As well as visiting the two wonderful schools I was given the opportunity to speak at all 4 masses. However before that I joined in the Macmillan coffee morning that was organised by Siobhan and held in the parish hall at Corpus Christi.
A wonderful turnout by the parish and local community and an amazing display of cakes! I also put a leaf with my Mum’s name on the Tree of Remembrance. The opportunity to chat to parishioners was very welcome and I began gathering my stories of the legacy of CAFOD in the parish of Holy Trinity. Win, a great grandmother herself now, told me about her mum Elsie who, if she had any winnings from her family card games put them in the CAFOD box. Margaret told me of her husband Brian who had set up a second-hand book stall at St. Pius and had raised over £5k for the community in Puentecitos, El Salvador. I met Teresa again, who I first encountered when I was Justice & Peace worker back in 2001 who is still a member of the ecumenical J&P group. Andthen I chatted with Bryony.
Before becoming a full time Port Chaplain, Bryony had volunteered with the Apostleship of the Sea for 4 years. She told me of a recent crew member she had met on board one of the many ships that come into Immingham port. From the Philippines, for 5 days he didn’t know if his family had survived the recent typhoon and when he finally found out they were safe it was to hear that their home had lost its roof and many possessions lost or destroyed. I shared with her my experiences of visiting the Philippines and that CAFOD was supporting our sister agency Caritas Philippines in responding to this recent emergency.
It is a real privilege to be able to travel around the diocese and join the community as they come together to celebrate the Eucharist. The churches in Immingham, Grimsby and Cleethorpes all have their own unique space and identity and yet come together to be ‘part of the one body’ of the parish of Holy Trinity. It was very much appreciated that I was able to thank and affirm the parish for their amazing legacy for their support CAFOD for so many years. Our database records go back to 1990 and in that time they have donated close to £200k to CAFOD; through Fast Day collections, responding to emergencies and the parish Connect2 scheme for El Salvador. The challenge now is to continue that legacy and so it was good to meet the parish contacts as they plan on working together and hope to recruit to some new, younger, supporters! But I was also reminded of the many people who support CAFOD individually and at St Mary’s on Sunday morning I was served a lovely cup of coffee by Bernadette and her daughter Lucy. Bernadette told me of how she had started a Candlelight Fund for her mum Kathleen who died 6 years ago. And so now we are planning to have next year’s CAFOD Memorial Mass in the parish!
I enjoyed my two early morning jogs along the sand and seeing the sun rise; I was made to feel at home by Sr Ann Helen; I enjoyed delicious cake(s)! and given a very warm welcome by Fr Andrew. So from me, a huge thank you to all in the parish and schools. I thought I was going to serve them but I came away refreshed physically, mentally and spiritually by my time with them.