Honour a Loved One through a Candlelight Fund

November is the month of Remembrance for the Catholic community. It is a time during which we pray for our departed loved ones. Southwark just honoured those who have passed away this past weekend with our Memorial Mass at The Holy Family Parish in Sanderstead.  One way to honour their legacy would be to set up a Candlelight Fund.  

This November marked the 100th anniversary of the end of  World War I. We honour and remember all who had lost their lives, their loved ones or know anyone who suffered at the expense of the War. It is also a time to honour our close relatives and friends who passed away. If you would like to set up a lasting tribute to a loved one or continue their legacy, hear from a CAFOD supporter on what her Candlelight fund means to her.

Kathy’s Candlelight Fund for her son Robbie

Kathy who has opened a Candlelight fund for her son Robbie

Kathy who has opened a Candlelight fund for her son Robbie

Kathleen says: “I lost my only son, Robbie Sharp, in 2009, who lived with cerebral palsy from birth. Robbie needed lots of love, care and attention, which he was never short of. I was so grateful to all the volunteers who had helped Robbie, a few years later I wanted to put something back into the community.” A couple of years after her son Robbie died, Kathleen decided to turn her grief into something positive and set up a Candlelight Fund in Robbie’s memory

“Robbie was a wonderful young man and it is a great comfort to me to see that his memory is living on and he would be very happy to know that he is helping people around the world. There are also annual Candlelight Masses around the country and I have attended one locally which was very memorable. Robbie’s candlelight fund has raised over £6470 now.”

Set-up your own Candlelight funds 

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Memorial mass – remembering our dearly departed loved ones and supporters

Remembering our dearly departed loved ones and supporters is a wonderful and most precious gift, therefore in November there is a double blessing of celebrating All Saints and All Souls Day. You are warmly invited to attend the Southwark Diocese memorial mass on November 19 at 11:30 in St William of York in Forest Hill.

Why November?
November is an important month for the Church and the Catholic community.  The month begins with All Saints Day (when we remember the saints in heaven) and All Souls Day (when we remember all the faithful departed). We are given the opportunity to pray for those who are no longer with us. Throughout November we are once again holding our annual Memorial Masses across the country to honour all our friends who have died.

What are the Memorial Masses and why do we have them?

SWOY - Chuch in Brockley

Memorial Mass at St William of York, Brockley

Many of us can find it hard to talk about bereavement without worrying that we’ll make people feel uncomfortable. The Masses offer an opportunity for CAFOD supporters, parishioners, volunteers and members of the wider public to get together and celebrate the lives of those we’ve loved and lost. CAFOD is immensely blessed by the generosity and dedication of our supporters. Sadly, many of our supporters over the years have now passed away and our Memorial Masses also allow us to pay a special tribute to these supporters in order to mark our appreciation for their years of kindness. The Masses take place in most dioceses, and last year we had our main Mass in Blexlyheath, so this year you are all invited to the Memorial Mass for Southwark Diocese on Sunday 19 November at 11:30 in Lewisham. 

Books of Remembrance


Remembering our departed loved ones and supporters

As active members of the Catholic community, this month is the natural time in the year for us to remember our loved ones and give thanks for the faithful service of our supporters, therefore many churches have a Book of Remembrance to which parishioners can add the names of their loved ones to be prayed for during the month. The names of deceased supporters are also collected each year in our Books of Remembrance which  includes all supporters who in the last year have left a gift to CAFOD in their will, as well as all those remembered by a Candlelight Fund as a donation in their memory and all those dear to your hearts. We also add the names of  our loved ones. The Rememberance books are updated each year at CAFOD’s head office and there is a section in which you can add extra names.

Candlelight Fund

Kathy who has open a candle light fund in memory of her son Robbie

Building a lasting memorial to a loved one is a beautiful way to raise funds for a worthy cause. This fund can be  a personal act of rememberance or you can invite others to join in. A Candlelight fund has no targets, deadlines or minimum amounts, therefore it is convienent way for friends and family to donate comfortably as and when it suits them. For example, Kathleen Szczegolski from London, has supported Catholic charity, CAFOD for many years and decided after retiring to begin volunteering in CAFOD’s Southwark Office.  A couple of years after her son Robbie died,  Kathleen decided to set up a Candlelight Fund in Robbie’s memory. Kathleen says that, “Robbie’s candlelight fund has raised over £5,800 now and Robbie would be very happy to know that he is helping people around the world”.

The Masses are organised by our amazing volunteers. The Memorial Mass for Southwark Diocese will be on Sunday 19 November at 11:30am at St William of York church, 4 Brockley Park, Forest Hill SE23 1PS. Or see our website for a full list of all venues across England and Wales here. If you have any questions or would like to include a name in our Books of Remembrance or to set up a Candlelight Fund, please get in touch with Roisin at remembrance@cafod.org.uk or call 020 7095 5348. Alternatively, you are welcome to add a loved one’s name by sending us an email at southwark@cafod.org.uk  before Thursday 16 November.