Pope John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter “On the Coming of the Third Millennium” (“Tertio Millennio Adveniente”), in 1994 invited all to help the poor start the new millennium with a better future. In response to this, on Holy Thursday in April 1999, Saint Edmund’s Parish committed itself afresh to the cause of the poor by making a New Covenant. This ‘New Covenant with the poor’ is displayed within the church; within it the parish promises:
- To consciously raise awareness of the needs of the poor at every opportunity.
- To hold at least one social fund-raising event each year where the entire proceeds will be for the poor.
- To allow the parish hall to continue to be available to charitable bodies.
- To consider consciously the needs of the poor in the disposal of income from parish fund-raising events.
- To remember in our Bidding Prayers the poor and the sick, both in our parish and the wider world.
- To celebrate a specific Mass each month dedicated to the poor of the world.
- To celebrate a special liturgical celebration each year that will include a penitential acknowledgement of our failure towards the poor of the world, and to celebrate the richness and gifts which the poor can give to us.
- To use fairly traded goods every time refreshments are served in the parish.
- To establish a rota of drivers available to parishioners needing transport to Mass and social events.
- To support Saint Edmund’s School in recognition of its contribution to the growth in faith of the community and in ensuring future generations honour our commitment.
- To commit Saint Edmund’s School to make a New Covenant with the poor.
- To use the CAFOD Family Fast Days as a catalyst for prayer and discussion on the needs of the poor during the Children’s Liturgy.
- To undertake a project on the needs of the poor with candidates preparing to celebrate the sacraments for the first time.
- To provide support to at least one project each year for the poor at home.