St. Teresa’s School (Princes Risborough) hosts the Lampedusa Cross

It is great to see how schools across the diocese have been reflecting on the refugee crisis and responding in various ways to their plight.  CAFOD has managed to get a Lampedusa Cross  for every Cathedral in England and Wales and in our diocese of Northampton, the cross has been shared with schools and parishes.  It stands as a wonderful symbol of solidarity and hope with refugees.

Find out more about the Refugee Crisis and how CAFOD is responding >>

The Northampton Diocese Lampedusa Cross

The Northampton Diocese Lampedusa Cross

St Teresa’s Primary school in Princes Risborough also borrowed the Lampedusa Cross and invited Father Wayne Coughlin, Parish Priest in Great Missenden and Wendover, to talk to the about it on Monday 14 November.  Chaplain Jackie Aggett writes :

Fr Wayne with students from St Teresa

Fr Wayne with students from St Teresa

Father Wayne described how an Italian carpenter, Francesco Tuccio, had met some migrants at his local church who had lost loved ones when they had drowned during the dangerous Mediterranean crossing fleeing from war torn countries.  Francesco was so moved that he began collecting driftwood from the wreckage of the migrants boats that had washed up on Lampedusa’s shores.  This he made into small crosses and gave to those who had lost loved ones.

Students from St Teresa - Princes Risborough

Students from St Teresa – Princes Risborough

We were very moved at seeing and touching the Lampedusa Cross, which the carpenter made for the migrants as a symbol of their rescue and of hope for a new life. The Lampedusa Cross and the plight of the migrants became a focus for our school’s Advent Service.

Every child wrote a message of hope to send to the migrants. These are some of them :

I know it seems like there is no love, peace or joy, but there is. I know.”

You won’t get any Christmas, Easter or birthday presents, but I’ll pray for you.”

You may not be lucky now, but your future could be great. Just have love, hope, faith and perseverence and you’ll never know what will happen.”

My message to you is to keep moving, keep on going even though it seems hopeless. Never give up hope! There is always light after darkness, and a rise after a fall.”

Remember…Hope, because that way you will get through things. Stay calm. Love and hope are two of the most important things in the world, and you will always find someone to love you in this world and the next. God loves you. You just need to believe.”

Thanks to St Teresa’s school and Fr Wayne for your support.  Really inspiring!

CAFOD has so far received an astounding 24,000 messages of hope from parishes and schools across England and Wales.  A wonderful sign of solidarity.  These will be given to refugees.

It is not too late to send a message of hope >> 


St Paul’s School (Milton Keynes) holds Advent Service 2016

St Paul’s school (Milton Keynes) held their an annual Advent service on the 7 Dec 2016 and this year they based it on CAFOD’s Advent service.

Anne Hoskins (Chaplain) writes :

Our annual Advent Service was a very spiritual occasion. We used as a basis for our liturgy an adaptation of the Advent Service produced by CAFOD. We were very privileged too to be able to borrow the Diocesan Lampedusa Cross which has been wildly used in parishes and schools across the diocese.  This was the centrepiece of our service.  It was placed together with a child’s life jacket.

St Paul (MK) Advent Service

St Paul School (Milton Keynes)  Advent Service 2016

The Lampedusa Crosses were made by a carpenter, Francesco Tuccio, from the small Italian island of Lampedusa. When hundreds of refugees who were fleeing Eritrea and Somalia drowned off the coast of Lampedusa, he was moved to gather the driftwood from the wrecked boats and turn them into crosses, which he offered to survivors as a small but powerful symbol of hope. CAFOD in turn sent one of these crosses to each of the Cathedrals in England and Wales.

Students, parents and staff joined in the service and also completed the Lampedusa Cross pledge cards expressing gestures of love this Advent, keeping in mind that the Holy family were refugees as well.  The service gave us all a real opportunity for quiet reflection on the true meaning of Advent in the busy lives that we lead.


You can still order cards to write your messages of hope or do it online.    Do use our interactive Advent calendar which has a reflection and prayer for every day and why not download our Advent service.