Catholic Charismatic Renewal
and its Expression in England

 

The Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR)
The Central Goals of the CCR

International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (ICCRS)

The National Service Committee for Charismatic Renewal in England (NSC)

 



  The Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR)

The CCR is not a single, unified worldwide movement. It does not have a single founder or group of founders as many other movements do. It has no membership lists. It is a highly diverse collection of individuals, groups and activities, often quite independent of one another, in different stages and modes of development and with differing emphases, that nevertheless share the same fundamental experience and espouse the same general goals. This pattern of loose-knit relationships is found at the diocesan and national levels as well as on the international level. The relationships are very often characterised by free association, dialogue, and collaboration rather than by integration into an ordered structure. Leadership is characterised by offering service to those who want it rather than by governance.

 

 

The Central Goals of the CCR

1. To foster mature and continuous personal conversion to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.

2. To foster a decisive personal receptivity to the person, presence. and power of the Holy Spirit.

These two spiritual graces are often experienced together in what is called in different parts of the world a Baptism in the Holy Spirit. a Release of the Holy Spirit. or a Renewal of the Holy Spirit. They are most often understood as a personal acceptance of the graces of Christian initiation and as an empowering for personal Christian service in the Church and in the world.

3. To foster the reception and use of the spiritual gifts (charismata) not only in the Charismatic Renewal but also in the broader Church. These gifts, ordinary and extraordinary. are abundantly found among laity, religious and clergy. Their proper understanding and use in harmony with other elements of Church life is a source of strength for Christians on their journey towards holiness and in the carrying out of their mission.

4. To foster the work of evangelisation in the power of the Holy Spirit: Spirit. including the evangelisation of the unchurched, the re-evangelisation of nominal Christians, and the evangelisa-tion of culture and social structures. The Renewal especially promotes sharing in the Church's mission by proclaiming the Gospel in word and deed, and by bearing witness to Jesus Christ through personal testimony and through those works of faith and justice to which each one is called.

5. To foster an ongoing growth in holiness through the proper integration of these charismatic emphases with the full life of the Church. This is accomplished through participation in u rich sacramental and liturgical life. appreciation of the tradition of Catholic prayer and spirituality. ongoing formation in Catholic doctrine guided by the Church's magisterium. and participation in the pastoral plan of the Church.

These goals and the projects that flow from them have marked the CCR in individuals, prayer groups and communities, and in local, diocesan and national service teams and ministries.

 

 

International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (ICCRS)

In order to serve the worldwide needs for communication, co-operation. and co-ordination, a Council and International Office were set up in 1978 under the auspices of Cardinal Leon Joseph Suenens. named by Pope Paul VI as his Episcopal Advisor to the Renewal on the international level. Since 1978 the Council has developed an international organisation which on the one hand promotes communication and co-operation for the international Renewal with the Holy See. This organisation is known as ICCRS -International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services - and has received formal recognition by the Pontifical Council for the Laity as a body for the promotion of the CCR with a juridical personality according to Canon 116. The Statutes of ICCRS were approved by the Pontifical Council for the Laity in the Vatican on 14th September 1993.

In pursuing its goals and objectives ICCRS seeks to offer helpful service to the CCR by gathering wisdom, insight and experience from around the world. and in turn making it available worldwide. When ICCRS presents teaching or pastoral advice, issues guidelines. or offers on-site training. it does so as a servant offering help. not as an authority expecting compliance.

In relating to national and local expressions of the CCR, ICCRS desires to stress its commitment to this servant role. It has, therefore, an authority of service, a certain moral authority. but does not seek to impose its authority -only to offer its services. The relation-ship between ICCRS and national and local expressions of the CCR in no way limits the relationships between renewal groups and their local and national bishops. Nor does the relationship with ICCRS in any way limit the freedom of any individual or group in the CCR to relate to the Holy See.

[Thee National Service Committee (NSC) for Catholic Charismatic Renewal in England accepts and endorses the above statements of the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (ICCRS), which form part of the Statutes at ICCRS]

 

 


The National Service Committee for Charismatic Renewal in England (NSC)


The NSC is at the national level the principal co-ordinating organisation of the CCR in England. Its mission is service, communication, and promotion of the CCR in England under the Holy Spirit's action, and in close contact with the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales primarily through its Episcopal Advisor, Bishop Ambrose Griffiths.

In most dioceses in England, the bishop has given approval for the formation of a Diocesan Service Committee (DSC) which functions at a local level in a similar way to the NSC, offering service and assistance to the prayer groups and other local expressions of charismatic life. In some areas there are regional offices of the CCR, new communities, special ministries and services, or courses and programmes undertaken or provided by those actively involved in the CCR. The NSC maintains a close relationship with all these bodies as well as with the DSCs.

The NSC has a special concern for the faithfulness to the Catholic Church of those served by the CCR, both individuals and groups, for their obedience to their bishops, and to the teaching of the Church. However, whilst preserving its Catholic identity, the NSC maintains fraternal bonds and relationships with other Christian communities and takes part in ecumenical activities in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the Church.

In offering its services to the Church, primarily to and through Diocesan Service Committees (DSCs), regional offices, local representatives, and prayer groups, the NSC is supported and enabled by a charitable trust for Charismatic Renewal in England and Wales (CREW Trust). The Trust and the NSC both exist to promote a living faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and to work for renewal and growth in the Catholic Church in England in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Trustees of CREW Trust are made up of four members of the NSC assisted by three financial advisers.

In its mission, the NSC shares the central goals and objectives of the worldwide CCR, and seeks to follow the pattern of communication, co-operation, and service laid down by ICCRS as described earlier. To carry out Its mission in England, the work of the NSC through CREW Trust includes:

Teaching and Communication

+ The bi-monthly publication of GOODNEWS

+ The supply of Christian books, tapes and videos

+ Provision of local and national information I communication structures

+ The publicising of CCR events, locally and nationally

+ Speaking I writing about or on behalf of the CCR

 

Meetings, Conferences, Retreats

+ The organisation of regional meetings and conferences

+ The sponsorship of an annual retreat for bishops, priests, deacons

+ The organisation of special conferences for the training of leaders

+ Financial assistance for CCR leaders attending international events

+ Participation by NSC members in European and worldwide CCR events

 

Special Initiatives

+ The support of the Youth Network and ‘Celebrate’ family conference.

+ The promotion of ALPHA through the Catholic Alpha Office.

+ Financial help for new projects

 

Contacts with the hierarchy

+ With the President and other members of the Bishops' Conference

+ With diocesan bishops through Diocesan Service Committees (DSCs)

+ With the Holy See through ICCRS and the NSC Chairman

 

Structure of the NSC

The NSC meets at least three times a year, normally for 2 days. The meetings include times of prayer, praise, adoration; listen mg and the exercise of gifts of prophecy; celebrations of the Eucharist; personal sharing; reports on regions and activities; discernment of spiritual questions / initiatives; planning of NSC events; decisions on staff, business, and financial matters; requests and advice to CREW Trust; fellowship and ministry.

Sub-committees for special activities/projects may be appointed and may include non-NS members. They will present regular reports to the NSC.

An Executive Committee (the Chairman and up to 4 members chosen by the NSC) may be appointed for specific tasks with agreed terms of reference.

In everything the NSC and CREW Trust do we seek the Lord's guidance in prayer and discernment, and we ask his blessing on our work. Without him we could do nothing. In human terms, we owe any success in our mission to the dedicated members, staff, and volunteers who so generously support our work with their finances and their prayers. This support is an eloquent manifestation of the presence and work of the Holy Spirit in our midst today. In the words of Pope John Paul II on 15th May 1987:

“The vigour and fruits of the Renewal certainly testify to the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church during these years following the Second Vatican Council. The Spirit has, of course, guided the Church in every age bringing forth a great variety of gifts among the faithful.

Thanks to the Spirit, the Church constantly keeps her youth and vitality. And the Charismatic Renewal is an eloquent manifestation of this vitality today, a vigorous affirmation of ‘what the Spirit is saying to the Churches’ (Rev 2:7) as we draw near to the end of the second millennium."

This document was drawn up by the NSC, February 1998