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!


Memorial Mass at St Francis of Assisi – Shefford 2017

CAFOD Memorial mass 2017 celebrated at St Francis of Assisi – Shefford

CAFOD is immensely blessed by the generosity and dedication of our volunteers and supporters.  Many of these wonderful people have passed away over the years. Our Memorial Masses are one way we like to pay tribute to them and mark our appreciation for their years of support and kindness.

We often speak to families who have chosen to support our work in memory of a relative or a friend.  By making such a special gift, families, neighbours, colleagues or pupils feel they are remembering their loved one in a positive, far-reaching and life-changing way.

>>  See our Remembrance Giving page for more information.

Jenny Hyde, Eileen Devereux , Anne Tasker and Margaret Rees – memorial mass organisers

Fr Bennie with Eileen Devereux (UCM)

Northampton Diocese celebrated our 2017 memorial mass at St Francis of Assisi – Shefford on the 26 November.  Parish priest, Fr Bennie Noonan was delighted to say the mass and with the support of Parish volunteer Jenny Hyde and the Union of Catholic Mother (UCM) the celebration went off so well.

Northampton Diocese Book of Remembrance

The names of deceased supporters and volunteers are collected each year in our Book of Remembrance and this was taken up by Alban Macdonald, parish volunteer at St Peter’s Biggleswade.  This showed how we are all one family working together for a common goal.. to eradicate poverty and injustice in our world! 

Alban noted, “Fr Bennie spoke passionately about CAFOD’s work and remembered all the dearly beloved who supported CAFOD’s work in their life.  He explained how Bishop Hugh Grant (from our diocese) was instrumental in getting CAFOD/Caritas off the ground in the UK and in Rome.”

After the mass, the UCM organised a scrumptious coffe/tea and cake session in the parish meeting room which everyone who attended enjoyed immensely!

Refreshments enjoyed by our children too!

Refreshments after Memorial mass

Jenny very thoughtfully brought a photo of a framed Obituary of Elspeth Orchard.  Elspeth was one of the original UCM members (UCM diocesan president) who helped formed the group that eventually became CAFOD.   Jenny said, “I found a picture of Elsbeth Orchard so shared some happy stories about that.  It was a very friendly affair.”

>> Find out more about how about how CAFOD began here

All hear about Elspeth Orchard, one of the founding CAFOD members

A massive thank you to Jenny Hyde and the UCM as well as to Fr Bennie for celebrating our CAFOD memorial mass 2017 at St Francis.  Supporters and Volunteers who could not attend were with you in spirit.

Winslow surprises our CAFOD Coordinator

The parish community at Winslow have been great in supporting CAFOD’s work over the years and 2017 was no exception.

Harvest Fast Day

Simple reminder to Gift Aid donations

Frank Preece – Parish Volunteer


For Harvest Fast Day, with the support of their parish priest Fr Anton Webb, Frank Preece (parish volunteer) delivered the Fast Day talk and envelopes were handed out to encourage people to Gift Aid their donations.  They had a simple and effective way to remind people the following week as well (see picture above).

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