We all know that dreaded sinking feeling. It’s 6 January and, despite promising this year was going to be different, your New Year’s Resolution feels hopelessly impossible.
2020 is the time to shake things up. Make a commitment to help others and volunteer with CAFOD. Not only will you gain new friends and skills, but you’ll be integral in supporting our life-saving work.
We have a whole range of volunteering opportunities available, from parish and school volunteering, to campaigning and events opportunities, to prayer writing and working to promote CAFOD in local and social media.
It doesn’t matter how much time you can volunteer for – it matters that you’re doing it.
Despite what our climate zero heroes would have you believe, not all heroes wear capes and every volunteer is a hero in our eyes. Let’s step into the new year together and make a real difference.
Would you like to
make a difference this Christmas?
If your answer is yes, CAFOD has created a very special and meaningful way to do it through out World Gifts.
are CAFOD’s alternative charity gifts that transform lives and support
communities to break free from poverty. Whether it’s teaching someone to read,
or giving enough seeds to grow a year’s worth of food in a vegetable garden,
World Gifts has a perfect gift for everyone.
This virtual gift are great presents for friends, family,
teachers – and most importantly, make a very real difference to families around
World Gifts have already helped over 5,000 children to attend literacy classes – opening doors to education and work and has brought 100,000 animals to families – helping to create countless small businesses and improve their livelihoods.
How World Gifts works? Order your gifts online, by phone (0808 14 000 14) or using freepost order form. Receive a beautifully illustrated card ready to personalise and give to your friend or love one. If you go online you can also choose to do this as an e-card, or print at home. Change the lives of families and communities. Each World Gift is a real example of CAFOD’s work. They sit within five different funds and when you choose a gift you will be supporting the are of work that the gift represents.
On 19 November Christine Allen, Director of CAFOD, visited St John’s Seminary Wonersh to meet Volunteers, Priests and Seminarians. She was there to hear about the invaluable contributions local volunteers make towards CAFOD’s work within the diocese; as well as to share her vision and talk about the different aspects of CAFOD’s work, so that people can put faith into action. She said that of course, charity begins at home, but it doesn’t end there. We have to be ‘Jesus to others.’ As Christ’s followers, we are witnesses, and, as it says in Matthew 25, ‘Whatever you to do the least of my brothers, you do unto me’. As the official aid agency for the Catholic Church in England and Wales, CAFOD is guided by the values of compassion, solidarity and hope, firmly rooted in the Catholic community.
Together, with the help of our volunteers, CAFOD helps our sisters and brothers living in extreme poverty reach their full potential, regardless of religion or culture. Everyone in the world has the right to live their lives with dignity. As a member of Caritas Internationalis – a group of over 160 Catholic agencies from around the world, CAFOD can work through the local Church to reach people and places that others can’t. She mentioned the tremendous work carried out by different volunteers who support CAFOD in parishes, schools, fundraising and campaigning.
Christine said that CAFOD was inspired by ordinary people. Elspeth Orchard, was one of the extraordinary Catholic women who helped organise the first Fast Day in 1960 and raised over £6,000 having been motivated by the words in Matthew:25 ‘I was hungry and you gave me something to eat’. Two years later CAFOD was born. ‘We were just doing what we ought to do, remembering that we are all God’s children,’ Elspeth explained later.
Christine outlined the different aspects of CAFOD’s work which she illustrated with concrete examples.
CAFOD helps those countries with no infrastructures that are in a crisis such as earthquakes and tsunamis; by providing food aid, water supplies but also in the months and years that follow too, helping people to rebuild their lives and prepare for whatever the future holds. She spoke about a particular project in Lebanon that supports Syrian refugees.
CAFOD speaks out for justice. When international bodies and governments make decisions that damage poor communities, CAFOD speaks out. In Brazil indigenous communities are being supported to secure their land rights and to become sustainable through growing crops, fruit trees and keeping hens.
CAFOD helps communities become sustainable. There are currently long-term water, sanitation and irrigation projects in Niger. Women there are benefiting from the bore holes instead of travelling miles to collect water. Girls can now attend school when having their periods. This means they can have an education and ultimately play their role in the community.
CAFOD is following Pope Francis’ call to conversion in Laudato Si. We are asked to promote the common good, eliminate poverty, act against climate change. The ecological conversion of reducing our carbon footprints starts with ourselves. Recently CAFOD as part of the Climate Coalition, lobbied MPs to take urgent action to protect our environment and reduce our carbon footprint.
One of the Seminarians asked Christine how priests can be helpful to CAFOD. She said that as shepherds in the parish, they have the power to encourage or discourage CAFOD’s work. She said that priests can be proud of CAFOD, be confident in CAFOD’s work and to ‘let us in.’
priest asked Christine about her vision and she said there was work on a new
strategic framework, ‘Our Common Home’ from a subtitle in
Pope Francis’ encyclical ‘Laudate Si’ that reflects the desire to put this into
practice caring for creation must be integral to tackling global poverty – to
allow a sustainable sharing of the gifts of creation and that the systems in
place, should allow ecological conversion.
One of the Office Volunteers, Elizabeth Beale commented afterwards that she felt a great sense of belonging; ‘CAFOD exists for us and we exist for CAFOD. CAFOD offers volunteers the opportunity to do something we wouldn’t normally do ourselves. CAFOD is an expression of God’s love.’
Big congratulations to St. Peter Parish for organising a cake sale which raised £128 for their Christmas project called “Do a good (goat) thing”. Through this initiative St. Peter parishioners are planning to raise more funds for CAFOD’s Christmas World Gifts and provide as many goats as possible to help transform the lives of poor communities and families in developing countries.
What a great example to make a positive impact in people’s lives!
Do you also want to make a difference in people’s lives? Talk to your friends, family and community members about World Gift for Christmas. You do also can organise different fundraising events and help to change the lives of those living in poverty.
But, WHAT IS A
CAFOD’s WORLD GIFTS?
World Gifts are CAFOD’s alternative charity gifts that
transforms lives. Perfect for Baptisms, birthdays and anniversaries, you can
choose a unique, virtual gift that will make a real difference to a family
living in poverty. And, that warm fuzzy feeling comes with free delivery.
For example, St. Peter Parishioners’ “virtual goats gift” provides a perfect livestock for many families living in rural areas. Goats are relatively easy to look after and can provide up to 12 pints of nutritious milk a week. It also produces free fertilizer which they can use to help grow crops.
Each World Gift is a real example of CAFOD’s work. When you choose a gift, you support the area of CAFOD’s work that this gift represents. Take a look at Gifts in Action for more information about world gift funds, and visit CAFOD’s World Gifts and choose your virtual Christmas gift now!
During November, the month of remembrance, we take time to pray for those who have died an give thanks for loved ones who have made a deep and lasting impression on our lives.
During this special time, we hold Memorial Masses across England and Wales in honour of supporters and loved ones who have died.
At each Mass, we present a Book of Remembrance which included names of supporters who have sadly passed away during the year. These Masses create a special time to come together and reflect on the lasting impact our loved ones have had on the world.
On this occasion CAFOD will have the local diocesan Book of Remembrance blessed at this Mass for the Arundel & Brighton diocese. The book will be blessed at that Mass and then displayed afterwards for a short time so anyone attending can look at it if they wish.
You are warmly invited to attend Arundel & Brighton Diocese’s mass on Thursday 7th November, at 7:30 pm at Christ The Prince of Peace, Portmore Way, Weybridge, Surrey, KT13 8JD
Join us on Saturday 23rd November for Arundel & Brighton Faith in Action Day. “Love is Civic and Political: Our Faith and the Common Good”, where we will explore the links between faith and politics.
From Trump to Brexit to Climate, politics is everywhere. But when should we pray from the side-lines and when should we roll up our sleeves?
The Church here and around the world has a proud history of encouraging Catholics’ political reflection and action. With amazing results.
At this CAFOD day, we’ll explore the links between faith and politics.This will be a great opportunity for campaigns volunteers and other supporters to explore how our faith and the common good intersect and how they play a more active role in campaigning.
Join us and reflect on Scripture and Church teaching. Be inspired by others and CAFOD’s campaigning and work overseas.
When? Saturday 23rd November, 10am – 4pm
Where? St. John’s Seminary Wonersh Surrey, GU5 0QX
A Brighton volunteer is dedicating a year to working alongside communities across the world by taking part in a gap year programme, run by the international development charity CAFOD.
Daisy Wedge, 22, is taking part in CAFOD’s ‘Step into the Gap’ programme and will be based at St Mary’s Academy in Blackpool, volunteering as a youth worker while working together with the local community.
decided to apply for ‘Step into the Gap’ after hearing so many exciting things
about the programme from friends who have done it before,” said Daisy.
“Everything I’ve learned so far about CAFOD’s work has
been nothing short of inspiring, and I’m looking forward to the year ahead.”
During the year, Daisy will work alongside staff and
students at St Mary’s to raise awareness of global justice. She will also make an
international trip to either Cambodia or Guatemala to meet some of the
communities that CAFOD works alongside.
continued: “My first experience with CAFOD was in 2015 when I went on a climate
march in London.”
there I heard about CAFOD’s ‘One Climate, One World’ campaign, which was
raising awareness of climate change and fighting for climate justice. I still
think that climate action is one of the most important causes today.
“I feel like I want to make the world a better place, and
that this year will give me the skillset, opportunities, and confidence I need
to do so.”
Daisy is planning
to raise awareness of the charity’s work by arranging an event around the
upcoming Harvest Appeal, which will see communities across England and Wales
hold fundraising events throughout October.
annual fundraising campaign is working to support communities around the world
to access water and grow climate change-resistant crops to help feed their
families this autumn.
CAFOD MP correspondents are a crucial element to CAFOD’s work, by writing letters to their MPs a few times a year or even meeting them in person to call for action and share their passion for global justice. Once a year MP Correspondents meet with their MPs at the annual MPC reception at the Speakers House in Parliament.
Being at the MP Correspondent reception was a brilliant opportunity to meet other volunteers and hear their experiences and how they have engaged with their MPs.
It is so easy to feel powerless and that our vote or our
letter won’t make a difference. It was uplifting hearing from Emily Thornbury
who is the MP for Islington South talk about the impact her constituents’
“Don’t let anybody tell you
it’s a waste of time. Instead you must always remember that the most powerful,
the most personal letters that you will write, are more likely to get pinned to
my wall, or one of my colleagues, and will inspire them every day to fight for
what you believe in.”
It is so important that we come together as a collective group to tell out MPs that we care about climate change, poverty and injustice.
A ground-breaking agreement on climate change, signed in Paris in 2015 by 196 countries (including the UK), came into force in November 2016. This was a recognition that climate change is by far the most serious danger facing mankind and all life on earth. The effects of climate change being felt now include increased extreme weather patterns – droughts, flooding, stronger and more frequent hurricanes. In the UK we are experiencing hotter summers and wetter winters. Sea levels are rising as the result of polar ice melting and the water is expanding as it warms up. The warmer water absorbs more carbon dioxide resulting in it becoming more acidic.
The impact of this is falling most heavily on people in the developing countries – those who have done least to cause it and who also have the least resources to cope.
We need to
ensure that our politicians do take the actions they know are necessary. To
enable us to do this, CAFOD is launching a new campaign “Our Common Home”, named after Pope Francis’ 2015
encyclical Laudato Si’ – On Care for Our Common Home, which complements
what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says that our responsibility as
good stewards of creation is to care for our world and not ‘steal’ resources
from future generations.
We need to tell the government to embed in law that the UK will reach “Net Zero” carbon emissions by 2045 – that is, the emissions we produce will be no more than the carbon that is being absorbed e.g. by trees and plants. We all need to play our part in putting pressure on our Government.
CAFOD will be joining other organisations in a mass lobby of Parliament on Wednesday 26 June, where thousands of people will be discussing climate change with their MPs. A coach will be running from Hove via Crawley.
Sign up today. If not, we will have no answer when, as Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenage climate activist said: “Our grandchildren ask us why we knew, but did nothing.”
Sign our petition and find out more about the lobby today: cafod.org.uk/climatelobby. CAFOD also invites you to reflect how you, your family and your parish can work together to respond to the climate crisis, inspired by the teachings of Pope Francis. Use the “Live simple activity poster” to think and discusses about how your community can do a few simple things to live more sustainably and cut down on carbon emission.
CAFOD Campaign Volunteer Coordinator