What are you doing for Lent Fast Day?

Something as simple as soup can transform a life

Ash Wednesday – 6 March – marked the beginning of Lent. Catholics around the world give up some of their favourite things, and others fast.

At the CAFOD office here in Wonersh we used the day to mark the start of our Lent appeal, aimed at helping some of the world’s poorest people break free from poverty and injustice – and you can help.

By eating a simple meal of bread and soup on Friday 15 March, Lent Family Fast Day and by donating the money you save to CAFOD, you can help families like Mahinur in Bangladesh.  It’s hard to believe such a simple act can help to transform a life, but your donation will provide communities with chickens, ducks and hardy seeds that will not be defeated by drought or salty floodwaters.

This Lent, please help us to stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers around the world. Your support really will help ensure no one is beyond reach of the love and care they need to flourish. You will be given CAFOD envelopes for your donation from your parish and if you are a tax payer please complete the gift aid form; or you can donate online.

Read more about Mahinur’s story here.

Read about how to organise a Lent Fast Soup Lunch here

Make a BIG DIFFERENCE this Lent.

LEARNING TO LIVE SIMPLY IN EWELL

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It all began when a small group of St. Clement’s parishioners met to study the papal encyclical Laudato Si.  We were inspired by the writings of Pope Francis, who was himself inspired by the life of his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi.

We reflected on the messages in Laudato Si and considered how we as a community could respond practically to protect our world, act with tenderness to each other and reach out to those in our community in need. We were keen to bring together young and old and encourage those who do not always get involved in the day to day life of the parish.

Our answer was to become a Live Simply parish and to apply to CAFOD for their Live Simply award.    

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With the backing of our Parish Priest, Fr. Graham Bamford, and the parish we launched the initiative in May 2017 and were registered by CAFOD as a participating parish on 10th July 2017.

Since then we have

  • made a Live Simply banner and a special notice board
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  • built a vegetable garden, which has been a great success, despite our very dry summer this year, producing good organic vegetables for sale. The proceeds from the sales went to our Connect 2 Cambodia appeal
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  • made sure that all coffee and tea served at St. Clement’s is Fairtrade. We have purchased recyclable cups and started a compost bin
  • set up a walking club to encourage spending time together and appreciating our surroundings
  • held a walk to church weekend encouraging car sharing for those who couldn’t walk
  • held a “Live Simply” reflection during Lent, leading the Stations of the Cross
  • produced a Parish Christmas card, as an alternative to individual cards
  • run a parish social in aid of Epsom and Ewell Food Bank, raising £620
  • raised awareness about refugees and migrants by taking part in CAFOD’s Share the Journey.
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We are now hoping to become the third parish in the Diocese to receive CAFOD’s Live Simply award and we shall be submitting our evidence very soon.

We hope the experience of working towards the award will continue as a positive opportunity for everyone in the parish, young and old, to come together with one goal: to make God known by the way we, as a community, act.

Story: John Farrell, Jonathan Inns and Charlotte Gregory    Picture:  Charlotte Gregory

CAFOD would like to wish Fr Graham, John Farrell, Jonathan Inns, Charlotte Gregory and all the St Clements Parishioners luck in their forthcoming assessment and to thank them for all their hard work in striving to achieve this award.

CAFOD is proud to support ‘The Justice and Peace Assembly 2019 Human Trafficking: Slavery On Our Doorstep’

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Last Saturday around 160 people from the Diocese attended the Justice and Peace Assembly at the St Philip Howard Centre (DABCEC) on the theme of “Human Trafficking: Slavery on our Doorstep.”

A very interesting talk was given by Richard Lancashire from Sussex Police about ‘What is Modern day Slavery which is often hidden from plain view. It could be happening to people working as car washers, in care homes, cleaning hospitals etc. He emphasised that although some of them may think they were better off in this country, it was unacceptable practice to exploit them for miserable wages. People were encouraged to contact the Police and the Modern Slavery Helpline – if they suspected exploitation.

Mick Duthie, Deputy Director of Santa Marta Group spoke about ‘The Church and Law Enforcement Combating Modern Slavery’ and the great work being done by the Catholic religious sisters in tackling the issue to overcome modern day slavery in conjunction with the police. Pope Francis instigated the Santa Marta Group to bring the Church and law enforcement agencies together.

Sr. Pat Mulhall (Brigidine) who works at Bakhita House in London spoke movingly about the work of supporting women victims who have been trafficked. Deacon Roger Stone who was the Apostleship of the Sea Port Chaplain for Southampton highlighted the challenging problems of helping victims of human trafficking but of the necessity for the Church to play a key role in supporting them.

John Paul de Quay (Ecological Conversion Group/Social Action Commission) ran some thought provoking workshops challenging us to look at every aspect of our lives and how it effects others and the earth.  Although the problems that the world faces may seem insurmountable and our efforts insignificant; every little bit helps – he reminded as to do all things well – even  recycling!

 

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There were many stalls representing a wide variety of charities and it was clear to see how each one is meeting a need in our society today.  Furthermore, there was a fairtrade stall with a huge array of fairtrade goods to buy. I enjoyed chatting to people about CAFOD and was very impressed to see so many of our CAFOD parish volunteers at ‘The Assembly.’ 

Should you wish to find out more about volunteering for CAFOD please visit our website.

https://cafod.org.uk/Volunteer/Volunteer-with-us