Young Leadership Training Day 3

On Thursday 2 May the Arundel and Brighton Young Leadership Schools from St Peter’s Catholic School Guildford, The Salesians School Chertsey, and Cardinal Newman Catholic School joined together with Catholic schools from the Portsmouth Diocese for the third Young Leaders Day. It was kindly hosted by Farnborough Hill School who provided everyone with great hospitality and a delicious lunch. Sarah Burrows led the inspirational day on ‘Campaigning, ‘Laudato Si Climate Change.’

The Young Leadership programme provides a year of training to develop leadership skills such as team building, project management, problem solving and communication. At CAFOD we recognise that young people can make a huge difference, which is why we want to equip young people to be leaders in their local and global communities. The programme offers sixth formers an opportunity to take the lead and make a difference, as well as a chance to meet new people, gain confidence, skills and experience.

The day started with a prayer reflection and a Laudato Si animation  which reminded us  that Pope Francis has given all of humanity with a huge challenge to think about how we are living and how our living affects others, and the earth our common home. The Young Leaders reflected upon the question ‘what kind of world do you want to leave those who come after us?

This was followed by some icebreaker activities which included a string game where groups were given tasks such as constructing ‘5’ using the string with eyes firmly shut. Another one was when Young Leaders were given statements such as ‘climate change is the greatest threat facing humanity today,’ (Sir David Attenborough) and they had to decide and justify if they strongly agreed, agreed, disagreed or strongly disagreed.  This led into discussion about why we campaign, types of campaigns and the difference between charity and justice.

The schools then fed back on the fundraising activities they had led in their own schools since the last session. Many had led school wide and year group assemblies on CAFOD awareness, Lent Fast Day, and had raised money through cake sales and introducing Fair Trade tasters, followed by Fair Trade school sales. A session on statistics and stories followed with Young Leaders becoming aware that both were important for sharing issues about climate change.

A project management activity followed where the Young Leaders were asked to plan a project management activity in school with different time frames and a debriefing followed. The CAFOD Net Zero Campaign was introduced and Young Leaders then created a ‘0’ photo. They were encouraged to invite their MPs to visit their schools and to tell them they wanted the Government to commit to net zero by 2045.They were also invited to consider joining the CAFOD lobby of MPs on the 26 June. The day was rounded up with the key messages: that campaigning works and along with advocacy it is the most effective way to tackle the root causes of poverty and injustice and, secondly; tackling climate change is essential and the that the Young Leaders can become part of the solution.

The day ended with a  moving reflection of ‘Dear Matafele Peinem’ a poem written for a baby by a young poet and read out at the UN Climate Summit in 2014.

CAFOD Arundel and Brighton would like to thank Sarah Burrows, CAFOD,Young Leadership Coordinator, for leading an inspiring day and Farnborough Hill School for hosting the event.

For further information on the Young Leaders Programme – look here.

Our Lady of England Parish in Storrington raises £517 for Hands On

Huge congratulations to Trevor Stauss, Parish Volunteer of Our Lady of England Parish and the CAFOD Supporters Group for organising a St Patrick’s Race Night on Saturday 16 March at the Priory Hall. It was a thrilling evening of horsing racing, with a lovely fish and chip supper and a bar. There was also a raffle with some super prizes.

Overall, £517 was raised for Hands On which is a fundraising scheme that allows your parish to support a community as they undertake a three year project. Their progress is followed closely during this period.

In 50 years of conflict, Colombia has suffered so much. More than 280,000 people have been killed; 60,000 are missing and over 7.7 million have been internally displaced. Colombians are tired of being caught between government forces, guerrillas and paramilitaries. The only solution is peace.

The Hands On Project is about building a peace culture and peace education in the Magdelena Medio region in Colombia. It is a three year programme with our partner PDP (Peace and Development Programme) and is co-funded by the European Union. Over the three years, we aim to reach 2,561 students, 877 parents and around 5,000 people in total. We are working in 34 secondary schools, 4 local community groups (youth groups, women’s organisations).Students will be taught how to respond to conflict situations with words rather than physical violence.

If your parish is interested in supporting Hands On click on this link – Sign up to Hands On.

CAFOD A&B would like to thank Fr Charles Howell, Trevor Stauss, and all the CAFOD Supporters for organising the Race Night and for raising this terrific amount in support of Hands On. The most frequently received comment after The Race Night was “I didn’t know that it would be so much fun!”

St Clements becomes the 3rd Live Simply Parish in the Arundel and Brighton Diocese

St Clements Parish Church became the third Parish in the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton to receive the live simply award on the 6 April 2019.

The parish started to work towards achieving the award in 2017. They were inspired by reflecting on Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si. They contemplated how they could best respond to the Pope’s prophetic words.

They decided that they wanted to do something practical and the Live Simply Steering Group was born.

Jonathan Inns, coordinator of the group, explained that working towards the award has brought the whole parish together. Both young and old have taken part and all of the Parish has been able to share in the achievement of receiving the award.

The process has raised awareness of green issues and highlighted the benefit of living simply so that others can simply live.

The Parish has established a vegetable garden, implemented a recycling scheme and developed a tree planting scheme for newly baptized children.

Jonathan would encourage other parishes to get involved . He explained that it has been a very rewarding faith, affirming process. 

If you would like further information on considering if this is something that might interest your parish. Look here

The Campaigns Team and CAFOD Arundel and Brighton would like to extend their congratulations to Fr Graham, Jonathan Inns, The Live Simply Steering Group and all the Parishioners at St Clements, Ewell on their outstanding achievement in gaining this award. We hope that this will inspire other parishes to follow suit.