Who we are...
We are a small, friendly group of parishioners who undertake a range of activities to support the mission and aims of CAFOD within the Parish. We have a commitment to fairness, the integrity of creation and justice and peace for all. We see the work of CAFOD as an important way to live out our faith and the social teachings of the Church.
We particularly feel that raising awareness and campaigning are important as both can lead to positive change. Our faith calls us to address injustice in the world and CAFOD’s campaigns enables us to put our faith into action – it is a very effective way of loving our neighbour.
We started in 2005 inspired by the Make Poverty History campaign when three coach loads of parishioners went to the rally in Edinburgh. Activities since then have included organising a Rich World Poor World supper; promoting card signings to lobby for political change; a Livesimply picnic; promoting Fair Trade; a creation walk; ecumenical activity and supporting CAFOD Fast Days in Lent and at Harvest time.. We now also host an annual ecumenical service for the Season of Creation (1st September to 4th October).
Promoting CAFOD's Family Fast Days and campaigning for justice we see as particularly important.
Climate change is having a devastating effect on the lives of many people in developing countries, this has been happening for many years now and the damage to lives continues. Because of this CAFOD has been campaigning for greater action, at all levels, to combat climate change and this is now a major priority for the group. We recently merged with the informal Climate Change group which arose out of the 2019 creation celebration Mass in September 2019. For the last twelve months or so we have been engaging with our local councils and MPs on climate issues and have now embarked on CAFOD's vitally important 2021 campaign Reclaim Our Common Home.
We would love to have new members join us, particularly those with fresh ideas and enthusiasm! Come and join us – changing the world is fun.
We meet on Zoom most Wednesday afternoons for prayer, chat and planning. If you want to "Zoom in" occasionally you would be most welcome.
For more information, please contact us via the Parish Office
Susan, Jim, Jane, Jo, Bob, Anika
Lent Walk for Water Challenge
CAFOD’s Walk for Water was inspired by Abdella who lives in the Afar region of Ethiopia, the hottest place on earth. He spends much of every day walking over mountainous terrain in the gruelling heat to fetch water for his family. Abdella is 23 and has big dreams: of starting a small business; of starting a family; of having his own home. He dreams of the day he won't have to walk ten hours to get water.
As the conflict in Ethiopia worsens and is now affecting the Afar region, please remember Abdella (who inspired Bob, Jo & Jim's walk), and his family in your prayers.
Abdella has sent us, via CAFOD, the following message:
If someone is thinking of me, Thank you, God bless you. Thank you for thinking of me and thank you for thinking of my community.
Walk for Water was the complete Lent challenge. Enabling people to :
Pray as they walked
Give, raising money through sponsorship to help CAFOD's work with Abdella's community and others in similar need.
Act, at least three parishioners signed up to the challenge and you can read their stories at :
For Jo & Bob Mansell : https://celebration.cafod.org.uk/?p=fd&v=a2S4H000001HKTW
For Jim Quinn: http://celebration.cafod.org.uk/?TB=29034
Although Lent is now over you can still sponsor, Bob & Jo or Jim using the above links.
Bob & Jo Mansell and Jim Quinn would like to thank all parishioners who supported them with prayers, sponsorship or both. they exceeded their targets and a total, including gift aid, of £1,375 was achieved. At the time of writing nationally £764,095 has been raised so far.
Lent Fast Day Friday February 26th 2021
Thank you for your generous donations to CAFOD's Family Fast Day during Lent which featured Abdella, mentioned above. The Lent Fast Day in 2018 CAFOD featured Marian and her son Svondo in Zimbabwe. The community vegetable garden that your donations helped provide is growing well and during the pandemic the family has survived on the vegetables. Your support has also helped to provide soap and handwashing stations in the gardens and family homes. This is just one of many long-term development projects that CAFOD has funded with the money from that Fast Day. Thank you.
Reclaim our Common Home
This new CAFOD campaign is a response to Pope Francis' call for a new way of thinking about the world, and to take an active part in renewing our troubled societies by embracing the universal values of solidarity and fraternity and in doing so address the causes of poverty, inequality and the climate emergency.
Catholic parishes are invited to work towards achieving three major goals.
1. Tackling the climate crisis, (global solidarity)
2. Ending unjust debts (global justice)
3.Holding business accountable, (global responsibility)
As Catholics, we are called not to stay silent and not to be passive. This is why Reclaim Our Common Home is a call to action! It's a call to participate both individually and collectively in rebuilding more dignified and sustainable world after the pandemic.
2021 must be a year of transformation
As the host of two major international conferences, the British government has a crucial role to play this year. In June Britain will host the G7 annual meeting where the leaders of the seven richest countries will gather to discuss how to rebuild after the pandemic. This will be followed by the UN COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November, where world leaders will come together to hopefully agree how they will work towards ending the climate crisis.
As the eyes of the world will be on Britain this year, it is vital that we all come together to raise our voices and ensure that our government listens.
"Global society is suffering from grave structural deficiencies that cannot be resolved by piecemeal solutions or quick fixes. Much needs to change, through fundamental reform and major renewal." Pope Francis, Fratelli Tutti, #179
We have a duty to ensure that the Government uses this moment to bring in the necessary changes towards building a more sustainable world.
Find out more at: https://cafod.org.uk/Campaign/Reclaim-our-common-home
An invitation to the parish
The parish CAFOD group hope that many parishioners will join them in taking action this year as part of this campaign and has issued the following message.
Pope Francis has urged us all to work for a better post-pandemic world addressing in particular the urgent need to combat climate change and the damaging effects it has on our vulnerable sisters and brothers around the world. This year is a vital one for such action. A year when taking, what Francis calls "civic and political love" (Laudato Si chapter six), is essential. Action is needed to address this urgent global problem and this year provides unique opportunities for action that have 5the possibility of achieving positive change. There is a growing desire within society for a better world and our faith calls us to do what we can to ensure that this includes the needs of our neighbours in developing countries as well as our communities, for both this and future generations.
Many crucial make-or-break decisions will be made this year. It is vital that our MPs (and local councillors) know we care about these issues. We need them to make the right decisions and remind them that it is a moral matter. For our poorer sisters and brothers it is a matter of survival.
There is also a need to address the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on developing countries, many of whom are burdened by crippling debts to rich world banks. Many rich world governments are suspending payments due to them from poorer countries. The banks need to help as well. Many countries are being forced to choose between spending money on healthcare or on continuing to pay their debts. Unless urgent action is taken, countries will be plunged into a new debt crisis as they respond to the threat of the virus while managing spiralling debt payments.
CAFOD is working with other faith agencies this year on all these issues and is also engaging constructively with our Government. CAFOD also provides us with the means to put Gospel values into action. Would you please consider committing to taking one or more of these actions during 2021?
* Sign and encourage others to sign, CAFOD's petition to the Prime Minister:
* Pray regularly for the success of the UN climate summit in November. A suggested prayer can be found below.
* Take the cancel the debt online action at : https://cafod.org.uk/Campaign/Cancel-the-debt
* Contact your MP to tell them that you care about these issues and want the government to make the right decisions. One
way you could do this is CAFOD's Parliament in my Parish initiative. The parish CAFOD/Climate Change Group are taking
part in this and are hoping to hold online meetings with the various MP's for the various constituencies around the parish.
If you would like to take part, or just want to find out more, please get in touch with : for Bromsgrove Constituency,
Susan Porter at email@example.com; for Stratford upon Avon constituency, Bob or Jo Mansell
firstname.lastname@example.org; for Redditch Constituency, Jim Quinn at email@example.com; details for Droitwich Constituency coming soon.
* Take part in our parish Climate Sunday event. Details not known as yet but will probably be in September.
Prayer for Glasgow
Creator God, we cry out to you
The earth is damage and in chaos
People in poverty are suffering the most
Greed and consumerism are a disease
And your Church is too often asleep
protect your people and restore your earth,
embolden governments to take action,
waken Church leaders
give youth influence
and guide businesses to change.
In the name of Jesus Christ,
our Lord may we unite and be bold
take heart and find hope in you,
worship you with our lifestyles, walk in you truth
and see justice and renewal in the earth.