Landings South has held its first session of its first ever virtual Landings Programme. Ruby Almeida the Landings Facilitator and Hossein Zand the Programme Leader have worked very closely with the Landings team to ensure that this online version translated as closely as possible to our successful face to face meetings. We are very blessed to have two returnees on our team and have four people whom we are accompanying on their faith journey.
During these difficult times of COVID 19, we know that the need for spiritual nourishment is much needed to fill voids that many people are finding in their lives. Many churches have found that the number of people watching their live streamed Mass has been up by 600% compared to their usual congregation. And these are based on the number of devices that have logged into the live stream but does not take into account the number of people gathered at each device to watch the Mass. In our own unique way Landings shines it light brightly for those seeking a way back to their faith.
Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Joseph, Leigh on Sea, is a new start up Landings group. In June 2019 a Landings training day was organised by Adele Angel of the Vicariate for Evangelisation for Brentwood Diocese. From that group Marian Long returned to her parish in Leigh on Sea, and with the support of her parish priest set up a small Landings Team. In less than six months the Leigh on Sea Landings Team, with support from the Landings Facilitator, Ruby Almeida, have just started their first Landings programme. We wish them well as they shine a beacon for those searching a way back to their faith. https://lourdesleigh.org/returning
Our colleagues in Scotland have recently launched their fantastic new website. This initiative will serve and promote their wonderful work in their regions. We look forward to mutually supporting each other’s work for Landings and its returnees http://www.landingsuknorth.co.uk/index.html
Dr. Gemma Simmonds ‘Accompanying the Return to Faith and Practice’
The talk by Dr. Simmonds was fascinating and challenging with many questions being asked of us and our faith practice. The focus of the talk was about the role of women in the Church and the myriad of reasons why women find it hard to stay in the Church, and though many do leave, yet many do say on. There were many instances throughout the talk that were easily relatable to those whom Landings reaches out to, i.e those who had distanced themselves from the Church and yet yearn to find a way back to their faith. Dr. Simmonds engaging talk certainly left us with much food for thought.
Our team – L to R
Janet Connor, Landingsuknorth, Margaret Johnston Landingsuknorth coordinator, Ellis McNorthey-Gibbs, our new LandingsUK administrator, Ruby Almeida, LandingsUK south coordinator, our speaker: Dr Gemma Simmonds CJ, Newnham College, Cambridge – and Fr. Dominic Robinson SJ, LandingsUK director.
Some comments on the day:
“To try to stem the tide, especially of women, who are leaving the faith community, Sr Gemma described components of a truly authentic welcome of those who want to return – or whom are on the cusp of leaving – with characteristic earthy passion.”
“The photos of the team…showed real joy!”
“This is such a fascinating subject…”
“I know someone who would be very interested in the setup of this ministry elsewhere…”