Brentwood supporters march with thousands for refugees

Diocese of Brentwood residents join thousands to show support for refugees at rally in London  

Media intern Leah spoke to people at the march. Did you go to the march? e-mail your photos to or tweet us at @cafodbrentwood

This weekend campaigners and CAFOD supporters joined tens of thousands of people in a march through London to show support for refugees.

Missed the march? Organise your own pilgrimage for refugees 

Parishioners, children and volunteers from Brentwood diocese travelled to London to walk alongside thousands of people in a march through the city, showing solidarity with refugees, before attending a rally at parliament square.

NHS worker Peter Resteghini said:


Chingford father and son march for refugee action to Parliament Square this weekend

I support CAFOD and all organisations that support equality and rights. My message of hope would be that: “We are all equal, those who have let you down need to stand up and support you.”

His son added: “We welcome you here”


Geraldine Ellis from St Edward the Confessor in Romford said:

I have been a CAFOD supporter all my life, I support Hands On, a project where you
actually see through a project changing the lives of a community. My sister and I are part of the Catholic Social Group and we collect food to be sent out to the camps to help refugees.

My message of hope would be that: “We love you and we hope for you. You don’t deserve to suffer any more and that we will welcome you with open arms.”


Geraldine Ellis marches for refugees

Write your message of hope for refugees 

Supporters of the Catholic aid agency CAFOD were holding hand-written messages to refugees. The charity launched an appeal in May inviting everyone to share their messages of hope and welcome and have so far received over 8,000 messages from over 130 different organisations, parishes, and schools.





The messages will be dedicated at a special event in November to mark the end of Pope Francis’ Year of Mercy.

find out more about CAFOD’s refugee Appeal

“Stay strong…have God in your heart”: a message of hope to refugees

While spending time in reflection and prayer with the Lampedusa Cross people from across the Brentwood Diocese have been moved to write messages of hope and solidarity with migrants

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The Lampedusa Cross at the British Museum

Hundreds of people across the diocese of Brentwood have responded to CAFOD’s invitation to write personal messages of hope to refugees across the world as a sign of solidarity in this Year of Mercy.

The Lampedusa Cross has been taken to schools across the diocese and has featured in a number of assemblies, liturgies and moments of prayer and reflection. The cross is a powerful symbol of the unfolding tragedy of the refugee crisis across the world, and many have expressed how moved they have been in its presence.


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Messages of hope from pupils at St Benedict’s College, Colchester

Students from St Aidan’s school in Ilford, Holy Family College in Walthamstow, St Benedict’s College in Colchester, St John Payne in Chelmsford and the Brentwood Ursuline have written their own personal messages to be sent to refugees across the world.

Grace from St Benedict’s College writes “There are times in life that are bad: devastating. Those bad times may seem like a never ending ocean. But there are also times in life where good things begin. They will make you smile with joy”. Zoe writes “Wherever you go you must remember that life is a journey. Never let a single day darken you”.

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CAFOD volunteers Peter and Breda with young leaders from the Brentwood Ursuline

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Denise Grierson, chaplain at Holy Family College, holds the Lampedusa Cross outside Brentwood Cathedral’s Doors of Mercy



Bishop Stephen Cottrell of Chelmsford writes his own personal message of hope

Bishop Stephen Cottrell of Chelmsford writes his own personal message of hope








In early July the cross was taken to the Bradwell Festival, an ecumenical Christian festival in Essex, where festival-goers were invited to write messages, including Bishop Stephen Cottrell, the Bishop of Chelmsford.

Can your parish write messages of hope to refugees?

Forced out by war, poverty or persecution, millions of people live uncertain lives as migrants and refugees. Your parish can act in response by writing messages of hope, and returning these to CAFOD, where we will share these with refugees. All ages can take part, and hundreds of beautiful messages have already been written or drawn.

Order or download cards to write your messages.


Loughton Dad prepares for Sunday’s Ride100 for CAFOD.

Good luck to Nick Jarvis, who will take part in the Prudential Ride 100 this year, the event was created during the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic games, and just in time for this year’s Olympics.

CAFOD’s Olympic resources for young people

To sponsor Nick go to

Keen cyclist, Nick Jarvis, said:

“We’re a CAFOD family through and through, and this is my third event in the last eight years, Tom, my son, ran the London marathon for CAFOD a few years ago, where he was the youngest person to do it that year, and my wife, Joanna celebrated her 10th year working for CAFOD by confronting her fear of heights by doing an abseil.

“This will be the second time I have completed the London-Surrey 100: Sadly, I don’t think I’ll do it as well as 2013 as the training has not been easy with the poor weather we had earlier this year, but I’ll try my best for CAFOD. I will have raised nearly £2,000 for CAFOD doing three bike rides.

To sponsor Nick go to – Sponsor Nick’s 100 mile bikeride IMG_0024 (1) (002)

“I think about the people CAFOD supports and I ask myself how would I cope if my house was destroyed or if I lost my family.

“I imagine if my family were in this position. We should help however and whoever we can, and thinking about our global neighbours is what keeps me going to the end, despite being exhausted.”

Thank you so much to friends, family and members of my parish, St Edmund’s Loughton, who have donated and supported me so far.”

See how other fantastic supporters raised money for Ethiopia’s Food Crisis Appeal.

Ethiopia’s long rains are due in a month’s time and CAFOD is supporting farmers with seeds as they prepare their land. Yet, even if normal rainfall occurs, it will take time for people to harvest their crops and replenish their livestock. These will be critical months as families face a deepening ‘hunger gap’.

Ethiopia’s Food Crisis 

The charity is appealing for £3 million which will allow CAFOD to scale up its current emergency response work across four of the worst affected areas; SNNPR Region State, Oromia Regional State, Tigray and Afar Regional States.

To sponsor Nick go to –

Or donate directly to our Ethiopia Food Crisis Appeal