Meeting Parish Volunteers in Clay Cross

Another lovely day for a drive to the northern border of our Diocese where it connects with Hallam.  I was travelling to meet the CAFOD parish volunteers for Alfreton and Clay Cross.  We were meeting for the first time and where better than St Patrick & St Bridget’s in Clay Cross for 10am Mass.  I arrived early so joined in saying the Rosary.  Close to 30 people were in the congregation so when Fr James Earley arrived to say Mass I asked if I could say a few words at the end and he kindly agreed.

Clay Cross

Two verses of ‘For all the saints’ prepared us for celebrating the feast of St Mark and after the welcome, Fr James invited us to sing again, this time to Harold, who was celebrating his 90th Birthday!  Sadly, his wife Betty is unwell and in a care home; so please remember them both in your prayers today.

After communion I was able to say a few words; thanking Fr James for giving me the opportunity to thank him and the parish for their continued and sustained support of CAFOD over many years.  I also reminded people of the story of CAFOD; our founding mothers and how the generosity of the Catholic community in England in Wales led to the creation of the church’s official aid agency in 1962.

After Mass we departed to Eileen’s house for coffee and biscuits and I asked them how they had come to be parish volunteers for CAFOD.  “It was thrust upon me” stated Eileen, “but the community here in Clay Cross are very generous and supportive.  I also get the opportunity to speak at Mass.”  Eileen also told me about introducing the idea of giving money to CAFOD instead of buying cards at Christmas and this has been going on for many years.  For Gloria and Francis, who go to Christ the King in Alfreton, they volunteered about 18 months ago and like Eileen they staple Fast Day envelopes to the newsletter, which are then given out by the welcomers.  Gloria told me “it was me who volunteered but my health hasn’t been very good so my husband Francis helps as well.  He and Peter also speak at Mass.”

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Eileen, Gloria, Francis and Peter

We then talked about our latest campaign, Share the Journey, and how the parish would be able to take part.  Eileen told me the Franciscan Convent, St Clare’s, is the starting point for Stations of the Cross, and approximately a mile away, so perhaps a walk to Mass can be planned from there.  I look forward to hearing about their plans.

UK_aid_logoIt was a real joy to meet and have the opportunity to get to know Eileen, Gloria, Francis and Peter.  Their commitment and dedication not only to CAFOD but to their parish community shone through.  And this Family Fast Day the parish donated an amazing £821.26, which will of course be doubled by UK Government!

All Quiet at Holy Trinity School in Newark

It’s great keeping up with our Catholic Schools through Twitter!  Wonderful photos and activities being shared so we can celebrate and say thank you for all their hard work this Lent.  Especially as all donations, up to the £5million will be doubled, yes doubled, by UK government!!

And then a strange photo appears………..  What’s this?   What’s going on here? holy trinity offline

And then the explanation………….

“You might have noticed things were a little quiet yesterday! This was because Holy Trinity went ‘paper and technology free’ for the day to raise money for @CAFOD during the season of Lent!

We had a great day! Lots of different creative activities going on around the school and making the most of our wonderful outside space as well!”

Well done Holy Trinity, so creative and as well as raising money for CAFOD, raising awareness of the many school children who don’t have access to electricity.

Leicestershire primary schools #giveitup for Lent!

Maggie Mairura, Community Participation Coordinator shares some inventive ideas from primary schools in Leicestershire!

Many thanks to staff, parents and students at 3 Leicestershire schools for really getting involved in inventive ways this Lent in taking part in CAFOD Schools #giveitupchallenge.

The Chaplaincy Team at St. Peter’s Catholic Primary School, Earl Shilton, prepared and chopped vegetables donated by staff members in the school’s Prayer Room and then, with the permission of the school ‘s kitchen staff, Anita and Tracey, school Chaplain Jean Connor and her husband Mark cooked the soup, all 32 litres of it, ready for serving the next day during school lunchtime.

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St Peter’s Earl Shilton

Pupils and staff paid £2.00 for a bowl of soup and a bread roll.  On the day the Chaplaincy Team sold £106.00 worth of soup.  More was sold to parents at the end of the school day and finally, they took what was left to an Evening of Reflection on the works of the Holy Spirit, a 6 week course led by  young people of the parish.  The Holy Spirit was truly at work as they sold the remaining containers of soup!  £154.00 in total, so with all donations being doubled by the UK Government this Lent, this makes it an amazing £308.00!

Jean said “We had a great time doing this and one Year One pupil declared it was the best soup she’d ever tasted!!  It is great for the whole school and parish to be able to support CAFOD’s work and giving us the opportunity to help people like Svondo and his friends in Zimbabwe!”

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Sponsored Obstacle Course at Christ the King Leicester

In Leicester, Christ the King came up with two great sponsored events as part of the Lenten Fundraising for CAFOD.  3SN undertook a sponsored obstacle course!

Donate to CAFOD this Lent  

 

 

And then 6JB took part in a sponsored dance ‘busting some moves on the dance floor’ all afternoon!!!  I am guessing that more events are planned by other form groups!

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6JB Sponsored Danc

 

 

 

 

Finally, St Charles in Measham organisesd a good school favourite – a non- school uniform day, but with a unique twist –  ‘Be a goodie, wear a hoodie’!It is truly inspiring and uplifting to see how our Catholic schools around the Diocese are engaging with this Lent’s #giveitup challenge.  And all donations will be doubled by the UK government.

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‘Be a goodie, wear a hoodie’  at St Charles, Measham

 

 

We have a small but growing team of School Volunteers who have the pleasure and privilege of visiting our schools to present assemblies and to say thank you for all the hard work they have done to support CAFOD.  Have you got some time to offer to join us?

Be a CAFOD School Volunteer