Walking and talking through grief

I returned to Nordic walking the park run at Shipley Country Park on Saturday morning,  followed by the usual 5k Nordic Walking class.  I decided to take it easy in the park run. Not done it for nearly a year.  A younger woman was walking alongside me and so we chatted. She is recovering from surgery so couldn’t run it.  I told her I hadn’t been very active the last 12 months since my daughter died.  We talked about grief – her sister died 20 years ago, aged 29. About how grief effects us all differently. The impact it can have on family and friends.  The love and support we have experienced.  She worries about her mum who doesn’t live nearby. grief

What was your sisters name? I asked.

Anna, she replied.  What was your daughters name?

She knew from my expression what the answer was!   Once we crossed the finish line we stood and hugged a long time.  I didn’t realize how much I needed to talk about Anna today,  she said.  We hugged some more.   When you see your mum again, I said, give her a big hug.  I gave her my number.  If your mum wants to talk, if you want to talk, get in touch.

I carried on to my Nordic’s walking class.  Later when I checked my phone there was a message from her.   We are going to walk together again.

Sometimes it’s hard to be vulnerable.  To open up to family, friends and strangers.  But when we do, amazing things can happen, doors open, connections are made, its almost sacramental!   We are not alone.  Don’t be scared. It’s good to talk 💔❤️💔❤️💔❤️



And you know, the same things can happen when we volunteer!  We can meet amazing people, be inspired by 7 year olds, challenged about our faith, motivated to learn more, feel we are making a difference.

Make yourself vulnerable, try something different,find out about opportunities to volunteer with CAFOD here in Nottingham Diocese.

It can change your life!

Let CAFOD support you with your New Year Resolutions for 2020 and beyond!

When I am planning to go and visit parishes around the Diocese I often reassure the Parish Priest that I am not coming to make an appeal for donations.   Because to be honest, I don’t need to!  Individuals, parishes and schools are very generous supporters of CAFOD and either give regularly, through Fast Day collections and parish or school fundraising events.  Obviously fundraising is fundamental to the work we do; and when I say we, I mean everyone in our Diocese!   The amazing legacy of our founding mothers continues BECAUSE OF your generosity!

What I like to pass on when I visit schools and parishes is the other important aspects of our work; prayer and action.  So I want to invite you to consider a couple of things.

Africa-Zambia-Beauty-reads-her-Bible_opt_fullstory_largeFirst, let us support you in the time you set aside, or want to set aside, for prayer and reflection.  Our theology team provide daily prayer tweets (@CAFODprayer) and weekly emails that are reflections on the Sunday Gospels. 

Prayer is powerful. It brings us closer to God and our sisters and brothers living in poverty. Every Friday we send a reflection rooted in global justice, inspiring prayers, and ways to put your faith into action.

Second, volunteering with CAFOD.  Again, to support you putting your faith into action, we offer a variety of volunteer roles; in your parish, school, as a campaigner, as an MP corespondent, as a media volunteer.    The opportunities are really exciting and you wont be on your own.

CAFOD-volunteers-at-a-Fast-Day-event-in-LutonVolunteer with CAFOD

Here in Nottingham Diocese we have a lovely team of volunteers all involved in different ways.  Come and join us! 





A Colombian Evening at Holy Spirit, West Bridgford

Friday 11 October at the University of Nottingham  CAFOD visitors from Colombia are taking part in a free workshop 9.30 – 4.30 followed by a public lecture 7-9pm

Bang to Rights Workshop

The Guardians of Atrato River – Euma Pedroza , Fausto Palacios and CAFOD partner  Oscar Salinas are visiting from Chocó, north-western Colombia. The Atrato River in Chocó, one of the regions with the highest biodiversity in the world, is found in one of     Colombia’s poorest regions.

This river is a source of life for many Afro-Colombians and indigenous communities living along its banks however as a result of illegal mining activities and the armed conflict, the environment has greatly suffered. It is often dangerous for local communities to protect their environment. In a landmark ruling in 2017, Colombia’s Constitutional Court recognised the Atrato River, including its communities, as having rights to “protection, conservation, maintenance and restoration”.  Bang to Rights Lecture


Euma, Fausto, Oscar will share their experiences of protecting, defending and  preserving the Atrato River.     To register for the Workshop click here



The following day, Saturday 12 October, they will be joining parishioners at Holy Spirit, West Bridgford who are launching their HandsOn Magdalena Medio parish scheme. Mass it at 6.30 and then into the church hall at 7.30 for Colombian food, music, and hear more about the project and the Guardians work.           All welcome!