BY Ryan McDougall | February 1 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Can you help SPRED the word?

A charity which brings the Faith to those with additional support needs is seeking volunteer catechists with a ‘warm heart’ as they plan to create new groups in Scottish parishes.

SPRED Glasgow seek to make parish life more accessible for those with additional support needs, and are looking to train new catechists to strengthen parishes’ relationships with parishioners who have Down’s Syndrome, autism and other conditions.

Director Lisbeth Raeside has recently recruited seven new volunteers who have just completed their training, and is now looking to create more SPRED groups in the archdiocese.

The new recruits will serve in the Glasgow churches of St Eunan’s, St Ninian’s, Our Lady and St George’s, Immaculate Conception and Holy Cross, and SPRED have two other catechists in training in Dumbarton.

While their recent boost in numbers has been a big help for SPRED, Mrs Raeside’s vision is ‘to have a group in each cluster’ of the country, and she has encouraged all who may be interested to get in touch with her.

“We always need more volunteers for SPRED so that parishioners affected by learning or developmental disabilities who need extra help are given the support and friendship that they need to participate in parish life,” she said.

“The main quality our volunteers need is a warm heart and the ability to be someone’s friend.

“A short training programme gives them the skills and knowledge they need to take part in SPRED.”


Branching out

The SPRED method was created in the 1960s in the US and has since expanded across the world, with many parishioners offering their time to ensure their parishes became as inclusive as possible for those with additional support needs.

One parish in Cardonald, Our Lady of Lourdes, is planning its own SPRED group and is set to hold a meeting on Monday February 25, and the charity has extended an invitation to the event for all who are interested in getting involved in SPRED in their own parish.

Reaching out to Catholics from all over the country who may wish to get involved, Mrs Raeside said: “Being part of SPRED is not only a chance to reach out your hand to the weakest members of our community but an opportunity to make new friendships and discover a new dimension to your Faith.

“Don’t miss out on the chance to be part of something beautiful for your parish.”

— If you can’t make the date but are still interested in SPRED, contact 0141 770 5055 or


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