About caf0dn0rthampt0n

CAFOD Northampton supports CAFOD's work across the Northampton Diocese covering the Counties of Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire together with those parts of Berkshire north of the Thames. Working in partnership with volunteers and supporters, the Diocesan Office coordinates CAFOD's work at a local level in parishes, schools and community groups.

Fast Day fast approaching…

The next CAFOD Family Fast Day is on Friday 5 October.  CAFOD invites us to eat simply on that day – perhaps by swapping a tempting fish and chips takeaway for a humble bowl of soup, or skipping a meal altogether – and donate the money to charity.

 

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CAFOD organises two Family Fast Days each year (the Lent and Harvest Fast Days), and these are not only an important part of our work but also of our history as a Catholic charity. Fast Days go right back to the very beginnings of CAFOD, when in 1960 a group of Catholic women asked families to make an act of self-denial by cooking just one meal for the day and giving the money saved to feed the hungry. Even the children were invited to join in by giving up their sweets. The women were responding to a request from the people of the Caribbean island of Dominica to help raise funds for a mother-and-baby clinic.    Expecting to raise just a few hundred pounds, they raised over £6,000 – the equivalent of £96,000 today. It is wonderful to know that one of the founding members – Elspeth Orchard – was from our diocese of Northampton!

Gwen giving a Fast Day talk

Over the next couple of weeks, we are encouraging all parishes to have either the parish volunteer or reader share with the community this short talk so that they hear more about CAFOD’s work and how their support has and is making a real difference to people’s lives.

We are also asking if you will eat more simply.  Eating less and more simply isn’t always easy, but it’s a wonderful way of acting out our faith. By having a bowl of soup instead of a meal, and giving the money you save, you could give a family a bag of seeds to grow and feed themselves.  We are hoping to be able to reach out to more than the 1 in 3 projects which we currently don’t have the funds to do so.

How to donate:

Please look out for one of the Fast Day envelopes which will be in parishes over the next few weekends. Or you can also donate online here

Would like to be more involved? Why not help your parish celebrate Family Fast Day using some of our ideas and resources?

 

We continue to “Share the Journey”, now from Flitwick to Leighton Buzzard

There is no better time for the outdoors than the summer months, and joining a good cause can certainly increase the enjoyment.  At least, this is what seems to have spurred 30 parishioners form Sacred Heart in Flitwick and Leighton Buzzard to pop on the walking shoes on Saturday 21 July. Such was their enthusiasm that we’ve asked them to tell the experience in their own words. This is what they told us:

Leg 1 – Flitwick to Eversholt (Jim Aylward)

We brought together the two parishes served by Fr John Danford for this walk.  It was a glorious day and we started with a reading and blessing from Deacon Philip.

Opening prayer reflections by Deacon Philip – Share the Journey walk

The walk really had two purposes. First, to add miles to CAFOD’s totaliser and the Share the Journey campaign. Secondly, to raise money for the Just one House scheme operated by Refugees Welcome Milton Keynes.

Group from Filitwick on Share the Journey walk

Fr John and Anne-Marie walked the whole distance from Flitwick to Leighton Buzzard, and the 30 parishioners (of all ages!), including our official photographer Theresa, walked as far as Eversholt. Half of the group then walked back to Flitwick.

 

Our first short stop was at a beautiful shaded area where a wooden footbridge crosses the river Flit. There we had a reading of the testimony of Khodesa, one of the refugees featured in the CAFOD leaflet, and reflected on the contrast between her life and ours.

We walked on through fields of wheat ready to harvest, crossed the M1 (on a footbridge!) and reached Tingrith, where we had another short stop. We had a reading of the inspiring poem by Brian Bilston, which has a completely different meaning when the lines are read in reverse order.

We reached Eversholt just 15 minutes late, which was no small achievement, considering the hot temperature that day. There, the two groups from Flitwick and Eversholt met up, and Mary Flach led a service in the shade of the churchyard. We had readings of the testimony of Khodesa, Nazir, David, Manuel, and Mohammed, the five refugees featured in the CAFOD leaflets.  We had a period of quiet and reflection, following which Peter reminded us that many of those who died in the Grenfell Tower fire just over a year ago were migrants and refugees.  Fr John offered prayers for them, and for the refugee family we will help to house and support in Milton Keynes.

Stage 1 of Share the Journey walk from Flitwick

We had our picnic lunch at the cricket ground (or fine meal in the Green Man!).  Fr John and Anne-Marie then set off for Leighton Buzzard with their group, while we bade them farewell and set off on our return to sunny Flitwick.

Ready for next part of the Share the Journey walk

It was a joyous occasion, and we felt uplifted that we had contributed in some way to the CAFOD campaign to urge world leaders to ensure greater compassion and fairer treatment for migrants and refugees, and we made an encouraging star to our project to raise funds for Just one House.

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CAFOD helps schools deliver the RE Curriculum

CAFOD offers a huge amount of really helpful learning resources and St Thomas Aquinas School Bletchley have been using some of these in the ‘Come and See’ RE curriculum around the ‘Universal Church’ theme this term.  Cathy Stormonth – CAFOD Education volunteer was invited to deliver some workshops and writes:

We chose to deliver workshops to Years 6, 5 and 2 around some global themes

 Year 6  The Work of the Worldwide Christian Family for the ‘Common Good’
Pupils were asked ‘Is there a need for CAFOD?’ and given some shocking global statistics to help answer the question.

  • 767 million people live on less than £1.40p per day.
  • 63 million children will not attend school this year
  • 663 million people do not have access to safe drinking water
  • 2.3 billion people do not have access to a household toilet
  • 1.06 billion people have no access to electricity

It made pupils reflect on their own lives and count their blessings.  Student Madeleine said, ‘I will make sure I do my best at school because I am very lucky to be able to go so I shouldn’t waste the opportunity.’

Another Yr 6 student, Connie, noted, ‘I will do little things like saving water and electricity.  I can also donate money when I can.’

Year 6 pupils also noted that there are 7.6 billion people in the world and 1.27 billion of these are Catholics. This prompted pupils to deduce that with numbers on this scale it might be feasible for the Catholic church to help and support some of the poorest and most vulnerable people globally – and of course they are right.

Y6 showing off their work with Education volunteer Cathy Stormonth

This is the ‘Universal Church’.   Teacher Miss Brown was impressed with the quality of discussions and said,

‘The year 6 children really enjoyed the CAFOD session, learning the various statistics about poverty in our world really opened their eyes to the magnitude of the problem. They are thoughtful and caring children and their answers to different questions showed me how deeply they think about issues that not only affect themselves but also others. The session also showed them that they, as individuals, can do things that will cause a positive change in the world and taught them the importance of CAFOD’s role in doing this.’

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