The joint CAFOD group at St Teresa (Beaconsfield) and St Dunstan (Bourne End) Parishes have been promoting a greater understanding of the plight of those in the developing world since the group started in December 2014. Innovative fundraising activities during Lent raised over £7000 – which matched by the UK Government. Now they are back with another creative idea to get the parish not only to give money but to be in solidarity with people in developing countries. What are they involved with? CAFOD’s Connect 2 (C2) scheme. C2 is an exciting way to hear directly from local people in 4 countries who are fighting injustice and poverty. Supporters in the UK can find out how their support is changing lives in one of these countries and how CAFOD’s partners are making a real difference. Parishioners were handed a 2p piece along with a C2 leaflet as they entered Mass. “It was great to see the surprised and puzzled look on their faces” mused Fr Francis Higgins (parish priest). Members of the CAFOD group gave a short talk during the homily slot where all was explained. Everyone was then invited to come forward and ‘vote’ for their Country of choice by placing their 2p piece in the appropriately labelled glass jar. “The same jars were used in all Masses in both parishes so it was possible to see how the voting was progressing; this was an excellent way of making the two Parishes feel closer together” added Mike Coote, one of the group members.
Parishioners voted overwhelmingly to build a rapport with a community in El Salvador. This is a country where a quarter of children are malnourished and three out if four families have no access to clean water or electricity. CAFOD is working with the people of Puentecitos supporting the local Jesuit Development Service to train farmers to develop new ways to earn money, creating a better life for their families. Well done to all. We love your fantastic and creative ideas! Watch out for further amazing ideas from the group and parish!