Clifton launches Polish directory

 A new book for local Polish worshippers will be launched by the Clifton Diocese on Sunday 14 January - the 93rd World Day of Migrants and Refugees. The Clifton Diocese Polish Directory contains full details of all Polish Masses and Polish Priests in the Clifton Diocese and surrounding areas. The Clifton Diocese covers Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire. As well as Church information the Clifton Diocese Polish Directory gives practical details about organisations that could be of help to Polish migrants. The directory will be available in all parishes as well as Polish shops and other outlets. The directory is supported by a series of striking posters welcoming Polish worshippers to local Catholic churches. The posters saying, "Welcome to the Clifton Diocese", in Polish, and featuring Polish Saints and other images from Bristol's Our Lady of Ostrobrama Polish Church, will be put up in all Catholic churches across the Clifton Diocese. Dr Julia Verne, Director of Polski Bristol - a voluntary organisation supporting Poles in the West Country - welcomed the launch of the Clifton Diocese Polish Directory, saying: "Polish people often turn to the Catholic Church as a first port of call when seeking information. The Clifton Diocese Polish Directory will be very useful for parish priests in our area - allowing them to provide practical information to a hard working and devout community. "I'm delighted the directory will be launched on Sunday 14 January - the World Day of Migrants and Refugees. Pope Benedict XVI has written a special message on the theme of 'the emigrant family' which is particularly relevant as we support Polish people of all ages in different family circumstances, including those who are finding their feet integrating into our local communities." Local clergy highlight the usefulness of the directory and posters. Parish Priest of St Thomas More in Cheltenham, Father Mark Moran said: "As many people know, Polish people are increasingly contributing to our local communities and parishes. They bring an opportunity for us to welcome fellow Catholics and can give us new viewpoints from which we can better understand our faith. In return we can now offer them a concise collection of useful contacts and full details of Polish pastoral care in our areas. The Clifton Diocese Polish Directory will certainly help us in putting people in touch with the appropriate organisations. The posters are a striking example of what it means to be welcoming community - reaching out to our brothers and sisters." The Polish directory has been produced by the Clifton Diocese Justice and Peace Commission, a group of volunteers from the Catholic community. Members of the commission work on a variety of social justice issues and have been particularly concerned over the past few years with asylum and migration. Sister Moira McDowall, a member of the Clifton Diocese Justice and Peace Commission, said: "We have been delighted to work with the Polish community on this project and we know the directory is eagerly awaited in several parts of our diocese. Much of the information it contains is relevant to other migrant workers as well. Life as a migrant worker is a huge upheaval, wherever you come from, and we hope this directory will play a part in helping our parish communities welcome people from Poland and from all parts of the world, for as long as they stay here." The Clifton Diocese Polish Directory and welcoming posters will be available from and for further information you can email

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