Warton parishioners hold special Lent service to fundraise for East African communities

Holy Family CAFOD team

Holy Family CAFOD team

Warton parishioners have held a prayer service which has helped to raise over £200 to help millions of people facing starvation in East Africa.

On 7 April, the Holy Family CAFOD team, Warton, organised a Lenten prayer service to help raise funds for the aid agency’s East Africa Appeal. A large group gathered for the prayer service where attendees reflected on the crisis, whilst listening to parish members from the CAFOD team talk about each of the individual countries that the crisis has affected.

After the prayer service, everyone was invited to write a message for people in East Africa on a leaf – which was then hung on a tree, as an act of solidarity.

CAFOD volunteer Hayley Benyon, who helped organise the event, said:

“From six-years-old to 80 years young – our CAFOD team all felt compelled to take time out to pray together, for the families suffering due to climate change and conflict. CAFOD is our “faith in action”, helping people in desperate need – we also prayed for Yemen which is close to our hearts.

“We are encouraged by the fact that CAFOD and its partners are distributing aid and offering solidarity grants to families in need. One of our parishioner’s mothers wrote a poem about CAFOD 20 years ago, which her daughter read to end our service and it is still relevant in 2017.”

In East Africa, there are currently over 16 million people in need of urgent food and other life-saving assistance. Despite the challenges, CAFOD makes sure that aid reaches the families who are most in need, through the network of trusted local organisations which CAFOD works with in South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.

CAFOD Director Chris Bain said:

“We would like to say a huge thanks to the communities in England and Wales who have given generously, coming together to help communities affected by drought and conflict.”

“The generosity of the British population as a whole has also been heart-warming. CAFOD is a member of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), whose East Africa Crisis Appeal has raised over £42 million.”

Donate to CAFOD’s East Africa Appeal Crisis 


Primary Schools across the Diocese of Lancaster have taken part in a pilgrimage to Lancaster Cathedral

Since September, more than 80% of Catholic primary schools in Lancaster Diocese have completed a pilgrimage to Lancaster Cathedral.


Schools journeyed from across the diocese to take part in a pilgrimage, which gave school children the opportunity to step out in faith, which was demonstrated through walking, song and prayer.


Students walking along the pilgrimage

The pilgrimage began at The Priory Church at Lancaster Castle. Whilst at the castle, children heard about Lancaster Martyrs. The school children journeyed through Lancaster to the City Museum, before walking to the Cathedral. As children walked through the city centre, they stopped at various stations to hear stories, local history, sing and pray. With each new footstep, the children progressed on their pilgrimage. Throughout the day, children were given the opportunity to participate in prayers, these were reflected on at the Cathedral.

Suzanne Smith, Head Teacher at St Bridget’s Catholic Primary School, said:

“Year six joined a number of other primary schools for a walking tour of Lancaster, finishing with collective worship in St. Peter’s Cathedral. Even though it was a wet day the children thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Children from across the Diocese of Lancaster, embraced the opportunity to put their faith into action. The pilgrimage days were organised as part of the Year of Mercy, which officially ended in November.

Miss S. Deakin, Head Teacher, St Francis Catholic Primary School, said:

“Year 5 children joined other schools on a Pilgrimage trip to Lancaster and it was truly wonderful.”

Over the year, CAFOD Education Volunteers visit schools to deliver assemblies and workshops. Our education volunteers were really excited to attend the pilgrimage and share the vital work of CAFOD with so many school children all at once! The students listened eagerly as they heard of CAFOD’s vital work in Bolivia.

st bridgets pilgrimage.jpg

 Year six students at St Bridget’s, Egremont, took part in a celebration at St Peter’s Cathedral, Lancaster.

Local CAFOD representative in Lancaster, Patrick Gardner, said:

“Over the last few months, our education volunteers have taken part in a Year of Mercy Pilgrimage organised by the Lancaster Diocesan Education Centre, involving over 2000 school primary school children, from schools across the diocese. Thanks to our CAFOD education volunteers, each group of schools who attended the pilgrimage, were able to hear about the wonderful work of CAFOD.”

Lancashire parishioners join a pilgrimage to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne.

Catholics from the Diocese of Lancaster, and from across the North East of England, brave the high tides of Holy Island to raise awareness of the Refugee Crisis.  


Over 150 pilgrims walking in the North Sea

Over 150 parishioners from across the Diocese of Lancaster and the North East of England came together on Saturday 10th September to take part in a pilgrimage. Parishioners walked knee-deep in the North Sea to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, holding a Lampedusa Cross. People travelled from as far as Lancaster and Leeds to walk the route and reflect on the refugee crisis.

Sicilian carpenter Francesco Tuccio made rough crosses from the wreckage of a boat carrying refugees that sank off the island of Lampedusa. The crosses were offered to survivors as a symbol of their rescue and a sign of hope.  Continue reading