Over the weekend, Ealing Abbey hosted their second workshop on Landings, a pioneering scheme for training groups of lay people to welcome returning Catholics back to the Church. Dom James Leachman (UK Landings Director) and Pauline Gilbertson (UK Landings Co-ordinator) led the workshop with other members of Ealing Abbey's Landings team.
Representatives came from the Dioceses of Hexham and Newcastle, Brentwood and Westminster, as well as parish as far afield as the Isle of Wight.
Two Redemptorist priests from County Galway who are keen to introduce Landings to the West of Ireland also took part. As a result of Ealing Abbey's first Landings workshop last June led by Fr Jac Campbell, the Founder and International Director of Landings and Joan Horn, the USA Co-ordinator, and two subsequent workshops for the Diocese of Portsmouth this April, a number of parishes in the UK have started Landings groups and found that the process of faithsharing and prayer around which the programme is centred benefits not only the 'returning' Catholics but also the 'welcoming' members of the group, drawn from ordinary parishioners.
One participant wrote "I can't think of anything more to say about Landings than that it was a deeply moving, spiritual and joyful experience". Another, returning via Landings to the Sacraments after a long absence, said that Landings "was what I have been looking for in the Catholic Church for many years". Later this year two Landings workshops are scheduled in the Diocese of Salford on November 9, and the Diocese of Southwark on November 15 and 16.
Space permitting, groups from other dioceses will be welcome to register. In 2003 further Landings workshops are planned in the Dioceses of Brentwood and Westminster. For further details contact Pauline Gilbertson, Landings UK Co-ordinator, c/o St Benedict's Parish Office, 2 Marchwood Crescent, London W5 2DZ e-mail: LandingsUK@hotmail.com. The Landings website address is: www.landings-international.org/