For over 800 years the Carmelites have responded to God’s call in Britain and worldwide and have provided a significant response to the needs of an ever-changing world. The Order seeks the face of the living God not only in prayer and fraternity but also in service.
Today the Carmelites work alongside all people of faith and goodwill, which is done through traditional Christian ministry and by being available to those who are often at the edges of Church and society. The Trust serves the community throughout Britain: directing a large retreat centre, running Aylesford and parishes, working in prisons and hospitals, and running the Shrine of Saint Jude. It also supports Carmelite communities across the world, but particularly in Colombia, East Timor and Kenya.
Since 1955, the Shrine of Saint Jude has been a centre of devotion to the Apostle. Prayers and donations received at the Shrine have enabled the Carmelite Charitable Trust to support the presence and ministries of the Carmelite Friars in Great Britain and worldwide. We receive no state support and rely on the generosity of people like you to fund our work which builds up God's Church and which benefits some of the neediest people in society. Thanks to your support last year, we were able to increase our online presence and we were able to support more Carmelite communities across the world.
On 19 July 2021, we finally opened our doors to pilgrims and visitors again, but unfortunately the eighteen months of closure has meant a lot of the site is in disrepair. Thus, the central fundraising initiative of 2021 is to ask for your help in supporting this repair and organisation at the Shrine of Saint Jude. As we are the fundraising arm of the Trust, we need to make sure that all our fundraising via the newsletter and the online shop can be used for the work of the Carmelites. This makes our annual fund even more important in 2021 as we seek for ways to financially support the refurbishments.
We are looking for your support in three areas, and we would be very grateful if you could help us in some way. All donations will help keep the Carmelite Order and its work secure for many generations to come.
Every gift makes a difference
The three areas in which we are looking for support are:
National Shrine of Saint Jude – we know that Saint Jude is a friend to all of us and he is the Saint of Hope, since with God no situation is hopeless. Now things are opening up across England, people and pilgrims will want to search for the hope that Saint Jude provides by visiting his Shrine. We therefore expect more visits to the Shrine this year than we have probably experienced before. As such, we must sort out the walls, ceilings, lighting, and roofs which are all in need of repair, so that our visitors have a safe and healthy visit. However, it is also imperative that we sort out all office areas too so that our staff and friars can safely work here once more.
Vocations – we would like to ensure that the Carmelites continue to preach the Good News of God’s love for all - now and in the future. Those who choose to join the Carmelite Order join a small group of brothers who are involved in the work of preaching the Gospel and witnessing to the presence of God in the world. At the moment, two men are in training and these young Carmelites need your support in their early years of training for ministry.
Where we need it most – the Carmelite Charitable Trust must deal with a variety of unexpected costs, some which cannot be deferred. With your contributions this task is made much easier.
However, this year we are very pleased to announce that, we will be creating a garden called the Saint Jude ‘Garden of Hope’ behind the Shrine Office. This will be dedicated to those people who donate to the Annual Fund or for those people you have asked to be remembered. The names are renewed each year. If you are able, you can add an extra donation for the work we are doing to the garden on the link here.
Please do consider filling in a standing order form and our gift aid form. If five hundred friends of Saint Jude were to give £10 a month, we would raise an incredible £60,000 extra each year. This would have a transformational effect in the work we do.
Thank you for all your support and for all your prayers, without which the Province could not continue.