Youth fundraising makes double the impact

As part of their school’s community challenge project, students Maria, Elvina and Sona decided to raise funds for CAFOD.  It was great timing as they managed to have their donations doubled by the UK government.  Thus having their donations making double the impact!

How did they raise funds?  By selling cakes in St. Edward’s Catholic Church in Kettering.  They sold the cakes on three consecutive Sundays after Easter and raised an amazing £160 from it!  They handed the cheque over to Fr Paul Gonsalves. 

Handing over the cheque for £160 to Fr Paul Gonsalves

Maria’s dad Zachariah very proudly said, “They put in a lot of effort and did really well.  They also enjoyed the experience.”

Big thanks to Maria, Elvina and Sona for enabling twice as many lives to be transformed.  Thanks also to your parents, friends and parishioners at St Edward’s who supported you.  You are an inspiration!

>> Click here to see more fun fundraising ideas


Central Beds Pilgrimage Stage 1 – Share the Journey

As in 2015, the Central Beds pastoral area organised another Easter walk over the 5 Saturdays after Easter under the very capable leadership of Alban Macdonald (CAFOD campaigner).  This time however, the focus was on the Share the Journey campaign.

Why this campaign? We are acting in response to Pope Francis’ concern for those who have been forced to flee from their homes.

The aim? A chance to reflect and an opportunity to send a powerful message that world leaders that they need to step up and agree ambitious new UN agreements on refugees and migration in September and beyond.

The target?  Together to walk the distance round the world – 24,900miles.  A gesture of solidarity.

>> Sign our petition to the PM and see how far we have walked

Pilgrims setting off on Stage 1 – Central Beds Share the Journey walk

Eleven people, plus a very well behaved dog, started this 9 mile Share the Journey pilgrimage from Gamlingay, which is just beyond the Boarder of Central Bedfordshire in Cambridgeshire, to Biggleswade.  This means about 110miles added to the totaliser!

Alban welcomed and thanked everyone for joining in in particular the 3 people who had committed to doing all five stages with Alban (200miles!). Well done all!

There were opening reflections in which all were invited to consider where they had come from (lots were from migrant backgrounds) and where they had journeyed to (most had been outside the UK).  He said, “Pope Francis is asking us to ‘welcome our brother and sister migrants and refugees with arms wide open’ and to call on world leaders to do the same when they develop new agreements on refugees and migration at the United Nations.  Today we are symbolically sharing the journey with those who have been forced to flee their homes.”

Alban used the CAFOD Share the Journey resources to give examples of some stories of refugees and this ended with a prayer.   Alban writes :

“The first part of the walk followed the well-established Greensands ridge walk which traversed the Everton Estate and then joined the public bridleway towards Deepdale ending at the RSPB lodge at the planned time of 12pm.

We were joined by Lucinda and Catherine for lunch and then took a leisurely stroll through the grounds of the RSPB, which was wonderfully peaceful. We thoroughly enjoyed scenes of their gardens in spring with daffodils and tulips flowering around us.

Beautiful RSPB Lodge where we stopped for lunch

From the RSPB we crossed Biggleswade common, negotiating the gates blocked by horses. We crossed below the North-East coast line railway and onto the banks of the River Ivel which we followed for about 2 miles to Biggleswade Mill.  We arrived at St Peter’s church Biggleswade to a warm welcome.  There Rosie Wiliams and Lyn Graves had some really tasty soup for us all to sample, together with Trish, Karen and Tim who joined us for the end of stage and final prayer.”

A big thank you to all those who participated in the walk, to those who prayed for the pilgrimage and to those who prepared refreshments and welcomed the pilgrims. A special thanks to Alban for organising and leading the group.  Your actions will show world leaders that they too need to step up now and agree ambitious new UN agreements on refugees and migration.

>> Can you organise a Share the Journey walk in your parish, school or group?  If so, please get in touch or visit the Share the Journey website.

Campaign volunteer uses every opportunity to Share the Journey

War, persecution, natural disaster and poverty have forced millions from their homes.  Inspired by Pope Francis to respond with compassion and call on governments to protect the human dignity of people on the move, CAFOD is asking all to join in a walk around the world to urge world leaders to step up to protect rights of refugees and migrants as part of the Share the Journey campaign.

> Sign our petition

Marie Pennell (centre) and four others at the start of their 20mile Share the Journey walk

Marie Pennell, an amazing campaigns volunteer – St Teresa Princes Risborough, is always looking for opportunities to raise issues of injustice and poverty and was keen to be part of this campaign.  No only that, she did what she is great at doing – inviting others to join her.  Together with the parish CAFOD group, Marie organised a sponsored, Share the Journey walk and has another one planned in June.  Wanting to do more she decided to take part in the Thames Valley 20mile walk and do it as part of the Share the Journey campaign.

Her husband Allan and 3 friends joined her and they set off early on 5 May passing some lovely bluebell woods.  They prayed for refugees and migrants during their walk and 7 hrs later, they completed their 20mile walk thus adding 80miles to the totaliser.

Well done Marie and those who walked with you.  You are all a wonderful inspiration!

Can you organise a walk in your parish, school or group?  Please get in touch