From Bart Harrington in Liverpool
Bishop Brewer, Auxiliary of Shrewsbury, officially opened the new Catholic Family Advice Centre in the centre of Runcorn's new town Shopping City development on Wednesday of last week after Pontifical concelebrated High Mass in St. Edward's church. This means that the Church will really be going out into the market places.
A discreet location next to the lift on the Deck Level of the "City", and opening hours coinciding with those of most of the shops and services, mean that the Centre can he used by Catholics and non-Catholics alike for advice and guidance on all matters connected with the family.
An attempt is being made in one building to co-ordinate every service, including referral of clients for consultation with gynaecologists, psychologists and other welfare specialists.
Two Sisters of Evron. in their late 30s, will staff the Centre. Sister Mary is a qualified nurse and midwife and Sister Irene a qualified social worker. There will also be an experienced lay assistant.
TWO SERVICES Runcorn has been chosen by the Shrewsbury Diocesan Rescue Society because the town was already one of the two selected by Sir Keith Joseph, Minister of Health, for an experimental free contraceptive service.
Canon Hugh McHugh, the
diocesan Director, said the Centre would serve as "a help and guide for many needy people who are seeking leadership away from the many gimmicks that Runcorn has been subjected to.
He went on: "It will he for everyone, regardless of sex, age or religion. and will deal with every possible problem connected with the family.
"We may not have all the answers but we have a duty to make it known that we are still here and not being muted. Uwe don't take up the challenge now it might soon be too late."
Last year Shrewsbury diocese received national publicity for its offer to help any pregnant women, married or unmarried, Catholic or non-Catholic, who was tempted to consider abortion as a way out of an unwanted or unexpected pregnancy.
Establishment of the Centre, which will cost over 0,000 a year to run, is within the objective of a comprehensive Christian advice service.