There is still time to do the Power to Be campaign in your parish

We all have dreams. What are yours?

What do you want the Power to Be?

Every child has the power in them to achieve great things. But with one in six people still living without electricity, the hopes of millions of the world’s children are too often a distant dream.

Local, renewable energy is usually the cheapest, fastest and most efficient solution to bring power to the poorest communities. It can help families to lift themselves out of poverty, without harming the world we share.

In our Power to Be campaign we are calling on the World Bank to ensure the world’s poorest people can access renewable energy. Over 27 thousand people have added their names and called on the World Bank to switch towards funding local, renewable energy but more are still needed.

We have various resources for your parish such as a liturgy and a campaign guide but perhaps we’d suggest three simple, low-effort ways you could introduce it to your parish as we approach Advent and Christmas;

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Reading Launches our Young Leaders

Many thanks to our new CAFOD Young Leaders who attended their first day of training yesterday at St Joseph’s College Reading. Year 12 students from three schools in the diocese signed up to the training: St Peter’s in Guildford, St George’s in Weybridge and Salesians in Chertsey. They joined students from the Portsmouth Diocese meaning that  60 young people have volunteered to be CAFOD Young Leaders.

St Peter's students speaking to the other leaders

St Peter’s students from Guildford speaking to the other leaders

Sarah Burrows from CAFOD’s Youth team started the training by welcoming the students and staff, and reflecting on “our place in the world” . After a few lively ice breakers the students matched up facts  and figures from the World Statistics activity which included the fact the 1.1 billion people don’t have access to electricity.  Then the students explored their idea of a leader and shared their thoughts on the qualities of leadership.

CAFOD's Sarah Burrows inspiring young leaders

CAFOD’s Sarah Burrows inspiring young leaders

The afternoon focussed on CAFOD’s Power to Be campaign and with the help of a variety resources the Young Leaders were asked to produce a short presentation to promote the campaign.

The day concluded with the Power to Be activity where everyone was asked to write a thought or prayer about access to energy on a ray and place it on the sun.

Young leaders have the Power to Be

Young leaders have the Power to Be

Many thanks to the staff from the schools who are supporting the students in this training and for accompanying yesterday. Also thanks to St Joseph’s college Reading who hosted the day and provided excellent refreshments!

We look forward to hearing  how the Young Leaders promote the Power to Be campaign in their schools -do send us your photos, and see you for next training day on 25th January.

Are you inspired? Why not join in our Power to Be campaign or look into taking part in our Gap Year Program.

Perhaps you want to help our work with children and young people and are interested in becoming a Schools Volunteer? Get in touch with us if we can help. or 01483 898 866.

The Power to Be Sun

The Power to Be Sun

Livesimply – not Sackcloth in Ash

We were delighted to hear an update from Ash on their work towards becoming a livesimply parish. Mike Harte, CAFOD Volunteer, said:

‘Our CAFOD team held a combined Live Simply Pledge and Power to Be talk at each weekend Mass recently. Three of our team (there are six of us in total) gave the talk

‘As a result, we received 24 signed Live Simply pledges and 39 completed Power To Be cards, which we presented during the Mass Offertory collections on the subsequent weekend’s Masses. These will be forwarded to CAFOD as part of our Live Simply plan.’

Two of the Ash team encouraging their fellow parishioners to live simply, sustainably and in solidarity with the poor

Two of the Ash team encouraging their fellow parishioners to live simply, sustainably and in solidarity with the poor

The livesimply plan can be seen below:

Live Simply Plan

Live Simply

  1.  Parish families’ nature walk (8th Oct)…..newsletter/notices 24 Sept, 1 Oct
  2. Live Simply banner (recycled materials)….by 1st Oct (Offertory), notices/newsletter 24th ff.
  3. Weekly Live Simply Tip in parish newsletter

Live Sustainably with Creation

  1. Supply flower bulbs to create an outdoor reflection area… 1st Oct (Offertory);
  2. CAFOD Power to Be card signing at Masses 16/17 Sept.
  3. Appoint ‘monitor persons’ for energy saving

Live in Solidarity with People who are Poor

  1. Weekly food bank collection.
  2. Fairtrade stall.
  3. Fairtrade ‘kitchen’


The Livesimply Pledge, designed by the group for the subsequent week was:

I pledge myself to live simply by participating in the parish launch week activities:

Sat/Sunday – short talk and sign Power to Be card

Monday – ensure to turn off lights and TV etc ‘standby’

Tuesday – turn off all laptops, I-phones, etc one hour earlier than normal

Wednesday – cook left-over foods

Thursday – sort out recyclable materials for parish banner

Friday – spend 15-30 minutes in quietness, maybe outside

Sat/Sunday – replace a weekly shopping item with one from our Fairtrade stall

signed:  ………………………

The days could be rearranged to suit the signatories.

CAFOD and Oxfam campaigners campaigning about Sainsbury's 'Fairly Traded' Tea

CAFOD and Oxfam campaigners campaigning about Sainsbury’s ‘Fairly Traded’ Tea

In addition to this the group wrote to four local Sainsbury’s store managers regarding Sainsbury’s new policy of restricting the local farmers control over the financial premium they receive on the sale of all ‘Fairly Traded’ goods.

Mike said ‘While Sainsbury claim to be very supportive of small, poor farming communities, three respondents have promised to pass on our concern about the wording “Fairly Traded” on their products, to the team that deals with this policy.’

Our thanks go to Mike, the CAFOD group and the parish for making great progress on the livesimply award and for raising a voice about Fairtrade.