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


Bishop Peter shows solidarity with the World’s poorest

When Debbie Purfield met up with Bishop Peter Doyle for a catch up on CAFOD’s work in the diocese, she was keen for Bishop Peter to hear about the latest campaign – Power to Be calling on the World Bank to ensure renewable energy access for the world’s poorest people..

Bishop Peter Doyle signs the Power to be Petition

Bishop Peter was keen to support the campaign and signed a petition there and then to show his solidarity.

>> Sign our online petition

Bishop Peter also heard how several parishes like St Edward (Milton Keynes) and Sacred Heart (Leighton Buzzard) had invited their MP during the week of action to let them know about these issues and they held a card signing in their parishes as well.  Some like St Teresa (Princes Risborough) held a talk during the week of action while others are planning to hold the card signing later on in the year.

With the many changes taking place in the diocese over the coming months, it was good to hear how parishes were still keen to stand in solidarity with those living in poverty and take action.

Bishop Peter Doyle shows his solidarity of those living in poverty

 Bishop Peter said, “Thank you CAFOD for your untiring work of raising awareness of and supporting our brothers and sisters living in poverty through engagement in parishes and schools in our diocese. You do wonderful work and I am very grateful for all you do.”


>>  Find out more about what CAFOD does and how you can volunteer for CAFOD.


CAFOD Memorial Mass 2016 – Northampton Diocese

CAFOD is immensely blessed by the generosity and dedication of our supporters. Sadly, many of our supporters over the years have now passed away. Our Memorial Masses are one way we like to pay tribute to them and mark our appreciation for their years of generosity.  It provides an opportunity for volunteers, supporters, parishioners and members of the wider public to come together and celebrate their lives.

Memorial Mass at Sacred Heart Leighton Buzzard

Memorial Mass at Sacred Heart Leighton Buzzard

The 2016 Memorial mass for the Northampton Dioceses was held at Sacred Heart, Leighton Buzzard on 6 November and was organised by the J&P group.

There are memorial masses being held around the country in other dioceses if you would like to attend.

Theresa Short (organist at Sacred Heart) was delighted to be involved in the liturgy and writes :

Bob explains the Memorial Mass

Bob explains the Memorial Mass

“We were thrilled to host the annual CAFOD Memorial Mass in our parish celebrated by Parish Priest Fr John Danford.  Every year the names of deceased volunteers and supporters are collected in the books of remembrance. At the start of the mass, Bob Garrard (CAFOD parish contact) introduced and explained about the Memorial Mass.  The Book of Remembrance for the Northampton Diocese was then carried up by Jim Reuth whose wife Rhona had passed away earlier this year.   The book was placed on the altar throughout Mass.

Jim takes up the Book of Remembrance

Jim takes up the Book of Remembrance

The book includes the names of volunteers, supporters and benefactors of CAFOD, and those remembered by the Candlelight Fund. This is particularly poignant for our parish as Fr Stephen Reith, a former Parish Priest, is remembered through this Candlelight Fund.  Throughout his life Fr Steve was passionate about Justice and Peace, equality, helping the poor and less fortunate, and the work of CAFOD was always very close to his heart.  In fact, he decided that he wanted to help more actively with the anti-apartheid and he got permission from the Bishop in 1983 to join a movement which was made up of ordinary people who felt strongly about apartheid. Their pressure did help to bring about change and the Presidency of Nelson Mandela. Soon after Fr. Steve came back into parish life, in 1987, he was appointed Parish Priest of Sacred Heart, Leighton Buzzard, where he remained until his retirement in 2002.

Find out how to set up a candle light fund.

Bob, Jim and Fr John

Bob, Jim and Fr John

Also remembered are the many loyal and generous friends of CAFOD who are at the heart of the work over the years whether it be through prayers, donations, volunteering or campaigning. It is only because of their faith, hope and love, so freely given, that CAFOD, through their partners can help change lives around the world.

Refreshments after the memorial mass

Refreshments after the memorial mass

Special intercessory prayers were also offered in memory of all CAFOD supporters who have passed away.  Adding an extra musical touch to the Mass, the Psalm was sung by the recently formed ‘Sacred Heart Singers’ who also, after Communion, sang ‘I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say’, set to the beautiful tune of Dives and Lazarus by Vaughan Williams.  As is the normal Sunday morning practice, refreshments were shared afterwards in the Parish Hall. ”

Debbie Purfield, CAFOD coordinator for the Northampton Diocese said, “The mass was a wonderful opportunity to pay tribute to the brilliant people who have been at the heart of our work: inspirational volunteers and supporters who found time to offer love, practical support and prayers to the world’s most vulnerable communities. They are such an inspiration and we are better because of them.”

 Visit our website to find out more about our candlelight fund.