Author Archive

Chaplains serving London communities welcomed to CAFOD

July 30, 2014

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We were delighted to welcome The London Ethnic Chaplains Group to Romero House on 3 July to enjoy a cup of coffee and croissant with CAFOD.

The Chaplains serve communities from the Carribean to China, Uganda to Vietnam and everywhere in between. They were welcomed to CAFOD’s head office by our chair of trustees Bishop John Arnold who commented on how our areas of work bear many similarities even though in different parts of the world.

Chris Bain, CAFOD’s director mentioned the contributions of the ‘diaspora communities’ to the life of the parishes and hoped that we could continue to work together.

The morning was a wonderful opportunity for chaplains and CAFOD staff to get to know each other and find out about each others’ work. We hope that new friendships will blossom.

CAFOD’s Summer of Cycling Continues: Mark takes on the London100

July 25, 2014
Left to right-Mark and John Mills

Left to right-Mark and John Mills

Mark Mills, from Loughton, is taking part in this year’s Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100! He’ll be cycling the 100 mile route from London to Surrey to raise money for CAFOD’s work.

Mark will join around 24,000 riders who will cycle from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to The Mall on Sunday 10 August.

Riders at this year’s Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100, which is now in its third year, will be joined by former world champion and 25-time Tour de France stage winner Mark Cavendish, who will lead the line-up in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic.

The Tour de France captivated so many of us as it passed through Essex earlier this month and Mark was no exception. He watched the race in Epping and has been using the Tour to inspire his training.

Mark said: “Occasionally I have been using part of the Cambridge to London stage 3 Tour de France route as it goes over roads I cycled as a child; being born in Epping, schooled in Snaresbrook and living in North Weald in my formative years. I can call it the stage of my youth. I’ve also been using the hills in High Beech to practice for Leith and Box hills. I have to admit to not enjoying ‘town’ cycling so I’m always trying to pick the countryside routes, the benefit is you can appreciate how picturesque Essex is.”

Mark was also inspired by someone closer to home, his son John.

“I wanted to take part because of the challenge and also because my son did it last year and I wanted to follow in his footsteps. But I won’t beat his time. He did it in 5 hours and 30 minutes. I’m aiming for about 7 hours.”

With John taking part last year and Mark doing it this year, it seems as though the event is becoming somewhat of a Mills family tradition.

Mark said: “It would be nice to ride with John next year, but it’s a very difficult selection process.”

We’re so impressed that Mark is taking on this challenge and we can’t wait to cheer him on on the day!

If you’d like to sponsor Mark you can do so via his JustGiving page And if you want to watch the race you can find more details on how to do that here.

Fancy joining Team CAFOD and raising money for our work at an event? Visit our website for more information

For the love of …. Gilwell24

July 16, 2014

The sun shone for the annual Gilwell24 Explorer Scout event. The CAFOD stall was in the Global Zone and it was great to involve so many young people with the current campaign on climate justice “For the love of”

Climate change will affect lots of things around the world, from ruined harvests in Kenya to flooding and land erosion in Norfolk. Young people were invited to think about what they would miss due to the effects of climate change.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

EVENT: Tackling Poverty in the Face of Climate Change (Swaffham & London)

June 20, 2014

Africa-Kenya-Anthony-Mbandi-Director-of-Caritas-Kenya-s-climate-change-campaign_layout-large-thumbTwo opportunities to hear from Antony Mbandi, CAFOD partner from Caritas Kitui, Kenya, who will share a first-hand account of some of the challenges the people in his Diocese face in the light of climate change. Antony will also discuss how green energy projects are transforming people’s lives.

Events take place on:

Wednesday 9 July

The Green Britain Centre
Swaffham, East Anglia

Rob Elsworth, CAFOD’s climate change policy analyst will also be speaking at the event.

Lunch is provided – engaging workshops – no charge for the day – you can even climb the windmill

Book a place online or email Alternatively phone 01603 624 714

Thursday 10 July

Amigo Hall, St George’s Catehdral
Corner of St George’s & Lambeth Road
London SE1 6HR

Attend a reception for drinks and an opportunity to mingle. Rob Elsworth, CAFOD’s climate change policy analyst; Dom Goggins, CAFOD’s Head of Government Relations; Helen Taylor from green energy firm Ecotricity and Sophie Dodgeon, CAFOD’s new Head of Campaigns.

Book your place by calling 030 3303 3030 or register online

Both events will introduce you to the next major CAFOD campaign, focusing on the global effects of climate change.

Can’t make an event? The people of Kitui have a plan to restore their land and water supply in just two years. And they need you to get Hands On.

June Newsletter online!

June 19, 2014

Here is our latest newsletter featuring parishes and schools around the Diocese as well as other news stories.

From marathon runners to visitors from Ethiopia, from Lent to the Palace of Westminster, from Hanningfield Reservoir to the Lea Valley Pedal against Poverty – and news on Events and the Campaign – we hope you enjoy the read!

Supporters newsletter June 2014 final


Our Lady Immaculate School, Chelmsford welcomes Ethiopian visitors

June 13, 2014

The school has joined the local parishes of Our Lady Immaculate and Holy Name in supporting Connect2 Ethiopia as a community.

Joanna Jarvis, Paula Barningham, Brother Pius, Tamiru, Abba Solomon, Brother Gregory, Theresa Humphries and ursula Reilly with year 5.

Joanna Jarvis, Paula Barningham, Brother Pius, Tamiru, Abba Solomon, Brother Gregory, Theresa Humphries and Ursula Reilly with year 5.

Head Teacher Paula Barningham was delighted to welcome Tamiru Legesse who is the communications officer for CAFOD who works in Addis Ababa jointly with SCIAF and TROCAIRE and Abba Solomon, the Parish Priest for Sebeya the community where CAFOD works. A special assembly was held so pupils could find out more about the lives of the people who live in Sebeya, their daily struggles and how CAFOD is helping to improve villagers access to clean water.

Pupils were shocked to find out that the main language spoken in the country has more than 200 letters and were excited when they heard that many young people in Ethiopia supported their favourite football teams.

Following the assembly Abba Solomon and Tamiru were given a tour of the school, then enjoyed a roast beef lunch and were joined by Theresa Humphries who was representing the parish CAFOD Group. They were also pleased to meet and be shown round Our lady Immaculate Church by Brother Gregory and Brother Pius. In the afternoon Tamiru joined year 4 for a lesson and showed them a short video about life in Sebeya.

Head teacher Paula Barningham said: “We feel very privileged that Abba Solomon and Tamiru came to visit us. We’re looking forward to staying in touch with them and the rest of their community. The children can’t wait to share their stories of life in the UK and learn more about the people of Sebeya.”

The school and parishes will be helping to improve people’s access to clean water and their ability to grow food for themselves so they can increase their household income. They will also be building a relationship with the community by exchanging cards, letters and pictures.

Before they left, Tamiru presented Mrs Barningham with a traditional woven basket for the school and Abba Solomon accepted a collection of English foods, including Tiptree jam and English breakfast tea from Ursula Reilly, the school’s business manager, who had helped to organise their visit.

Joanna Jarvis, joint diocesan manager for CAFOD Brentwood said ‘The school’s hospitality was wonderful and it was an honour to accompany Abba Solomon and Tamiru. I know that it has inspired us all to continue to change the lives of people in Ethiopia.’

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Connect2 brings together schools and parishes in England and Wales with communities in Ethiopia and other poor countries which benefit from their fundraising so the two can gain a deeper understanding of each other’s lives, learn from each other and form stronger ties.

Events: Two Grandparents Pilgrimages in July!

May 29, 2014

Elisabeth Abbott from the Commission for Justice & Social Responsibility writes:

“I would like remind you about the Grandparents Pilgrimages to Aylesford on Saturday 12th July and Walsingham on Saturday 26th July.

In the past these pilgrimages have been very successful providing a day of ‘faith and fun’ for all the family.”

Full details below:



Welcome to the Catholic Grandparents Association

This association grew out of our Grandparents Pilgrimages, where thousands of grandparents gathered in recent years, united by the same goal to do the very best we can for our children and grandchildren.

Grandparents have no agenda; they simply want the best for their grandchildren. They want them to be good, decent human beings, to know the difference between right and wrong, able to make good moral decisions and, if they go astray along the way, to be able to find their way back to a loving, forgiving, non-judgemental God.

Grandparents’ vital contribution to the family, the Church and society was never as important as now. We are living in unprecedented times, with constantly changing social and moral values. Sometimes we feel like we are failing. We are not. We can never fail so long as we keep on doing what we are doing – praying, showing the way and passing our Faith.

At the heart of the Catholic Grandparents Association is the firm belief that this is our duty, our responsibility, our vocation, and we must do what we can. This is probably the most important job we will ever have and, for many of us, it may be our last. It is one from which we can never retire, so let us do our best. We owe it to our grandchildren.

May God bless you, your grandchildren, and your children.

Catherine Wiley

Grandmother and founder of the Catholic Grandparents Association

Sun, sun, sun…….

May 19, 2014

The sun shone on cyclists from the Brentwood Diocese who geared up with more than 150 others to take part in the Pedal Against Poverty sponsored cycle ride on Sunday.

Now in its eighth year the ride followed a scenic route alongside the River Lee to Broxbourne. Participants gathered in the morning to ride either a 19 mile return route beginning in Ponders End or a shorter 10 mile return route beginning in Cheshunt.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

John and Rebecca Huston from Dagenham , parishioners at St St Thomas More, Barking decided that this year they would like to do the longer route and really enjoyed the challenge. Rebecca who attends All Saints Catholic School in Dagenham said’ I support CAFOD at school too and last year my class held a sponsored silence and raised money for ‘World Gift’ Goats’.

Peter and Eve from Wanstead are also regular riders but this was the first year Eve, aged 10, had ridden her own bike and she had no trouble finishing the 10 mile route. Eve is a pupil of St Josephs Convent, Wanstead and she has so far raised over £60.

We were pleased to welcome Katrina, Mary and Philip who had traveled all the way from Maldon to take part and are parishioners at Assumption of our Lady. Mary said “Philip and I ride a tandem. We enjoy cycling and go out cycling locally and thought Pedal Against Poverty was a good opportunity.”

This ride would not be possible without the help of volunteers and there were over 40 volunteers who ensured the ride went smoothly. Mark and John Mills from St Edmunds, Loughton kindly led groups on the shorter route. Last year John took part in the Ride London ,100 mile Cycle starting in the Queen Elizabeth, Olympic Park – this year his father Mark is following in his footsteps.

Thanks also to James Jeffery from Walthamstow who was one of the ‘roaming stewards’.The Bike Ride is organised by the Westminster Diocese and last year raised over £10,000

CAFOD puts its best foot forward for fair trade

May 12, 2014

sockCAFOD has launch a special Fairtrade-cotton sock designed by 10-year old Elliot from St Elizabeth’s RC Primary School, Wythenshawe.

Elliot’s fun design beat over 6,000 others in a nationwide competition for 7-11 year olds to design a Fairtrade-themed sock, and was chosen by a panel of judges which included award-winning actress and CAFOD supporter Jo Joyner (Eastenders, Trying Again) and a senior designer from SockShop – one of our corporate partners.

10 per cent of sale of the limited-edition sock will be donated to CAFOD, helping to fund our work with some of the poorest communities in the world.

Get your hands on a pair of Elliot’s Fairtrade-cotton socks

Elliot said:
“We learned about Fairtrade in school and I really enjoyed it because it’s interesting to see how you can help other people. When I was designing my sock, I remembered that Fairtrade is about paying people a fair wage for things that they produce. It’s about making people happy. So that’s why I designed a sock with a smiley face made out of fruit.

“I can’t believe that I won the competition. It really is amazing how close to my design the socks are. I love them! I’m proud to be involved with Fairtrade and with CAFOD’s work with people around the world – I’m proud that my socks are helping to raise money for such a great cause.”

Find out more about our work with children and young people

Actress Jo Joyner said:
“I know it’s a cliché but it truly was so difficult to choose the 10 finalists and then even harder to choose a winner. There was so much thought, time and creativity that had gone into the designs. Most impressive was the fact that all the children seemed to have grasped completely the concept of fair trade.

“Elliot’s design impressed the judges because it said so much in such a simple way. The smiling face out of the fruit demonstrating the happiness that fair trade brings. Crucially, in terms of a design, the colours, the fact that the design is on the ankle of the sock and the sense of humour displayed made Elliot’s a really wearable sock. I’ve got my order in already!”

Joanna Jarvis Diocesan Manager for CAFOD Brentwood said:
“We are absolutely thrilled at the number of schools and individuals who entered the competition from all over the country. It’s clear that the children have loved finding out about the important issues surrounding fair trade and the work of CAFOD in an interactive way whilst taking part in a unique competition. This has been the perfect way to celebrate World Fair Trade Day.”
We received over 6,000 designs from 142 schools for this competition. Thank you to everyone who took the time to enter the competition; we loved seeing all of the fantastic, beautiful designs.

As part of their ongoing work with CAFOD, SockShop are generously donating 10% of sales of all other items bought on the SockShop website – – when customers enter ‘CAFOD’ into the gift voucher code box on the basket page and press the validate button.

Find out more about CAFOD’s corporate partnerships

Ula, Luke and Karen ‘plunged’ 110ft for CAFOD………..

May 7, 2014

Ula Luke and Karen completed challenge compressed

All three bravely took part in a sponsored charity abseil down the Harlow Water Tower last Sunday.

Luke Matthews, Ula Wronska and Karen Leyland joined over 100 other absielers at the annual event organised by the Harlow Tye Rotary club.

Luke from St Therese parish, Laindon and a student at University of Nottingham has completed the abseil once before and again decided to add the ‘novelty factor’ and abseil upside down! He said ‘I wanted to do something different to help the lives of others and what better way than to abseil for CAFOD which is a very worthwhile cause’.

It was the first time for Ula from Poland, and a student at Nottingham Trent University. she said ’I am very thankful to everyone who sponsored me as it is so important to help people who do not have the basic needs in life, It was an amazing experience for me and it was a friendly and fun atmosphere.

Karen who is the CAFOD parish volunteer for Our Lady and St Joseph , Stanford Le Hope and holds regular coffee mornings to raise money for CAFOD. said’ I have seen the annual abseil advertised many times and thought now was the time to do it! The organisers were really good and made everyone feel at ease. I really enjoyed the day and know that the money pledged will make such a difference to people who don’t have enough water and food.

So far the trio have raised over £1,500 thanks to friends, family and parishioners from their local churches in Essex and in Nottingham.

Denise Grierson, Diocesan Manager said’ “We’re so proud of Luke, Ula and Karen. To set themselves such a personal challenge and support those in desperate need around the world is inspirational. By taking part in the Harlow Water Tower abseil and fundraising for CAFOD they are making a real difference to the lives of people living in poverty. CAFOD would like to thank them for all their support.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 584 other followers