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 


Fulwood church hosts fundraising lunch for Lent appeal

Parishioners from Our Lady and St Edwards took part in a special lunch in aid of CAFOD's Lent appeal

Parishioners from Our Lady and St Edwards took part in a special lunch in aid of CAFOD’s Lent appeal

Parishioners from Our Lady’s and St Edwards Church in Preston have raised more than £500 to help some of the poorest communities around the world as part of a Lent campaign. The Fulwood parish hosted a special fundraising lunch in aid of CAFOD.

Volunteers came together to present a variety of homemade soups, ranging from traditional: tomato, French onion and mushroom, to the more exotic quinoa with garden vegetables.

Patrick Gardner, who is CAFOD’s representative in Preston and attended the soup lunch said: “We are ever so grateful to Our Lady & St Edward’s Parish CAFOD group who do a fantastic job organising the Fast Day Soup Lunches. They are always popular and well attended. I’ve always popped in to say hello to folk and support it, but more recently myself and my colleague, John Woods, who is a parishioner at the church, have been asked to help the CAFOD group on the day.

“So, I was waiting on at tables and John was helping out in the kitchen with soup orders and through everyone’s generous donations we managed to raise over £500 and have a great time too.

Derek and Bill prepare the tasty soups

Derek and Bill prepare the tasty soups

“I would like to say a big thank you to all the parishioners and volunteers who came together to cook soup, lay the tables and serve lunch.”

This Lent, CAFOD is working with communities in the South African country of Zambia. It is estimated that over half of Zambians live below the poverty line.

This means that many families do not have enough money to meet basic needs such as food, housing and clothing.

CAFOD’s partners in Zambia provide training in fish farming, beekeeping and crop farming as well as helping individuals within communities develop business skills so those most in need understand how to get a better price for their goods, market them and even set up business partnerships.

Our Lady & St Edward's parishioners at CAFOD Lent Soup LunchThe money raised by Our Lady and St Edwards will mean that CAFOD’s partners will be able to continue to support projects around the world.



Celebrating our Volunteers

CAFOD Area Coordinator for the Fylde, Hayley Benyon, shares her thoughts on her volunteering journey with CAFOD……

Hayley, right, at the CAFOD Lancaster Volunteer Centre

Hayley, right, at the CAFOD Lancaster Volunteer Centre

I have always been drawn to CAFOD as a way to put my faith into action. Whilst it can feel overwhelming when thinking about how families are suffering, I take comfort knowing that CAFOD is helping people, and that the aid distributed is targeted for sustainable projects. I enjoy hearing real life stories from CAFOD personnel and their partners. I wish that I was 30 years younger, so that I could apply to be a CAFOD Step into the Gap volunteer.

I have so many good memories from being with CAFOD. Recently we had a powerful CAFOD Refugee Service. Young and old parishioners prayed in solidarity.

In my volunteer role, I am always proud to hear feedback on how much respect CAFOD holds and I am always overwhelmed with parishioners’ generosity for our Fast Days and Emergency Appeals.


Hayley and the CAFOD parish group at Holy Family, Freckleton and Warton

Hayley and the CAFOD parish group at Holy Family, Freckleton and Warton

I have gained so much from CAFOD’s thought provoking training and it grounds you in what we can do individually and together, to make a difference to the lives of our global brothers and sisters.