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 


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

Blackpool Deanery Pilgrimage to the Holy Door

Sr Philomena Grimley SHCJ is a Sister of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, a community of Roman Catholic Sisters serving in the United States, Africa, Europe, Chile, and the Dominican Republic. Her community is based in Blackpool, in the parish of Christ the King and St Kentigern. Sr Philomena helped organise the Blackpool Deanery Year of Mercy Pilgrimage to Lancaster, using CAFOD resources as part of the day. Sr Philomena writes about the pilgrimage. 

Sr Philomena by the Martyrs Memorial

Sr Philomena by the Martyrs Memorial

On Saturday 10 September over 100 pilgrims from six parishes, that form the Blackpool deanery, travelled to Lancaster in order to take part in the Year of Mercy pilgrimage to the Holy Door at St Peter’s Cathedral.

We went in response to Pope Francis’ invitation to us all in this Jubilee to make a pilgrimage as a sign of opening ourselves to experience God’s loving mercy so as to be able to show it to others.

We went first to the Martyrs’ Memorial high on the hill above the Cathedral to be in communion with those pilgrims of faith who suffered there and in whose steps we follow Jesus.  Continue reading