Volunteer Spotlight – Anita Fildes
Written by Radio Maria England on 10/03/2021
Volunteer Spotlight: Anita Fildes
Why is your Faith important to you?
Faith enables me to grow in love, grow in wisdom, and grow in freedom. Christ died on the cross to give me these gifts. Every day I discover more what it means to build the kingdom of God and discover God’s love for me. I love the line in the Gospel where Jesus speaks to the Samaritan woman at the well and says ‘If only you knew what God is offering you…’ I am still discovering what God is offering me and how life giving are all the gifts that God gives.
Was there a period in your life when Faith became particularly important?
It has been important in every period of my life. At each stage of my life Jesus has been there, giving me bread for the journey. I sure need it! When my four children were growing up, I remember sitting in church one Sunday and listening to the readings. The first reading featured the moment when Solomon asked God for wisdom. (1 Kings 3: 9-15) God answers Solomon and says ‘As you have not asked for long life or wealth, I will give you a wise and discerning heart.’ I remember saying to God, well, I need you to give to me all the wisdom that you gave to Solomon if I am going to bring up four children in this world! (I’m secretly hoping that I am given a long life too!) I’m still on that journey of discerning how to nurture my children and manifest the Gospel to them.
What is your local Church and are you active in any of its groups?
I am part of the parish of St Edmund King and Martyr, Bury St Edmunds. I used to be involved with Children’s Liturgy. Alongside being involved in the regular catechesis for children in the Sunday Mass, the Children’s Liturgy team, that I have been part of, I have hosted family events during the year, such as Family Days in Lent and Advent and a Pentecost birthday party. We have also organized over the past few years, a very successful ‘Night of Light’ on 31st October, which has been great fun but also very powerful. I am also involved in preparing children to receive their First Holy Communion and more recently, I established a Youth Group for 11-14 year olds called ‘Chocolate Church.’
A friend of mine is a Christian and a Chocolatier, so we decided to nurture children in faith through chocolate! What could be better than Christianity and chocolate! (Well, maybe pizza as well – we have used pizza to teach children about some of the stories in the Bible and they get to take home a pizza too!) In previous years, the young people have invited their mums to Chocolate Church and they have made truffles together. On another occasion, the young people invited their fathers to Chocolate Church. We talked about the fatherhood of God and how God describes himself as a gardener. Each child then made chocolate flower pots, complete with chocolate soil and chocolate trees, with their dad. One child made a chocolate cactus with their dad. I’m not sure what that symbolised for them, but they were having a lot of fun!
What do you most enjoy about Church?
Faith, friendship and fellowship. I would be lost without it.
Why are you involved with Radio Maria? How did you hear about it, what are your hopes for this, would you encourage people to listen and why?
A friend invited me to become involved with Radio Maria and I am so glad I have discovered it. I hope that many more people will discover Radio Maria and the fantastic range of programmes that it has to offer. The range of programmes is so diverse and I believe that they appeal to diverse interests, such as the Science and Faith programme and Songs in the Wilderness. I am getting to that stage in life when I wake up at night and can’t get back to sleep! Since discovering Radio Maria, I use the App to locate a programme or music that can help me to pray in the quiet of the night. I love the fact that I can click on Radio Maria Australia in the early hours of the morning and participate in Mass or the Rosary or another feature. I heard a fantastic programme about a prison chaplain last week around three o’clock in the morning. All over the world, literally, the Spirit is moving!
If you would like to volunteer, please send us your details to Volunteers@RadioMariaEngland.uk