CAFOD meets the Holy Ghost Confirmation group

On  Saturday 13 January a group of young Confirmation candidates from Holy Ghost Parish, Luton, spent the morning with one of our CAFOD Education volunteers, Kate Banville, who introduced them to CAFOD’s work.

Holy Ghost Confirmation Group 2018

The group, ranging from 12 to 18 years old, had taken part in a pilgrimage to reflect on the experiences of refugees and therefore were particularly sensitive to the work CAFOD carries out in this area. Some of the statistics presented by Kate certainly hit home – one of the group leaders was floored after learning that more than 3000 people have died on refugee boats in the last few years.

The group also had the opportunity to welcome the Lampedusa Cross from Northampton Cathedral and wrote heartfelt messages of hope to be distributed to refugees around the world.


The morning ended with a briefing on CAFOD’s Lent campaign, this year under the motto ‘Give it Up’, and brainstorming ideas for fundraising within their group and parish as this Lent all donations will be matched funded by the UK government up to £5m

>> Find out more about resources and fundraising ideas for Lent 2018

The Lampedusa cross at St Mary’s – Dunstable

Schools across the diocese continue to reflect upon the plight of refugees around the world.  The Lampedusa Cross (which CAFOD obtained and gave every Cathedral in England and Wales to display) is a wonderful symbol of solidarity and hope with refugees. The crosses are the work of a local carpenter, who moved by the many stories of death and loss made them out of the wreckage of the boats and gave them to the refugees as a symbol of hope.

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

The Northampton Diocese Lampedusa Cross


In our diocese, the cross is journeying through schools and parishes. The latest school to welcome the cross was St Mary’s – Dunstable.

Last week,  the children from the Liturgy and First Holy Communion groups presented the cross at the beginning of Mass.  They then reflected upon the symbolism of the cross as the gateway to freedom and the openness of the Lampedeusa people towards refugees. The children also wrote their messages of hope, which are displayed on a poster.


Isabella read the story of the cross to the congregation. It was very moving.


Isabelle explains the story of the Lampedusa Cross

The children  also sang this song, especially composed for the occasion:

Lampedousa (clap clap clap) x2
Makes crosses out of wood
Crosses from the shipwreck
To try and bring some good (clap clap clap)
For all those who perished
Beneath the fearsome waves
Crosses in their memory
And crosses for the saved
Lampedusa (clap clap clap) x2
What an amazing place
Showing us how we can
Grow stronger in our faith (clap clap clap)
(Shout) FAITH and raise arms high

After Mass, Isabella took the cross to Cardinal Newman School – Luton where she will be holding a series of assemblies.

If you would like to host the Lampedusa Cross in your parish for a time and hold a pilgrimage event, then please email Deborah Purfield at the CAFOD office at

Triathlon for Syria

For most university students, the summer is a time to take a much deserved break from study, relax, earn a bit of money, do some travelling and catch up with old school friends. But for Michael Jones, it is also an opportunity to put faith to action whilst having fun. On the 3 September, Michael is taking part in the Reading Triathlon 2017 and has chosen to raise funds for CAFODS’ Syria Appeal.

We asked Michael what inspired him to do the Triathlon and fundraise for CAFOD. This is what he told us:


I am an active person and wanted a physical and mental challenge for the summer before returning to university. I saw this as a perfect opportunity to raise money for charity, specifically one that supports Syria and its saddening crisis. I was deeply touched by the news coverage on the war and its devastating effect on men, women and particularly children. It made me aware of just how privileged I am to have a safe home, good health and endless opportunities. Since I was a young boy I have been involved in various CAFOD campaigns through my parish and school, so CAFOD was an obvious choice.


Michael aims to raise £1500. Any donations can be made online via this website and will be gratefully received. Please give generously if you can!

We will be following Michael closely and will report back in September, so watch this space!

>> For more fundraising ideas see our fundraising page