FORWARD IN FAITH UPDATE
Tickets for Christ our Future
We can now inform those who have booked tickets for the London Arena that it is planned to despatch them during the week commencing Sunday, 30 April.
Licensed Readers at Christ our Future
Readers wishing to robe and sit "in choir" at the London Arena should contact Stephen Parkinson on 020 7976 0727 as soon as possible.
Religious at Christ our Future
Lay Religious wishing to sit "in choir" at Christ our Future should contact Stephen Parkinson on 020 7976 0727 as soon as possible.
Children at Christ our Future
We regret that it will not be possible to provide a staffed creche at the Arena, but arrangements are being made to provide a suitably equipped room to which parents may take young children who might need a change of scenery. Similarly, facilities will be available for mothers to feed infants and for fathers (!) to change nappies.
Instead of a separate Children's Liturgy of the Word, we will be making available to all who want it suitable material designed both to challenge and entertain children during the liturgy. Copies (along with the necessary crayons!) will be available from our Stewards in the Arena on the day.
The Deaf at Christ our Future
We regret that there is no loop available at the Arena, but arrangements are being made for the service to be signed for the deaf. If you would like to take advantage of this, please tell the Box Office when you book and you will be allocated a seat in the appropriate area. (If you have already booked your seat, you can contact the Arena any time up to 15 April, in order to ask for your seat allocation to be changed for this purpose.)
Those with Walking Difficulties at Christ our Future
Imagine, if you will, a Football Stadium. (If you can't, tune into Match of the Day on Saturday evening on BBC1.) You will see, in your mind's eye (or on the box), ranks of seats, banked at an angle, with stairs running between blocks of them, by which the crowd make their individual ways to where they are to sit. Those sitting at the top - in the back rows - will have had to climb all those stairs in order to get to their place. Those sitting at the bottom - in the front rows - won't have had to climb any stairs to speak of.
The London Arena is just like that. If you have difficulty with stairs and want to be guaranteed a seat which is easily accessible, please tell the Box Office when you book. (If you have already booked your seat, you can contact the Arena any time up to 15 April, in order to ask for your seat allocation to be changed for this purpose.)
Similarly, if you are wheelchair-bound, please inform the Box Office, so that the necessary arrangements can be made.
Stewards for Christ our Future
For those responsible for all the arrangements for Christ our Future, the great day draws frighteningly close! Much has been done in preparation, but each time we meet to review progress, more jobs materialise. The small team responsible will (DV) cover everything in time, but now is the time to ask for more help on the day itself. We need volunteers to act as Stewards at the Arena: there are just two qualifications - a willingness to arrive at the Arena by 9.00 am on the day, in order to be find your way around what is a vast building and in order to be briefed as to the task - and a reasonable degree of fitness (there are some stairs involved!). If you re prepared to help, or would like to talk about the possibility, phone Stephen Parkinson on 020 7976 0727 or Fr Beau Brandie on 01273 604687.
Singers for Christ our Future
Elsewhere in New Directions, you will find details of the two regional rehearsals for the choir. We still need more singers, so if your parish choir or music group haven't volunteered yet, it s time they did! Just as important are individuals who aren't members of church choirs, but who have ability and enthusiasm! Please phone the Forward in Faith office on 020 7976 0727 to register (and please don t leave it until the day before the rehearsal!).
Clergy at Christ our Future
Tickets continue to sell well, although a glance down the list of concelebrants suggests that there are those who are leaving it until the last minute. The space available for concelebrants is limited and our guess is that someone will leave it too late! Bookings for concelebrants by post to Faith House or by phone (with VISA or Mastercard) to 020 7976 0727. Whilst we re on the subject of clergy, the Deacons aren't doing much better! The Forward in Faith office can identify a number who haven't yet booked and it is time that they were in touch with Faith House as well! It is only fair to give credit where credit is due and record the fact that the bishops have all booked their places to a man!
Laity at Christ our Future
Bookings for the congregation are of course through the London Arena Box Office on 020 7538 1212. (At busy times, phone calls to the Arena are sometimes transferred to a Ticket Agency; if this happens to you, our advice is to hang up and try again later, as the Agency seems to have difficulty in coping with our event.)
Coaches to Christ our Future
In a week or two, we should have a handout available giving instructions to those leading groups coming to the Arena by coach. If you are organising such a group, please send an SAE (A5 or A4), marked Coaches to the Forward in Faith office and we'll send you a copy as soon as it s available. If you are leading a group that is using more than one coach, please also attach a note to your SAE, saying how many coaches you are using. The more data we have regarding the number of coaches that will be arriving at the Arena, the easier it will be for the Arena s staff to deal with them.
Public Transport to Christ our Future
The very good news is that extension to the Jubilee Line opened at the end of last year, so it is now possible to get to Docklands by tube in a matter of minutes from Central London. Passengers should leave the Jubilee Line at Canary Wharf and change there to the Docklands Light Railway, either at Canary Wharf DLR Station or Heron Quays DLR Station. The Arena is at Crossharbour Station, just three stops from Canary Wharf or two stops from Heron Quays. The Docklands Light Railway extension south of the river has also opened, so it is possible to get from Lewisham and Greenwich to the Arena is less than ten minutes. If you are planning to travel up by train from the south-east and can alight at Lewisham or Greeenwich, rather than continuing on to Charing Cross or wherever, you will save yourself a great deal of time by doing so!
Novena for Christ our Future
Has your Parish agreed to take part in the Novena of Prayer in the days before the great celebration? If so, have you sent details to Harold Holwell, c/o Faith House? And, if not, isn't it time you made arrangements? If you need more details, please speak to your Regional Dean or Diocesan Chairman.
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