Become a Parish Volunteer and help eradicate poverty

Interested in making a difference to the World’s poorest communities? Join CAFOD as a parish volunteer and discover fantastic ways to make that difference. Two of our volunteers, Jill and John,  share the opportunities they gained from volunteering at CAFOD. You too can sign up today and get active in your parish.

Jill and John’s journey to becoming a parish volunteers

There are many reasons why parishioners choose to volunteer for CAFOD, from wanting to take concrete action to making the most of their free time.

Jill Cass, parish Volunteer from St Theresa of the Infant Jesus in BIGGIN HILL, at the Share the Journey walk last June 2018 in Hartley

Jill Cass, parish Volunteer from St Theresa of the Infant Jesus in Biggin Hill, at the Share the Journey walk last June 2018 in Hartley

Jill Cass became a volunteer in her parish by accident four years ago, when she had to fill in for someone else. “I have been a CAFOD volunteers for four years. In the past we had relied on a speaker at mass for Family Fast Day but one day we could not get one so I thought I would do it and that’s how I became a volunteer,” she says.

Since then, Jill has enjoyed being an active member of her community and has helped with a range of activities, from coordinating CAFOD’s Family Fast Days to helping other volunteers speak at mass.

On the other hand, a long time supporter of CAFOD, John Vine decided to become an active parish volunteer after retiring.

“I have supported CAFOD financially for as long as I can remember but when I retired I felt I needed to do more to follow St James’s exhortation to do something and not just talk about it.  So I decided to become our parish representative and set up a small parish group to help fundraise and support campaigns,” he says.

Interested in volunteering with CAFOD? Find out more

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CAFOD volunteers walk 70 miles to Share the Journey

Recently, CAFOD volunteers participated in the Share the Journey campaign by walking a 70 mile trek from Southwark Cathedral to Canterbury Cathedral. Julia describes the walk she shared with her friends Eleanor and Jack.

(left to right) Julia, Eleanor and Jack ready to Share Their Journey!

On the first day, we left Southwark Cathedral and walked to Erith in 30-degree heat.  We completed our first part of the journey by walking 14.7 miles, my feet were doing remarkably well bar one small blister.

The following morning, we set off early to walk to Gravesend. It was about 45 minutes before we got there when I ran out of water. I knew when we reached Gravesend I would be able to fill up my water bladder, but I started to think about refugees who have to make these journeys and may not have access to water. They may not know where their next drink will be. I started to think about how welcomed we had been at places and how many who are forced to flee are treated with suspicion.

Sign our petition to encourage positive change for Refugees and Migrants

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How Rosa Received an Apostolic Blessing from Pope Francis

Our heartfelt congratulations to Rosa! On July 4, she received an Apostolic Blessing from the Pope in recognition of her work as a volunteer for over 27 years. Receiving an Apostolic Blessing and dedicating so many years to the community is an outstanding achievement.

See how you can become a volunteer

What is an Apostolic Blessing?

The Blessing, sometimes known as a Papal Blessing is a great honour and is imparted on behalf the Pope. It can be given directly or delegated to the recipient; a great honour to anyone who receives it. Chris Bain, our CAFOD director has known Rosa for many years and personally gave Rosa her certificate of The Blessing. He then spoke about her work and gave testimony to how Rosa has been raising awareness about CAFOD’s work and campaigning on our behalf for global justice.

Rosa with her Apostolic Blessing Certificate

According to Rosa, work has been a way to live out her faith. “Volunteering for CAFOD has been a privilege, particularly speaking in so many churches during Lent and at Harvest time. Catholics are devoted to CAFOD and give generously to the Fast Day projects. It has been inspirational learning about the lives of individuals in the developing world who achieve dignity and self-sufficiency alongside CAFOD’s partners. Equally promoting petitions in my parish over the years has enlightened us all to the wider issues of justice and peace in our world.”

Thank you, Rosa!

We are truly grateful to Rosa and would like to say God Bless you and well done! We also give thanks to God. The presentation of the certificate took place at the Romero House’s chapel and was followed up by the CAFOD prayer ‘The World Can’t Wait.’ After the ceremony everyone enjoyed a CAFOD barbecue. It was a joyous occasion and Rosa joined us to celebrate.

How you can make a difference?

Volunteers are the life-blood of our organisation. The time they give us is crucial in helping CAFOD reach out and support those devastated by war, climate change, famine and poverty. Without volunteers like Rosa, CAFOD would not be able to continue with it’s amazing work. Every prayer, gift and action, makes a real difference.

If you’re thinking about volunteering, we can help you make a commitment that works for you. If you’re worried about giving time on a regular basis we can talk to you about flexible options such as short-term volunteering!

To find out more becoming a CAFOD volunteer:

  • call for an informal chat on 020 8466 9901
  • or email southwark@cafod.org.uk