How might a parish Church benefit from Cursillo?

From the parish of All Souls’, Harlesden, the Revd Michael Moorhead writes:

Any church will want to offer its members study groups, prayer and house groups, retreats and so on for those who are being called by the Spirit to take things just that bit deeper. At All Souls Cursillo has played an important role in supporting and encouraging people on their spiritual journeys. It is, of course, not the only thing on offer and neither is it something everyone will see as attractive or necessary – but now well over twenty of our members have been on the weekend – many of them returning from it evidently renewed and strengthened in faith. Most of these are now in cell groups. The regular meeting of these cell groups is helpful in giving individuals the loving and prayerful support needed for the daily living out of their faith. This is particularly important because many of the leaders of our church are in these groups and these groups have also been helpful in throwing up new leaders. Two things that are important about Cursillo from the parish perspective: first, it is sacramentally based; and second, its focus remains the parish as the place of belonging and growth for the Christian.

About 20 members of All Souls' Church met to discuss how the parish and church benefited from membership of Cursillo. This is some of what was said:

  • Personal and spiritual growth:
    “spiritual empowerment”, “opened up my prayer life”, “taught me the power of prayer”, “gives me spiritual strength and bounce back”, “developed my listening skills”, “built up my spiritual confidence in God”, “I am able to hear God more”, “improved my prayer life.”

     
  • The Christian life:
    “able to understand the Bible better”, “brought about a change of personality and attitude”, “made certain concepts of Christianity understandable”, “gives me a clearer understanding of how to go about being a Christian”, “it has been a foundation to allow me to build up my spiritual life within the church.” 

     
  • Fellowship and love:
    “enjoy the friendship and sharing”, “teaches me about love and communication with others and with God”, “made me realise there is a far greater level of love – beyond human understanding”, “taught me to trust and believe more in others and myself and that God is real”, “I was given a spiritual companion/guide and this has meant a lot”, “I understand a lot more what God is love means.”

     
  • Leadership and mission:
    “given me confidence in evangelising”, “built and strengthened my faith in God and sharing God’s love with others”, “increased my leadership skills”, “improved my confidence in my communication skills.”

 Rosemia Brown

From the parish of St James, Clapton, the Revd Rosémia Brown writes:

Cursillo in the parish is essentially faith in action. Those who understand the mission and purpose of Cursillo are properly energised and motivated, and so they motivate others by example and encouragement.

They are a group of people who share and become the Good News in the parish. They are fruitful, not soft or cliquey, but confident and open in the service of Christ. For example:

  • They encourage and assist people coming forward for baptism, and talk to them about their faith.
  • They visit people who are not able to come to church regularly, and befriend them.
  • Others are involved in keeping the church open and welcoming people who just need space and some where quite to pray.
  • They also regularly visit local nursing homes and pray with the residents.
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