In May and June, schoolchildren from across the Archdiocese joined staff and volunteers from Father Hudson’s Care to present the money they raised for the charity’s Good Shepherd Appeal.

The annual appeal sees children in around 200 Catholic schools raise funds to support Father Hudson’s work through sponsored events, bake sales, odd shoe days or simply by collecting coins.

At the end of the appeal, Father Hudson’s, with the support of schools and parishes, holds seven Good Shepherd Masses at churches across the Archdiocese. The Masses enable the schools to come together as one to worship and present their donations. It also offers an opportunity for Father Hudson’s to thank the schools for continuing to support the century-old appeal.

At each Mass schools led the music, read prayers and Bible verses, and took part in a bright offertory procession during which they presented their donations to the celebrant.

Andy Quinn, Father Hudson’s Chief Executive, said: “Much of what we do at Father Hudson’s helps bring people together who are alone – they may be refugees, asylum seekers, homeless people, older people, disabled people or those experiencing difficulties.

"No-one should be excluded from a joyful life. When any of our workers or volunteers spends time with someone, we hope they leave that person seeing things a little brighter and with greater hope for the future.”

He thanked the schools for their hard work raising funds that will support the charity in its work. He said, “The smallest act of kindness gives others a glimpse of God within us.”

The Good Shepherd Appeal runs each year in a tradition dating back to the early twentieth century, when children collected coins during Lent. It remains one of the most important means of raising funds for the charity’s work, collecting more than £60,000 each year. Thirteen schools have so far raised £1,000 or more, with many still to submit their collections.

Father Hudson’s Care is the principal social care agency of the Archdiocese, transforming the lives of people at their time of need. Children and young people find a listening ear and a helping hand in Family Support Workers, or a loving home through New Routes fostering service.

Adults affected by a childhood separation from their family of origin find support and answers through the Origins Service. People with disabilities, sensory impairments or learning difficulties find the care, understanding and support they need to live life to the fullest at St Vincent’s apartments, in the community, and in St Catherine’s Bungalows and Day Service.

Older people and those living with various types of dementia find a home from home in St Joseph’s, a residential community in Coleshill, North Warwickshire. Homeless people find their strengths recognised and feel empowered to make a fresh start, refugees and asylum seekers grasp the hand of welcome, and frail older people feel isolated no more thanks to Father Hudson’s Care and its community partners.

Photo gallery

Good Shepherd Masses