Bloomin’ Marvellous. Berkhamsted Flower Festival raises £2000 for CAFOD.

From the 16th – 18th June, Sacred Heart parish in Berkhamsted was ablaze with colour as the parish held its first Flower Festival this millennium.  Whilst it was primarily held to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the official opening of the church, the festival also raised over £2000 for CAFOD, a fantastic amount!

The event was first conceived of six months ago, when parishioners decided they wanted to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the consecration of their church.  Having calculated how much money would be needed to fund the event, generous parishioners then made contributions towards to displays, often in memory of  loved ones who had died or an event such as a wedding anniversary.  Heather Houston and Lina Iannone led the church effort and by all accounts were absolutely amazing.  They invited churches across Berkhamsted to join in and present their own displays, all of which were based on the theme of creation, making the occasion truly ecumenical.

Garden of Eden by Heather Houston on the right with Lina Iannone fellow organiser

The Sacred Heart was transformed by the floral creations, which were set up all around the church, and the parish centre was even set up to look like a garden.  Once they’d finished admiring the displays, visitors were able to buy plants and refreshments, with the money raised going to CAFOD, the parish priest, Fr. John’s, charity of choice.

Leslie Waite, one of Sacred Heart’s CAFOD representatives, said:

“The overall effect and the standard of the work was so fantastic.  When we walked in it was actually quite emotional.  I’ve been to lots of flower festivals before, but to see one in your own place of worship was breathtaking.”

Tony Sheen, CAFOD representative in Berkhamsted, said:

“A huge thank you to Heather Houston and Lina Iannone for organising the event, to Pamela Ferguson for her boundless creativity and to all the others involved in making this such a fantastic event.  It was wonderful to see all the different churches coming together to create such beautiful displays and it was a truly lovely occasion.”

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Join us in Berkehamsted for a concert of sacred music set to inspire.

Come and enjoy listening to sacred music that spans the centuries, whilst helping raise money for those in need.  The Chiltern Chamber Choir will be singing a diverse repertoire of chamber music, from Monteverdi to Stanford, and it is sure to be a wonderful evening.

When?: Thursday 11th May, 8pm

Where?: Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Berkhamsted, HP4 1HX

Price?: Entry is free, but all donations will go to CAFOD.

Chiltern Chamber Choir

Many thanks to Mary Harris for organising the concert and we look forward to hearing how it went!

Hillingdon parishioner raises over £2000 running her sixth marathon

Mane Abanda, a nurse from Hillingdon, has raised over £2100 for the aid agency CAFOD by running the London Marathon.

Mane is no stranger to marathon’s – this was her sixth – but it was her first one in London.

When her daughter had an operation, Mane started running and found it to be the most effective form of therapy.  Since then she has run marathons across the country, including Edinburgh and Brighton, but decided to run in London following an Archbishop talking about his experience of watching the marathon in the capital.

Mane marathon (2)

Mane with her medal after the marathon

Mane said:

“Running for CAFOD combines two things central to my existence – my Catholic faith and running – and is also a fantastic way of giving back to others.  I found this marathon remarkably tough as it was very busy, but the atmosphere was good and it was great running through London and going across London Bridge.  My daughter was there to cheer me on at 14 miles and gave me the encouragement I needed to carry on.”

All of us here in Westminster would like to thank Mane for raising such a fantastic amount of money and to all those who donated. Completing your sixth marathon is a fantastic achievement and we’re very grateful you did so by fundraising for CAFOD!