The parish of Our Lady of England held a wonderful Christmas concert to celebrate the festive season and fundraise for the people of Puentecitos, a town in western El Salvador. Our Lady of England has been linked with the community as part of CAFOD’s Connect2 scheme, which connects parishes in the UK with communities overseas.
Over £1000 was raised at the Christmas concert, which will be used to support villagers in Puentecitos open small businesses, run women’s groups and utilise organic farming methods.
The Sandgate Singers, a 77-member community choir based in the village, gave a fantastic performance, with the programme covering both Christmas classics and more modern carols.
Tickets sold quickly in the preceding weeks to an eager audience of around 150 people. In the candle-lit cloisters of the convent, mulled wine and mince pies were enjoyed by spectators and choristers in the interval, making the event a truly festive affair.
A retiring collection on behalf of CAFOD’s Connect2 work in El Salvador was generously supported. Speaking at the event, the Chairman of the local CAFOD Support Group, Trevor Strauss, said:
“Thinking recently, about the harsh and difficult lives of these poor people, and the comparison to our own, brought it home to me, that we really do, live like Kings – we really do. We always have enough to eat (sometimes more than enough!) we live in safe, warm houses that protect us from the extremes of our climate. We have abundant leisure time, and wonderful opportunities for education, throughout our lives we do not have to grow our own food to survive. All of us, here tonight are, to the farmers we are trying to help, Kings and Queens, who live beyond their wildest dreams.
So, like the Kings in the Christmas story, I thank your Majesties for making this journey here tonight, and hope that receiving the gift of this beautiful concert, will focus your minds on the good Lord, and all that he has given to you, that you, like those three Kings, will leave a gift as you depart, that will help the poor people of El Salvador, through the work of CAFOD. There will be a basket at the back of the church and your gift will be most gratefully received. I thank you in anticipation of your generosity, for how can you praise the Lord and let his people starve?”
Many thanks to Trevor Stauss and all the CAFOD volunteers who worked to make it such a fantastic evening, and to the Sandgate Singers for their wonderful performance. It was a great evening and we thank you for helping to raise such fantastic amount for Connect2 El Salvador. Inspired to fundraise for CAFOD ?