London Jesuit Volunteers
As part of our social justice ministry the Jesuits in Britain bring together volunteers who are interested in social justice and faith. To find out more come to an open evening at the Mount Street Centre where you will have a chance to talk with current volunteers on Wednesday 15th March 2017 - pop in anytime from 6.30-8. If you intend coming it would be helpful if you could let Elaine know using the contacts below.
We gather together once a month to enable volunteers to reflect together on our experience, listen to one another and journey together as a “community of intention”. Groups are facilitated by Spiritual Reflectors in the Ignatian tradition. This allows us to learn more about the diversity of ministries and social issues in which other volunteers engage, to take stock of how we are experiencing our service, to notice what has been life-giving and what has challenged us and to seek the strength and grace needed for the coming month. Volunteers may also choose to have one-to-one spiritual accompaniment.
What do we do?
Volunteers support a range of services working with older people, refugees and asylum seekers, people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness, people with learning disabilities, prisoners and more. Here are some examples of what our current volunteers are doing in London:
Maire goes to a South London prison twice a week. On Thurdays, alongside some of the Chaplaincy team and other volunteers she shares a time for combined Christian choir, prayer and fellowship with the men. On Sundays she helps at the prison Mass, meeting and greeting and leading the music.
Lorraine visits an elderly man who is housebound once a week as part of Volunteer Link Scheme befriending service in Ealing.
Helen volunteers one day a week as a counsellor at Crossroads Counselling, a charity which offers a professional counselling service, including long-term therapy, to individuals, couples and children in East London, on a 'pay-what-you-can-afford' basis.
Teresa is a volunteer with Jesuit Refugee Service and visits detainees one afternoon per week at Colnbrook or Harmondsworth Immigration Detention Centre near Heathrow Airport
Danny volunteers with the London Catholic Worker, helping at the year-round refugee shelter in Harringay and the weekly soup kitchen in Hackney.
What our volunteers say:
“I just want to do something in gratitude for everything I have been given. I have received so much more than I can ever give back.”
“Meeting people who have been marginalised challenges my own prejudices.”
“Seeing how generously some of our homeless people care for one another has made a deep impression on me.”
“I am so grateful to LJV for introducing me to a whole range of volunteering opportunities – and for providing support and a way into them. It has been a wonderful opening up of life for me, and is rapidly becoming one of the most important things I do.”
“LJV moves you away from your comfort zone – I can tell my group things I can’t talk about with my friends – it gives you a different perspective, and draws you into a process of giving and receiving.”
“LJV is a place where I can grow in my spirituality and my awareness of other people – where I can grow closer to God.”
"I first learnt about London Jesuit Volunteers when I picked up a leaflet here at Farm Street church. Since last March I have been volunteering at Wandsworth prison, working with the chaplaincy for about 12 hours a month. At first the feeling of being in the prison and being ‘locked up’ felt quite intimidating. Being able to make music, which is my passion, and sharing it with others to enrich their experience during Mass has been a joy. The prisoners appear grateful and it is good to hear them participating. It feels wonderful to give without having to expect anything in return. Being with the prisoners has opened my eyes to the unconditional love and amazing/surprising work of God through them. I have been able to become more compassionate and understanding towards the suffering and circumstances of others. I meet with other London Jesuit volunteers once a month. We work in different areas- with the homeless, with older people, refugees, in any area of social justice. These monthly reflections, using Ignatian spirituality, help me focus on my volunteering journey and in turn has helped me discover more of who I am. It has been very helpful to share and listen to the experiences of other like minded volunteers."
To find out more contact:
Theodora Hawksley at Thawksley@jesuit.org.uk
020 7495 1673