Friday marked CAFOD’s Lent Fast Day, a tradition that started in the 1960s and for which support has continued to grow. I, like many others, used the Fast Day as a time of reflection, and fundraising to help those in need.
This year the Lent appeal is focused on providing clean and safe water across the world. Yet, the work goes further than simply providing the means to get water. It also involves education about sanitation and practical training meaning that if the water pumps need maintaining, they will have the knowledge to fix the problem themselves.
Furthermore, fundraising for the Lent appeal has been awarded match funding, up to the value of £3.5 million, meaning that every pound raised is doubled.
Parishes all over the Northampton Diocese have been getting involved in the Lent appeal:
Parishioners at St. Dunstan’s in Bourne End, and St. Teresa’s in Beaconsfield are holding soup lunches every Friday in Lent.
Jeff Wellington a parishioner at St Dunstan’s Parish, Bourne End said:
“The lunches have been going for 10 years on each Friday in Lent (excluding Good Friday). In the early days, it was good to raise £800 but now we raise over £1000 during each Lent. The lunch follows midday Mass and Parishioners offer to make the soups and they are always homemade and delicious.
“A different team of helpers cover each week so we share out the load. They are popular as sometimes we have as many as 50 people. All the money donated goes to CAFOD and we have a reflection just before each lunch to remind us where the money will go and to think of those less fortunate that ourselves who might benefit. This is a wonderful sociable occasion.”
St. Joseph’s in Gerrards Cross, St. Joseph’s in Bedford, and Our Lady’s in Kempston are also holding soup lunches.
The money raised will enable taps to be turned on in villages across the world by repairing or providing water pumps and training in order to maintain them. Donations will also fund hygiene programmes, education in sanitation, and the building of latrines. Matched funds from the UK Government will enable access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene programmes to over 300,000 people in Uganda, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Donate to the Lent Appeal at cafod.org.uk/lent