“A bridge from a place of suffering to a better world”

This week, it was an honour to welcome Livison, CAFOD’s project officer from Zimbabwe, to the Lancaster Diocese as part of his speaking tour around the North West and North East of England this Lent.

Livison spoke to almost 60 CAFOD volunteers and supporters at the events in Poulton-le-Fylde and Preston, who came out to welcome him and learn about CAFOD’s projects in Zimbabwe, the country which this year’s Lent appeal is focusing on.

Speaking about how CAFOD funded projects are helping to combat hunger and malnutrition in the country, Livison told the story of Marian and her family, including

Marian and family

seven year old son, Svondo.

Svondo’s brother, Tawanda, never had enough food growing up so he cried a lot and didn’t play.  But thanks to CAFOD supporters from England and Wales, his brother Svondo has enough food to eat to keep him healthy. This means he plays a lot and loves peanut butter!

 

Livison shared with volunteers a direct message from Marian:

“I’m very grateful to CAFOD supporters for what they’ve done. You have been a bridge from a place of suffering to a better world. If I were to meet you, it would be such a blessing. I’d like to ask you, what drives you to give to others? Is it your kindness?”

It was an honour to welcome Livison to Lancaster and hearing his stories was truly inspiring.  We even had a little time to explore the local area and experience a true British delicacy – fish and chips!

Learn more about this Family Fast Day

Are you holding any events this Lent in your parish or school? Giving something up? Let us know – we’d love to celebrate your story!

Email lancaster@cafod.org.uk or call 01772 733310

OLSE parish recognised for commitment to living simply

 

Members of a Catholic parish in Fulwood have recently been rewarded for their efforts to ‘care for their common home’ as they received the livesimply award from  CAFOD.

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Parishioners from Our Lady and St Edward’s parish, Fulwood, have spent the last two years making tangible changes within their parish to live simply, sustainably and in solidarity with people in poverty.

In January, their hard work paid off and they received their award at a ceremony attended by the parish priest, Canon Bob Horn, members of the parish CAFOD group and two external assessors.

The church community came together to get involved in many ways: hosting an environmental family quiz night to illustrate how easy it is to go green, working imaginatively to ‘upcycle’ rubbish into art, and working to sell Fairtrade goods within the parish.  The group also organised meetings with their local MP and Minister of Security, Ben Wallace, to highlight their concerns at Government level.

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Two members of the parish at a soup lunch for CAFOD

The parish are long-time supporters of CAFOD, and have had an additional partnership with Kalomo, a town in Southern Zambia, who they have supported for more than twenty years.  Hearing about the impact of climate change on the lives of the overseas community during a visit from a Zambian nun only inspired the parishioners further.

Stephen Garsed, a member of the CAFOD group at Our Lady and St Edward’s, said: “The award is a recognition of the progress made, and we see it as a milestone, not an end. This has been a true community effort which has seen the whole parish focus on environmental stewardship and social justice, and we aim to promote the importance of caring for our common home.  This has been a grassroots project and we believe that it is so important to be a voice of people living in poverty by campaigning and showing solidarity.

“We hope that this award will be an inspiration to other parishes to embark on their own livesimply journey.”

CAFOD’s local representative in Fulwood, Patrick Gardner, added: “It’s brilliant to see Our Lady and St Edward’s parish being recognised with the livesimply award.

“By living simply, sustainably, and in solidarity with people living in poverty, parishioners are demonstrating their compassion for our global neighbours. It’s a fantastic achievement and just the start of a wonderful journey.”

Find out more about CAFOD’s livesimply award