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The Parish The Sacred Heart and St. Margaret Mary. East Dereham, Norfolk

Aid to the Church in Need


Aid to the Church in Need – a Justice and Peace Group Report


It is a sad fact that 75% of acts of religious intolerance in the world are against Christians.  Aid to the Church in Need tries to make a difference by being there to help pick up the pieces.

 During Christmas of 1947, Father Werenfried von Straaten, a Dutch priest, wrote an article "Peace on earth?  No room at the Inn”, in which he called on the faithful for help for the 14 million German civilians who had been expelled from Eastern Europe after the Second World War and who were living in displacement camps, many suffering from malnutrition and lack of medical care. Among their number were some 6 million Catholics. The response to the article was unexpectedly generous and in a wonderful gesture of Christian charity to a former enemy, many came forward to help. Among those were Flemish farmers who donated considerable amounts of food. This initial work led to the foundation of Aid to the Church in Need in Germany. From 1950 the work of ACN spread worldwide. From Africa to South America, from the Middle East to the Far East and China, wherever there is need, the work of ACN is in evidence. Pope Benedict xvi has raised ACN to the status of a Papal Foundation.


With Fr John’s permission, the Justice and Peace Group are hosting Dr Heather Ward from ACN on Saturday the 30th of June at 19.30 in the Narthex. Dr Ward will speak to us about the work of this excellent organisation in a talk entitled –Persecuted and Forgotten? – a description of Aid to the Church in Needs’  mission to our suffering brothers and sisters in faith. Tickets are free and tea, coffee biscuits and savouries will be provided. Donations will be welcome but not necessary – so do come along and support us. We will issue tickets to give us an idea of numbers attending. They will be available after the Masses this weekend and next.  If you require transport, please speak to any member of the J&P group and we will try to help – spaces are limited. We would particularly like to see some of our teenage parishioners coming along.



Dereham Justice & Peace Group

June 2012




Article written by Ian Campbell


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