Half term report – Louise and Chris step into the gap!

Louise Cross and Chris White have completed their first half term at St Mary’s Catholic College, Blackpool, and they’re buzzing with enthusiasm for their trip to Nigeria.

Taking part in a liturgy at St Mary's Catholic College in Blackpool

Taking part in a liturgy at St Mary's Catholic College in Blackpool

CAFOD’s two young ambassadors have had an “amazing” experience so far leading liturgies, addressing parishes in Blackpool and getting used to early morning starts!

Louise said her highlights so far have included having lunch with the Blackpool clergy, making prayer candles with Year 1s at St. Cuthbert’s Primary school and the St. Mary’s prayer service at Holy Family Catholic Church in Blackpool.


And she’s thrilled to be on the programme with St. Mary’s. “What an amazing school with some amazing students and staff,” she said.

“It’s a great place and I feel valued there.”

Chris, originally from Brighton, has adapted well to life in the North West.
Chris especially enjoyed watching his beloved Blackburn Rovers beat Burnley in the recent Lancashire derby. “I can quite easily say this will keep me happy for at least six months!,” beamed Chris.

For Chris one of the most rewarding parts of the term has been the visits to primary schools. “To see how young children can take on board issues that CAFOD highlight has been so interesting.”

Chris with theologian Frank Regan at a recent conference at Lancaster University

Chris with theologian Frank Regan at a recent conference at Lancaster University

And Chris has some cheeky advice for when to start the school day. “It’s hard coming from university where for three years of my life ‘a.m.’ meant stay in bed, to having to be in school by 8.30am! Maybe school could start at midday?!”


Louise and Chris “just can’t wait” for their six week trip to Nigeria where they will witness the work of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus and CAFOD.

“I’m really excited,” exclaimed Louise.

“I’m imagining the food, the smells, how it looks, the people and now I just can’t wait to get there to share with people and listen to their stories and tell them ours.”

Chris said: “I’m absolutely buzzing and quite proud to be going out as a CAFOD representative.”


Rosa Trelfa, CAFOD Lancaster Diocesan Manager said: “It’s been fantastic having these two vibrant young people as ambassadors for CAFOD in St Mary’s College in Blackpool and in the local community. Their energy has been inspiring – the Holy Spirit is alive and well!

“Chris is so easy going I honestly think he would get on with King Kong (as long as King Kong supported Blackburn Rovers). Louise is mellow enough to face anything calmly. So the combination of the two of them has been a great success.”

Patrick Gardner, CAFOD Lancaster Diocesan Officer said: “We wish them both well as they embark on 31st October out to Lagos in Nigeria where they will spend time with the Holy Child Sisters, who are supporting the Step into the Gap programme,  and witness at first hand the development work being carried out on the ground. What an experience! Louise and Chris, we’re with you every step of the way!”

Chris and Louise

Chris and Louise

For Chris and Louise being on the Step into the Gap programme has so far been an incredible experience.
“The people I work with are awesome and inspiring,” Chris said.
Louise said: “It’s more than I thought it would be and so amazingly rich.”

6 thoughts on “Half term report – Louise and Chris step into the gap!

  1. An exellent report. Chris however is not ‘originally from Brighton’ but from Horsham a town 25 miles north of Brighton. As a parishioner of St. John the Evangelist, Horsham, Chris’ parish, I and all at St. John’s are extremely proud of Chris and his ambitions and acheivements to date. We wish him and Louise and indeed all the team at CAFOD power to their arm in all that they do.

    • Oops, sorry Tom (and Chris!) for the error.

      It’s good to know that the parish of St John’s is behind Chris and Louise – we all value your support. We’re so excited about the next stage of their ‘journey’ here in Lancaster Diocese too. We’re missing them already! We’re keeping our fingers crossed that they’ll be able to be in touch with us while they’re in Nigeria through this blog – so do keep watching this space.

  2. I am a Holy Child Sister, a Nigerian living in England and the African representative on the ‘Step into the Gap programme.’ I’m really proud of you Chris and Louise and have no doubt that your visit to Nigeria will make a difference. The Holy Child sisters are proud of you and we are sure you would do us proud.
    Remember your promise to keep in touch with me while you are Nigeria. I’m interested to know how you are getting on. Bravo!!!!

  3. Louise was on BBC Radio Lancashire this morning, live from Nigeria. She’s sounding chirpy!

    To hear her click on this link:

    If you fast forward to about 1′ 48” you’ll reach the start of the interview with Louise. The link is ‘live’ for a week, so do pass it onto others.

    Thinking of them lots… : ))

  4. Well done Louise and Chris! Everyone back here on the Fylde is with you and praying for you both! Great to hear you on the radio!

  5. I’ve found the blog so infectious that I’m left almost as excited by you both getting the opportunity to go to Nigeria! I can’t wait to hear the next instalment and it’s been wonderful to hear about the experiences so far in both primary and secondary schools. Book me in for a slot at a presentation please when you’re back! 🙂

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