COVID-19 Update


CAFOD Supporters taking action against Climate Change

Thank you for your patience while we take on board the changing situation with COVID-19 and the incredibly important role you play in support of our development and humanitarian work.

Thanks to your compassion and commitment, we can reach some of the poorest and marginalised communities around the world.

Volunteer offices closed (for now) – but there are still many ways to get involved

CAFOD is following the advice issued by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales (CBCEW) as well as the UK government.

Following the government’s advice, we have taken the decision to cancel all face-to-face events and meetings and have closed all regional offices until at least June.

All the latest information about CAFOD’s response to COVID-19 will be on our Coronavirus Q & A and COVID-19: Information for volunteers pages.

Get in touch: All your usual local office contacts will still be available by mobile phone, email and via social media, so if you have any questions or thoughts do not hesitate to be in touch whatever your query:

Patrick Gardner        Email:       Mobile: 07920 565 454         

Emma Nolan            Email:          Mobile: 07769 931 373

Online worship

With the Coronavirus pandemic causing masses to be cancelled, there are now lots of parishes and cathedrals offering virtual worship.

You can find out more information about local live-streamed services at The Diocese of Lancaster website.

We’ve also created a ‘Children’s Liturgy Live!’ session which will take place every Sunday to help families to worship in their own homes.

Online resources

If you’re looking for community, we have a CAFOD community group on Facebook. Please do join and invite others to do the same.

If you’re a parent, we have a large range of online education resources tailored specifically for primary and secondary ages, alongside worship and prayer content.

If you’re looking to learn more about CAFOD’s international work, we will be releasing a weekly timetable of online talks.

Feel-good stories

If you are a CAFOD volunteer and hear of a great story in your local parish – please let us know so we can share it on our social media channels and website.

It would be great if you would be able to email over a few sentences about what happened, along with a photo.

Prayer for the Coronavirus

Even though the volunteer centres are temporarily shut, we hope to be able to continue to offer opportunities to connect with the lives of our sisters and brothers around the world. 

Please keep an eye on our social media pages for the latest updates:

Find us on Facebook  and and Twitter at CAFOD in Lancaster.

In the meantime, we continue to pray for all those affected by the COVID-19 virus and the healthcare workers here in the UK and overseas, who are on the frontline of this crisis – and ask that you too join us in keeping them in our thoughts and prayers.

Preston family fun run raises thousands for charity

In the world’s poorest countries, health care systems are not coping with the coronavirus and families are going hungry because people cannot go out to earn money. CAFOD’s local experts, working in communities hardest hit by the spread of the virus, are already on the frontline, reaching vulnerable families providing food, as well as improving handwashing and sanitation facilities across communities.

When lockdown was severely restricting our movements and churches were closed, CAFOD volunteers across Preston hatched a plan to bring the community together and raise money for the CAFOD Coronavirus “Summer of Hope” emergency appeal.

Peter by the Sir Tom Finney statue, outside Preston North End stadium

CAFOD parish volunteer and event organiser, Peter Towers from Saint Anthony’s parish Preston, said:  “The idea was simple: a sponsored event on Saturday 11th July in which individuals would walk, run or cycle 5 kilometres. Each participant chose their own route and time. People from parishes all over the city soon took up the challenge, with friends from Salford, London, Milton Keynes and even Spain joining in too.  I was particularly delighted when staff from Saint Anthony’s Catholic Primary school, who had been working hard throughout the crisis, came on board.”

Over the weeks leading up to the event, the team shared news using a Facebook group. Peter posted information about the work CAFOD was doing to combat the impact of Coronavirus and about the CAFOD petition asking the Prime Minister to ensure that the most vulnerable people are the priority in the UK’s international efforts as well as at home.

Donations soon started to pile up on the Justgiving page, Peter explained that, “We set ourselves a target of £2500, which we met the day before the event.

Christine and friends take a scenic walk around Rivington

“On the day itself, the Facebook group was buzzing with people posting photos and information about the routes followed. First up was Gill from Blessed Sacrament parish who ran 10km, double the distance required. John from Our Lady and St Edward’s ran past his own church, St Anthony’s and St Clare’s and Mark from St Joseph’s Hoghton followed a very clever route that spelled CAFOD on the tracker from his fitness app. My wife and I went round Moor Park Preston with a brief stop by North End stadium for a photo in front of the statue of Sir Tom Finney.

Pam sets off on her 5 km run

“It was a really exciting day which created a community spirit even though we were not physically together. Our oldest participant, Marie from Saint Anthony’s, is in her nineties and pedalled for seven miles over three days on her exercise bike. She is an inspiration to us all.”

When all the donations had come in, including Gift Aid, the event had raised over £5000, double the original target.

Patrick Gardner, CAFOD Coordinator in Lancaster Diocese, said:

“A big congratulations to the team of more than 40 runners, walkers and cyclists who raced the distance of 5km during the day, raising an amazing £5,000, and thank you to the supporters who got behind this fundraising event. As well as raising money the event has created a CAFOD community focus in difficult times. The money raised will help CAFOD scale up its support to local aid experts in developing countries to combat the impact of Coronavirus, reaching vulnerable families, who need our help to fight this deadly virus.”   

Find out how you can organise your own event at

CAFOD talks this Summer

Over the summer, we have a large range of online talks planned to help you to learn more about our work around the world and campaigning.

Thursday 6 August, 11am: Sustainable and healthy food systems – now and in the future

Join us to hear an inspirational talk from Professor Alan Dangour, Head of the Nutrition Group and Director of the Centre on Climate Change and Planetary Health.

Register here to join

Tuesday 11 August, 7pm: CAFOD live with Deputy Head of Africa, James Marchant

Join our Deputy Head of Africa, James Marchant to hear about our work across Africa and how they are implementing lessons from previous Ebola outbreaks.

Register here to join

Thursday 13 August, 11am: Carbon capture & Climate Change, the scale of the challenge

What does a net zero world look like? And what does capturing, utilising and storing CO2 have to do with it?

Join us to hear Dr Doug Barnes, the Head of Chemistry at C-Capture, give us an insight into the answers to these questions and more.

Register here to join

Thursday 20 August, 11am: CAFOD campaigner: Phil Kingston speaks

Join us for an inspiring talk from Phil Kingston, a long time CAFOD campaigner now based in Bristol and his involvement with Extinction Rebellion.

Phil is 83 and 10 years ago founded Grandparents for Safer Earth.

Register here to join

Summer of Hope Family Quiz night

We are so excited to bring you another night of family fun with our online quiz night, in aid of CAFOD’s Coronavirus Appeal.

On Friday 7 August, we are inviting you to gather your friends and family for the CAFOD Family Quiz.

Starting at 6:30pm, there will be multiple rounds covering lots of topics, which are suitable for all ages.

It’s a great chance to have a socially distanced competition – why not invite your neighbours to play along too?

We are making a suggested minimum donation of £5 per adult, which you can donate through our website or at our Celebration Fund.

All funds raised will go towards CAFOD’s Coronavirus Appeal, which is helping some of the world most vulnerable communities tackle coronavirus.

Register here: