Christmas Concert at Storrington Raises over £1000 for Connect2 El Salvador

Sandgate singers

Sandgate Singers











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 ?

St Joseph’s Dorking Connect2 El Salvador

Tania Dalton

Tania Dalton Communications Officer for Latin America

Many thanks to Helen Barcellona and her team of CAFOD volunteers for organising a fantastic fairtrade breakfast and talk about CAFOD’s work and how to connect to it last Sunday 4th December. Tania Dalton Communications Officer for Latin America gave a very insightful and interesting talk on the Connect2 project in Puentecitos, El Salvador. She explained how donations from parishes in England helped to support the communities in Puentecitos and difference this money makes to the lives of the women living there as it enables them to support their families by setting up small businesses.

St Joseph Dorking

Parishioners from St Joseph Dorking


” It was a very informative meeting and I now appreciate how our donations can help this community”, said one of the participants to me after the talk. Jo Lewry




Inspired by St Joseph’s could your parish also sign up to a Connect2 project ?







Super Soup Lunch Raises Money for Connect2 Cambodia

Camberley Parish

Fr Andrew with parishioners from Camberley parish

Last Thursday 24th November Camberley Catholic Parish had a mass and soup lunch to raise money for Connect2 Cambodia. Many thanks to Jo Carroll and her team of CAFOD parish volunteers who organised the soup lunch which 36 parishioners attended. They raised the fantastic amount of £290 for the Connect2 Cambodia project which they have been supporting this year.

Camberley parish soup lunch

Fr Alex with Camberley parishioners

Camberley parish soup lunch

Camberley Parishioners