Lancaster parishioners support #ficamaua campaign

Last Sunday, members of St Peter’s Church, Lytham came together to show their support for the Maua community in Sao Paulo, Brazil. They signed the petition and took photos with a sign saying #ficamaua. The petition was signed by over 50 people, which is a fantastic result!

Cath Powell MBE

Cath Powell, MBE, supporting #ficamaua

The Maua community resides in a building in the centre of Sao Paulo. The building was ficamauaoriginally a hotel, but was left empty for 17 years, until over 200 homeless families renovated it and moved in in 2007. Since then, they have been desperately trying to win their legal rights to live there and have recently been engaging in negotiations with the authorities. The situation has now become urgent as a shock eviction notice has been given to the community, meaning that 237 families, over 1,000 people, now face being forced out of their homes by police. The date was originally set for the 22nd October, but thankfully the eviction has been temporarily suspended for thirty days on the grounds of public interest and considering the vulnerability of the families living in the building. The eviction date has now been moved to 21st November, giving us longer to show our support and to urge the Brazilian authorities to change their minds.

Ficamaua

CAFOD Volunteer, Peter Brocklesby, is supporting the Maua Community, are you?

CAFOD’s partner in Brazil APOIO is currently working with the Maua community to try and defend their right to secure housing, however there is no further legal option to save the community. This means that the only option left to them is for the international Catholic community to put pressure on the authorities to stop the eviction.

Neti de Araujo, a community leader within the Maua community who has met with CAFOD supporters in the past has said: “We in the Maua community have spent 10 years living in this building which we have cleaned, looked after and made into a home for 237 families. For years we have been negotiating for the acquisition of this building for social housing with an affordable rent. Now we are at risk of an eviction. We have not been offered an alternative. We will have to leave our homes and live in the street. I am counting on you and your prayers”

Parish priest Fr David Burns, commented on how important it is to “to reach across the

Fr David

Fr David Burns showing his support for the Maua community

seas to our brothers and sisters in need”, and Emily McIndoe, CAFOD volunteer, added that “it was great to see so many people in the parish taking an interest in the campaign and coming together to help those in need in Brazil, our thoughts and prayers are with the Maua community in this difficult time.”

Can you sign the petition asking the Brazilian authorities to suspend the eviction and to negotiate a just, permanent solution for the families? Can you print off the petition and ask people in your parish or community to add their signatures? Will you show solidarity with the Maua community by taking a picture of yourself holding a sign saying #ficamaua to share with us on social media?

Find out more about the campaign.

St Anne’s, Westby, support Power to Be

On Wednesday 6 September, 30 parishioners from St Anne’s church in Westby came together to follow the CAFOD Power to Be guided liturgy, embarking on a journey of solidarity with their sisters and brothers overseas.

The group reflected on the liturgy, available to all on the CAFOD website, accompanied by the relaxing sounds of a fellow parishioner who had kindly offered to play the violin at the service.

Some of the readings were given by children from the group, who, in the words of one parishioner, “read beautifully.”

St Anne’s parish priest, Fr Kevin Lowry, as well as their retired priest in resident Fr Aiden Turner were in attendance.

Debbie Harris, who helped to organise the evening, said: “As the only parish CAFOD contact for St Anne’s church at Westby, and new in the role, I felt that holding this reflective guided liturgy would be a good way to raise awareness of CAFOD’s work.  It wasn’t about receiving donations, it was an actual service looking at signing cards to ask the UK’s representative at the World Bank to support local, renewable energy which tackles poverty.

“Achieving great things is something that is particularly important to me with having two young children of my own. Having my children and other young parish members speak on the evening made it more poignant.

“I had support from the parish priest and also Hayley Benyon, from a neighbouring church in the Deanery. The feedback we received was very positive, the congregation enjoyed the service and felt that the content was meaningful, relevant and well presented by the team of children and adults.”

Patrick Gardner, CAFOD‘s local representative in Lancaster, added: “We’re really pleased that St Anne’s could come together to take part in our Power to Be reflective liturgy. Standing in solidarity with our brothers and sisters overseas is incredibly important, and this liturgy is a perfect example of St Anne’s doing this.

“Thank you particularly to Debbie and Hayley who helped to make the evening the success it has been!”

40 individuals from the parish chose to sign the Power to Be action cards which add to the 19,000 other voices calling on Melanie Robinson at the World Bank to invest more money into providing people across the world with access to safe, renewable energy.

Order action cards to share in your parish

You’re invited to St Anne’s, Westby, Power to Be Liturgy on 6th September

St Anne’s Church, Westby, are hosting their own reflective liturgy on September 6th from 7pm until 7:45pm to show their support for CAFOD’s Power to Be campaign.  The team at St Anne’s are extending their welcome to all who would like to attend.

 

powertobe

Currently, one in six people live without electricity globally. Local, renewable energy is usually the cheapest and most efficient way to bring power to the poorest communities. It means that families don’t have to rely on dangerous and unhealthy energy sources such as paraffin lamps and firewood. It enables children to study after dark, nurses to keep vaccines cold and farmers to irrigate crops.

Through the World Bank, the UK already invests in energy access to combat poverty but less than 3% of World Bank spending goes towards renewable energy and clean cooking.

CAFOD’s Power to be campaign is asking the UK’s representative at the World Bank, Melanie Robinson, to use her influence to ensure that children everywhere have the power to achieve great things and lift themselves out of poverty, without harming the planet.

CAFOD’s representative in Lancaster, Patrick Gardner, said:  “By coming together and raising our voices we really can make difference and be the change we want to see in the world.

“We would like to say a massive thank you to the parishioners at St Anne’s, Westby, for organising this amazing event and showing that they really do care about energy access around the world.”

If you’d like to run your own Power to Be liturgy, you can find the resources here.

 

Find out more details about the reflective Power to Be liturgy in Westby