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.