Over 40 CAFOD supporters and volunteers from 16 parishes across mostly the southern part of the diocese attended the Supporters’ briefing on Saturday at St Teresa’s, Beaconsfield. Thank you to all who joined us. It was fantastic to see so many of you there! Go CAFOD Northampton!
It was wonderful to see people mingle and chat before the day started
This was followed by a talk of CAFOD’s work in Bolivia, (our focus country this Harvest).
Damian Conlin (Head of Supporter Development) gave an update on donations received over the past year and how these funds have helped the world’s poorest to improve their lives. He also introduced the individual regular giving project called Hands On Altiplano which gives supporters an opportunity to journey with the community in Bolivia and be part of a project that helps transform their lives.
We went through the Harvest resources and were given suggestions of how to reach out and promote fast days in our parishes as well as to encourage more people to volunteer. Many of those present were surprised to hear that there was a variety of volunteering roles in CAFOD to suite various lifestyles and skills even within the parish.
We had a talk from Santi Trillo (CAFOD volunteer) who shared tips on how to give an effective talk when speaking at mass for CAFOD especially if it isn’t in one’s own parish.
We had time to share in groups on how to promote Gift Aid in parishes (CAFOD has raised over £42million in the past 25 years!), how to get others from the parish involved and how to go about organising campaign, fundraising and prayer events. There were great suggestions and it was really inspiring to hear what people have been up to in their parishes. Many found the group session very helpful and encouraging. Bruce from Guardian Angels Aylesbury said, “This is my first time attending such an event. It was really helpful and has inspired me to do more. Now I know what others are doing, I would like to plan some events in my parish as well as link with other volunteers in my pastoral area.”
We concluded the meeting with updates. We heard about the Speak Up Week of Action and parishes which had not yet taken up the opportunity to borrow the Lampedusa cross from the cathedral were encouraged to do so and to write messages of hope to refugees. All messages returned to CAFOD will be sent to refugees.
Most people left with a commitment of what they would do personally as a result of attending the meeting. Some said they would look at LiveSimply in 2017, others said they felt inspired to look at ideas with their local group and will want to highlight Gift Aid in their parish and still others felt motivated to get new people involved. A fantastic response!
If you couldn’t join us this at Beaconsfield, you can still join us at Ss Francis & Therese, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury, NORTHAMPTON NN4 0RZ on the 24 Sept from 10am – 1:30pm. If you can’t make any of our harvest briefings, do watch this video to see what a difference your regular giving can make.
Please also take a moment to download a special Harvest briefing to help you prepare for Harvest Fast Day (7 October). The main weekend of action for giving out the Fast Day envelopes and giving the short talk is usually the weekend before (so 1st and 2nd October) – but do check all this with Father first of course.
And don’t forget to join us online on Fast Day itself and hear from Nikki Evans, Programme Officer for Bolivia. There is a webinar at lunchtime : webinar at 1pm – 2pm:
Thanks St Teresa for hosting the event and well done to all who have promoted CAFOD’s work in their parishes. We could not do our great work without you! Thank you so much!