Saturday, 5 May 2007

Friars of the Renewal - Canning Town On Thursday we went to visit the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in Canning Town, East London. It's the second time that we've been, and a few of the friars have been involved in the SPES year in one way or another. Brother John Paul told us a bit about how the order began, when eight Capuchins decided in the eighties that they wanted to go back to a life more like that of the early Franciscans, that would be in line with Vatican II and that would witness to a renewal in the Church. The friars run a soup kitchen Monday to Thursday for those hard up, seeking jobs, or just lonely with no one to talk to... Many of the people who come are Eastern European immigrants (Lithuanian, Polish, Russian) who have come to find work. We stayed for a bit and helped out in the kitchen, talking to those who came. The friars also seem to play a lot of chess with one or two of the guys, and they have a basketball court where people can relax and shoot a few hoops! Though, in the true spirit of poverty, the ball is somewhat flat... Check out their website here.

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