Churchgoers in Southend are celebrating after raising nearly £5,000 for charity.

The Catholic parish of Sacred Heart, Southend, rounded off 2016 by hosting a festive quiz, which raised enough money to buy 10 goats from aid agency CAFOD’s World Gifts scheme in time for Christmas.

Established 12 years ago, the World Gifts scheme allows members of the public to purchase practical gifts to help communities around the world break free from poverty.  The 10 goats purchased by the Sacred Heart, for example, will provide 10 families with nearly a dozen pints of milk per week, as well as free fertiliser for crops.

The festive quiz completed a busy year of fundraising by parishioners.  In collaboration with the seven other churches involved in the Knights of Saint Columba council, a Catholic fraternal service organisation, the parish co-hosted a seafront walk for Brentwood Catholic Children’s Society in the summer and collected unwanted spectacles to donate to Vision Aid overseas.

Their efforts in 2016 are part of a long-term commitment by the parish to support communities in need.

Damian Dillion, Action Convener from Knights of Saint Columba and CAFOD volunteer, said:

“The parish of Sacred Heart with Saint John Fisher in Southend-on-Sea held a Christmas Quiz in December raising a total £309 whilst they enjoyed festive food, mulled wine, and a hard-fought series of questions to test their Christmas knowledge.

“Supported by the local Knights of Saint Columba the parish has been able to raise in excess of £4,500 in the last few years as they have worked through their goals to support a community in need.”

In 2017, the eight parishes involved in the Knights of Saint Columba council Southend, will be working towards achieving the livesimply award.  Championed by CAFOD, the award is given to communities who show they have been living simply and sustainably, in solidarity with people in poverty and with creation.  In South-end, fairtrade products and livesimply prayers have been introduced to meetings, and a community fayre to celebrate sustainable living was held last October.

Groups that are interested in becoming a livesimply community can find out more information at: 

For those who would like to find out more about CAFOD’s World Gifts, please visit:


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