CAFOD Southwark Blog

Updates from CAFOD in the Southwark Diocese

CAFOD Southwark Blog

Write to a newspaper and make a difference for climate change.

David Murray is a CAFOD volunteer and a climate activist from Wallington. David’s activism ranges from lobbying his local council to sharing CAFOD with young people in secondary schools. One of his skills and way to tackle climate change is writing letters to Newspapers. Today he is sharing with us some tips and examples.

David Murray uses word to fight Climate change

Besides working for CAFOD, what do all these people have in common? Christine Allen, CAFOD director, her predecessor, Chris Bain, Anne Lindsay, Graham Gordon head of public policy and Hombeline Dulière, Syria crisis emergency programme manager? They’ve all written, and had published, letters to the papers concerning CAFOD’s work.

You don’t need a Lord title to get published!

To get published it helps to have a title such as company or NGO director, Doctor, PhD or medical, Lord or MP. But getting CAFOD mentioned is hard. So retired CAFOD volunteer, Mike McLoughlin, and I, both left-wing and untitled, write letters on politics and issues, such as economics, trade, poverty and climate change, relevant to CAFOD’s work and it gets published, see example below. When I quote I provide a reference.  

Making progress in fight against climate emergency
Campaigners are right to demand “Sutton Council declare a “climate emergency””. But from, in 2014, having no specific climate change adaptation programme or action plan in place relating directly to the key deliverables identified in the Borough’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, due to a lack of available resources, Sutton Council, on paper at least, has made considerable strides.
The Borough’s strategy is consistent with the Mayor of London’s environment strategy which aims for a zero carbon city by 2050. However, although London’s greenhouse gas emissions are falling, the London Environment Strategy admits “the city remains over-reliant on the fossil fuels that are a major contributor to global warming. London is not yet on track to reduce its emissions quickly enough to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, or to meet national and international climate aims.” Clearly the campaigners need to keep up the pressure.
David Murray – SUTTON GUARDIAN – 11 April 2019
Read CAFOD news to find topics to raise in Newspapers

Keep it short and simple

Short letters do best – ideally 100 words or less. The Sun taught me a lesson. I sent a 332 word monster to get the subject off my chest, thinking they’ll never publish. They published after cutting it to 45 words! The Guardian rarely publishes a letter over 250 words and, for a chance of appearing the following day, should arrive no later than 2pm. I used to wonder why The Guardian asked for my phone number until they phoned  to say they were considering my letter for publication the following day. Sadly since Covid-19 that’s very rare. Example below :

Why do journalists confuse “paid” and “earned”? The Pakistani workers who were paid 29p an hour for making Boohoo clothes earned a lot more but others including the customers took their earnings. By contrast bankers are paid millions that they do not earn. If these words were used properly in the media it would be a small step towards an understanding of equality and fairness.
Michael McLoughlin
The Guardian 23 December 2020
Read about our latest Campaign and contact your local newspaper to raise the issue

Email get a greater chance to be published

Email is favoured. Just Google, e.g. ‘Contact us The Guardian’ for the email address for Letters.  The same Goggle works for most newspapers and journals. Both Mike and I send to The Guardian and the London Evening Standard. I also send to the New Statesman; Mike to Catholic papers.

You write that “Poorer countries, which broadly speaking are the least to blame for the climate crisis – emitting less carbon dioxide per capita – will suffer most” (Editorial, 1 August). As overseas development charities like Cafod witness every day, there is no “will” about it. Poor people in poorer countries have been suffering the effects of climate change for many years. A 2013 DfID-funded paper found: “This analysis provides evidence that a drought in East Africa such as seen in 2011 has become more probable as a result of anthropogenic climate change.” The drought affected 10 million people in Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda. Many of whom would have migrated, some possibly to Europe.
David Murray
Wallington, Surrey – 6 August 2019
Write to your Local newspaper about the upcoming refugee day

Join us on a trip to COP24 in Poland

CAFOD Campaigners at climate talks in Paris 2015

CAFOD Campaigners at climate talks in Paris 2015

Are you interested in Climate Change . Would you like to make a difference? If so we are looking for campaigners to join our delegation to the UN Climate Change summit in Poland from 5th to 11th December.

Apply now for your place 

If we are serious about tackling poverty and improving lives, we need to be serious about climate change. We have already made great strides in campaigning to tackle it. During our One Climate, One World campaign in 2015, campaigners encouraged world leaders to sign the ground-breaking Paris Climate Agreement. This agreement commits countries to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees, ideally 1.5 degrees. We now need to make sure world leaders follow through with the promises they’ve made in Paris, and make sure they go further, and faster when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

As a CAFOD delegate, you will be travelling by coach 5-11 December to Katowice and Krakow Poland, where the climate talks will be held. This will be an opportunity to learn about the decision-making process, hear from other campaigners across Europe on living sustainably and campaigning on climate change, reflect on partner stories and bear witness with others for change.

When you return, we’ll ask you to share your experience with your parish or community through talks, blogs and local media. Don’t worry if you’re not an expert, we will provide training before you go. And most importantly we’ll ask you to be a leader in taking action in your communities, so that we can protect communities overseas from climate change.

Apply today for a place 

🙏 pray,👀 think and 🚶 walk to support refugees

Parishioners from all over Southwark have been gathering together to organise walks as part CAFOD’s response to Pope Francis’ Share the Journey campaign. Together they prayed, reflected and walked.  Discover some of those walks, get inspired and plan on how you are going to add your steps before September. 

See our totaliser for how far we’ve already walked

The steps we’ve taken!

Get inspired by some of the imaginative ways people have added their steps.

CAFOD supporters walking for Refugees and migrants as part of the Share the Journey campaign launched by Pope Francis

CAFOD supporters walking for Refugees and migrants as part of the Share the Journey campaign launched by Pope Francis.

Kathleen O’Brien of Our Lady of Mt Carmel said: “Most of our parish Share the Journey walkers completed the entire six and a half miles from Faversham to Seasalter, walking along part of the Saxon Shore Way, an ancient pilgrimage route.

The weather was glorious and everyone enjoyed the views over the sea wall, across the beautiful blue water in the estuary to the Isle of Sheppey beyond. On the way we read and reflected on refugee stories from around the world. It was sobering to hear the latest UN statistic that one person is forced from their homes every two seconds. We traced the shoreline all the way to Seasalter, where Una and Derek welcomed us into their beachfront home for a much-needed cup of tea.”

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