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!

Everyone Welcome For West Bridgford Quiz Night

There promises to be an evening of fun entertainment this Saturday in West Bridgford for a jam-packed quiz in aid of CAFOD. 

Harvest Fast Day Tweet (2)

Money raised will go to CAFOD’s Harvest Appeal

The quiz night is taking place on Saturday October 7 at Holy Spirit Church parish hall, straight after Saturday evening mass.

Everyone is welcome to attend the quiz, with people encouraged to be in teams of six. Anyone without a team will be placed into one.

There will be prizes on offer for the first and second placed teams, as well as

Mary Crosby has helped organise the event. She said: “There is no need to buy any tickets and we will simply hand round a basket asking for donations.

“It has become a successful annual event and every year the questions are fun and challenging.

“There will be a number of rounds, including a set of picture questions and one to test general knowledge.”

Money raised will go towards CAFOD’s Harvest Appeal, which focuses on working with communities in El Salvador – a small country in South America.

Farming is the dominant profession but farmers often use substandard seeds that only last one harvest and cannot cope with pests.

The charity’s partners are helping farmers’ crops to flourish by using native seeds and seed banks as well as offering training on how to make organic fertiliser and pesticides, and how to care for the environment.

For more information on the Harvest Appeal, visit our website.

Eastwood parish hold annual harvest lunch

The CAFOD group at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Eastwood held their annual harvest lunch and raised over £400.

first come first served

Parishioners at Our Lady of Good Counsel enjoyed a harvest lunch

There were four main courses on offer and a variety of sweets at the lively get together.

There was also a raffle and tombola, in which the tickets had either a fruit or a vegetable, to help boost the total money raised for CAFOD’s Connect2 scheme.

Connect2 is built on CAFOD’s values of solidarity and partnership, where parishes in the UK are able to stand alongside communities overseas to fight against poverty and injustice.

Through Connect2, the CAFOD group at Our Lady of Good Counsel is linked with groups in Sebeya, in the dry, arid north of Ethiopia.

For more information on Connect2, visit our website.