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.
What we have done in 2023…
Lent Fast Day Friday March 3rd, 2023
Thank you for your generous donations to CAFOD's Family Fast Day during Lent.The theme of this year’s Fast Day was to highlight the needs of communities that are already affected by climate change. CAFOD featured Dristy and her mother Rupali from Bangladesh. Your support has helped Dristy and other families to work with local experts to build raised seed beds to give young drops a better chance of surviving floods, to plant a protective barrier of trees on the coast near their village to break up cyclones and reduce damage to their crops, and to grow a wider variety of healthy fruit and vegetables. This is just one of many long-term development projects that CAFOD has funded with the money from this Fast Day. Thank you.
Promote a showing of the ‘The Letter’ to raise awareness of climate and environmental issues.
A screening of the film ‘The Letter’ in partnership with St Augustine’s school took place in June 2023 and was attended by students and a small number of parishioners who took part in a discussion about what action to take next.
Support the CAFOD national campaign – ‘Fix the Food System’ – July 2023
CAFOD urges government to protect the right of farmers to use their own seeds
Small scale farmers in developing countries are increasingly experiencing difficulties in respect of their use of traditional seeds. For generations, small-scale farmers have freely swapped and shared a wide variety of seeds to produce food and maintain biodiversity. More recently, farmers have also developed seeds that ensure crops are resilient to climate change. However, their right to choose what seeds they use is increasingly under threat as new laws, supported by the World Bank and the IMF, are introduced that limit what small farmers can do with their seeds. This increases their costs as they often have to buy commercially produced seeds with their attendant problems making life even more difficult for them. Salina, one such small-scale farmer from Bangladesh, has written a letter to the World Bank and with CAFOD's help is asking Catholics here to support her by adding their signature. Archbishop Bernard and our local area Bishop David Evans had already signed it and passed the letter to the parish so we could add our signatures. This took place after all masses on the weekend of 15th/16th July. Over 230 parishioners signed it.
Ecumenical event to mark the Season of Creation (1st September to the feast of St. Francis on October 4th )
In partnership with students from St Augustine’s High School, we held an ecumenical vigil after the 5pm Mass on 30 September to link with the worldwide ecumenical vigil led by Pope Francis in Rome for the Season of Creation. Our vigil included readings and hymns and reflection on our role in promoting and supporting positive actions that will have a beneficial impact on our planet, our common home.
Autumn Harvest family fast day (Friday 6th October)
Appeals were given at all Masses on 30 Sept and 1st October 2023.
When we started, and some of the things we have done…
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 merged with the informal Climate Change group which arose out of the creation celebration Mass in September 2019 to form the CAFORD/Laudato Si Group. During and following the Covid pandemic, we engaged with our local councils and MPs on climate issues and embarked on CAFOD's vitally important 2021 campaign Reclaim Our Common Home.
Parish Climate Project
In July 2021 the group met with Fr Tony to discuss ways of how the parish could help address the vitally important issue of combating climate change – something we are all called to do. Fr Tony suggested we engage with parish schools as well. We now have a developing and productive working relationship with St Augustine’s. Contact has also been made with St. Bede’s and Our Lady of Mount Carmel First School Joint action between parishes and their schools is also something encouraged by the Archdiocesan Climate Action Group which includes representatives of the Diocesan Education Service. We look forward to working more closely with our schools in the future.
Buying fairly traded goods is an important way of helping producer communities in developing countries work and trade their way out of poverty, so promoting and selling fairly traded items continues to be a priority. Our “experimental” monthly after mass refreshments and fair-trade stall last year, (October -December 2022) was, after a slow start, a success but we were unable to find anyone willing to help us make it a permanent part of parish life. We continue however to promote Fair trade Fortnight and would welcome opportunities to sell items at parish events.
Given the focus of CAFOD on the teachings in ‘Laudato Si’, the CAFOD group here at Our Lady of Mount Carmel have changed our name to reflect this and we are now known as the CAFOD/Laudato Si group. Further details about Laudato Si and its impact on CAFOD nationally and locally are given at the end of this webpage.
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 would particularly like to include members of the parish’s Keralan and Polish communities.
For more information, please email us at: email@example.com or contact Susan, Jim, Jo, Bob, Kate, Steve via the Parish Office
CAFOD’s national strategic framework takes its name from Pope Francis’ Encyclical 'Laudato Si - On care for our common home’. Launched in April 2020, it offers staff and volunteers a unifying vision for CAFOD for the next 10 years. A summary of the strategic framework is given below -
Our agenda for change
As we look to the future, we will focus on the interconnected cry of the earth and the cry of the poor, supporting and celebrating the abilities and achievements of local people - especially women - together with the global network of our Catholic community across the world. We will follow Jesus’ example of ensuring that quieter voices are heard, so that a better world is achieved together and where each and every one of us, including our mother earth, may flourish.
Our common home is transformed to reflect God’s Kingdom, where all people, communities and the earth may flourish, and no one is beyond reach of the love and support they need to fulfil their potential.
Inspired by Gospel values and as part of the Catholic community of England and Wales, we come together in partnership with others, locally and globally: To reach those in greatest need, save lives and relieve suffering. To support and enable people, communities and our local partners to be artisans of their own destiny. To challenge and transform the structures and behaviours that drive poverty, vulnerability, inequality, injustice and exclusion and harm the natural world.
To educate, enable and inspire the Catholic community of England and Wales to act in solidarity for the common good.