Making COP26 Count

Julie Valentine, CAFOD Parish volunteer in Our Lady Queen of Peace, East Sheen, shares her reflections on attending a recent inspiring ecumenical meeting and invites us all to take action to ensure the opportunities of the G7 meeting and COP26 climate talks this year are not wasted but seized, so that we can Reclaim Our Common Home.

In the lead-up to CAFOD’s campaign Reclaim our Common Home, I attended the online Churches Together South London: Big Gathering on the theme of “Churches Together for the Climate”.   The meeting was brilliantly chaired by Bishop Karowei Dorgu; it included presentations from the YCCN (The Young Christian Climate Network), and from Faith for the Climate, a multifaith organisation that seeks to inspire and equip faith communities in their work on climate change.  It focused on how to ensure that the two forthcoming international summits, the G7 in Cornwall in June and COP26 in Glasgow in November, will make world leaders focus creatively and positively on the climate crisis.

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Lent Appeal 2021 with a difference!

Happy New Year! We hope that all of you had a wonderful and restful Christmas.

Today, when the entire country is struggling with rising Covid -19 cases, and people are being asked to isolate and socially distance, it is more important than ever to stay connected (albeit virtually).

We would like you to join us for our South East Region online Lent Fast Day volunteer briefing, which will take place on Saturday, 30th January 2021, between 10.30 – 12.30 on Zoom.

Sign up for our Lent Fast Day Volunteer Briefing today .

Lent Appeal 2021

Abdella at water source in Afar, Ethiopia

The focus for this year’s Lent appeal is water and the scarcity of it. We will learn more about the story of a young man from Ethiopia called Abdella.

Water is one of the most precious resources which sustains all of life on Earth. We are very privileged, as we have access to clean, drinking water flowing from our taps; it is easy to forget that there are still places where this is not the case. In Ethiopia, water is scarce, Abdella  spends 10 hours walking every day in order to collect the water to sustain his family’s basic needs.

Hear Abdella speak about his daily walk for water below:

Can you help us support those like Abdella who don’t have a nearby access to safe, clean water? Come and find out how at one of our Lent Appeal meetings.?

Come along and:

  • Hear Connor Molloy, Country Director for Ethiopia, speak about our work with

    Afar, Ethiopia

    communities in Ethiopia who do not have access to a safe water source.

  • Receive feedback on your donations to Our Harvest 2020 and Coronavirus appeals
  • Look at the Lent Fast Day Resources and how you can use them in your parish community
  • Look ahead at an exciting year of Campaigning for Climate Justice as we seek to Reclaim Our Common Home
  • Meet virtually with other volunteers, share your experiences and pray together.

Lent Briefing Dates:

South East Region Lent Briefing:

Saturday, 30th January 2021, 10:30 – 12:30 GMT.

Location: Online through Zoom, Register here

If you can’t join us on Saturday, here are some alternative dates, click the link to register:

o   Afternoon Meeting Wednesday 3rd February, 2.30pm-3.30pm – Register here

o   Evening Meeting Thursday 4th Feb, 7pm -8pm– Register here

o   Evening Meeting Wednesday 10th Feb, 8pm-9pm – Register here

Lent Fast Day resources will be released soon, why not read about how Harvest Family Fast day took place for the first time during the Coronavirus pandemic last year.

My Faith into action

CAFOD volunteer Andy Wansbury, reflects on his role as a campaigns volunteer coordinator and how it is an expression of his faith and shares how he will get involved in the next few weeks and is inviting you to come along.

Andy and his Harley Davidson
Andy is a CAFOD volunteer Campaign coordinator

As a result of the current pandemic it has been much harder to practice our Catholic faith.  As the crisis grew the church removed the obligation to attend Sunday mass, the celebration of the sacraments had to be suspended, churches were closed to the public, priests could only say mass in church in private.  Visits to the sick and housebound could no longer happen.  All these communal acts had to cease to help stop the coronavirus pandemic. 

Living my faith without the sacraments  

How then were we to live out our faith without access to mass and the sacraments?  For me being a practicing Catholic has always been more than just going to church on Sunday.  A line from one sermon that has always stayed with me is “It not going to church that makes you a Christian it is what you do when you leave church that makes you a Christian”.  Attending mass is a vitally important part of Catholic life, it is where we can get educated about our faith, the inspiration, and the graces we need to live out our God given mission as Catholics.  The roles that we fulfill when we leave church are many and varied some apply directly to supporting parish life such as being a server, a choir member or a catechist, some roles take us into the wider world as community leaders, emergency service and key workers, or campaigners for justice.  In recent years the role I have found is supporting those people living in the less well-developed parts of the world by volunteering  for the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development or CAFOD or as it is better known.   

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