Got a glut? Share it!

Written by Stephen Garsed

Have you a glut of fruit or vegetables? Why not take your surplus to a church event, such as Sunday morning coffee and just give it away, inviting recipients to give thanks by making a donation to CAFOD.


This is what CAFOD supporters at Our Lady and St Edwards – a livesimply parish in Preston – have been doing. Tomatoes, cucumbers, courgettes, beans and apples make up just a small selection of what is on offer. The produce is placed on a table and parishioners are invited to take whichever produce they will use in return for a donation to CAFOD.

For us, the principle is as important as the fundraising. It is about celebrating and sharing the Lord’s abundance.

There is no fixed price; it is about the value of the food, and what people think it is worth.

In this world where everything seems to be about money, there is a beautiful symmetry in freely sharing, with the hungry overseas, the Lord’s generosity to us in Preston.
This is one way in which the parish embraces the principles of livesimply.

CAFOD’s local representative, Patrick Gardner, says: “This is a wonderful example of Our Lady and St Edward’s parish continuing to live simply, sustainably and in solidarity with poor communities.

“I’m sure the actions of the parish community will inspire those around the Diocese of Lancaster and further afield.”

Find out more about the livesimply award

International Day of Families

15th of May is International Day of Families. We hear on the news about war, persecution, natural disaster and poverty which force millions of people from their homes. We hear statistics and data. However, these people are not numbers – they also have a story. One of the first lessons when you write a story in journalism is to try to bring the human element. To tell the story, people usually do not relate to others by seeing statistics, but by listening their stories.

Everyone has their own story with their family, we have funny, sad, happy stories. So, today we want to share with you one of million stories about a particular family. This is Khawle’s family – they traveled from their home in Syria, but not all of the family went with her. In fact, they had problems during their trip because her 11-year-old daughter was beaten so badly by armed men that she could not walk by herself for days.


Dario Mitidieri – ‘Lost Family Protraits’

When asked about this portrait of her family, Khawle says, “A photograph speaks of family happiness, everyone smiling together. This photograph is full of tears.”

‘Lost Family Portraits’ is a collaboration between CAFOD, the creative agency M&C Saatchi, and photographer Dario Mitidieri. Studio-style portraits were made of families whose lives were shattered as they fled the conflict, with empty chairs symbolising the loved ones they had to leave behind. Each photograph reveals the desperate choices families were forced to make to reach safety.

“A photograph speaks of family happiness, everyone smiling together. This photograph is full of tears.”

Small actions start the change. That is why with the campaign ‘Share the journey‘ is a way to relate to those who are traveling from one place to another due war, persecution, natural disaster and poverty. So, remember that you can take action and be part of the campaign by walking and put it in the totaliser.

Together, we can make the change and stand in solidarity with refugees, migrants and people on the move.

Written by Estefanía González



A taste of Peru in Warton

Holy Family, Warton, and St Anne’s, Westby, have brought  the colours and tastes of South America to England when they hosted a Peru-themed quiz and food night, as part of their involvement with CAFOD’s Connect2 scheme, on 27 April.

Parishioners from St Anne’s, Westby, and Holy Family, Warton, have been linked with two Peruvian parishes in Lima and Cruz since last year, and hoped to strengthen the links between the communities even further by hand-making local South American delicacies for the Preston communities to experience.

As well as holding events to fundraise for communities living in Peru, children from both countries send and receive letters and drawings to each other throughout the year.

One of the organisers of the event, Hayley Benyon, said:

“It was a great evening and we enjoyed bringing our parish communities together.  We have so much to learn from people living in Peru about community, and this was the perfect opportunity to get our own parishioners involved and raise awareness of CAFOD’s work and fundraise for our friends in Peru.”

Peru night.png

Children in Lomas de Carabayllo, Peru

Another organiser, Deborah Owen, added: “We offered a taste of Peru, providing samples of two Peruvian main dishes followed by a Peruvian spiced rice pudding as a dessert. This went down well with people asking for the recipes!

“More than 40 people attended the evening, raising more than £200 for CAFOD, which our late parish priest, Fr Kevin, would have been so pleased with.”

CAFOD’s local representative in Preston, Patrick Gardner, added: “Standing in solidarity with communities living overseas who are living in poverty is so important.

“Through the Connect2 scheme, parishioners from St Anne’s, Westby, and HolyFamily, Warton, have been building their understanding of life in Peru enormously and this event is yet another example of their actions helping to raise money that will transform lives overseas.  A massive well done and thank you to everyone involved!”

Find out more about CAFOD’s work in Peru