How do you give out your Family Fast Day envelopes?

I was talking to one of our parish volunteers, Paul Scola at St Peter’s in Hinckley about the number of envelopes his parish receives for Lent and Harvest Fast Days.

Me:   Paul, your parish receives 400 envelopes for Lent Fast Day.  How do you give them out and do you get many left over?envelope

PS:    We, i.e. members of the parish Developing World Support Group, used to hand them out after each Mass but we have found that there is a better take-up if we leave them on the benches.  Our Parish Priest always mentions how important they are and most get taken. We usually end up with some left over but not many.


So why is it important to use the envelopes?  If you are a tax payer, you can Gift Aid your donation.  Gift Aid allows charities like CAFOD to claim the basic rate of tax on donations received from UK taxpayers. The basic rate of income tax is currently set at 20%. which means if you donate £10, CAFOD receives an additional £2.50.  It’s easy!!

If you haven’t Gift Aided before and are a taxpayer, give it a go!

This #FamilyFastDay a £20.00 gift could be worth


with Matched Funding and Gift Aid
at no extra cost to you!

Anyone got any other envelope tips?

In Memoriam – Mary Crosby RIP

Maggie Mairura, remembers Mary and her amazing contribution to the work of CAFOD and the continuing legacy of the founding mothers of Holy Spirit, West Bridgford CAFOD group. 

It is with sadness that I write that Mary Crosby, long time CAFOD supporter from Holy Spirit parish in West Bridgford died on Sunday 14 January 2018.  Over the last few years Mary had undergone treatment for cancer, however when you met her, you never knew how tough it was as she was always so positive and determined.  Mary will be very sadly missed by all at CAFOD, the parish and of course her family.  Fr Michael Brown, Parish Priest at Holy Spirit said “Mary has been a big part of the Holy Spirit Parish and she tirelessly raised money for CAFOD for 42 years. We are very grateful for the contribution that she made to this parish, she will be greatly missed.”

CAFOD group in the 80s

                  A photo from the 80s!  With Tony Gariff (CAFOD), founding and current members                        Mary is first right on back row.

I first met Mary through a diary entry when I started working for CAFOD in the Diocese in September 2015; an appointment to visit the parish UCM group the following Lent – I think to say she was organised is an understatement!  As well as the amazing work she and the CAFOD group did in the parish, she faithfully supported CAFOD events in the Diocese.  Marie Molloy, former CAFOD worker in the Diocese told me about when she first met Mary in 2008, “I visited the parish group, at her invitation, to talk about CAFOD’s  (then) new parish scheme Connect2. We seemed to hit it off really well, perhaps both coming from teaching backgrounds helped, and over the years she not only continued to be a fantastic CAFOD Parish Contact but also offered me support and advice in my new role. She was a great sounding board, always honest but constructive in her comments, generous in her praise and certainly never frightened of letting me know when she thought CAFOD was getting in wrong! This attitude was really beneficial to CAFOD when Mary and the group agreed to take part in national CAFOD research into the effectiveness of Connect2.”  Marie continued, “What Mary really seemed to enjoy was gatherings of assorted volunteers where she could share experiences with others and gather new ideas, often to be tweaked and tried out in West Bridgford – a Bean Tombola springs to mind! After I left CAFOD in 2015, we kept in touch and met up for coffee on several occasions. Mary truly was a lovely lady, who lived such a busy life supporting others in so many ways and lived with her illness with such dignity and positiveness.” 


Celebrating 30 years in 2006


In 2016 the group celebrated 40 years and an article in the states…..”the group, most commonly known as ‘The Friday People’, first came about when six ladies from the parish decided to give something up every Friday and send the money they saved in an envelope to CAFOD.” Mary’s daughter Kate sent me a photo of the original collection tin which was used for group subs! The article continues “parishioner and grandmother Mary Crosby, who joined the group in 1983, worked under the six founders before becoming group secretary and CAFOD parish contact in 1995.’  As well as fundraising activities and cake stalls the group also ran a very successful Traidcraft stall.

subs tin

The subs tin

Even during her last few months Mary was actively recruiting new members for the CAFOD group and when they met just a few days before she died, Dypmna, who now takes on the role as CAFOD contact for parish, was able to visit Mary the next day and report that 14 members attended the meeting.  Dympna tells me “she was delighted with the news and as organised as ever, had the float money ready for our next two CAFOD events during Lent!”  Dympna and Mary go back a long way “Mary was a wonderful friend over 35 years. She was a lovely, dignified, calm and especially kind person. Her motivation was inspiring. We share a deep family connection with our two sets of children growing up together and developing their own very special friendships.  The Holy Spirit CAFOD group were constantly encouraged to keep working hard at our fundraising.”


                              Traidcraft Stall in 2010                                Una, Ann, Mary C, Dympna, Bernadette,        and Mary D

Dympna continued, “her passion and dedication for CAFOD and Traidcraft were reflected in the response and support from the parish for which she was always very grateful and she will always be remembered fondly. We all know we have lost someone very special.  Her thumb print remains in the parish, from the backing paper on the displays boards to the homemade donation box made by her husband Tony”.

A Memorial Mass will be held at Holy Spirit, West Bridgford on Saturday 10 March 2018 at 11am.

Ciara Hogan arriving in El Salvador

CAFOD Step into the Gap volunteer Ciara Hogan shares her experiences of arriving in El Salvador, meeting CAFOD’s partners and seeing inspiring, creative projects.

Ciara Hogan
Ciara Hogan is currently in El Salvador

Our first few days in Central America have been absolutely incredible. In the short time we’ve been here we have already experienced so many different people and places, each giving us so much to think about and reflect on.

One of those experiences was our visit to La Palma, a town in the mountains of El Salvador bordering Honduras. This was our first visit to a family since we arrived.

Prior to this visit we had been meeting partners in their offices so I was looking forward to seeing a family in their own home and hearing their stories. La Palma is a town famous for its crafts.

It is the home of El Salvador’s unique brightly coloured art that has become so famous around the world because of the Romero Cross. The streets are covered in bright paintings- even the lampposts are covered in art!

We were travelling to La Palma to meet Lazaro, an artist who creates all of the Romero crosses that are sold by CAFOD.

He oversees the production of each cross, from the carpentry to the varnishing done by his own grown-up daughters. I was particularly excited about this meeting as the cross that I have had since I was young, and that has travelled with me to university and now to the Briars is a Romero cross that was made in El Salvador.

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