A Mass Celebration of Volunteers

On Saturday the 10th of June people came from all over the South East to be part of a CAFOD Mass of Celebration for our Volunteers.

Fr Chris Vipers receiving gifts

Fr Chris Vipers receiving gifts

It was a warm and peaceful day in London, what more perfect a day to celebrate the contribution of our volunteers. People from numerous dioceses joined various CAFOD staff members from the South East and Romero House. New trustee, John Guy, who used to be a parish volunteer in Arundel and Brighton was also delighted to be able to join us in the celebration.

 

Two choir boys Martin and Stephen

Two choir boys Martin and Stephen

Fr Chris Vipers celebrated the Mass in St Mary Moorfields parish, London and made everyone feel welcome. His uplifting homily was well received and music was provided by two willing ‘choirboys’ from East Anglia and A&B and the congregation were in full and beautiful voice.

We reflected upon Jesus’ words to remain in the vine if we hope to bear fruit. We also prayed for a blessing using the prayer of St Teresa of Avila ‘Christ has no body now but yours.’

After the Mass we all headed downstairs to the full hall for cakes, refreshments and to hear a heartfelt word of thanks from Jo Kitterick, CAFOD’s Head of Parish Participation and Volunteering.

Rod Howlett Gap Year volunteer speaks about his trip to Cambodia

Rod Howlett Gap Year volunteer speaks about his trip to Cambodia

We also heard from Rod Howlett, one of our gap year volunteers. He spoke passionately and convincingly about Cambodia and the work we’re doing with our partners. Incidentally, applications are still open for this coming year’s gap year program so please do suggest it to friends and relatives. It clearly made a profound impression on Rod who spoke of having one of the most moving conversations of his life while in Cambodia.

 

Volunteers enjoying tea and cake

Tea, cake and conversation – always popular

We were delighted to meet so many volunteers and say thanks for the support of all our volunteers. Thanks also to those who weren’t able to make it, your volunteering enables us to do so much more than we ever could without it. Thanks also to Fr Chris, the parish of St Mary Moorfields and for all those who helped make the event a special occasion.

If you would like to hear Rod speak about Cambodia then join our webinar (on-line seminar – which is quite simple to be part of) then do click this link to: Book on to our Rod Howlett Cambodia Webinar.

Volunteering – The heart of CAFOD’s work

In celebration of Volunteers’ Week (1-12th June) we’d like to take the opportunity to thank  our  123 volunteers for their help and hard work throughout the year.

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Volunteers are an integral part of CAFOD and without them we could not continue to support our global brothers and sisters living in poverty.

There are over 5,000 CAFOD volunteers across England and Wales who help us throughout the year, from Speaking at Mass and helping in the volunteer centre to working overseas as part of our Step into the Gap programme.

Collectively across England and Wales our volunteers give a massive 120,000 hours of their time to help others.

Our volunteers’ in Arundel and Brighton are vital to the runDSCN2576ning of CAFOD, we simply couldn’t do it without them. We are so grateful to each and every one of them who helps at our volunteer centres, in their parishes, local schools or in the community; their dedication and hard work is second to none.

Despite all this fantastic help, we still need even more volunteers, in particular to help in Parishes, Schools and with various roles at our volunteer centre in Arundel and Brighton. So read our top tips to why you should volunteer. 

If you would like to volunteer with us please apply online or:

Telephone: 01483 898 866 Mobile: 07796 941 884 (Martin), 07710 094 447 (Jo)

 

MPCs meeting in Parliament.

DSC09259On Wednesday 27th April  Member of Parliament Correspondents (MPCs) from Arundel and Brighton met with other CAFOD MPCs from around the country at Speaker’s House in the House of Commons . Min Merchant from Crawley commented  that it was a fantastic event and really great to meet other MPCs .

The parliamentary reception which was organise by Caroline McKinnell MP, chair of the Parliamentary Friends of CAFOD was held in the very grand and ornate state rooms at Speaker’s House by kind invitation of Mr Speaker, The Rt Hon John Bercow MP. In his speech of welcome John Bercow MP paid tribute to the work that CAFOD does overseas and urged everyone to keep writing to their MPs as these letters ensure that the issues such as climate change are kept on the political agenda.

We then welcomed Lord  Deben from the House of Lords who is the chair of the Climate Change committee. He praised the Pope’s encyclical Laudato Si’ Care of our Common Home and urged MPC’s to remember to thank the MPs they write to when they have acted on their behalf.

Next Nick Hurd Under-secretary for the Department of International Development spoke about the work that CAFOD was involved in with its partners in Kenya which helped people use solar power to provide electricity in their homes. He reminded us that 1 in 5 people around the world have no access to electricity and he thanked those who had responded to CAFOD’s online action Power to the People.

After that Molly- Kate McCaffrey a university student spoke about her experience of being a CAFOD campaigner and how the attending the Climate Change  meeting in Pairs had affected her. Finally Bishop John Sherrington (Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster) said that “MP correspondents are vitally important to stimulate and challenge MPs about policies. A letter sent with love and passion can profoundly influence the political process.”

It was a memorable evening and very exciting to be inside the House of Commons, a place that oozes history and grandeur. Many thanks to all those who attended the event and to all those who organised it. Jo Lewry

CAFOD MP Correspondents write to their MPs three or four times a year to ensure the voices of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people are heard in the corridors of power. Through letters and meetings with MPs, CAFOD supporters have already helped change government policy. We’ve helped secure tough laws to tackle climate change, and ensure the UK is world-leading in its overseas aid contribution

If you would like to become an MPC visit the CAFOD website or contact Martin and Jo at the CAFOD Arundel and  Brighton volunteer centre. 01483 898866 or email arundelandbrighton@cafod.org.uk