Advent is a particularly busy time for us as we go about our work supporting families who may find that the season of Christmas is undermined by family tensions, bereavement or financial pressure.

Our aim during Advent is to try to focus attention on those families for whom Christmas may not be a particularly happy or joyful time and we are able to do this thanks to the support of parishes throughout the Diocese of Brentwood.

As families stand in front of their parish crib during the weeks of Advent and Christmastide, we are asking them to take a minute to think about the work we are doing supporting children, young people and their families.

Every donation made at the crib directly helps our work and we are truly grateful for this assistance.

If you would like to donate to our Diocesan Crib Appeal, you can choose to do so using any of the following methods:

  • Click here to donate £5 to our Crib Appeal
  • When visiting your parish church, you can make a cash donation in our Diocesan Crib Appeal box which will be on display in your parish throughout Advent
  • Using the camera on your smartphone, you can scan the QR code on our crib poster in your parish church to donate £5
  • Donate by sending a cheque, payable to BCCS to 133 High Street, Billericay, Essex CM12 9AB
  • Using your online banking, you can transfer your payment directly to our bank account. Please reference your payment Crib Appeal:

Account Name: Brentwood Catholic Childrens Society

Account Number: 31094130

Sort Code: 40 13 22

Thank you for supporting our Crib Appeal this year.

We would like to wish all our supporters and their families a very happy and joyful Christmas.

The message of Advent

Thousands of years ago, the faithful held fast to the prophecies that the Messiah would arrive, and they ardently hoped that God would fulfil His promises to them. The first week of Advent honours that longing. We are encouraged to contemplate His coming and to reach out to Him knowing that He will lead us through the darkness.

With your support we can offer hope by providing fully trained dedicated professionals to guide, support, help, listen, and nurture children and young people through difficult times.

We are called to prepare for the coming of the Lord. We reflect on the messages of repentance and forgiveness that John the Baptist preached as he prepared the way for Jesus. During this week, we are asked to call on God to move us to action for He will answer if we do so.

The pressures on young people have never been greater and the scale of the mental health issues they face is enormous. We work on the front-line of dealing with this and we are grateful for the support of schools, parishes and individuals throughout Essex and East London.

The week begins with Gaudete Sunday. This is the turning point in Advent where we move from hope and preparation to rejoicing. Gaudete means “rejoice” in Latin. The spirit of the Advent celebration lightens. This week is a time to be joyous because salvation is at hand.

We work in over 100 schools, supporting thousands of children and families. Every day we see the difference our work can make to children and those closest to them and it is a great joy to see a child become more resilient, content and able to cope with life.

In this last week before Christmas, we focus on God’s love as we prepare for the Good News. After all, there is no greater love than His. We focus on the love and faithfulness of Joseph to both God and Mary, for even though Jesus was God’s child, Joseph listened to God and cared for Him as his own.

Every day we help children to overcome hurdles that life places in their way and it is a privilege to do so. With your support, we will continue to help those children and young people who turn to us for our specialist care.