Since VMM grew out of the challenge for lay participation in the development work of the Church, it tended to work mainly with missionary congregations who are often at the fore front of working with the poor and the marginalised. This quickly broadened out to include working with people of all faiths and none, including civil society and local community organisations.
The Scottish Government wants to better understand and respond to sectarianism and invited a number of organisations, including the Conforti Institute, to develop a programme on this. Our project is about listening to the voice of the Catholic community. The aims of our project are to:
- Listen to the voices of the Catholic community in parishes and Diocese;
- Support parish and diocesan groups to come up with actions to tackle sectarianism where it is identified as an issue;
- Contribute to broader thinking on sectarianism and how the Scottish Government should respond to it.
So far we have carried out 44 listening exercises in 6 (Arch)diocese in Scotland: St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dunkeld, Motherwell, Paisley and Galloway. We are now moving into the second phase of our work which is about supporting actions to tackle sectarianism in communities.
If you have experience of working with groups and would like to get involved in supporting communities to take action on sectarianism please contact:
Dr Geraldine Hill, Lead Programme Officer, Anti-Sectarianism Project
Conforti Institute, Calder Avenue, Coatbridge ML5 4JS