Margaret’s walking for CAFOD’s coronavirus appeal

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CAFOD parish volunteer Margaret contacted me recently to tell me what she has been doing quietly. At first she said, ” I don’t want any publicity and I certainly don’t want a visit from the BBC!”, (although she wouldn’t mind meeting Charlie from breakfast tv)!

Later she agreed I could share it!

She told me, “Of course like everyone else I really miss meeting people at Church….. I meet many people each day on my daily walks pushing my rollator around Linthorpe! I was ahead of Captain Tom celebrating his 100th birthday and I know that he was able to raise millions for the NHS. I’ve decided to raise funds for the CAFOD appeal and each day I’m going to put some money in a CAFOD box and at the end of all this that money is for the appeal.”

What a marvellous idea! Keep up the great effort Margaret!

Is there anything you are doing to support our Coronavirus appeal that you’d like to share with us – we’d love to hear from you! Join our coronavirus appeal today

CAFOD Volunteer Meetings in February

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Our Volunteer meetings will take place during this month.

Tuesday 11th February in the Father Kelly room at Our Lady’s, Cornlands Road,  Acomb, York from 11:30 – 1:30pm.

Tuesday 18th February at St Anthony’s Church, Beverley Road, Hull from 12:30 – 2:30pm.

Thursday 27th February at the Curial Offices, 50a The Avenue, Linthorpe Middlesbrough from 12:00 – 2:00pm.

Please tell us if you are coming and feel free to bring a friend along with you!

Teenage campaigner inspires community to come together

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Jodie explains some of the issues that need addressing

A 14-year-old from Driffield has organised a series of environmental events and workshops to help her community learn more about the effects of climate change,

With support from her local CAFOD parish volunteer, Ethna Connell, young Jodie Lidster has been rallying the parishioners at her local church to get involved with a campaign to tackle climate change by making small changes in their everyday lives.

“Climate change is a big problem to society because we are killing all living things on the earth like trees, flowers and sea creatures,” said Jodie, who volunteers with the Catholic international development charity CAFOD.

“There are droughts and flooding and people are suffering. And we don’t know that it’s happened because we have done so much damage.

“Litter is a huge problem. It travels all over to the other side of the world just to be dumped in the poorest countries, it’s not fair. What’s even more unfair is that they have to fish it up and walk through it just to look for food and drink.”

“I want to help. I want my parish to help me to help.”

Jodie started by making a massive poster for the church hall and got the children’s group at church involved by playing games around the theme of the environment.

The determined youngster then decided to organise a plant and produce sale, which included information stalls to help local people to learn more about the effects of climate change.

Jodie said: “When we asked the people from the parish for help, they came with local plants, vegetables, and eggs from my grandma’s chickens. People made jams from homegrown fruit and one of our young readers at church and her mum made biscuits and they sold so quickly.

“We got support from the children’s church group, who showed and explained how we can all help in our own world. Our youngest church reader, who is seven years old, taught us to recycle plastic to make bird feeders.”

In addition to campaigning about climate change, Jodie also used her skills to fundraise to help install a disabled ramp at her church.

“Because many of our friends are old and frail and others have disabilities and some use wheelchairs, we had a problem as there are steps into our church,” said Jodie. “So, we all decided to help raise money to have a ramp for easier access into the church and to help people feel independent and welcome.

“With the sale, we raised a little money and decided to share this between the disabled ramp and CAFOD, who are campaigning to tackle climate change as part of their ‘Our Common Home’ campaign.”

This event was one of many inspired by CAFOD’s ‘Our Common Home’ campaign and organised by CAFOD volunteers around the country. It is hoped the events will highlight the growing concern for the environment and start new conversations about climate change. 

Find out more about CAFOD’s campaigns at cafod.org.uk/campaign

St Mary’s Cathedral leads the way

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With grateful thanks to Don for this report on the first Creation campaign event.

Don prepares to collect signatures for our petition from parishioners

As the result of the positive response by Mgr. Gerard Robinson, Dean of St Mary’s Cathedral, to CAFOD’s Creation Celebration campaign, the Mass at the Cathedral on the morning of 19 May 2019, the fifth Sunday of Easter, incorporated hymns and prayers that celebrated God’s creation.

The Mass was celebrated by Fr Richard Marsden, who, in his introduction, explained the Mass as having a special focus on the Care of Creation and he reminded the congregation to keep that intention in their prayers.

In his homily, the Rev Ken Senior, the Cathedral deacon, spoke of the ‘vastness of God’s love’ and pointed out ‘One of the ways that God has shown his love for us all is by giving us a fantastic world in which to live. Sadly, partly through lack of knowledge, and partly through things out of our control, we have done many things to harm our world.

This is something Pope Francis has become acutely aware of and deeply concerned about. So much so that he wrote an encyclical on the subject, Laudato Si’, his message being that we need to care for our planet and to do everything possible to reverse the damage we have done. So, as we think about how we love those around us, we also need to think about our love for future generations and for the legacy that we will leave them.’

The Children’s Liturgy Group studied St Francis’s Canticle of Creation and considered why God’s creation is so special and what we can do to look after it. The children read out the following prayer to the whole congregation: “Dear Lord, help us to see your beauty and likeness in all created things, so that we may follow St Francis in showing care for creation. Amen.”

Before the final blessing, Don Lillistone, the parish CAFOD representative, spoke of the Creation Celebration campaign and encouraged parishioners to sign CAFOD’s petition asking the Government to commit to a net zero greenhouse emissions reduction target by 2045.

After Mass, Carol Cross, CAFOD Community Participation Coordinator for the Diocese of Middlesbrough, helped Teresa Lyth, the Chair of the Cathedral Justice and Peace group and other members of the group to deal with the enthusiastic response to the petition and to answer any queries. 112 parishioners signed the petition.   

Parishioner’s showing their concern for Our Common Home, eagerly signing the petition.

Weathering the changes on the Humber Bridge Cross

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Smiles of anticipation as we waited to set off

The sun was shining brightly and the birds were singing as Christian Aid and CAFOD volunteers set off for the annual Humber Bridge Cross. There were many friendly faces greeting us as we passed each other walking to the Barton side. You could see for miles all around from the elevated vantage of the bridge as we made the first crossing. I think Sam the dog could sense a change was coming!

Refreshments on the Barton side, Sam the dog was eager to get going again!

The thing about walking across the Humber Bridge is you are exposed to the elements. Grey clouds were descending as we set off again, soon turning into a heavy downpour driven by a gusty wind! Bernard was walking with the aid of two sticks when we met Margaret, who’d left her coat at home but bravely continued the first cross and lapped us on the way back to the Hessle side! For us, it was a real case of heads down into the wind and endure the torrent until it abated – we were soaked through!

A little rain didn’t dampen their spirits – Margaret and Bernard smiled through!

As we got back to where we started, the rain stopped and the sun came back out! The other walkers had already left for home as we claimed our certificates from Teresa and Norah and bid farewell to the friendly teams in the registration tent as they packed up for another year. No doubt we’ll be back to do it all again next year!

Day 6 of our virtual pilgrimage to Holy Island – St Aidan

We’ve already heard of Aidan from time to time over the last few days. How did he become involved? Well, let’s pay attention for about two minutes. 

St Aidan’s statue on Holy Island – he was the first Bishop of Lindisfarne

We’ve already heard of the Northumbrian King Edwin. He became a Christian in 632 thanks to the efforts of Paulinus. But prior to that, his two nephews, Oswald and Oswiu, the children of his sister, Aelia, ended up in exile on Iona. Edwin was killed in battle in 633, but the following year, Oswald defeated his father’s killer at the battle of Heavenfield near Hexham and became King of Northumbria. No need to be too worried about all of that, it’s just how things were back then.

Read more: https://cafodhexhamnewcastle.wordpress.com/category/pilgrimage-reflections/

Why is everyone talking about the Department for International Development?

Last week, the government announced that it was planning to merge the Department for International development and the Foreign Office.

Faith charities and international development aid agencies alike were saddened by the decision, calling it ‘seriously misguided’.

CAFOD’s Director, Christine Allen, said:

“Our support for our brothers and sisters living in poverty shouldn’t be contingent on what we as Britain can get out of it – we must have a clear distinction between our aid budget and money spent on British interests.

In 2017 CAFOD volunteers spoke to MP’s

“Increasingly issues such as climate change, the destruction of nature, and the spread of Covid-19 demonstrate unequivocally that global issues can only be tackled through increased global cooperation, and that progress can be reversed through retreating into approaches based on national interest.”

CAFOD has joined forces with other leading faith charities across the country to put out a statement, which you can read here.

Christine wrote to The Daily Telegraph letter’s section, writing: “As UK Aid is spent by more and more departments, the UK government must commit to the highest levels of transparency across the whole portfolio. We need to see a levelling up, not a levelling down, in the accountability of UK aid.”

The full letter is published here.

We also heard from our international partners, concerned by the decision, including the Reverend George Cosmos Zumaire Lungu of the Diocese of Chipata, in Zambia, wrote to the Prime Minister about the decision. 

We will make sure to keep you updated as the situation develops, and you can keep up to date on the latest developments by following our social media channels [insert details of local social media pages].