Missio and the Mill Hill Missionaries are very excited to be holding a series of special Mission Masses in each one of the new Pastoral Areas of the Clifton Diocese in 2024. In Volunteers’ Week we were happy to meet Dennis, from the Forest of Dean, who was receiving a special Gold service award for his 40 years of volunteering.

Our Mass in Gloucester on Wednesday 5 June was the third of our series of Masses around the Clifton Diocese, which are taking place throughout the summer and into the autumn. It felt especially fitting to chat with Dennis, Red Box Local Secretary for Our Lady of Victories, during Volunteers’ Week. Dennis has been volunteering with Missio since 1983!

Starting out

Dennis shares:

‘A local Priest, Father Frank Thompson, was doing a Red Box promotion in our church, back in 1983. I just put my name down to be a Promoter.’

But three years after Dennis started his work as a Promoter, the Parish Local Secretary moved away, and Dennis stepped up to join our 2,500-strong group of Red Box Local Secretaries and Treasurers across England and Wales. These wonderful people coordinate the collection and banking of Red Box money, organise the distribution of the Mission Today magazine, and represent Missio and the Mill Hill Missionaries in their parishes. They’re often a vital link between parishioners who can’t get out-and-about easily, visiting and chatting to them at home.

Every little bit helps

Like most of our Local Secretaries, Dennis is very modest about his vital contribution to the work of mission, but says he enjoys being a Local Secretary:

‘It’s doing my little bit. In the early days I went to some people’s houses and counted the Red Box money there. But I don’t do that so much now; most people bring the boxes to the Church. But there’s a couple of supporters that I still visit at home, because I’ve been visiting them right from the start.’

A well-earned reward!

Dennis was presented with his Gold Medal and certificate as a thank you for his 40 years of volunteering at the Mass in Gloucester. Fr Gerry Hastie MHM, who is Vicar General for the Mill Hill Missionaries in Europe & North America, concelebrated the Mass with Fr Gary Brassington, Diocesan Director for Missio in Clifton, and Fr Stephen Corrigan, Assistant Priest at St Peter’s Church, Gloucester.

Dennis shared that he was honoured to receive his Gold medal from Fr Gerry, and that he hopes to continue as Local Secretary for as long as possible.

Meanwhile Fr Gerry shared that he was delighted to be present on behalf of Missio and the Mill Hill Missionaries to present Dennis with his Gold medal. After Mass, Fr Gerry thanked the volunteers and supporters who give so much of their time and, like Dennis, dedicate their lives to being local missionaries in their parish communities.

Thank you so much, Dennis, and congratulations from all of us at Missio! We are so proud to have you as one of our volunteers!

Our amazing volunteers

Volunteers Week is a perfect time to say a big ‘thank you’ to wonderful people like Dennis, who help Missio and the Mill Hill Missionaries ignite God’s love here in England and Wales and around the world!

Our volunteers bring our global family together, sharing the work of missionaries overseas, encouraging people to pray and fundraise, collecting Red Boxes and delivering our Mission Today magazine, and helping to build our online community. Your support helps missionaries overseas continue to ignite God’s love in every corner of the world.

Find out how you can volunteer here>>