CWL – Gerrards Cross supports CAFOD


The Catholic Women’s League (CWL) Gerrards Cross invited Debbie Purfield (CAFOD Northampton Coordinator) to give a talk about CAFOD’s work at their October meeting.

They heard how in 1960 members from the CWL and UCM ( Union of Catholic Mothers) heard about the then impoverished Caribbean island of Dominica where children were dying because of a lack of even the most basic healthcare and how they decided to raise funds for a mother & baby health programme.  They persuaded the National Board of Catholic Women to support them.  The hoped to raise £500 and ended up raising over £6000 which equates to £100k in today’s money!

“We were very keen that we should do it not just as a giving thing, but as a praying thing. We should really make an effort to remember people of the Third World, not just give them food and things but do what we could to support them,” said Elspeth Orchard (RIP) of Marlow in Buckinghamshire, one of the founding members of CAFOD, who in 1961 organised the first Family Fast Day.   Great to have one of CAFOD’s founders in our own diocese!


Hearing about CAFOD’s work not only in Emergency Relief but in Long Term Development, Advocacy and Campaigning, many said they didn’t realise that CAFOD did so much to help.

Francoise (CWL) said, “I really trust CAFOD’s work .”

Eileen Carkett (CWL secretary) said, “It was a real eye opener and we are proud to be part of CAFOD’s beginnings”.

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