Triathlon for Syria

For most university students, the summer is a time to take a much deserved break from study, relax, earn a bit of money, do some travelling and catch up with old school friends. But for Michael Jones, it is also an opportunity to put faith to action whilst having fun. On the 3 September, Michael is taking part in the Reading Triathlon 2017 and has chosen to raise funds for CAFODS’ Syria Appeal.

We asked Michael what inspired him to do the Triathlon and fundraise for CAFOD. This is what he told us:

Triatlon

I am an active person and wanted a physical and mental challenge for the summer before returning to university. I saw this as a perfect opportunity to raise money for charity, specifically one that supports Syria and its saddening crisis. I was deeply touched by the news coverage on the war and its devastating effect on men, women and particularly children. It made me aware of just how privileged I am to have a safe home, good health and endless opportunities. Since I was a young boy I have been involved in various CAFOD campaigns through my parish and school, so CAFOD was an obvious choice.

 

Michael aims to raise £1500. Any donations can be made online via this website and will be gratefully received. Please give generously if you can!

We will be following Michael closely and will report back in September, so watch this space!

>> For more fundraising ideas see our fundraising page

“Faith in Action” day at St Paul’s School

CAFOD Education volunteers Ged Nolan and Cathy Stormonth were excited to be attending the St Paul’s School Faith in Action Day with students from other Catholic secondary schools – Thornton College, St Thomas Becket, St Thomas More and Cardinal Newman and guests from Pax Christi, The Columbans, Young Christian Workers, Northampton Youth Ministry Office and of course CAFOD!

Ged and Cathy with Bishop Peter at the CAFOD stall

An exhibition stand was set up with all the latest information from CAFOD including information about CAFOD’s work using our Learning hub, the ‘Power to be’ campaign, how to run a Lampedusa Cross refugee pilgrimage, some general fundraising ideas and specific fundraising for Autumn Harvest and Christmas World Gifts and lots on Climate Change and about Pope Francis’ message to everyone – Laudato Si’.

Bishop Peter addresses delegates at Faith In Action day – St Paul’s School MK

The ‘Faith in Action’ day was opened by the Northampton Youth Ministry with a reading, prayer and time for reflection. Bishop Peter, who was in attendance, greeted everyone and was promptly asked some searching questions by the Youth Worker about why he was there and what he hoped to achieve that day? The interviewer also asked the students the same questions with much hilarity when students gave some frank answers such as ‘I’m attending because I’m missing lessons at school!’

Ged Nolan – CAFOD stall

The CAFOD stand attracted students who browsed the resources and took some away. Ged and Cathy were able to talk to students and give them some ideas about community service and fundraising.

The students left to go to their class-based ‘Faith in Action’ sessions and this left the teachers, other staff, Bishop Peter and Fr Tony Brennan for the ’Professionals in Attendance’ session with CAFOD. Ged gave some tips for the ‘Faith in Action Award’ and also explained how well the Power to be assemblies and workshops were going as schools wanted to learn more about the importance of sustainable and safe energy.  They described how having access renewable energy, solar panels, in a town in Kenya has helped transformed the lives of the community.  Children have the chance of a better education as they are able to study for longer periods and are empowered to realise their dreams and ambitions.  All agreed that they wanted to explore this powerful campaign further and adapt it to their schools’ needs.

>> Sign our Power to Be campaign petition

A discussion about the importance of Laudato Si’ ensued and the ongoing refugee crisis.  It was a useful discussion and it was clear that all schools attending wanted to work with CAFOD next year and praised the high quality of CAFOD resources.  Cathy and Ged were very pleased to hear this and are looking forward to working with schools in the year ahead.

A big thank you to St Paul’s for inviting CAFOD to be part of the “Faith in Action” day and to Schools’ volunteers Cathy and Ged for supporting the day and raising the plight of those living in poverty.

If you are interested in being a schools’ volunteer please get in touch northampton@cafod.org.uk

 

St Teresa’s gets walking for CAFOD

Spring is finally here.  The warm, gentle sunshine is irresistibly enticing. Whether it is barbecues, outdoor sports or gardening, we just want to be out and about. And if it is for a good cause, even better. This is why at St Teresa’s (Princes Risborough) we got our walking boots out on Sunday 7 May for our annual CAFOD sponsored walk.

St Teresa’s (Princes Risborough) all ready for the annual CAFOD Sponsored walk sponsored walk

The 24 walkers included the young and young at heart.  The walk started at the parish and headed up our part of the Chilterns in glorious sunshine.  So animated was the chatter that very few noticed the up hill climb, but for those who did, a few rustic benches provided a welcome opportunity to rest, get their breath back, restore their joints to working order and admire the fantastic views.  When we arrived at the top of Brush Hill there was a wonderful surprise: the wild bluebells were there in sheets, all opening in the Spring sunshine.  We walked on, greeting families of walkers and other more serious hikers, before following our leader, Marie, down the side of the golf course and back along the lanes to Monks Risborough.

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People found it such a lovely experience.

What a wonderful spread to come back to!

After the walk, we came back to a lovely spread:  home baked cakes and scones were waiting for us in the parish meeting room, including Nick Jepson’s first ever carrot cake! It was all so yummy!

 

Marie – parish volunteer

 

 

Marie (our CAFOD parish contact) said, “It was a really wonderful day and I am delighted we raised over £1,374 to help those in need”

An outstanding amount!  Well done to all who took part and those who supported the day.

>> For more fundraising ideas see our website