Northampton Diocese community invited to join virtual prayer for global community on the frontline of Coronavirus

In the face of lockdown, communities have been pulling together to adapt and connect in new ways.

We’ve been amazed at how you, our supporters, have come together – whether it be through the facebook community or at the Sunday Children’s Liturgy – and we have lots of virtual ways to keep you updated and connected to our global communities.

Our first virtual mass

Places of worship were among some of the many places forced to close as part of the fight in tackling the spread of COVID-19 but thanks to live-steaming technology, the Catholic community can still ‘congregate’ during the lockdown.

We’ve decided to hold our first ever live-steamed mass this Wednesday – and we would love for you to join us.

The mass, which will be celebrated by Fr Liam Hayes, will be taking place this Wednesday 1 April at 6pm, BST and you can register online before.

In addition to the CAFOD mass, local parishes and Cathedrals are also live-streaming services throughout the week. In our diocese there are virtual services in parishes and at the cathedral here:


Praying beyond mass

Our Theology team have published prayers on our website for all those affected by the Coronavirus outbreak.

We are also holding an online prayer and reflection session, followed by a virtual coffee morning.

Beginning at 11 am, we will be welcoming supporters from across the country to join us in prayer and there will be time to break out and discuss afterwards.

Please join us on Tuesday 7 April, 11 am-12 pm – and remember your brew! Sign up here: Prayer and chat


Online talks: COVID-19 and the impact on international development

 COVID-19 has now spread to every continent except Antarctica with confirmed cases in several African and Asian countries where CAFOD works.

 We are now hearing about the catastrophic situations that will arise if there was an outbreak of COVID-19 in developing countries with weaker healthcare systems, or in a refugee camp with limited handwashing facilities.

Through the church, we can reach communities that others can’t – and you can find out more on Thursday 2 April, 11 am-12 pm. Sign up here: COVID-19 and the impact on international development.

Final thoughts

We would really like to stay connected and reach out to our wider community. Do let us know if you’ve heard of any heart-warming stories from any Northampton diocese parishes that we could share or if you have any ideas about how to bring our community together.

Celebrating the life of a wonderful Parish Volunteer – Sue Yeomans

We are greatly saddened to hear that one of our amazing parish volunteers, Sue Yeomans, passed away early this month.  Sue was at our Lent 2020 Supporters’ Day welcoming and signing people in.  She also shared with the group what had been done in her parish and what was planned for this Lent.  One of her close friends from the parish, Kate Harper, writes:

Wonderful CAFOD parish volunteer – Sue Yeomans (RIP)

“Sue Yeomans, who was the CAFOD representative for St. Bernardine in Buckingham and St. Martin in Brackley, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on 5 March 2020 from a devastating heart attack.  Sue had only been in Buckingham for four years, having moved from London, to be near her sister but in that short time she achieved a huge amount of work which she undertook with infectious enthusiasm and joy.

As the CAFOD rep Sue delivered the regular fast day appeals.  She also cooked, knitted and gave her personal time and money to raising funds throughout the year for CAFOD.  At Christmas time, she organised an alternative method for parishioners to send greetings.  In lieu of Christmas cards, St, Bernardine published a magazine containing greetings to one another in return for donations to CAFOD’s World Gifts.  Sue took great pleasure in collating the messages and the donations went on water supplies, chickens, toilets, books etc.

Sue Yeomans’ knitted Easter chicks for CAFOD

Kate Harper’s grandchildren with Sue’s knitted chicks

Lent was a particularly busy time for Sue because that was when she knitted her Easter Chicks.  These little knitted characters contained a cream egg and they were sold by our youth group at their soup and bread frugal lunch for the parish in aid of CAFOD.  Sue’s sister Joan is hoping to continue that tradition next year but the ones Sue knitted this year, over 100, just before she died are so very special.

Sue’s faith was at the heart of all she did; she was a spiritual director, a Minister of the Eucharist, a Reader of the Word, a shining example of goodness in our midst. She leaves a huge gap in the lives of her sisters and brother and their children and grandchildren, as well as in the life of our parish.”

We shall certainly miss Sue who in her lifetime was so involved with promoting justice and peace.  Our thoughts and prayers go to her family and friends.  May she rest in peace.

>> If you would like to support CAFOD’s work, please click here


St. Martin de Porres, Luton – Amazonian efforts

First week in March, St. Martin de Porres Primary School in Luton kicked off their week with an Amazonian focus.

St Martin de Porres has a CAFOD assembly in Lent 2020

They began their assembly bewildered, with twenty children standing across the stage holding up pictures of football pitches. These children had no idea why one child was being red-carded every minute and had to sit out, but after introducing the children, Peter Haddon, CAFOD Education volunteer, soon told them that this was to represent the amount of Amazon rainforest destroyed every single minute in real life. Children were horrified at the thought of the equivalent of the whole Premier League’s football pitches being wiped out in a matter of minutes, but sadly, this is the reality.

CAFOD education volunteer Peter Haddon delivers school assembly

Year 5 children followed this up with a workshop to help them to learn more about the plight of the indigenous people around living in the area of the Amazon rainforest. They ended up adding a football theme to the Lenten activities that they run annually to support the work of CAFOD during Lent. An indoor penalty shoot-out game was very popular, along with other fun games and competitions organised and run by the children.

CAFOD Education volunteer Peter Haddon delivers a workshop with Year 5

Thank you for your support, St. Martin’s!

>> To sign our campaign petition click here