Are you a CAFOD Supporter? Here’s a day especially for you

SupportersDayPoasterSister Clara is a firm favourite. She has addressed meetings of CAFOD volunteers on a number of occasions and always wins her audience with her background knowledge and sincerity. On the 19th September, at the regional office, at the Church of Christ the King in Oakwood, she will be speaking about CAFOD’s work carried out through our partners in Zambia. Although the Harvest talk and appeal will focus on a project in Uganda, Sister Clara’s address will give us all a feel for conditions on the African continent and information we can pass on to anyone enquiring at Mass about what other projects we are promoting. In addition you will meet other volunteers there from across Westminster and have the opportunity to raise with Tony Sheen, our Community Participation Co-ordinator any queries you may have as we gear up for the Harvest Appeal.

OakwoodMapFor those that haven’t been to the Oakwood Office, I should say that it is easy to get to. It’s about ten or fifteen minutes walk from Oakwood Underground Station, on the Piccadilly Line. Alternatively, from the station, the 107 bus passes the door.  If you are using a SatNav the address is 29 Bramley Road N14 4HE.  The office is on the first floor, just walk across the church porch and up the stairs. Oh, and I nearly forgot, you cannot miss the church, it has the words Vita et Pax in large letters across the side facing the road and an enormous cross set into the tower.

To book your place please contact the Oakwood Office on 020 8449 6970. Better still, e-mail them at This promises to be an afternoon well spent.


The Essential Nature of Water – Mark Chamberlain

HarvestPicIn a detailed and often passionate address, to CAFOD supporters at Romaro House recently, Mark Chamberlain outlined the essential nature of water and the vital choices that have to be made if there is not enough of this commonBelief liquid that we all take for granted here in the UK. Focusing on the plight of people in the remote north of Uganda, in a village known as Moroto, Mark outlined the reasons why this issue has become the subject of this year’s Harvest appeal.

Taking the, at times, tragic story of Longora who found herself pregnant, expecting her child’s imminent birth, during a drought that had lasted four years, Mark recounted how the village population had been reduced to drinking the meagre supply of heavily polluted water from a nearby stream. Of course, water is not only for drinking. The villager’s plight had become desperate, unable to wash, unable to cook properly, even unable to grow the crops on which they depended for survival. Add to that the toxic nature of the little water they did have access to, and it is amazing that they survived at all. Longora barely survived, being stuck with a malaria infection, and her child didn’t survive. He succumbed to the infection too, soon after his birth.

Mark went on to illustrate how further avoidable tragedies like these were stemmed partly by the simple repair of a water pump but, more importantly, H&Sby the education of the villagers in the repair and maintenance of the device, something that really should have been the real priority all along. From this effort there have been several other important developments in the life of the village including a growing recognition of the equality and dignity of women, the education of the children, particularly the girls, and a new gelling of the community, now confident of it’s own ability to take charge of it’s future.

Moroto is still without electricity, gas, or easily accessible healthcare, but it is now a happier, safer place to live. And it is projects like this successful intervention that CAFOD hopes to repeat across Africa and the world, which is why the Harvest appeal is key. Please click here to find out how you can help in your Parish.

Westminster school children add 16,000 miles to around the world challenge!

Twenty-two schools from across the Catholic diocese of Westminster are celebrating having contributed an impressive 16,000 miles to an around the world challenge being walked in solidarity with refugees and migrants across the world as part of the Share the Journey campaign.

Catholic diocese of Westminster are celebrating having contributed an impressive 16,000 miles to Share the Journey

Catholic diocese of Westminster are celebrating having contributed an impressive 16,000 miles to Share the Journey

On 13 July, school advisers from Westminster brought the schools’ efforts to an end in a symbolic walk from Westminster Cathedral to CAFOD’s HQ, holding colourful paper footprints to represent each different school in the area who took part.

The initial target was to walk 24,900-miles – the distance around the world – but CAFOD supporters across England and Wales have achieved a hat trick and are currently on their fourth lap around the world.

The campaign, launched by Pope Francis in 2017, calls on the Prime Minister to ensure that the UK takes a lead during UN refugee negotiations to ensure that people forced to flee their homes are treated with dignity and has been supported by schoolchildren and communities from across England and Wales.

Westminster education adviser, Michael Corcoran, said: “All of us in the Education Service are proud of Westminster Schools’ successful engagement with the CAFOD Share the Journey campaign and with the many miles that pupils and staff have walked.

“As one of the people tasked with promoting Catholic Social Teaching in our schools, I am particularly impressed with how our pupils and students have used this opportunity to respond to, and extend their understanding of global social issues, through thoughtful reflection, vigorous discussions and debate, and not least, by taking time to pray earnestly for refugees and those forced into migration worldwide.”

CAFOD’s Head of Education, Monica Conmee, added: “What an amazing and united effort from the schools in Westminster.  They have collectively walked more than half way around the world, massively contributing to the 24,900-mile target which CAFOD supporters have now completed three times and counting!

Share the Journey will deliver a powerful message to world leaders that we want new global agreements that ensure refugees and migrants can live fairly and with dignity.”

Find out how you can join the campaign at