Campaigning in Cardiff and Menevia

Campaign co-ordinators -Paul, Stella (Menevia), John (Cardiff) and Therese (Herefordshire)

On Monday 22 May, our new Campaign co-ordinators met in the Cardiff Volunteer Centre to look at the new Power to Be campaign and how we would like more of our parish communities in Cardiff and Menevia to put their faith into action by getting involved in campaigning on behalf of the world’s poorest communities.

Stella Westmacott and her husband Paul, have a wealth of knowledge about environmental issues and based in the lovely parish of Holy Cross, Pontyberem near Carmarthen.  John Fellows is our go-to campaigner in the Metropolitan Cathedral in Cardiff where he is parishioner.

We are looking to get as many people as possible involved in CAFOD’s next week of action on climate change, coming up from 1- 9 July 2017.

We are here to help encourage and support people to organise local events during the week, and if possible, inviting their newly elected local MP to join them.

CAFOD exercises strong and transparent stewardship of your donations to ensure that the money reaches the communities in most need.

But campaigning is an intrinsic part of our work.  We need to raise awareness of the root cases of poverty and the structures that keep people in poverty.  Sadly climate change hit the world’s poorest communities first and hardest.

So we are looking for volunteers to help with the Power To Be campaign.  It’s a sad fact but one in six people in the world are still living without electricity. The hopes of millions of children are too often a distant dream.

Kieran O’Brien with Campaign co-ordinators

Here are the answers to many frequently asked questions.

There are many ways to get involved and Stella, John and Therese will be contacting parishes across the dioceses to ask if you can get involved.

If you would like more information before their call, then please get in touch.

The warming caused by huge consumption on the part of some rich countries has repercussions on the poorest areas of the world, especially Africa, where a rise in temperature, together with drought, has proved devastating for farming. Pope Francis (Laudato Si’ #51)

 

Hustings in Swansea

Michael Doyle, Campaign volunteer from Tenby

On the last evening in May (Wednesday 31), the stage was set for International Hustings in Swansea at St Mary’s Church.

The event was jointly organised by the Welsh Centre for International Affairs and the Church in Wales and was chaired by the Rt Revd John Davies, Bishop of Swansea and Brecon.

It was an opportunity for our campaign volunteers from CAFOD to question representatives from the main political parties about key international issues within the remit of Westminster and the UK government.

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CAFOD in the summer term in schools

David Brinn (trainer) Sue, Chris, John (Cardiff volunteers) and  Jane, Sue and Sarah (Menevia volunteers)

Our team of education volunteers across Cardiff and Menevia had a joint day of working on Monday 15 May when they met together in the Cardiff volunteer centre.

The purpose of the refresher training was to bring together all our wonderful volunteers – experienced and newly-recruited, to explore the resources which we are using in schools during the Summer term and beyond.

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The Easter Triduum

The Sacred Triduum begins today, Maundy Thursday, with the Mass of the Lord’s supper this evening.

It brings to a close the forty days of Lent and the beginning of the three days marking the Passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ – Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil/Easter Sunday. Continue reading

Creative ideas for Lent at St Francis Xavier’s

On Monday 13 March one of our schools volunteers, Therese Warwick, visited St Francis Xavier’s RC Primary School in Hereford to share the message of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ at assembly.

Watch the animation here.

This was followed up with a workshop with Year 4 and their class teacher, Mrs George who is also the school’s eco-co-ordinator.

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Earth Hour – Saturday 25 March at 8.30 p.m. in the UK

What is Earth Hour?  And why should we be interested?

Earth Hour is an annual global celebration where people switch off their lights for one hour to show that they care about the future of our planet.

It’s the tenth anniversary of Earth Hour and it’s estimated that over 6 million people will take part in the UK.

CAFOD is speaking out about climate change because it is the single biggest threat to reducing poverty that exists today. Whether it’s floods destroying livelihoods or unpredictable rains leaving millions hungry.

The last three years have been the hottest on record.

It’s estimated that nearly 1 in 6 species are at risk of becoming extinct – all down to climate change.

We have just one world and it’s changing fast.

It’s never been more important to show that we care.

In his encyclical Laudato Si’, Pope Francis calls on us all to make simple daily gestures to care for the world’s poorest people, for future generations and for the earth, our common home.

This is an opportunity to live wisely, think deeply and love generously.

Since the Paris agreement in 2015 and the UK’s own Climate Act – there have been strong calls for action – but the need is urgent and now is the time to act to protect our beautiful planet Earth.

Earth Hour is a global movement, which brings millions together across the world to call for greater action.

In 2016 a record number of countries took part – 178 countries – in fact and each year more countries come on board.

Famous landmarks around the globe take part – the Sydney Opera House, the Eiffel Tower, Buckingham Palace and Edinburgh Castle and in Wales, the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea, Cardiff Castle and the National Library of Wales, the Principality Stadium and the Liberty Stadium, as well as many other cities, towns and communities like our very own across the world will switch off their lights and come together for an hour, to join a global show of support for action on climate change.

Will you join us tonight (Saturday 25 March) at 8.30 p.m.  Sign up, switch off your lights and show you want action on climate change.

Get to know more about climate change by reading about our latest campaign.

Let us pray for the earth, our common home.

Send us an update if you take part.  We’d love you to help us with our campaigns too.  There are many ways to get involved!

Lent Fast Day is today!

Today – March 10 – is Lent Fast Day.

In this year’s Lenten appeal we are learning about Florence – a 41 year old widow with two children, living in Zambia.  Florence wanted to learn about fish farming and received training from CAFOD’s partner, the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary.

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£500 raised at St Joseph’s Cathedral School in Swansea

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Education volunteers Sue and Sarah with some of the infant pupils

St Joseph’s Cathedral School in Swansea organised a day of fundraising fun for the whole school on Friday 3 March and the staff chipped in too!

A parent of one of the children was delighted to support the school’s initiatives and volunteered to help out too – by providing a wonderfully generous Fish and Chip lunch for the staff, which was delivered to the school by two brothers – Ouday and Emir Hiks, from the local chippy.

What a delicious treat and fantastic way to raise funds too!

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Getting the lowdown on Zambia for Lent

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Supporters from some of the Swansea parishes – thank to Canon Flook and St David’s Priory for hosting

Thank you to everyone who attended the Lent Fast Day briefings around the Archdiocese, following the visit by Sr Yvonne.

We have one briefing still outstanding – in Burry Port on Wednesday 16 March at 6 pm.

We are so grateful for your support and it’s a wonderful opportunity for us to share the story behind the Lent appeal more widely.

Florence lost her husband ten years ago in a mining accident.  Despite being a very hardworking mother who is devoted to her family, she struggled to put enough food on the table for her family or to send her younger children to school.

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Supporters from every parish in the Hereford Deanery – special thanks to Fr Matthew Carney at Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs in Hereford

The Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary who have been working in her community for over 20 years, recognised how determined Florence was to stand on her own two feet, so they gave her 500 tiny fish as well as the tools and the training to build a pond to farm them.

By selling some of the fish at market, Florence was able to send her children to school – to give them a future.  And Florence is already giving back, sharing what she has with the most vulnerable in her community.

We hope that you have all found the talks, online webinar, briefings or cup of tea meetings useful – we certainly have and it has been lovely to touch base with our wonderful parish volunteers.

If you weren’t able to look join us for the online webinar – all is not lost – you can access it a shorter version here on YouTube.

We showed this powerpoint presentation in the briefings.

And there is a very useful background information sheet on Zambia too.

Other resources you might find useful are a children’s liturgy illustration and a suggested children’s liturgy sheet.

Lent Fast day is this Friday 10 March when we come together to make sacrifices such as eating a simple lunch or supper.

Your sacrifice and donation will support other families like Florence’s so that they too can change their lives.  Just £4 will buy 100 tiny tilapia fish.  £20 will proved the material to build a pond.

Finally, why is so important to consider Gift Aid?  When you donate to CAFOD and fill in the Gift Aid form, you can increase the value of your gift by 25p for every £1 you give – at no extra cost to you. This extra 25 per cent makes a big difference and means that we are able to support our partners with additional funding.   See our Gift Aid video to find out more and to check if you are eligible to Gift Aid your donation.

Last year alone, we raised over £2.6 million through Gift Aid donations.  That extra income has transformed so many lives.  Thank you.