Spreading the word in our local schools

Last term our team of school volunteers truly went the extra mile to visit over a quarter of our local schools, bringing the total for this academic year up to almost 40% of schools with more visits planned in the summer term. Schools were often visited more than once too.

Over ten thousand children heard about CAFOD, our work and the needs of

Towers Cakes

Towers

the world. We know also that lots of schools ran their own assemblies, workshops and activities too, such as The Towers Convent School who made and sold cakes for our East Africa Appeal and Our Lady Queen of Heaven School in Crawley who organised a fun run. The Towers Convent School also had a visit last term by our local volunteer Marie-Helene. Fr Chris Dobson of Crawley parish also visited Our Lady Queen of Heaven for their Harvest Festival and spoke of global hunger and our work.

The majority of visits were to raise awareness of our Lent Fast Day appeal but our volunteers also spoke about World Gifts, Laudato Si’, Livesimply, Fairtrade, What is CAFOD and other topics. Since the start of the academic year schools have donated almost £12,000 for Fast Days, World Gifts, our East Africa Appeal and other aspects of our work.

Children of St John's Primary School in Horsham creating a large fish out of £1 and £2 coins.

St John’s Fish – Lots of £1 and £2 coins growing into a giant fish

We haven’t been able to write up stories about all the visits and activities for our blog but we’ve got a description of visits to St Edmund’s in Godalming and St John’s in Horsham. Thank you so much to our School Volunteers, for their tireless enthusiasm, their joy and their willingness to use their skills in this way. Thanks also to the teachers, support staff and everyone in the school communities working so hard to form, educate and care for the young people of our church and neighbourhoods.

Would you like to join our team of School Volunteers? Full training is provided along with expenses, support and resources. It’s a wonderful way of putting one’s faith into action and the response from the children and young people is very rewarding. Do get in touch with us on 0483 898 866 or arundelandbrighton@cafod.org.uk for more information.

If your school has raised awareness of, or funds for, CAFOD then do let us know and we’d be delighted to feature them on our blog.

Thank you to the following schools for hosting our visitors during the spring term:

St Pancras, Lewes,
St Mary Magdalene, Bexhill-on-Sea
St Thomas a Becket, Eastbourne (Junior and Senior)
Sacred Heart, Hastings
St Peter, Shoreham
St Polycarp, Farnham
St Philip, Arundel
The Marist, West Byfleet
Holy Family, Addlestone
St Wilfrid, Angmering
St Mary Magdalene, Brighton
St Edmund, Godalming
English Martyrs, Worthing
St Catherine, Littlehampton
St Philip, Uckfield
St Francis of Assissi, Crawley
St John, Horsham
St Bede, Redhill
St Mary Star of the Sea, St Leonard’s
St Mary, Portslade
St Richard, Chichester
St George, Weybridge

And our thanks to all schools who have raised funds to support our work across the world.

An Inspirational Justice and Peace Assembly

Fr Augusto

Fr Augusto, Martin and Jo with CAFOD parish volunteers from St Cuthbert’s Egham

Last Saturday around 160 people from around the diocese attended the Justice and Peace Assembly at DABCEC on the theme of “Am I a good Neighbour? Globalisation and the Fair Society”

Fr Augusto,  who is the theological adviser for CAFOD, spoke about how Jesus turned the question ‘Who is my neighbour’ into “Who is behaving as a good neighbour?” He explored our relational existence with each other and how the way we live impacts on other people.

He described the Pope’s encyclical Laudato Si’  Care of our Common Home as more than a discourse about ecology but a call to look at every aspect of our lives and how it effects others and the earth.  Although the problems that the world face may seem overwhelming and our efforts insignificant he reminded as of the “Little Way “of St  Therese of Lisieux to do all things well even the recycling!

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Lampedusa Cross at St Mary of the Angels Worthing

Lampedusa Cross in Worthing

Lampedusa Cross in Worthing

On the first weekend in January St Mary of the Angels Church in Worthing hosted the Lampedusa Cross as it travels around the diocese. They held a coffee morning on Friday 6th January and invited a speaker from Worthing 4 Refugees to talk to them. On Sunday parishioners were given the opportunity to write messages of hope to refugees on special cards which then be sent to CAFOD so that they can pass them on to refugees.

Many thanks to Rod Thick our CAFOD parish volunteer at St Mary of the Angels for organising the weekend.

 

The  Lampedusa Cross will be travelling to Worth Abbey  at the beginning of February as they are organising a special a Refugee Solidarity Liturgy on Friday 3rd February at 8pm  with an opportunity to write messages of hope to refugees. Everyone is invited and there will be refreshments afterwards.

Lampedusa Cross Arundel and BrightonThe Story of the Lampedusa Cross

Sicilian carpenter Francesco Tuccio made rough crosses from the wreckage of a boat carrying refugees that sank off the Island of Lampedusa in the Mediterranean Sea. The crosses were offered to the survivors as a symbol of their rescue and a sign of hope. Pope Francis has a Lampedusa Cross as does the British museum.

People have mentioned that they found reflecting on and holding the cross a profound experience. Many pray for people who have been forced to leave home. Some reflect on what it must be like to go on such a journey. Others have mentioned reflecting that we are all refugees in the Kingdom of God, arriving on its shores with hope for a better life. Most people write a message of hope to refugees as a fruit of their reflection and a sign of solidarity and compassion. We can arrange for special cards to be delivered to your community on which people can write their messages.

If your parish or school would like to host the Lampedusa cross please get in touch with Martin or Jo on 01483 898866 or email mailto:arundelandbrighton@cafod.org.uk