The Road to South East Lincs

Maggie Mairura – Community Participation Coordinator – CAFOD Nottingham

This Harvest Fast Day weekend I visited the parishes in Spalding and Holbeach.  Though only 64 miles away from Long Eaton, the journey took 1hr 40mins to reach the Immaculate Conception & St Norbert’s in Spalding for the first Mass at 4.30pm.  Spalding_Pumpkin_Festival_LogoI was warmly welcomed by Fr Jim Burke and soon after Mass finished, headed east on the A151 to Holbeach to the parish of Holy Trinity and Fr Paul Lloyd.



The following day Masses were at 8, 9.30 and 11am.  So I became familiar with that little stretch of road and saw something for the very first time – a field of pumpkins!!!  And as much as I wanted to stop to take a photo I didn’t have time!  They looked so alien as if they had just dropped down from the sky, orange blobs in a field of rich, brown soil. When I mentioned this at the 11am Mass in Spalding I was informed afterwards that this coming weekend the Pumpkin Festival will take place.   On the return journey home I drove through Corby Glen where the annual Sheep Fair was taking place – with real sheep! (unlike Nottingham’s Goose Fair!)

sheep fair




Travelling around the Diocese, it is a real privilege to have the opportunity to meet the many different communities, rural and urban, farming and commercial, using motorways and country lanes. And whilst they are all different we hold that common thread – our faith and being members of the Catholic Church. This is something I have felt very strongly during my own travels and most recently visiting CAFODs partners in the Philippines. That whilst we meet and worship together in our own local communities, we are called to the simple and yet profound duty to love our neighbour, both near and far.

Fr Jim was telling me about some of the ways they strive to do this in Spalding.  Having recently installed a webcam in the church, parishioners are able to be part of the Sunday celebration, and family members from abroad have been able to connect for sacramental and family celebrations. Being in a farming area, the parish has welcomed new neighbours from many Eastern European countries and at Easter over 5000 people attended the services!

spalding 1

Some parishioners from Immaculate Conception & St Norbert in Spalding

The two parishes and St Norbert’s Primary School are very generous supporters of CAFOD both at Fast Days and in responding to emergencies. It was a real pleasure to be able to feedback on the difference their support makes, inform them of our campaigning


Holy Trinity, Holbeach  Children’s Liturgy group

and liturgical resources and, most importantly, to say THANK YOU!

Blessed Sacrament Friday Drop-In

Maggie Mairura, Community Participation Coordinator in Nottingham writes……..


Volunteers and visitors to the Friday Drop-In gather for the Christmas Dinner

Today I had the pleasure of visiting Blessed Sacrament parish in Leicester. The Friday drop-in has been supporting CAFOD since its beginning. The drop-in was started by parish volunteers and initially Fr John Joe Moloney thought it would only keep going for 6 weeks, providing clothes and household items at low prices for the local community.  Now 18 years later they also support other local charities by donating their surplus stock to them. Maureen Pipes explained that the local community in Braunstone visit too and two years running they have won the Braunstone Award for Group Service to the Community.  It’s a safe, welcoming place to come for a cuppa and a chat. 



Fr John Joe Moloney with the volunteers who were serving up Dinner

The money raised from sales of clothes, bric a brac and refreshments is donated to local and international charities. So we are very blessed to be the recipients of their fundraising. 


It was lovely to have the opportunity to say a very big thank you to the parish for the support and commitment they have shown to CAFOD in fundraising to support our partners and projects overseas.  From our records, which on our current database go back to 1990, the parish have raised an amazing £146,582.49!  


Maureen Pipes presenting a cheque for £5000 to Maggie Mairura, CPC Nottingham

Appeal launched in Nottingham to respond to the Ethiopian drought

Ethiopia Food Crisis Appeal 01 ADCS Mekele Herit-18 (2).jpg

Two failed rainy seasons which supply over 80% of Ethiopia’s agricultural crops has exhausted people’s ability to cope and they have simply run out of options for feeding their families and animals. We are appealing to our supporters in the Nottingham diocese to help provide food, clean water and basic sanitation

Please donate today

The devastating food shortage has been caused by two failed rainy seasons that has led to a severe drought, fuelled by one of the strongest El Nino weather patterns recorded. CAFOD’s partners in Ethiopia have been responding to the crisis since last year, reaching people with emergency food assistance and clean water. We are now appealing for £3 million to help those worst affected.

CAFOD representative for Nottingham, Maggie Mairura, said:

“Ethiopia faces a food shortage that has left millions without enough food to survive the months ahead. We’re already responding to the crisis through our local Ethiopian partners and we’re asking people here to support us and them so we can escalate our on-going emergency response.

“Our supporters here in the Nottingham diocese have always been generous both in times of emergency and for our ongoing work, with many parishes and schools coming together for our Refugee Appeal.

They are out fundraising and praying for the communities in Ethiopia. Because of this, we will be able to get more emergency aid to those who need it most.”

How you can help

CAFOD is asking for people to give, act and pray in solidarity with the people of Ethiopia and those affected by the drought.

01 ADCS Mekele Herit-24 on her  plot of land

Even the smallest donation can make a massive difference to help us reach people in remote and isolated communities.

  • £16 can buy 100kg of maize to feed a family of five for a month
  • £35 provides a monthly food basket containing wheat, cooking oil and pulses
  • £83 can provide 100kg of wheat seeds for farmers to sow

Shiferaw Mamo, Programme Coordinator for our partner, the Catholic Secretariat of Ethiopia, told us:

“Whatever anyone is able to give; £5, £20 or £100, they must know that they are saving lives; what they give changes a life.”

Donate to the appeal