Northfields’ Young CAFOD Group Celebrates 10 Years

By Nicole Crosbourne – CAFOD Volunteer

On Wednesday 19th July, we were once again very fortunate to have a talk delivered by Father Peter Hughes about this year’s CAFOD Fast Day Appeal in El Salvador to the parish of SS Peter and Paul, Northfields. The day also marked 10 years since the creation of SS Peter and Paul’s Young CAFOD Group.

group photo

Northfields’ CAFOD Group

Last week Father Peter spoke to several people about the question of poverty, what it really means to be a Catholic, and the challenges of Laudato Si. His inspirational message encouraged many parishioners from the local area to participate in a card-signing to show their support for CAFOD’s Harvest Fast Day appeal in El Salvador and our latest ‘Power to Be’ campaign.

Having spent many years working in a missionary in Lima, Peru, Father Peter became the theological advisor for Latin America.  He worked alongside Gustavo Gutierrez and Peruvian bishops to support developing programmes for social and pastoral action. Using the words of Pope Francis and echoing SS Peter and Paul, Father Peter spoke about poverty, and how this burning issue both within the church, and our world forms the foundations of CAFOD, “I want a church by the poor, for the poor”.

Highlighting the shocking statistic by Oxfam International, “50% of the world’s wealth is in the hands of 8 people”, Father Peter explained how poverty can reduce people to “nobodies” or a “surplus”. He also emphasised how material poverty is directly against the Christian message, “God is a God of Love […] God is life.”  His message underlined the importance of fighting climate change as stewards for our planet, “If we make of mess of the world, we can fix it”.

4 volunteers with certificates

Claire Hardiman, Mary Ward, Liz Higgins-Noonan and Joy Hynes (Left to Right)

Following Father Peter’s engaging message, we celebrated 10 years since SS Peter and Paul’s Young CAFOD group was created. The group, aged 12 to 18 years old, started in 2007 to raise global awareness amongst teenagers within the parish. Founded by Mary Ward, the group’s aim is to increase consciousness of the world around us, to be aware of those who are less fortunate and to recognise some of the big issues which impact humanity. “We are extremely proud of our young people; in a cynical world, they bear witness to the power of God’s love.”

Over the last decade, the Young CAFOD Group has inspired over 100 members and has raised a staggering £12,000 through a variety of fundraisers, including Winter Wonderland, Crepe Celebration and sponsored bike rides. Amongst their highlights, the group has also produced a film on climate change, achieving 2nd place in a National Young CAFOD competition and interviewed Ed Miliband. The members of the group actively participate in CAFOD’s Fast Day Appeals ran by the parish.


Mary Ward with Father Peter and Father Jim


Father Jim Duffy presented Mary with a certificate for 10 years of volunteering and thanked her for all the hard-work put into the group. Claire Hardiman, Liz Higgins-Noonan and Joy Hynes were also thanked for their outstanding work over many years.





100 Days to Harvest Fast Day : 6 October


Women in El Salvador

If you type “100 days” in an internet search engine you will get many options… 100 days seems to be a bit of a symbolical time to achieve something, time to make a difference… For us, here at CAFOD, it is 100 days before we are taking, with all of our parish volunteers, the Catholic community in Southwark on a journey to El Salvador for harvest Fast Day.

For this journey to be a success we need you, all of our supporters and parish volunteers to come and discover our project for the Harvest Fast Day briefing .  Come to a briefing to find out everything you need to know to prepare for Harvest Fast Day 2017. You will hear about a community seed bank; you will hear about people like Endelmira and her husband Martir who are farmer in an area with a hard land to cultivate; you will hear about a project where they can “Plant the seeds that one day will grow” (Archbishop Oscar Romero prayer).

Book a briefing today:
Saturday 9 September : London – Romero House – 9:45am to 3:15 pm
Saturday 16 September: Bromley – St James Church – Time TBC
Thursday 21 September: London/Amigo Hall – School Volunteers briefing – Time TBC
Friday 22 September: Bexleyheath – St John Vianney from 2:30 – 4:30pm.
TBC: Briefing in Lewisham and Dover deanery


Please book by calling 0208 466 9901 or via email:

CAFOD Voices from the field

Voices from the field is an exciting evening to get a perspectives on CAFOD’s work in Africa, Latin America, Asia and with Young People.

Nicanora in Bolivia holding her harvested potatoes in a bag

You are warmly invited to attend an evening reception at CAFOD to hear from our International Programme staff about CAFOD’s overseas projects (in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Central America) and the passion that drives them individually in their work.

We are very excited about this opportunity to engage with CAFOD’s international staff and hear first-hand about the life-changing work, that you make possible. We will also hear about the exciting 18-30 young adults initiative and the Step into the Gap Programme.

A panel of CAFOD staff will be open to your questions and we would welcome the opportunity to hear about your involvement and interest in CAFOD and how we can work together to create positive and lasting change for our brothers and sisters around the world.

The time and place are as follows: Thursday 13 July 2017, 6:30 – 8:30pm Romero House 55 Westminster Bridge, London,  SE1 7JB

Please contact us by phone on 0208 466 9901 to let us know if you would like to join us, by Thursday 6 July 2017.