Dare to Dream


When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
(John 8:12)

No one can face life in isolation… We need a community that supports and helps us, in which we can help one another to keep looking ahead.
How important it is to dream together… By ourselves, we risk seeing mirages, things that are not there. Dreams, on the other hand, are built together”.
Let us dream, then, as a single human family, as fellow travellers sharing the same flesh, as children of the same earth which is our common home,
each of us bringing the richness of his or her beliefs and convictions, each of us with his or her own voice, brothers and sisters all.

This is a moment to dream big, to rethink our priorities – what we value, what we want, what we seek – and to commit to act in our daily life as we have dreamed of. What I hear at this moment is similar to what Isaiah hears God saying through him: Come let us talk this over, let us dare to dream. It’s a task for all of us, to which each one of us is invited. But it’s a time especially for the restless of heart, that healthy restlessness that spurs us into action. Now more than ever what is revealed is the fallacy of making individualism the organising principle of society. What will be our new principle?



During Lent and Easter ‘Dare to Dream’ gave us the opportunity to look to the future. We need to have a dream which broadens our horizons from just looking at ourselves and our parishes and enables us to be missionary disciples. Where is our mission and how can we live it more faithfully?

Pope Francis is calling us to participate in a world-wide three-year Synod in preparation for a gathering of the Bishops in 2023. The title of the Synod is “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, Mission”. Within our own diocese this is a real opportunity for all of us to participate in conversation where there is mutual listening and a unity of purpose. This will inform the decisions which we as a diocese have to make for the future.

The way ahead may not always be clear, but we believe in the promise of Jesus that he will always be with us until the end of time. In that is our hope, that the Lord walks by our side, even when like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, we do not always recognise his presence. But we will recognise him at the breaking of the bread.

I commend this resource and encourage you use it to help shape the future of our diocese according to the Kingdom of God.

Rt Rev Declan Lang, Bishop of Clifton St Ambrose, August 2021

‘Dare to Dream’

We continue our journey this Autumn as we ‘Dare to Dream’ the future of our Diocese.

Each session has a similar framework to follow.

We are encouraged to read the accompanying resource and then follow the reflections which come with the video. Each new video and reflection will be available on the Friday before each Sunday.

Taking this time to reflect will enable all of us to contribute more fully to the conversations that every deanery will be having to discern how we grow our parishes to be places of mission, serving the poor and responding out of our abundance to the needs of the local community and the wider world.

Resources for ‘Dare to Dream’

Please use these documents to guide you through our Autumn series and our latest version of ‘Dare to Dream’ They will also explain how to approach the videos each week.

New resources will be added each week for the months of September and October.

Dare to Dream PDF

The music used in these video reflections is courtesy of Dexter Britain www.dexterbritain.com

Week Beginning October 31st
Feast of All Saints


Before you begin, read this extract from ‘Rule for A New Brother’ (Author ANON)

Put aside all ambition,
and no longer concentrate on yourself.
Be constantly converted to your brothers and sisters
and place yourself in God’s hands.

Give instead of demanding,
trust others instead of compelling their trust,
serve instead of being served,
bless instead of cursing.
And be sure that when you have done all things well
you will still be an unprofitable servant.

So be attentive to the others,
not in order to dominate or exploit them
but to work for their happiness discreetly and effectively
and to build them up in all the riches of faith and love.

Video – Watch and listen to Canon Richard Dwyer

Prayerfully read this passage from the Gospel of Mark 10:46-52 in this PDF

Week Beginning October 25th
30th Sunday of Ordinary Time


Before you begin read this:

“Mercy always has a youthful face! Because a merciful heart is motivated to move beyond its comfort zone. A merciful heart can go out and meet others ready to embrace everyone. A merciful heart is able to be a place of refuge for those who are without a home or have lost their home; it is able to build a home and a family for those forced to emigrate; it knows the meaning of tenderness and compassion. A merciful heart can share its bread with the hungry and welcome refugees and migrants. To say the word “mercy is to speak of opportunity, future, commitment, trust, openness, hospitality, compassion and dreams.” Pope Francis, World Youth Day, Poland, 28th July 2016

Video – Watch and listen to Fr. Richard Elson

Prayerfully read this passage from the Gospel of Mark 10:46-52 in this PDF

Week Beginning October 17th
29th Sunday of Ordinary Time


Before you begin, read this extract from ‘Rule for A New Brother’ (Author ANON)

What love is you can learn from Jesus.
He is the one who has loved most. He will teach you to put the centre of yourself outside. For no man has greater love than he who lays down his life for his friends. He will also teach you to be unlimited space for others, invitation and openness: ‘Come to me, all who are weary and over-burdened and I will give you rest.’
So be converted to love every day. Change all your energies, all your potential, into selfless gifts for the other person. Then you yourself will be changed from within and through you God’s Kingdom will break into the world.

Video – Watch and listen to Bishop Declan Lang

Prayerfully read this passage from the Gospel of Mark 10:35-45

Prayerfully read this passage from the Gospel of Mark 10:2-16 in this PDF

Week Beginning October 10th
28th Sunday of Ordinary Time


Before you begin read this extract from ‘Let us Dream’ by Pope Francis:

“Sometimes, when you think globally, you can be paralyzed: there are so many places
of apparently ceaseless conflict, there’s so much suffering and need. I find it helps to
focus on concrete situations: you see faces looking for life and love in the reality of
each person, of each people. You see hope written in the story of every nation, glorious because it’s a story of sacrifice, of daily struggle, of lives broken in self-sacrifice. So rather than overwhelm you, it invites you to ponder and to respond with hope.” (p11)

Video – Watch and listen to Canon Gregory Grant

Prayerfully read this passage from the Gospel of Mark 10:2-16 in this PDF

Week Beginning October 3rd
27th Sunday of Ordinary Time


Before you begin read this reflection by Pope Francis on marriage and family life:

‘Today I would like to focus our attention on another reality: how to take care of those who, after an irreversible failure of their matrimonial bond, have entered into a new union.
The Church is fully aware that such a situation is contrary to the Christian Sacrament. However, her gaze as a teacher always draws from a mother’s heart; a heart which, enlivened by the Holy Spirit, always seeks the good and the salvation of the people. This is why she feels obliged, “for the sake of truth”, to “exercise careful discernment of situations”. This is how St John Paul II expressed it in the Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (n. 84), giving as an example the difference between one subjected to separation compared to one who has caused it. This discernment has to be made.

If we then also look at these new bonds through the eyes of the young sons and daughters — and the little ones watch — through the eyes of the children, we are aware of a greater urgency to foster a true welcome for these families in our communities. For this reason, it is important that the style of the community, its language, its attitudes, always be attentive to people, starting with the little ones. They are the ones who suffer the most in these situations. After all, how can we encourage these parents to do everything possible to raise their children in the Christian life, to give them an example of committed and exercised faith, if we keep them at arm’s length from the life of the community, as if they are excommunicated? We must act in a way so as not to add even more to the burdens which the children in these situations already feel they have to bear! Unfortunately, the number of these children and youth is really large. It is important for them to feel the Church as loving mother to all, always ready to listen and to meet.

Video – Watch and listen to Fr. Stephen Corrigan

Prayerfully read this passage from the Gospel of Mark 10:2-16 in this PDF

Week Beginning September 26th
26th Sunday of Ordinary Time


Before you begin, read this from ‘Message of his Holiness Pope Francis for the 107th world day of migrants and refugees 2021’:

The Catholic faithful are called to work together, each in the midst of his or her own community, to make the Church become ever more inclusive as she carries out the mission entrusted to the Apostles by Jesus Christ: “As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment” (Mt 10:7-8).
In our day, the Church is called to go out into the streets of every existential periphery in order to heal wounds and to seek out the straying, without prejudice or fear, without proselytising, but ready to widen her tent to embrace everyone. Among those dwelling in those existential peripheries, we find many migrants and refugees, displaced persons and victims of trafficking, to whom the Lord wants his love to be manifested and his salvation preached. “The current influx of migrants can be seen as a new “frontier” for mission, a privileged opportunity to proclaim Jesus Christ and the Gospel message at home, and to bear concrete witness to the Christian faith in a spirit of charity and profound esteem for other religious communities. The encounter with migrants and refugees of other denominations and religions represents a fertile ground for the growth of open and enriching ecumenical and interreligious dialogue” (Address to the National Directors of Pastoral Care for Migrants, 22 September 2017).

Video – Watch and listen to Canon Michael Fitzpatrick

Prayerfully read this passage from the Gospel of Mark 8:27-35 in this PDF

Week Beginning September 19th
25th Sunday of Ordinary Time


Before you begin the reflection:

“Be shepherds, with the odour of the sheep , make it real, as shepherds among your flock, fishers of men.” Pope Francis, Homily, 28th March 2013
“For leadership there is only one road: service. There is no other way. If you have many qualities , the ability to communicate, etc. , but you are not a servant, your leadership will fail, it is useless, it has not power to gather [people] together… Leadership must enter into service, but with a personal love for the people.”

Pope Francis, Address, 12th May 2014

Video – Watch and listen to Fr. Gary Brassington

Prayerfully read this passage from the Gospel of Mark 8:27-35 in this PDF

Week Beginning September 12th
24th Sunday of Ordinary Time


Before you begin the reflection:

Today, thank God, many young people in parishes, schools, movements often go out to spend time with the elderly and infirm, or to visit poor neighbourhoods, or to meet people’s needs through “nights of charity”. Very often, they come to realise that there they receive much more than what they give. We grow in wisdom and maturity when we take time to touch the suffering of others. The poor have a hidden wisdom and, with a few simple words, they can help us discover unexpected values.

Pope Francis (Christus Vivit 171)

Video – Watch and listen to Fr. Michael Healy

Prayerfully read this passage from the Gospel of Mark 8:27-35 in this PDF

Week Beginning September 5th
23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time


Before you begin the prayer…

There has been much talk about everything getting back to normal now that the pandemic appears to be receding. However, to simply believe that we just go back to how we were, has the potential for us to miss an opportunity to ‘refresh, renew and re-engage’ as parish communities. We are all different people because of the pandemic. Lives have changed. It is true to say that the pandemic has made many of us stop and think. Do we just want to return to how things were? What might we hold onto and what might we let go of? There is much to ponder. If we do want to embrace the new world, we are being offered we will need to have open hearts and open minds, confidence, hope and above all faith that God is on this journey with us. As we move through this new series of ‘Dare to Dream’, let us pray that we have the courage to respond with generous hearts to all that the Lord is asking of us. May we see the needs of others and put them before our own personal desires. Jesus says to us ‘Ephphatha’, ‘be opened’, so let us allow the Holy Spirit to move where she wants to move that the Lord’s will be done now and, in the years ahead, for us, the people of Clifton Diocese.

Video – Watch and listen to Fr. Thomas Lawes

Prayerfully read this passage from the Gospel of Mark 7:31-3 in this PDF

Previous series of ‘Dare to Dream’ can be found here