CAFOD group at St Martin de Porres Luton step up for Lent Fast Day

Since the new CAFOD group was set up at St Martin de Porres – Luton in September 2018, they have been fired up to get going in promoting CAFOD’s work in the parish.  In December they promoted World Gifts and even managed to encourage a few more to join the group!

For this Lent Fast day they pulled out all the stops!  Some of the group like parish volunteer Clara attended the Supporters’ day and was so inspired by what she heard and experienced that she discussed her ideas with Debbie Purfield (CAFOD coordinator), the group and Fr Simon (parish priest).  What they came up with was just amazing!

St Martin de Porres display – CAFOD Lent Fast Day 2019

When parishioners entered the narthex, they couldn’t miss the wonderful display of CAFOD materials and posters.

Before mass, the following video (based on 1 Corthinians 13) was shown.  It focused people from the start and provided a reflective space.


At the homily slot, Fr Simon gave a short and poignant homily about reaching out to our neighbours which included our global neighbours and how this could be done through CAFOD.

CAFOD group member giving the short talk

This was then followed by the video of Mahinur from Bangladesh which really made real the life this amazing woman is having to lead.   Group members then gave the short talk.

One of whom was Reena from the Philippines. She was very moved by Mahinur’s story as understood the some of the challenges that Mahinur was going through from her own experience of facing devastation in the Philippines.  She ended by saying, “I feel so blessed to be in England”.  Fr Simon thanked her for having the courage to share her life.


Clara (parish volunteer) said, “There was a lot of compassion on the faces of the parishioners and a feeling of solidarity.  I feel most people were able to identify with Mahinur’s story and I believe that our support of CAFOD’s work will draw us to living out more our Gospel values.”


There were not enough envelopes to go round for the final mass which has not happened before!  A very good sign of how some simple steps have made such a difference to the Fast Day experience.  More will distribute this coming week.

Thanks to St Martin de Porres parish for their support.  A special thanks to Fr Simon who was so helpful and encouraging to the CAFOD group.  A massive THANK YOU to the fantastic CAFOD group who have done an incredible job this Lent Fast day in standing in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are living in poverty.  You are all an inspiration!

> To see how you can get involved this Fast day, go to our website


New CAFOD group at St Martin de Porres – Luton

We are delighted to have a new CAFOD group at St Martin de Porres in Luton.

With the wonderful support of the new parish priest Fr Simon Penhalagan, Debbie Purfield (CAFOD coordinator) was invited to speak at all masses weekend of 29/30 September 2018 and asked for people to be part of CAFOD’s vision – to step up to their ministry in the parish through CAFOD.

Several people came forward from each mass and some were under 18 yrs old which was just great!  One of whom was Clara who said, “what was said really moved me into action and I felt I had to come forward to volunteer”.  Clara has since very kindly agreed to be the parish contact  – Thanks Clara!

New CAFOD group – St Martin de Porres Luton

The group met together for the first time on 28 Oct and another two people joined in which brought the total to ten! A really fantastic number.  Rose Bluett – volunteer coordinator for Luton was also present and introduced herself to the group.  Debbie explained about CAFOD and gave suggestions to the group and they responded with a generous spirit and were keen to get going.  Emmanuel commented, “It is good that we now have a CAFOD group so that we can work from within the parish rather than always having to get someone from outside to come in”.

The group have already shared ideas of how they can keep with parish aware of CAFOD’s work and ideas of prayer, campaigning and fundraising.

Thank you to Fr Simon who was so instrumental in helping the group form, to all those who came forward to offer their time, skills and talent to support our brothers and sisters in need and to the parish for their continued support. You are all an amazing example of living out the catholic faith!

>  To see how you can put your faith into action click here



New CAFOD group at Kettering

After the Lent Fast Day talk given in the parish, several people came forward to volunteer to support CAFOD’s work in the parish of St Edward’s Kettering and Holy Trinity Desborough.

Debbie Purfield (CAFOD coordinator – Northampton) went to meet them and was so inspired, “despite having busy lives, all those present were so committed and eager to promote CAFOD more in the parish”. Not all who signed up could make it.  However, they were very much involved in its planning.

New CAFOD group – Joanie Eddy Brenda Candice

It is just fabulous that there is now a group at St Eds! The group comprises 6 people: Joanie (new parish contact), Eddy, Brenda, Candice, Anne and Jean.  They heard about CAFOD’s work and were keen to be involved.  It was just great to hear them eagerly discuss their next steps and how they could promote the latest campaign Power to Be and encourage people to get in touch with their MP in the run up to the general election.  They were also keen to give regular updates on CAFOD’s work throughout the year.

>> Find out about questions you can pose to your MP

Their first big event is to host the retreat day as we reflect on Pope Francis’ Vision for a renewed church on 1 July.  All welcome!

Joanie commented, “we would like to do more to raise awareness of the causes of poverty and with the support of Canon John, we hope to come up with innovative ways to promote CAFOD’s work in the parish.”  Joanie also decided there and then to be an MP correspondent and the group is hoping to encourage others to sign up too!

Thank you all so much for giving your time, talents and skills to support CAFOD’s work in the parish.  It is so encouraging and inspiring to experience such enthusiasm and openness.  We look forward to hearing what you get up to.

>> Get in touch if you would like to support CAFOD in your parish