Sophie Scagell from the safeguarding team, who was instrumental in the organisation of this ground breaking and life affirming event shared the following:
‘Today was the final day of out LOUDfence event at Christ the King church in Plymouth, which was held to show a visible display of support and solidarity with anyone who has been affected by abuse. Members of the Safeguarding Team were at the church all day, and had several discussions with people passing by who saw the ribbons and messages adorning the railings outside of the church.
At 12 noon Fr Mark Skelton celebrated a Survivors Mass. Fr Mark wrote prayers specifically for the occasion which we have included below for anyone who was unable to attend. The reading at Mass was from Isaiah 32:15-18, and Gospel was the Beatitudes from Matthew 5:1-12. This was then followed by a short homily from Fr Mark acknowledging the pain and hurt caused to those who had been abused. He thanked the survivors present for coming to the Mass today, and for their willingness and openness to giving the church another chance.’
Mass with, for and because of Survivors.
Lord Jesus, You heal the wounded, You comfort the hurting. Lord, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, You help the blind to see, You challenge the proud. Lord, have mercy
Lord Jesus, You call us to face hard truths, to speak them out. Lord, have mercy
God of love, Your Son is our Shepherd the one who guides and protects. We gather today conscious of so much hurt and sadness caused by those who failed so horribly to follow His example and how, as a result, so many of Your children live in shadow and grief, in anger and in sorrow. This was never Your hope, this is not Your heart. As we come to Your altar today inspire and renew us. Give us a heart for Your people, for Your world. Show us Your Way and lead us along that road upon which hope can be renewed and trust can be restored, we ask this in Your Son’s great name, Christ, Our Risen Lord.. Amen.
Prayer over the gifts.
Healing God, we bring our simple gifts of bread and wine which we know You will change into the wonderful yet wounded body of Your Risen Son. Take us, wounded as we are, and by Your power change us that we too may take Your life, love and hope into the world. We ask this through Christ, Our Lord.
God of strength on whom we lean, give us the courage to hear the cries of pain and anger from those who have been betrayed and the humility to face that reality without fear or deflection. Give us confidence that there is nothing that You cannot heal and restore. Give us all a hope for the future, a hope for healing. Healing of hurt, healing of trust, healing of betrayal. You alone can do this. Your Church cries out, all people together. So many have been failed, so many were unheard and unprotected. We ask You to raise up and comfort those who were failed, forgive the failures; we ask that the unheard will know they are heard, the unprotected will find real safety and never again will the institutional Church fail in its call, its main vocation to follow the example of Christ the Good Shepherd. In His Name we make this prayer, Christ, Our Lord.