BY Daniel Harkins | August 31 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

6-MERCY-BUS

‘Church on wheels’ bound for parliament

Members of the Scottish Parliament are being invited to experience the mercy of Christ aboard a Stagecoach bus

MEMBERS of the Scottish Parliament are being invited to experience the mercy of Christ as a bus full of street evangelisers sets out for Holyrood, thanks to the backing of a Catholic MSP.

On September 6, the Mercy Bus, which made headlines across Scotland in July as it toured towns and cities bringing Mass, Confession and a friendly chat, will park up outside the Scottish Parliament.

The event is being backed by the Catholic MSP for Perthshire South and Kinross-shire Roseanna Cunningham, who is also the cabinet secretary for environment, climate change and land reform, and was organised by Bishop John Keenan of Paisley Diocese, the director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office Anthony Horan, and Helen Border of Friends of Divine Mercy Scotland (FODMS).

Bishop Keenan said: “Up and down the UK, the Mercy Bus has been a great initiative of the New Evangelisation Pope John Paul II hoped for.

“Its presence in the heart of town centres is welcomed by shoppers and workers of all faiths and none as a joyful and hopeful presence of God in their midst.

“The Mercy Bus works because so many lay men and women reach out to shoppers in the environment of the bus and invite them to go in to chat with the priests inside or receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

“So the Mercy Bus is a sign of the essence of the Church where lay faithful go out to their peers to welcome them into the pastoral care of priests who teach and heal.”

Helen Border said that during the Mercy Bus tour in July and August she ‘spoke with people from all walks of life, different faiths and none.’

“Being invited to the Scottish Parliament is very exciting and a great opportunity to let people know what the Catholic Church is doing to promote the Mercy of the Lord,” she said.

“We would like to thank Sir Brian Souter, owner of Stagecoach, for his generosity in supplying us not only with the Mercy Bus but with John the driver who has been a tremendous help to our team.

“Bishop John Keenan, priests from Paisley, Glasgow and Motherwell Dioceses along with the FODMS team will be on the bus to greet the public and any MSPs that wish to visit the Mercy Bus on this day.

“Everyone is welcome to come along and visit our ‘church on wheels!’ Today, people find forgiveness hard to accept and sometimes even harder to give. Taking the Church to the people shows that the Lord loves them and wants them to return to him.

“There will be priests hearing confessions on the top deck of the ‘Mercy Bus’ and literature, tea, coffee and home-baking available downstairs.”

The parliament visit is one of a number of events this year organised by the FODMS, whose aim is to ‘take the Good News of the Gospel out into the Public Square.’

A National Divine Mercy Conference will take place on October 20 in St Augustine’s Church, Coatbridge, and each year the group celebrates Divine Mercy Sunday in St Mary’s Church in Paisley. The group is also involved in prison ministry.

“We have been doing this for the past five years,” Ms Border said. We offered a six-month programme on the Joy of the Gospel at Low Moss Prison which was very successful and this led to being asked to teach in Barlinnie Prison on a permanent basis.”

 

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