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!


Alistair Burt MP “Shares the Journey” with CAFOD volunteers

CAFOD, Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) and the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) have worked together to stage the exhibition, which opened on 5 December at the Palace of Westminster.  The exhibition demonstrates the work of the Catholic community and the three agencies in supporting refugees, both at home and overseas.Alban MacdonaId, an MP correspondent who was present at the exhibition writes:

Alistair Burt (MP) and Alban Macdonald at the Share the Journey exhibition in Westminster Palace

“I was honoured that my MP Alistair Burt, ( also Minister of Sate for International Development) should take time out of his busy Ministerial scheduled to meet me in Parliament and visit the CAFOD Share the Journey display.

Alistair Burt MP looking at messages of hope and welcome

The displays articulate the Roman Catholic response to the Refugee Crisis at home and across the world and how we are offering messages of hope and support to displaced people. I felt Alistair is really grounded and switched on to the Refugee issues and seemed impressed with our response too.  I hope to follow up this meeting by writing to Alistair and asking him to take specific actions to help further this cause.

Alban hands over the Power to Be petition cards to Alistair Burt MP

I also took the opportunity to outline briefly CAFOD’s Power to Be campaign which seeks to influence the World Bank to increase the amount of funding investment for small rural power sustainable energy. These rural areas are where the poorest people of the world live and so the benefits of having safe and renewable electricity can have the greatest impact there.  This will give these people a “jump start” out of the poverty trap.

> Sign CAFOD’s petition to the World Bank

Alban shares with Alistair Burt MP

I explained that I had recently spoken in my parish of St Peter’s Church in Biggleswade, – where Alistair’s regional office is located – and the people from the parish overwhelmingly supported this campaign; most of whom are Alistair’s constituents.  I was delighted that Alistair offered to take one letter (from over 160 letters I had with me) from one his constituents Mrs Catherine Spencer, addressed to Melanie Robinson (UK’s Executive Director to the World Bank).  Alistair promised to give it to her personally and ask her to respond to him as to why the World Bank should not adopt CAFOD’s proposals in this campaign.”

Thank you Alban and we look forward to hearing feedback back from you and await with baited breath to hear Alistair’ response from the World Bank.

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