“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.

READ MORE HERE >>

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a happy 2015

Peru - Condoraque community

Peru – Condoraque community

We take this opportunity to thank you for the support you have given both the office and CAFOD over the past twelve months.

Those who have prayed for our work …. taken part in sponsored events …. spoken at Mass …. taken part in a campaign action …. joined us on a walk, a rally, at an event …. supported World Gifts …. donated to Emergencies …. fundraised in any way …. volunteered in schools …. volunteered in parishes …. volunteered in the office …. held a quiz night …. supported Connect:2 …. so many ways, so many people, so many stories.

As many of us gather to celebrate with friends and family this Christmas, we hold in prayer those affected by Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea who are unable to gather with friends and family. We also remember the 10th anniversary of the Boxing Day tsunami and continue to pray for peace in Syria, South Sudan and the ceasefire and rebuilding in Gaza.

Bridges of reconciliation
Prince of Peace,
you were born into a world
where terror reigned and fear ruled
and live today in a world crucified by war.
Fill us with your passion for justice
that wherever we see evil abound
we may live to disturb its path
and strive to build bridges of reconciliation.
In the darkness, beckon us with your kindly light
that we never lose sight of your vision of peace
in which the lion lies down with the lamb.
Amen.
Annabel Shilson-Thomas/CAFOD

The CAFOD Brentwood office will be closed from Tuesday 23 December, reopening Monday 5 January 2015.

Joanna, Denise and Mary

EVENT: CAFOD Mass of Remembrance Tuesday 25 November 10.15am Billericay

CandlesBrentwood Diocese CAFOD Mass of Remembrance

During November, the month of remembrance, we take time to pray for those who have died and give thanks for loved ones who have made a deep and lasting impression on our lives.

Over the years, CAFOD has been blessed to work alongside the kindest and most committed friends any charity could hope for. The insight, faith and strength of our founders and early supporters still shape our values and way of working today.

But one of the saddest aspects of growing older, as individuals and as an organisation, is that some of our closest friends have passed away in recent months and years. In our own diocese we have lost a number of friends who have played an inspirational and important role in our work.

Some may be familiar names to many of us, such as inspirational parish priests, or parish volunteers who’ve organised events and rallied local support for CAFOD campaigns. Many more will be men and women who’ve gone about their busy lives but also quietly found time to offer love, practical support and prayers to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities. Ordinary men and women who have made an extraordinary difference to people’s lives.

So in celebration of our inspiring friends, and as a small token of our appreciation for their years of kindness and dedication, CAFOD Brentwood will be holding its first memorial Mass at Most Holy Redeemer parish, Billericay on Tuesday November 25 at 10.15am, celebrated by Fr John McGrath.

The Most Holy Redeemer
21 Laindon Road
BILLERICAY
Essex
CM12 9LL

All are welcome to join us, whether to remember fellow CAFOD supporters or members of your own family, friends and community who’ve passed away. At our memorial Mass you can take precious time to remember your loved ones, knowing that you’re among friends.

A book of remembrance will be presented and blessed by the celebrant at the Mass. If you would like to add a name to this list you would be very welcome; whether or not you can attend the service itself. Please get in touch with our office at brentwood@cafod.org.uk or phone 0208 502 9722

Refreshments will be provided after the service, so we hope you’ll be able to stay on for a while to speak with other local CAFOD supporters and staff. It would be wonderful to see you at such a special event.

Just as we light a candle for a loved one who’s passed away, creating a Candlelight Fund in their name is a special way to remember them. Find out more Candlelight Funds