A Busy Christmas Ahead For Parish Volunteer Thomas

Thomas Kimaru, Parish and office volunteer gives a glimpse into life as a parcel delivery driver and reflects on the gifts from God.

I have been having a good British moan about the bitterly cold weather, rain, and long hour I put in as I do my delivery job to about 80 to 110 customers every day. Ironically, these parcels are gifts, essentials, medical supplies, food, and absurd purchases.

Some of my customers are happily working at home, others have lost their jobs, a few are screaming at my “poor” service due to emotional breakdowns. Most however emphasize about the weather and long hours and are appreciative that I am keeping their households and businesses alive and working in exceptional circumstances. I get a lot of pleasure to see a satisfied customer get their parcel and smile with their eyes knowing what that delivery will accomplish in that household or company.

thomas Kimaru -office volunteer -March 2020
Thomas Kimaru

Looking to buy a special gift?  CAFOD’s range of World Gifts will delight your friends and family, but are also a great way of rediscovering what it really means to share the love, peace and joy of Christmas.

So as I was planning the things to buy for my wife and family and remembered (from my diary) that I am due for confession every three months. So that you may know, Pope Francis goes to confession every two weeks but hey, I am just a normal well behaved delivery guy driving at 20mph.

It occurred to me that I cannot attend the Sacrament of Penance at confession because we cannot go to Church due to covid 19 restrictions. I remembered  my parish Priest Fr Gregory ,in persona Christi, said that a job or the ability to attend a course for self development is a gift from God! I did not have a job then for about 12 months and Jesus told me a job is a gift from Him.

Browse CAFOD’s collection of Christmas prayers to uplift and inspire

I had gone to confession because I was angry and impatient that though Jesus had heard my earnest prayer, fasting, prayer from friends, and some family members, He was not answering! Now I have a job and I can pay my bills, contribute in Church, buy food for the homeless  and even buy gifts for my wife, family, relatives and silly friends.

For Christmas I will be delivering parcels and looking at my job, food, clothing, shelter, health, family, faith, parish community, good and bad customers, delivery van, uniform, horrible weather, absence of war, tap water, soap, etc. These are all gifts from Jesus. Who am I to look at a gift  horse in the mouth especially if it has been given to me by my creator? Do you moan about what you have, what you don’t have, what you wish you have or all the above choices, a,b, and c?

Somewhere in the New Testament the Apostle Paul says, what can I boast about that I have not freely received from God?

What can you boast of that you have not freely received?  

Please go to confession as I hope to after Church opens and thank God for ALL His gifts including the horrible British weather.

Stay safe and may God bless you

Thomas Kimaru

Parish Volunteer English Martyrs Church

Take a look at the 2020 online Advent calendar for families has a daily reflection and free activity for you and your children in preparation for Christmas.

Southwark Volunteers Share How They Will Celebrate Christmas

As we approach Christmas during a year like no other, we will all be celebrating differently than usual. Restrictions on coming together with family and friends, has meant that many people have had to think of new and innovative ways to mark the Christmas season.  Read about how three volunteers plan to celebrate Christmas

Sophia White, Step into the Gap Gapper Volunteer in Southwark

Sophia in the middle last Christmas

Zoom calls aplenty are the main diary item for this Christmas period. Usually, I would be catching trains up and down the country, so at least this will be a little less tiring. Some of my friends here in Canterbury are planning a post-Christmas Day socially distanced dinner in a field; all I have been told is to bring some food and a chair. Christmas day will include Mass, and dinner with my family. I will also be volunteering with a local homelessness charity, who have done an exceptional job at remaining up and running through these challenging months.

So many people are spending Christmas in refugee camps around the world, could you donate to the CAFOD Advent Appeal  to help families find safe shelter?

Gillie Drinkall, Schools and campaigns Volunteer


My youngest child did say on hearing that we wouldn’t be going to church on Christmas morning said, “Does that mean lunch will be on time for once?” Ha, Ha! that will be one Christmas tradition I won’t be breaking!  Otherwise, I am hoping we will be able to have my mother to stay.  She has advanced Alzheimer’s the sole advantage of which she has no idea of what has happened this year.  We will be joining her in not discussing the virus and instead enjoying each other’s company and living in the moment.

Send an online  Christmas message of solidarity to human rights defenders and environmental activists across the world  who are risking everything to defend our brothers and sisters and protect our common home. 

Deirdre McLean, Schools Volunteer

I’m very lucky in that my eldest son took over the Christmas cooking a few years ago so I can be really lazy! Even better he has just bought his own house with his partner so when we have had a lovely lunch I can turn my back on all the clearing up and go back home without having to do so much as wield a scouring brush. There are family members in Ireland Spain and the USA we always try to talk to on the phone and send Christmas wishes to.  Even though they are grown up my sons still get a Christmas stocking every year which they and I really enjoy. Have a great Christmas everyone and here’s hoping for a healthy and safe 2021.

Have you heard about the CAFOD One Climate, One World Campaign Launch


CAFOD partners work with communities in Kenya so they can use solar panel energy to power schools, clinics and irrigation systems.

Join Southwark Justice and Peace and CAFOD in Saturday 18 October for an exciting day celebrating the launch of CAFOD’s One Climate, One World campaign.

One Climate One World – CAFOD campaign launch and Southwark Justice and Peace Autumn Assembly

Saturday 18 October 10:30am-4pm, Amigo Hall, St George’s Cathedral SE1 7YH

You’ll have a chance to hear directly from CAFOD’s Peruvian partners about how climate change has already started to affect their lives. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn more about how you can take action in the campaign in some of the following workshops:

Climate change: answering your tricky questions

Ask your tricky climate questions to Rob Elsworth, climate change expert from CAFOD’s policy team. Explore the facts, debunk the myths and build your confidence in speaking to others about climate change and CAFOD’s new campaign.

Gaining the livesimply parish award

Roger Wright from Petts Wood explains how his parish has embarked on a journey to live more simply, sustainably and in solidarity with the poor, what this meant for them and how your parish could apply for a livesimply parish award.

The Theology of Climate Change

What does campaigning on climate change have to do with loving your neighbour? How does our faith underpin our response to climate change? Reflect on these questions and more and explore some of the riches of Catholic teaching on care for creation and our neighbours. (Speaker to be confirmed).

Involving young people in campaigning

Learn how to motivate the next generation of campaigners to act for a better world. We’ll be sharing ideas, resources and fun activities to get your parish’s youth or confirmation group involved in campaigning for justice.

For more information, contact Eileen Hayes and Sarah Cadwallader at the Southwark CAFOD Office:

0208 466 9901 or southwark@cafod.org.uk

Sign up for the One Climate One World – CAFOD campaign launch and Southwark Justice and Peace Autumn Assembly