This Advent season, we commemorate the birth of Love in a humble stable. As we travel through this Advent, we ready our hearts to welcome the Christ Child just as the manger embraced Him.

In the Gospel narratives, we hear of the family displaced from their home, finding solace in a humble stable, cradling their newborn amidst the simplicity of their surroundings. This Holy Family, vulnerable yet resilient, resonates profoundly, urging us to reach out to those facing hardships during this Advent season. It prompts us to remember that amidst the festivities, there are individuals and families across Essex and East London experiencing great difficulties, requiring our support, kindness, and care.

Numerous charities persist in their efforts to aid the most vulnerable in our communities, and they rely on our collective support. Please scroll down to access links to many charities in need of your generosity and time this Advent.

Caritas Diocese of Brentwood is inviting you to collect items throughout Advent, by following our Reverse Advent Calendar.

All the items you collect can be placed into a box or container, wrapped or decorated for Christmas, and then donated to your local foodbank just in time for Christmas. If you need assistance finding your local foodbank, you can search on the Trussell Trust Website by clicking here. Whether you are an individual, family, catechist, chaplain, teacher, or Parish Priest, please do let us know if and how you are taking part by emailing [email protected]

Here are some links to other Advent resources, being provided by various charities:

If you know of other resources we could share, please email [email protected]

Click on the logos below to go directly to the web page of each charity and discover how you can support their work with an alternative Christmas gift this year.