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!


Celebrating our long-standing volunteer Maureen Borbone

CAFOD was delighted to be able to celebrate with Maureen Borbone for her services as a volunteer for over 30 years! We had a special Papal blessing and Bishop Peter wrote a lovely thank you letter from the diocese.

Deborah presenting the Papal Blessing to Maureen

As Maureen hasn’t been well, Deborah Purfield (CAFOD coordinator Northampton) arranged for these to be presented to Maureen in her home saying, “Maureen doesn’t like a fuss at the best of times and I feel going over to her home with a few people would be better”.

Maureen has done lots not only in her parish of Holy Family and St John’s Luton, but around Luton and so it was wonderful that her friends and family were present to celebrate her years of devotion and support.  We had representatives from the parish, from Grassroots in Luton where she is heavily involved in, fellow volunteers as well as her sister, Bernadette.

Maureen Borbone delighted with her Papal Blessing for over 30 years of volunteering for CAFOD

Maureen has been promoting Fast Days at Holy Family and St John’s Luton for many years.  She started the “Bag of blessings” for Lent where people were handed bags at the start and Maureen collected their offerings at the end of the Lenten period which has gone to help further CAFOD’s work.  She was also a main instigator in organising the parish soup lunches which have drawn in lots of people from the parish and beyond.  These have raised a considerable amount for CAFOD over the years!

Not only has Maureen attended numerous CAFOD supporters’ days but has gone the extra mile to encourage others to come along with her by offering them lifts. On several occasions, she has also packed her car with Fairtrade goods to set up a stall at the event.

Maureen keen to get all to support Fairtrade

Being a very keen Fairtrade supporter, you can always see her using every opportunity to encourage people to support it.  For example, when we went to present her with her papal blessing, she was very keen to have us sign her petition to Sainsbury’s to ask them to move back to selling Fairtrade tea which they have moved away from.


>> Find out more and Sign the petition to Sainsbury’s

Maureen has also been a voice for the voiceless and has supported numerous CAFOD campaigns over the years.  She has raised awareness of the plight of those living with injustice and is a wonderful evangelist of the Gospel.

Sr Maire presented Maureen with a letter of thanks from Bishop Peter Doyle and which Maureen read out to all present.  She was moved to tears at its content.

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We thank God for you Maureen and for all you have done in your quiet yet very effective way over the years.  As Bishop Peter said in his letter, “ without people like you, the root causes of poverty cannot be tackled.. (we) want to thank you for all the years you have stood on the side of those living in poverty and for your great service to the Lord and His Church.  You are a wonderful example and witness to our Catholic faith in action and a great inspiration.”

>> Find out how you can volunteer for CAFOD


Our new Campaign coordinator – Ged Nolan

Ged Nolan is one of our amazing volunteers who has been a wonderful example of how to put one’s faith into action. Seeking a new purpose after retirement, Ged was inspired by CAFOD’s commitment to work with people who devote their lives to defending the rights of the poorest and most marginalised around the world.

Ged Nolan – a Volunteer with many hats!

Ged felt that his experienced in working with and providing aid to many people in Africa and Asia would come in handy.

Ged with other School volunteers at a training day

Ged came forward to volunteer for CAFOD as an Educational Volunteer in April 2015 when he saw it advertised in the parish newsletter.  He now visits local catholic schools, where he carries out assemblies and workshops. He has promoted CAFOD’s campaigns, such as ‘Power To Be‘, ‘Speak up for CAFOD‘ and the ‘Lampedusa Cross pilgrimage‘.

For Ged, the inclusion of young people into CAFOD’s work is vital to ensure that CAFOD’s mission and values carry on.

Ged in is office volunteer role

In late 2015, Ged offered to work in the volunteer centre as an office volunteer wanting to give more time to the cause he believed in so much.

Then in 2016, Ged agreed to be the Parish contact at his parish of St Joseph’s (Gerrads Cross).  Through this and his other roles, Ged was starting to get more familiar with CAFOD’s work and enjoyed liaising with other volunteers so stepping into the role of Area coordinator for the SE Bucks Pastoral area was an easy transition.

Ged having coordinator training from the campaigns team

In May 2017 he took on the role and hit the ground running.  He also signed up to be an MP correspondent! In July 2017 Ged allowed his arm to be twisted to take on the role of Campaign Coordinator for the Northampton Diocese as he was already doing that role to a small extent.

>> Find out about volunteering for CAFOD


Ged said he accepted this role because:

Ged supporting CAFOD campaign Power to Be


“ I am passionate about having the opportunity to stimulate, grow and help the existing and potential Campaign Volunteers.  Volunteers play a vital role in helping to change the root causes of injustice which keep our brothers and sisters living in poverty.  With their support we can help fight inequality and injustice”.



In his new role, Ged will be working closely with current campaign volunteers as well as those keen to support CAFOD campaigns in other ways. He will also network with parishes and other organisations to help maximise the impact of CAFOD campaigns.

Ged gives a talk about CAFOD’s work

Energising and training current volunteers, as well as enthusing people to join our campaigns will be another major aspect of Ged’s new role.

It is clear that Ged is motivated from the heart to help others. Once you have met Ged, it is impossible not to be moved by his compassion towards those around him, as well as his tremendous generosity in terms of time and effort.  He is always ready to lend a hand and has warmed himself to those whom he works with by his gentleness and good sense of humour.

Thank you Ged for all you do. You are a great example of the true spirit of CAFOD’s volunteers!

>> Fine out how you can volunteer for CAFOD