The Northampton Diocese and Oxford Deaneries Team were delighted to meet at All Saints Church in Bletchley for a Lent Briefing and Training Day led by David Brinn (schools prog volunteer coordinator).
In Northampton Diocese, we have 7 volunteers who cover our 45 catholic schools. In Oxford we have 2 volunteers who cover the 12 schools. We were delighted to have Sarah with us who is looking to volunteer in schools as well. Great to have you Sarah! We were also joined by two of our partners from the Philippines, Sweet and Jing, who were hoping to set up such a programme in their country.
After a welcome and opening reflection concentrating on the 6 additional beatitudes introduced by Pope Francis in 2016, we had an icebreaker and then heard about our visit figures and feedback from the Autumn term. This was was a very useful opportunity to share experiences of using the Autumn term assemblies and workshops with other volunteers.
At Harvest 2016, we visited 38% of schools which is above national average and a significant improvement over Harvest 2015 (16%). Oxford achieved an even better result with 41% of schools visited.
David introduced the materials “Turn little fish into BIG fish” for the Secondary Lent Fast Day Workshop and, in the afternoon, the Primary Lent Fast Day Assembly. Both sessions were an ideal chance to explore and share ideas for their use. It was great to have Kate’s son help with catching fish!
There was also opportunity to go through the workshop of “being a project manager” where we discussed what projects to support given limited resources. This really made us think how difficult it is when there is so much worth projects but funds are limited.
The day ended with an overview of the CAFOD schools team. All found the day very useful and inspirational and “we can’t wait to get going”.
Sweet and Jing were thrilled to have been there saying, “It was great to meet some of the volunteers and to hear what they do to inspire schools. We hope to set up a similar programme soon. Thank you so much for having invited us.”
To volunteer in schools or find out more, please visit our website or get in touch with Deborah Purfield 01844 274 723 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Ged Nolan – Education volunteer