Join us for a Lent Family Fast Day briefing this February

Please come and join us at one of our Lent Family Fast Day briefings to hear about our work in Zimbabwe and how we are helping children like Svondo have enough healthy food to eat, and therefore prevent malnutrition.


At the briefing you will hear about how your generous donations have made a difference to Marian from Zimbabwe and her two sons Tawanda and Svondo. Her older son Tawanda lived his childhood without enough to eat and often went hungry. Marian told us that when she used to leave him to find work in the morning she would come back later to find him sitting in the same place as he didn’t have the energy to move.

Marian and familyWhen Tawanda was a teenager Marian had her second son Svondo. He is now seven and has been brought up on fresh vegetables, beans and peanut butter. Marian was supported to be able to grow enough to feed her family by the local Catholic diocese who is one of CAFOD’ s partners. So this Family Fast Day we are reaching out to other families like Marian’s to help them grow enough healthy food to feed their children.

You will also hear the exciting news that the government have agreed to match any fundraising for the Family Fast Day appeal up to £5 million, so we need to ensure that every parish in the diocese is aware of how important their support is. So please come and hear more about this project and help us to raise £5 million. We look forward to seeing you at one of our briefings which are on:

Saturday 20 January (Central London) 10am until 12.30pm – St Mary Moorfields RC Church, 4-5 Eldon Street, London, EC2M 7LS.  To book a place for this briefing contact Tony Sheen at or call 020 8449 6970 (nearest stations are Liverpool Street or Moorgate)

Saturday 3 February (Cambridge) 10.30am until 1pm – Margaret Beaufort Institute, 14 Grange Road, Cambridge, CB3 9DU with guest speaker Fr Sterlin from CAFOD partner CHOCO in Columbia. To book a place for this briefing contact Jane Crone at or call 01223 358552.

Monday 5 February (Wanstead) 8pm until 9.30pmOur Lady of Lourdes Parish Hall, 51 Cambridge Park, London E11 2PR. To book a place for this briefing contact Chris Driscoll at or call 01277 218730

Fergus Conmee - Sudan

CAFOD’S Fergus Conmee in East Africa with our partner organisations

Saturday 10 February (Brentwood) 11am (10.30 arrivals and refreshments) until 1pm – Cathedral House, Brentwood, CM15 8AT. With guest speaker CAFOD’s Fergus Conmee (Head of Africa Region) who will be speaking about CAFOD’s work in Africa and in particular our response to the famine in East Africa. To book a place for this briefing contact Chris Driscoll at or call 01277 218730

Tuesday 13 February (Brentwood) 10.30am (arrivals from 10am) until 12.30pm – Cathedral House, Brentwood, CM15 8AT. To book a place for this briefing contact Chris Driscoll at or call 01277 218730

Online briefings Unable to make it to one of the briefings above? Why not join Chris for an online briefing:

Wednesday 31 January 2.30pm until 3.30pm – To register for this online briefing click on this link

Wednesday 7 February 2.30pm-3.30pm –  To register for this online briefing click on this link

Monday 12 February 2.30pm – 3.30pm To register for this online briefing click on this link

Wednesday 14 February 7.30pm – 8.30pm To register for this online briefing click on this link

Saturday 17 February 11am – 12pm To register for this online briefing click on this link

When you register you’ll receive a confirmation email with another link for you click at the time of the briefing. You’ll need a headset or speakers with a microphone.


In remembrance and celebration – Brentwood Diocese CAFOD Memorial Mass 2017

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 fourth Memorial Mass at Brentwood Cathedral on Thursday November 9 at 9.15am. We are honoured and indeed fortunate to have Bishop Alan Williams as the principal celebrant at the Mass.


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 each 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 volunteer centre at or by calling 01277 218730 if you’d like to know more.

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.

Biggest Catholic Youth event set to light a ‘flame’ in Wembley

On 11 March, up to 10,000 Catholics will attend Flame 2017, a youth event at Weflame-poster-1-734x1024mbley arena, and share stories of faith and hope from across the world.

Young Catholics from across the country will come together for the biggest event of its kind in the UK. The theme of the day is ’10,000 reasons to hope’ based on the song by Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter Matt Redman, who will be performing at the event.

Four young leaders from Brentwood diocese, who are volunteering with aid agency CAFOD, will be attending the event and running lunchtime workshops around the themes of refugees and climate change.

During the event, CAFOD is aiming to collect 10,000 messages of hope to send to refugees around the world. This is part of a larger campaign by the charity, who have so far received over 25,000 messages from communities across England and Wales.

CAFOD youth volunteers, Leah Fox, 19, and Ryan Wilkinson, 18, will be speaking on the day about their experiences of meeting refugees in Lebanon, in hopes of inspiring the young people to act.

“I am so excited to speak at Wembley,” said Ryan, who is currently volunteering at Savio House, the Salesian retreat centre in Sheffield. “From my own personal experience, sharing messages of hope makes a massive difference and shows refugees that they are not alone.”



CAFOD Young Leaders at FLAME 2015

“During these turbulent times, it is great that so many young people will be coming together for one cause,” added Leah, who is currently training to be a primary school teacher. “I hope that by sharing my story, I will encourage young people to take further action in solidarity with refugees.”

The event, organised by the Catholic Youth Ministry Federation, will also include talks by the Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Nichols Myanmar’s first Cardinal Charles Bo, and Matt Redman.

Tickets are still available for the event which will take place on 11 March at the SSE arena in Wembley. Doors will open at 10am with the event expected to finish at 5:30pm.

Find out more at: