Millions of people around the world rely on the help they receive from Catholic organisations, but did you know that much of that work is funded by gifts in wills?
CAFOD is part of “Your Catholic Legacy” – a group of Catholic charities hoping to encourage people to leave a gift in their will to Catholic causes.
Legacies come in all shapes and sizes and every gift can change someone’s life. They’re also a lasting reminder of our dedicated friends who help us in this far-reaching way: friends like Mike Richey (1917-2009), remembered here by his nephew, Peter.
“On leaving Downside Mike became apprentice to sculptor and typographer Eric Gill. The lettering he carved above the entrance to the Oxford Playhouse can still be seen.
“In 1939 he joined the Royal Navy, serving on minesweepers. His essay ‘Sunk By A Mine’, published in the New York Times magazine, won the inaugural John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for literature.
“After the war he became founding Director of the Institute of Navigation, a post he held for 35 years. Hedited the Institute’s journal. His writing won praise from his friend Graham Greene.
“In 1965 Mike purchased the 25-foot yacht JESTER and soon took part in the Observer Single-handed Transatlantic race. In all he made 13 solo crossings. In 1988 he was rescued when JESTER was wrecked in a storm 500 miles off Nova Scotia. Mike made his final crossing in a replica boat aged 80, becoming the oldest sailor to cross the Atlantic alone.
“As his nephews and executors, my brother Simon and I remember a witty, unstuffy uncle who always made time for us when we were small, even taking us sailing at Cowes.
“Mike’s Catholic faith was the bedrock of his life. This, and a sense of justice, prompted him to support CAFOD in his life-time and to leave CAFOD the residue of his estate in his will”.
Archbishop Peter Smith, patron to Your Catholic Legacy, said: “Legacies play a crucial role in funding the work of Catholic charities. No matter how big or small, a charitable gift in your will brings hope to poor communities across the globe, enables the sharing of God’s love and provides those in greatest need with a vital lifeline.”