St Mary’s brilliant idea for CAFOD Lent fund-raising in 2019.

Young people at St Mary’s Cricklade had a brilliant idea for their CAFOD Lent fund-raising this year. As the parish has no hall or kitchen, they were unable to hold a lunch for the community so the young people made soup kits with the recipe and ingredients to make carrot soup. They then spoke to the congregation at Mass to explain what they did, so as to encourage everyone to take part on Family Fast Day. At the end of Mass they gave out kits. The young people of the parish were following CAFOD’s outline of Let’s eat simply so others can simply eat!’


Some of the children giving out the kits at the end of Mass

Resulting from this initiative from the children, the parish was able to, as a result, reflect on the CAFOD message for Lent this year:

“People who are facing drought, conflict, disease, injustice… We believe in a world where every woman, man and child can flourish. But the reality is we are forced to turn away one in three requests for help. Simply because we don’t have enough money to go around. An example of this is a woman in Bangladesh who is in need of help. Mahinur [ma-hin-oor] lives very near the coast, in an area that’s badly hit by climate change. Cyclones are common, salty sea water floods the rice fields, and – most devastatingly for Mahinur – a drought last year killed all the fish. Dragging her empty net out of the river, Mahinur told us: “There should be fish in the river now. But there’s nothing. I have no reason to smile.” Mahinur has a disabled husband and son to support, so she’s working every hour of the day doing odd jobs for her neighbours in return for rice. It’s not enough. Some days the family just drink water for dinner. Currently, there is no happy ending to Mahinur’s story. This is the situation she faces today, because we haven’t been able to support her. She is the one in three. But working through the local Church, our experts make up one of the largest aid networks in the world. Through them, your support can reach to the ends of the earth. We already know where Mahinur is. We know she needs help. And we know how to help. That’s why having a simple meal for Family Fast Day and making a donation to CAFOD is such a lifeline. An outstretched hand to a friend in danger. Together, we can reach out to children, women and men in God’s family with love. Together, we can change the ending of more stories like Mahinur’s”.

It’s not too late to send in your own personal donation to CAFOD, or ensure your parish has sent theirs through – together, we really can make a difference!


Clifton Deanery Planning Meetings for Lent

Thank you so much to all our Deanery volunteers who have participated in our Deanery Planning Meetings for Lent, held in Bristol and Taunton thus far. We had really good sessions and shared some great ideas about improving the visibility of CAFOD in our parishes. It was lovely catching up with so many of our hard-working and committed CAFOD Clifton volunteers.

Weston-Super-Mare CAFOD Area Coordinator Samantha Chandler serves up part of the ‘Rich World Poor World’ meal as part of the Taunton – Glastonbury – Weston-Super-Mare CAFOD Deanery Planning Meeting for Lent; Bill Furness – CAFOD Area Coordinator for Glastonbury lends a helping hand, as does Chris Davies, CAFOD Parish Volunteer from Weston-Super-Mare.

We are looking forward to meeting more of you in the upcoming planning meetings, in Devizes, Gloucester and Bath. These meetings provide a great opportunity for us to get together and make plans for inspiring our fellow parishioners to get involved in Family Fast Day on 15 March as well as updates and ideas on all things CAFOD!

poor Bill! He’s actually on the ‘poor table’, along with CAFOD Area Coordinator for Taunton, Nora Maw and CAFOD Parish Volunteer from Glastonbury, Bernadette

See here for the details of the other meetings:

CAFOD Swindon & Salisbury Lent Planning Meeting Saturday: Feb 16th 1.00 – 3pm
Venue: Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception
St Joseph’s Place, Devizes SN10 1DD

CAFOD Cheltenham-Stroud-Gloucester Lent Planning Meeting Monday: Feb 25th 1.00 – 3pm
Venue: Prinknash Abbey
Cranham, Gloucester, GL4 8EX

CAFOD Bath – Trowbridge Lent Planning Meeting Saturday: March 2nd 11.00–1pm
St John the Evangelist Parish Hall
South Parade, Bath, BA2 4AF

Fun with World Gifts at St Nicholas of Tolentino

The children arranged these gifts around the altar

 During Advent, the parish of St Nicholas of Tolentine asked their young school children to take a collection at their Masses for CAFOD’s World Gifts. The children learned about World Gifts and had chosen 9 in time for the Fourth Sunday of Advent. At each Mass a different child took one card up to the crib during the Mass.

World Gifts are CAFOD’s range of virtual gifts that make a real difference to families living in poverty across the world. The children at St Nicholas Tolentino school  were choosing to help communities living in poverty by buying goats  for those communities – great!

What a wonderful display of CAFOD gifts!

 Fr Richard McKay, the Parish Priest, always gives a CAFOD gift as his Christmas gift to the Parish. Also, every week the collection accepts donations to CAFOD. What a fantastic parish!’