St Teresa’s Primary School hear about CAFOD’s work

St Teresa Primary – Princes Risborough invites CAFOD in for an assembly

St Teresa primary school warmly welcomed CAFOD in to give an assembly.  Ged Nolan, CAFOD’s education volunteer, started off by asking the students if they knew what CAFOD stood for and explained what CAFOD did to fight injustices and help those living in poverty overseas.

Students learn what CAFOD stands for

Ged then focused on Pope Francis’ letter Laudato Si’ – Care for our Common Home – which was written not just for Catholics but to each person on the planet.  He mentioned some ways in which within the school and at home pupils could reduce their carbon footprint, save water, recycle and reduce plastic use.

Watch this very informative and fun video on the Pope’s letter to all:

Head Teacher Mrs Roberts asks students how they can be more environmentally friendly


Head Teacher, Mrs Roberts, then shared how the school was already recycling paper and replacing plastic straws with paper ones. All very good ways of caring for the environment.  Mrs Roberts also encouraged the children to find more ways in which the school could be environmentally-friendly.


It was wonderful to see how the students, when asked if they would take this further were so keen to do so and some were already coming up with good ideas.  Ged reminded them that it was not only in school but at home also where they could adopt good practices like turning the tap off when brushing teeth.  They children were keen to share what they had learnt with their parents.

Pupils at St Teresa’s (Princes Risborough) keen to make a difference

Before leaving, Ged challenged school to undertake a LiveSimple promise and perhaps work towards attaining the LiveSimply award.  Head Teacher, Mrs Roberts was very keen for the school to be involved in this as well as carry out some fundraising later in the year.  She said, “we will be delighted to have CAFOD back for further workshops.”

Thank you so much St Teresa’s for inviting CAFOD into your lovely school.  Thanks Ged for delivering the assembly.  We look forward to hearing how you get on with the LiveSimply challenge.

New CAFOD group at St Augustine Milton Keynes

St Augustine parish (Milton Keynes) warmly welcomed Deborah Purfield (CAFOD coordinator – Northampton Diocese) on the 18 February 2018 to give a short talk at all masses about CAFOD’s work and to offer opportunities for the community to put their faith into action.

“It was a real pleasure to be invited to St Augustine’s to thank the community personally for their support over the years and to let them know how their support has changed lives of communities overseas such as Marian from Zimbabwe”  says Deborah.

Some of the new CAFOD group members – St Augustine,Milton Keynes

The parish was wonderful in responding to this invitation and over 12 people from all three masses came forward.  One of these was Lynne’s teenage daughter.  Lynne recounts, “she urged me to come forward to sign up.  She has so much passion for Justice and Peace issues and is keen to promote it in this parish.  It is due to her that I am here.”  Lynne has since taken a step further and agreed to be the main parish contact for the parish which is fabulous! Thanks Lynne!

On 4 February despite the snow and problems on the road, most of those who signed up attended a short meeting to meet with the rest of the CAFOD group members and together to see how best to promote CAFOD’s work of prayer, fundraising and campaigning in the parish.

Lynne set herself the first task – to get the next 3 Fast Days into the parish diary so that a talk can be given the weekend before.

Several in the group said they were happy to make people aware of CAFOD’s work via talks.  Oliver was one such person and he said, “My job takes me out of the country during the weekday, but I can help at weekends.  Delivering talks is what I am very comfortable doing and doing it for CAFOD is really something I want to do.”

Two of the group members, Ka-Yee and Sally, are involved with youth and children’s liturgy and came up with great suggestions of children’s liturgy prayer and how they have and could continue supporting World Gifts and involve the whole parish too.

Each person was given information about being an MP correspondent and have shown interest in signing up for this as it is not a time-consuming role – 3 times a year!

>> Find out more and sign up here to be an MP correspondent


Pope Francis supporting those fleeing their homes

Deborah also mentioned CAFOD’s latest campaign Share the Journey, inspired by Pope Francis, and how the parish could be involved both with signing the petition and doing a walk of solidarity with people fleeing their homes.  The group were keen to support this campaign and will discuss how best to do it.

>> Sign our Share the Journey Petition

Thank you to Fathers Francis, Pius and Lijo for your welcome and continued support.   A very big thanks to those who came forward to volunteer.  It was so wonderful to see such dedication, willingness and commitment from each member of the group.  You are putting your faith into action by sharing your talent, time and skills to support our brothers and sisters living with injustice overseas.  Thank you for this.  You are all such an inspiration and encouragement!


What will you give up for Lent?

The Holy Communion group at St Teresa Beaconsfield & St Dunstan Bourne End has been reflecting on what they could give up this Lent to be closer to God.  Christine Murray, one of the catechists writes :

Our candidates for First Holy Communion meet monthly on a Saturday. Our February session was an ideal time to talk about the meaning of Lent, Prayer, Fasting and Alms Giving.  As CAFOD is our charity this year, we decided to use some of the amazing resources available on the website.

First Communion children hear about CAFOD’s “Give it up” challenge

At the session, we spoke about the meaning of Lent, in the context of Christ’s temptations and his forty days fast. The children were very knowledgeable  and there was a lively discussion about fasting; they said they would feel hungry and thirsty and even that they “might die at any second’!”. One of the older boys (9) told the group in no uncertain terms that “you would definitely die if you didn’t have water for a week!” After some reassuring remarks we went on to think about Jesus’ sacrifice for us all, in the Wilderness and on the Cross.

First communion children watch CAFOD’s video for Lent Fast Day on Zimbabwe

We then showed the CAFOD film about Svondo’s story; the children were fascinated and realised how blessed they were. One of them spoke about how people were starving in Africa. Another child’s family who was already collecting for another charity and were enthusiastic about fundraising for CAFOD, too.

>> See here for more fundraising ideas

The children thought about the “Give it Up” campaign with suggestions such as giving up their favourites treats. Some children said they tried last year but found it hard and could not keep it up.  Others thought they could give up bread sticks, Brussels sprouts and school!  The afternoon became serious with discussions as to whether or not it was possible to give up computer games. The prospect of such sacrifices did indeed mean something to them.

We felt it was important to help the children consider some more positive sacrifices: helping others, clearing up their toys, or just being kind to someone they don’t particularly like.  Raising money can happen if they know how much they can put towards a cause by not buying that chocolate bar, or by getting payment for good deeds.

We encouraged the children to raise money for CAFOD during Lent and they know that the UK government will match their donations.  The session finished with the children decorating their Alms boxes with enthusiasm. We shall see them again next month and continue to encourage them through their Lenten journey.

Great to hear all you are up to St Teresa and St Dunstan.  We look forward to hearing how you get on during Lent.

>>  Click here for prayer resources for Lent