The CAFOD Breakfast in Crawley

Lent Family Fast Day is coming soon (23rd of February) and to help inspire us we have organised a breakfast in Crawley with some amazing speakers.

Marian stands with other members of Chinyama community veg garden with her two-month-old baby girl Talent. Zimbabwe

Marian stands with other members of Chinyama community veg garden with her two-month-old baby girl Talent. Zimbabwe

When: Sat 3rd Feb, 10 for 10:30am-midday.

Where: St Francis & St Anthony, (The Friary), Haslett Avenue West, Crawley, RH10 1HR

Maria Gonzalez CAFOD and Sudanese villagers

Maria Gonzalez CAFOD and Sudanese villagers

Who: Maria Gonzalez, CAFOD’s Head of International Development and Giovanna Reda, CAFOD’s Head of Humanitarian Programmes for Asia, Middle East, Latin America & the Caribbean. Martin Brown, from CAFOD A&B. AND YOU!

What: Tea, Coffee, Croissants and stimulating talks and conversation on CAFOD’s Syria Crisis Response and CAFOD’s work in Lebanon & Jordan, Zimbabwe. Hear a CAFOD Update and crucial information about Lent Family Fast Day.

All are welcome so please do invite people to join you – a friend? A fellow parish volunteer? Someone who might be interested in helping out? A family member? Anyone, really. And don’t forget that the UK government is doubling all donations this Lent up to a total of £5 million.

Please let us know if you can join us.

(The heating will be on.)

CAFOD Breakfast Crawley Poster Lent 2018

Giovanna Reda Photo
Giovanna, Head of Humanitarian (Asia, Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean)

Spreading the word in our local schools

Last term our team of school volunteers truly went the extra mile to visit over a quarter of our local schools, bringing the total for this academic year up to almost 40% of schools with more visits planned in the summer term. Schools were often visited more than once too.

Over ten thousand children heard about CAFOD, our work and the needs of

Towers Cakes


the world. We know also that lots of schools ran their own assemblies, workshops and activities too, such as The Towers Convent School who made and sold cakes for our East Africa Appeal and Our Lady Queen of Heaven School in Crawley who organised a fun run. The Towers Convent School also had a visit last term by our local volunteer Marie-Helene. Fr Chris Dobson of Crawley parish also visited Our Lady Queen of Heaven for their Harvest Festival and spoke of global hunger and our work.

The majority of visits were to raise awareness of our Lent Fast Day appeal but our volunteers also spoke about World Gifts, Laudato Si’, Livesimply, Fairtrade, What is CAFOD and other topics. Since the start of the academic year schools have donated almost £12,000 for Fast Days, World Gifts, our East Africa Appeal and other aspects of our work.

Children of St John's Primary School in Horsham creating a large fish out of £1 and £2 coins.

St John’s Fish – Lots of £1 and £2 coins growing into a giant fish

We haven’t been able to write up stories about all the visits and activities for our blog but we’ve got a description of visits to St Edmund’s in Godalming and St John’s in Horsham. Thank you so much to our School Volunteers, for their tireless enthusiasm, their joy and their willingness to use their skills in this way. Thanks also to the teachers, support staff and everyone in the school communities working so hard to form, educate and care for the young people of our church and neighbourhoods.

Would you like to join our team of School Volunteers? Full training is provided along with expenses, support and resources. It’s a wonderful way of putting one’s faith into action and the response from the children and young people is very rewarding. Do get in touch with us on 0483 898 866 or for more information.

If your school has raised awareness of, or funds for, CAFOD then do let us know and we’d be delighted to feature them on our blog.

Thank you to the following schools for hosting our visitors during the spring term:

St Pancras, Lewes,
St Mary Magdalene, Bexhill-on-Sea
St Thomas a Becket, Eastbourne (Junior and Senior)
Sacred Heart, Hastings
St Peter, Shoreham
St Polycarp, Farnham
St Philip, Arundel
The Marist, West Byfleet
Holy Family, Addlestone
St Wilfrid, Angmering
St Mary Magdalene, Brighton
St Edmund, Godalming
English Martyrs, Worthing
St Catherine, Littlehampton
St Philip, Uckfield
St Francis of Assissi, Crawley
St John, Horsham
St Bede, Redhill
St Mary Star of the Sea, St Leonard’s
St Mary, Portslade
St Richard, Chichester
St George, Weybridge

And our thanks to all schools who have raised funds to support our work across the world.

Fundraising Fun Run in Crawley

Pupils from Our Lady Queen of Heaven primary school, Crawley have raised £300 for CAFOD by exhausting themselves in a Fun Run.

Pupils enjoyed running around the school field, challenging themselves to achieve as many laps as possible; key stage 1 pupils averaged 12-14 laps, whilst key stage 2 pupils averaged 20. The Fun Run was a whole school event, meaning that 330 pupils took part, either paying £2 each to participate or collecting sponsorship.


All the mud and exhaustion was worth it, as the pupils raised over £300 for CAFOD; their efforts will help provide communities across the world with the means to feed their families, by helping families to receive training to set up their own small businesses, like fish farms. This will enable them to turn one fish into a whole business and provide them with an income to support their families.

Head girl, Mollie McKeever, said:

“It was great fun to be outside and exercising.  It was bit muddy but that was part of the fun!  It is lovely to know that we were having fun and helping others as well, by giving the money raised to charities like CAFOD who help communities all over the world.”

Miss Lauren Rickards, the R.E. leader at Our Lady Queen of Heaven, said:

“It was fantastic to see all the children take part in such a fun and active event.  They thoroughly enjoyed challenging themselves and wanted to achieve the best they could and get a high score for the number of laps.  It was lovely to see the children encouraging one another and thank you to the parents for coming along to cheer the runners on and show support.”


This Lent, CAFOD is focussing on work with communities in the South African country of Zambia. It is estimated that over half of Zambians live below the poverty line. This means that many families do not have enough money to meet basic needs such as food, housing and clothing.

CAFOD’s partners in Zambia provide training in fish farming, beekeeping and crop farming as well as helping individuals within communities develop business skills so those most in need understand how to get a better price for their goods, market them and even set up business partnerships.

By training individuals in the community, they will be able to share their new knowledge and empower the whole community. The money raised by Our Lady Queen of Heaven will mean that CAFOD’s partners will be able to continue to support projects around the world.

Florence and her fish pond

Florence and her fish pond


CAFOD’s representative in Crawley, Martin Brown, said:

“We would like to say a big thank you to Our Lady Queen of Heaven for joining us in transforming communities this Lent. By coming together and adding up all the small things, we can make a massive difference.

“It is always so good to the joy and enthusiasm with which the children support our work. Thanks to them, the staff at Our Lady Queen of Heaven and for all who donated to the appeal.”

Donate to the Lent Appeal at