A Harvest of Briefings, Meetings and Get-Togethers in September

Harvest is a time where we celebrate God’s generosity in the goodness and abundance of creation. We also share from our abundance with those who are in need.

Harvest Fast Day is one of our most important events of the year. We ask people to miss a meal or eat lightly, to pray for those in poverty and to donate to our work. Parishes and schools hold collections and send the donations on to us.

We organise local meetings to ensure that all our parish volunteers are up to date, know all about the stories and situations behind Fast Day and have a chance to explore the topic with other local volunteers. It gives us a great chance to meet and hear news from churches and local communities.

Blessed Oscar Romero "It is not God's will for some to have everything and others to have nothing."

Blessed Oscar Romero. Illustrator: Julie Lonnemon

This year Harvest Fast Day will focus on our work in El Salvador, quite fitting considering that it’s 100 years since Blessed Oscar Romero’s birth. We worked with Blessed Romero, not least in rebuilding his radio station when it was destroyed by his enemies.




We have ten briefings around the diocese this September so please do come along to your nearest, or if you are busy when it’s happening, consider nipping over to a different one.

Please do let us, or your Area Coordinator, know whether or not you are going to make it. Here is a full list of get-togethers. Also click on the image below and you’ll be taken to a google map with all the information you need.

  • 2nd September 10-11:30am – Our Lady of Sorrows Meeting Room in church hall,
    Click to be taken to a map of our upcoming Harvest Briefings

    Click to be taken to a map of our upcoming Harvest Briefings

    Hislop Walk, Bognor Regis, PO21 1LP.

  • 6th September St Leonards 7pm – at private address, contact us for details.
  • 9th of September – St Peter’s, Shoreham (Adur Valley Parish) Saturday morning, 9:30am-12:30pm. This will be combined with activities with the local J&P group.
  • 12th September 7:30pm St Mary’s Rydes Hill, Guildford  GU2 8BP
  • 13th September 7pm Our Lady Immaculate and St Philip Neri Church Hall, High Street, Newtown, Uckfield, TN22 5DJ.
  • 14th September 8pm St Clement’s, Ewell  KT19 0BW
  • 16th September 10:30am – midday. The Friary, Crawley RH10 1HR. Special guest speaker on El Salvador to be announced shortly.
  • 18th September 7:30pm  Sacred Heart Cobham KT11 1AA
  • 19th September 7:30pm Sacred Heart, Hove, BN3 3BF. Contact us for parking instructions and directions.
  • 23rd September 10am to 11:30 Christ the King, Eastbourne.

Thank You, Jo

Jo (R) with our wonderful volunteers and Fr Augusto at the 2017 J&P Assembly

Jo (R) with our wonderful volunteers and Fr Augusto at the 2017 J&P Assembly

Sadly Jo Lewry has come to the end of her two years with us here in CAFOD Arundel and Brighton but thankfully Jo is staying with CAFOD as she is taking over our work in the Portsmouth Diocese.

Jo joined CAFOD a little under two years ago bringing with her a huge wealth of experience from teaching in primary schools. Jo, along with her husband Julian, had also been our parish volunteer in Godalming for many years too.

Jo was happy to take on the parishes in Surrey as her special focus and has led many a Fast Day briefing, Understanding CAFOD session and has spoken at various Masses in her time with us. Many parishes have gone from having no volunteer to having a small team of volunteers, for which we have Jo to thank.

I would like to thank Jo for her enthusiasm, her un-tiring determination, her professionalism and her company these past few years and I’m delighted that Jo will remain part of our team.

Lynda (R) with Laura (L) from CAFOD Portsmouth campaigning

Lynda (R) with Laura (L) from CAFOD Portsmouth campaigning

At the same time we’re sorry that Lynda Mussell, our colleague in Portsmouth diocese, will be heading to new pastures. Lynda has been with CAFOD for over a decade and has poured so much of herself into the diocese and given so much in the fight against poverty. Our best wishes go to Lynda and also to Jo who takes over in Portsmouth Diocese.

By Martin, CAFOD Arundel and Brighton

30 years of baking by a Woking parishioner raises over £35,000 for CAFOD

Elizabeth Wallace, a parishioner from St. Dunstan’s, Woking, has baked cakes for CAFOD every month for over 30 years, raising an estimated £35,000 – an incredible sum!

Elizabeth’s baking odyssey began back in 1986.  Her mother had died two years previously and the terrible Ethiopian famine of 1984 was still fresh in her mind.  One of Elizabeth’s friend’s suggested that she did something to help both her recover from the loss of her mother, and those in need overseas.  “I can cook and I like to bake, so that’s how it all began!”

Elizabeth set up a cake stall after mass once a month, at the parish of Our Lady of Christ, Kingfield, which she and her husband of 45 years, Kevin, were members of.  As well as selling cakes contributed by parishioners, they held sponge competitions and Elizabeth stayed motivated by the enthusiasm of other parishioners.

Elizabeth Wallace at St. Dunstan's

Elizabeth said:

“The Bake Off hadn’t even started then – Mary Berry eat your heart out!  One of the reasons I kept going was that it made other people join in, and there have been some amazing examples of generosity.  There was one lady who died a couple of years ago who donated £20 every month!”

When they moved to St. Dunstan’s, Woking, Elizabeth kept on baking; her commitment to standing in solidarity with those in the developing world has never failed.

“You don’t stop,” Elizabeth said.  “The world is still in need and we can’t just be reactive to big crises, we have to take the initiative too.  And you can’t just walk away, because you feel you’re betraying the people you’re supporting.  These aren’t just people on pieces of paper, these are people who you’re praying for.”

After almost thirty years as the organiser of the CAFOD cake stall, Mary handed over the running to two other St Dunstan’s parishioners, Ruth Whiddett and Lin Mason, in 2014.  Elizabeth described the choice to stand down as a hard decision to make, but one which felt right.  Inspired by her American mother’s recipes, Elizabeth still bakes delights such as cookies every month for the stall, adding to the mounds of freshly baked bread, homegrown fruit and delicious homemade cakes.

“The girls took over and run the stall with their children and it’s going really well.  It’s gone from strength to strength and they make wonderful cupcakes!  It’s very popular and we regularly run out of what we’re selling!”

Elizabeth, Ruth, Agata and Lin

Elizabeth, Ruth, Agata and Lin

Elizabeth has now been baking cakes every month for CAFOD for 31 years.  Since its inception in 1986 it has raised an estimated £35,000 – a phenomenal sum.

Elizabeth is modest about the amount that she and the others who helped at the stall have made.  “We’re just normal people and that’s our strength,” she said.

The money raised by Elizabeth and all those involved in the stall helps those living in extreme poverty to reach their full potential, regardless of religion or culture, by equipping them with the skills and opportunities to live with dignity, support their families and give something back to their communities.

Here in CAFOD’s Arundel & Brighton office, we’re inspired by Elizabeth’s dedication to CAFOD.  Her commitment to helping those in need is remarkable, especially as it so much more than skin deep – she truly cares about the people she is helping as individuals, not just statistics.  We are so thankful to her and all those who have been involved in the cake stall over the years, including the new organisers Ruth, Lin and Agata.  Thanks, Elizabeth!