Refugee Week 19-25 June

CAFOD supporters' messages of hope to refugees

CAFOD supporters’ messages of hope to refugees

This week, 19-25 June, marks Refugee Week, a nationwide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK, and encourages a better understanding between communities.

CAFOD supporters have a longstanding background of supporting refugees through our appeals, and joining us in standing in solidarity with those fleeing their homes and countries.

During the Year of Mercy, CAFOD volunteers and supporters from across the Lancaster diocese showed their support to refugees by sending them messages of hope.

Holy Family parish, Warton, CAFOD group

Holy Family parish, Warton, CAFOD group

In schools and parishes across Lancaster diocese, people came together to share their messages which have been received by refugees in many places across the world, including Calais, Athens, Lesbos, Lebanon, South Sudan and Colombia.

One particularly powerful message of hope, sent from one year eight student in our region, was: “If you are Christian, God will be with you.  If you are Muslim, Allahu Akbar.”

Fr Stephen blessing the Lancaster Lampedusa Cross at St Peter's Cathedral

Fr Stephen blessing the Lancaster Lampedusa Cross at St Peter’s Cathedral

This refugee week we keep those still seeking refuge in our thoughts and prayers and thank everyone who sent a message of hope. Your messages were received with gratitude.

We have written a prayer pilgrimage that can be completed with the Lampedusa cross in your own parish.  The prayer pilgrimage is an hour long but can be shortened, and finishes with parishioners writing their own messages of hope to show they are standing with refugees.

If you are interested in doing this, please contact your local volunteer centre on 01772 733310 or email lancaster@cafod.org.uk

Celebrating our Volunteers

CAFOD volunteer, Paul Wyre, shares with us about his volunteering with CAFOD in Lancaster Diocese as both Area Coordinator (Lancaster Deanery) and  Office Volunteer.

Paul with his wife, Lynne, and Fr Peter Sayer at St Bernadette's Catholic Church in Lancaster

Paul with his wife, Lynne, and Fr Peter Sayer at St Bernadette’s Catholic Church in Lancaster

I was attracted to volunteer with CAFOD because I would be able to make a difference. I’ve been involved with local and national campaigns which have highlighted global issues which affect local communities.

My favourite volunteering moment over the last year is when I helped organise the CAFOD Lancaster Memorial Mass in my own parish of St Bernadette’s. A lady travelled to the Mass from a fair distance away to join us in praying and remembering a recently deceased family member, a CAFOD supporter. Just seeing and hearing how special it was to her that time had been taken to remember and thank deceased CAFOD supporters, was so special.

Paul at the CAFOD Lancaster Volunteer Centre

Paul at the CAFOD Lancaster Volunteer Centre in Preston

I would recommend volunteering not just as a means to help the less fortunate but also as a means of meeting like-minded people who we would never have got to meet and know otherwise. I have made friends at a stage in life I did not think I would.

My time volunteering with CAFOD is an experience which will always be a very close part of my life.

 

Looking for new volunteer opportunities? See how you can volunteer with us

 

 

 

 

Preston school concert and bush tucker trial raises nearly £1,200 for CAFOD

A huge thank you to pupils and staff at Corpus Christi Catholic High School in Preston. They raised over £1,000 for CAFOD’s Lent appeal.

'Stars in Their Eyes' show

‘Stars in Their Eyes’ show

During Lent, the school had been holding various fundraising activities and the finale was a ‘Stars in their Eyes’ performance by pupils, alongside and a bush tucker trial undertaken by the teachers.

The now annual ‘Stars in their Eyes’ performance returned to the school stage with eight ‘Stars’ taking to the stage and three supporting performances from staff.

Highlights from the event, organised by Miss Gardner, included the Year 11 group ‘Bus Stop Boys’ performing Uptown Funk to the 320-pupil audience and year 8 pupil Taylor Stout with her winning performance of ‘Titanium’.

I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here - Bush Tucker Teacher Trials

I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here – Bush Tucker Teacher Trials

Another popular event was ‘I’m a Teacher Get Me Out of Here – Bush Tucker Trial’, organised by Mrs Hartley and hosted by Mr Botes with Year 11 volunteers acting as waiters. The popular show was very entertaining with several brave staff enduring some extraordinary culinary delights, including grasshoppers, pigs’ tails, bugs, eyes and worms. The winner was Mr Holden, who managed to eat everything.

A representative from the school said: “We would like to say a huge thank you and show our appreciation to the contestants, victims or fools who willingly, some more so than others, put themselves through that torture for a good cause!

“Without their willingness to put themselves through those hideously delicious delicacies, we wouldn’t have been able to do it.”

Headteacher Mr Hubbard, School Chaplain Mr Griffin, and Corpus Christi pupils, present the cheque to CAFOD

Headteacher Mr Hubbard, School Chaplain Mr Griffin, and Corpus Christi pupils, present the cheque to CAFOD

Both events successfully raised over £696, making the total for the school’s Lent fundraising £1,192.

This Lent, CAFOD has been working with communities in the South African country of Zambia. It is estimated that over half of Zambians live below the poverty line. CAFOD’s partners in Zambia provide training in fish farming, beekeeping and crop farming as well as helping individuals within communities develop business skills.

The money raised by Corpus Christi will mean that CAFOD’s partners will be able to continue to support projects around the world.

CAFOD’s representative in Preston, Patrick Gardner, said:

“We would like to say a big thank you to Corpus Christi pupils and staff for joining us in transforming communities this Lent. The events looked like so much fun and really do show that by coming together and adding up all the small things, we can make a massive difference.”