Bishop Crispian Hollis`s Pastoral Letter in Lent 1997 asked all parishes to consider signing a Covenant with the Poor after careful reflection as a parish. We did this, and after meetings, prayer and discernment, we signed our Covenant at Pentecost 1998. It was renewed on the 5th anniversary in 2003 and is regularly renewed at the Annual Parish Day Mass.

Pope Francis has asked us to be a church OF the Poor and FOR the Poor and Bishop Philip has asked that we ALL have a special concern for justice peace and social responsibility. The Covenant is a commitment to this by the whole parish. The PPC has an overall responsibility for how fully the parish is fulfilling its commitments. To help them do this, there is an open meeting, advertised in the newsletter, usually twice a year, to look at the parish`s activity relating to the 7 parts of the Covenant over the previous 6 months - and to look ahead for possible opportunities to follow up.


We commit ourselves

  • To pray regularly for those who are disadvantaged and marginalised and to support with our prayers those organisations, local and international, who work with people in need.

  • To inform ourselves of the causes of poverty and to campaign for change in the light of what we have learned.

  • To continue and increase our financial support for the Advent and Lenten Parish Projects and for those organisations who work in our area with those in need.

  • To continue and increase our support for CAFOD, Christian Aid, Pax Christi and other organisations who work in the light of Catholic Social Teaching for a world of justice and peace.

  • To buy and encourage the use of fairly - traded goods, both as individuals and as a parish.

  • To support our sister Diocese of Bamenda in Cameroon by prayer and financial help.

  • To live as simply and sustainably as possible in our individual lives, recognising that we are stewards of God's Creation.

Loving Father, help us to share justly the good things that come from your loving hand; to bring peace and reconciliation where strife and disorder reign; to speak out for those who have no voice; and to rejoice in a bond of prayer and praise with our brothers and sisters throughout the world. This we ask through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.


A summary of what our parish has achieved includes:

  • We have included the poor and marginalised in our Bidding Prayers and we have highlighted in the Parish Newsletter opportunities for individual action.

  • Our parish's Lenten Projects raised funds through soup lunches, Parish breakfast and produce event, golf day, barn dance, cookery demo, Italian evening, sponsored climb and walk, cake sales. Over £16,000 was raised for parishioner nominated projects in Mexico, Zimbabwe and Tanzania in the first year and £7,500 pound each to Helen and Douglas House and to a Dar Mariam School in Somalia this year.

  • Abingdon Food Bank was continually advertised and contributed to.

  • CAFOD’s Lenten Fast Day was promoted and £958 raised. CAFOD’s appeal for victims of the Nepal earthquake raised £1165.

  • During Christian Aid Week the Parish ran a market stall, participated in house-to-house collections and in the Church in Abingdon’s joint service at the end of the week. Our parish raised £1,703 out of the Abingdon total of £9600.

  • Pax Christi: Events advertised. Copies of made available. Peace Sunday marked.

  • FairTrade Fortnight was promoted and an event held in the Parish Centre.

  • Bamenda: Close contact maintained with the Bamenda Diocesan Committee.

Recipients of the parish's Lenten Projects


Our parish has been recognised as a Live Simply parish. The Live Simply Award was presented to us in the course of a special liturgy at Sunday Mass in January 2018. The award is given to communities who can show how they have been living:

  • simply

  • in solidarity with people in poverty

  • sustainably with creation.

This is the final commitment of our own Parish Covenant with the Poor. Pope Francis' encyclical, Laudato Si', is a profound invitation to everyone on the planet to care for our common home and more information can be found here.

© 2018 Parish of Our Lady & St Edmund of Abingdon
1 Radley Road, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 3PL

The Portsmouth Roman Catholic Diocesan Trust
A Registered charity number 246871
Diocesan Office, St Edmund House, Edinburgh Road, Portsmouth PO1 3QA

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