Over £300 raised at the Barnet Soup Lunch.


The CAFOD volunteer team at Mary Immaculate and St Gregory the Great in Barnet recently held a Simple Soup Lunch in which parishioners and guests were invited to take up the “live simply” challenge in order to make a donation to CAFOD of the money saved. Despite being held on a Friday lunch time, when many would have been at work, away Baby Buggyfrom the parish, the soup lunch attracted around fifty diners and raised over £300.00.

The soup, cooked by the volunteer team, arrived carried on foot, by car and by baby buggy! Finished in the Presbytery Kitchen the soup was soon served to Finishingappreciative “customers” who had time to catch up with friends and find out a little more about what CAFOD was about. With four varieties of soup on offer, everyone was catered for and the meal was enhanced by bread, fresh from the High Street.

This is not the first Simple Soup Lunch to be offered. Barnet parish has a history of successful events of this type. All have been well supported although the CAFOD volunteer team were particularly pleased with the turn out for this latest event.

Find out about holding your own soup lunch and other fundraising ideas here

Well done Barnet Volunteers.


Hearing the Cry of the Poor

Sister Clara inspires CAFOD volunteers this Harvest


Sister Clara, from the Sacred Heart order, raised the spirits of nearly sixty people when she addressed an information meeting at the Cockfosters Regional Office. Speaking with great warmth and clarity, she explained the difference that CAFOD had made to the lives of thousands of poor people in her home country, Zambia.

At a time time of great need, when challenged by the calamities of the AIDS epidemic and rapid climate change, her sisters had tended the sick and dying. In the early 1990s, and with CAFOD”s help, they built a community school for orphans and other vulnerable children which had enabled them to master practical skills to support themselves, and their families, and continue their education. With the introduction of life-saving retroviral drugs, CAFOD was continuing to support projects which restored to people with the disease, self esteem and confidence through training in skills and know how. They had won a livelihood and were being empowered, thanks to the generosity of Catholics in England and Wales, through CAFOD.

The Church in Zambia, rooted in the lives of the poor, had been the first major voice to raise alarm about climate change. For decades before 2003 the vital rains came to Zambian farmers precisely on October 24 every year. Since then there has been no pattern in the timing or the quantity of the rain, and last year the late arrival of floods had ruined the harvest. With CAFOD’s help ZamSrClarabian farmers were switching from growing maize to growing pumpkins, which were better suited to the new conditions.

Sister Clara said that her order had a record of tackling problems that others would not. They had been first to provide schools for girls in Zambia in the 1950s. Then they had gone against the  mindset of the times by opening schools for children with special needs. With the help of CAFOD they were giving these people, too, livelihoods and confidence in the future.

The inspirational account given by Sister Clara, and the great warmth of her gratitude to the CAFOD volunteers, who made up nearly all of her audience, was the perfect rallying call as the Harvest Family Fast Day, on October 5th, becomes the focus. If any further encouragement was needed Tony Sheen, our Community Clara&groupParticipation Co-ordinator, told the volunteers that the magnificent sum of £4.274,million was being used at that very time to bring relief to people whose lives were in jeopardy because of the typhoon in the Philippines and the floods in Kerala. CAFOD was extending not hand outs, but a helping hand to people who had shown, and would show, that they could overcome devastating problems and assert their strengths and dignity. Sr Clara’s words reminded all present what a privilege it was to help in their victory over adversities.

Find out how you can support CAFOD this  Harvest here


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 westminster@cafod.org.uk. This promises to be an afternoon well spent.