as if it is a distraction to their work. They feel that they have to pay more attention to burglers, or any other offence more than that of prostitution.
He said that in recent years, it has increased and decreased. The number of those who are brought into Britain for this always gets higher in number. They come mostly from Asia, Eastern Europe, South America and Africa. Though some of these ladies are forced into it, when they have a way to escape and get the help they need, they can care for themselves. He said that children of 16+ should not be treated the same way as adults. Though it is a crime, there should be some consideration, because these children are victims. Therefore the best thing for them when they are caught is not to subject them to more punishment but to help them find a better way of life.

Some of these 16+ might have had difficult relationships, and then gone away from home, eventually getting involved with 'friends' who pretend to love them. They then teach them to drink, take drugs, keep secrets from adults, go to pubs and stay out late at night. Then these 'friends' will start selling them to men for money.

The meeting finished at about 8:20 pm. We helped to clean and put things in order and then headed for the train station.
By Sr. Innocentia

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Making a Big Hash of It

Sister Attracta, now one month in Novitiate, has begun to join Sisters Innocentia and Clare in voluntary kitchen work at the Catching Lives Centre for homeless people in Canterbury. On Friday 7th October they were working with volunteers David, Roz, Rebecca, Lawrence and Terry (staff). What can you make for lunch with vast quantities of donated apples, lots of potatoes and not much else? The answer was apple crumble and corned beef hash. After Innocentia made the crumble, more of the apples were peeled and stewed, to be frozen and used later. Here's how they went about making corned beef hash for around 20 people:

Wash, peel and boil around 30 potatoes together with 2 giant (or four average) chopped onions
Empty out 9 tins of corned beef (carefully) and divide into two large, deep trays. Chop up into small chunks.
Add to these trays:
The cooked potatoes and onion
a whole white cabbage chopped (cooked from frozen)
a large tub of blanched garden peas (from freezer)
several cans of mixed veg and carrots
sprinkle with salt and pepper
a generous splurge of a variety of bottled sauces: eg. ketchup, brown sauce, horseradish
Mix together.
The hash can now be warmed in the oven and served. It has a reputation for tasting much better than it looks.
From left: Sr. Attracta, Lawrence, Rebecca and Sr. Innocentia, peeling apples. Front: two trays of magnificent hash.
For more information about the Catching Lives charity, visit

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Day for Religious at Aylesford Priory

On 23rd September 2011, Srs. Attracta, Innocentia and Clare Bernadette attended a day for religious for Southwark Diocese at Aylesford Priory. Sr. Anne, Mother General, came too, as she was visiting Canterbury for a few days. Sr. Anne Bross FMSJ also travelled with us from Canterbury.
Fr. Martin Poulsom SDB led the day. He is a Salesian of Don Bosco, a lecturer at the Religious life Institute, Heythrop and an activist for Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation. Martin is also a singer-songwriter and illustrated parts of his presentation by playing guitar and singing songs he had written. Bishop John Hine also attended the day, since Archbishop Peter Smith was otherwise engaged.
Fr. Martin gave a thought-provoking reflection about the state of religious life today with the need to unite its contemplative and active or 'prophetic' aspects. I was heartened to hear St. Francis of Assisi mentioned together with Hildegard of Bingen as two mystics who inspired a contemplative approach to creation. Yet it struck me as he spoke that the spirituality of Francis offered the very unification of contemplative and prophetic ('being' and 'doing') approaches that Fr. Martin was seeking to establish for Religious Life today. The value of this talk for me was to place Francis' significance for ecology in a wider context of Religious Life than the Franciscan family. It showed me the potential fruitfulness of dialogue, collaboration and networking with other Religious persons and groups involved in JPIC today. It was good to meet and discuss with representatives of so many different religious groups from diverse cultures.
Fr. Martin Poulsom SDB delivers his talk, 'Religious Life in the Midst of Creation, the Challenge of Justice and Peace and the Integrity of Creation.'
Srs. Innocentia and Attracta meet Sr. Elizabeth Obbard, a Religious Solitary attached to the Priory. Having been learning about the lives of women hermitesses and recluses at the time of St. Francis, they were delighted to meet in the flesh a modern version of the solitary vocation and to learn that Sr. Elizabeth follows the spirituality of Julian of Norwich, a 14th Century English recluse.