CAFOD Southwark Blog

Updates from CAFOD in the Southwark Diocese

CAFOD Southwark Blog

Don’t stay silent, talk to your MP

Miriam McEneaney, a CAFOD volunteer for about 5 years, is sharing with us her journey with CAFOD. She is also calling us all, in the diocese of Southwark and Westminster, to put our heart and soul into CAFOD’s Reclaim our Common Home Campaign for the sake of future generation.

Miriam with MP Seema Malhotra in 2016

I started as an MP correspondent and then went on to become a roaming speaker at Masses for the Lent and Harvest Fast Day appeals. The next step in my CAFOD journey was when I became a Campaign Volunteer Co-ordinator for parts of the Westminster and West Southwark Diocese. It involves liaising with all the wonderful Campaign Volunteers, keeping them up to date with what’s happening and encouraging them to spread the word in their parishes. I know I always feel motivated after each call and I hope the Campaign Volunteer does too. There is also a sense of freedom because I am asking for time and not money.

I got really inspired by CAFOD’s campaigns

In the past few years, we have had some very inspiring campaigns – Power to Be, Generations Unite, Enough Food for Everyone IF, One Climate One World, Responding to the Refugee Crisis – to name but a few. However, I firmly believe CAFOD’s current campaign Reclaim Our Common Home encompasses them all.

Discover CAFOD’s latest campaigns

“Reclaim our Common home” is a call to action : don’t stay silent!

Reclaim our Common Home is CAFOD new campaign

In 2020, we experienced the worst global health crisis in a century. Everybody’s life was turned upside down. However, some people’s lives were devastated more than others. The pandemic exposed many of the inadequacies of how our world currently operates. As Catholics we are called not to stay silent and not to be passive. Reclaim Our Common Home is a call to action. CAFOD is at the forefront rallying the troops. I want to be a part of this.

With all the climate issues facing us today, it is a problem if we do nothing. Scientific reports spell out disastrous consequences here on Earth of doing nothing to curb CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gasses. Do we simply bury our head in the sand and say its not our problem? When I listen to someone like Greta Thunberg, I cannot sit by and do nothing.

Sign our Petition to your MP

I know I can always depend on the Campaign Volunteer’s support

Last November, CAFOD had a Faith in Action Day which looked at how to build a better world from the Covid crisis. It was really encouraging to see how many people took part. It never ceases to amaze me the efforts some Campaign Volunteers go to. One parish, in particular, are aiming for their Live Simply Award. They had a Care for Creation Month. I know when I call on CAFOD Campaign Volunteers, I can always depend on their support.

Read and understand what you can do

I am speaking up to my MP : join me!

In order to reach net zero emissions, we all need to make positive lifestyle changes to reduce our own Carbon Footprint. One small change, I personally have tried to do this year is to go vegetarian at least twice a week.

Miriam talking to her MP Seema Malhotra in 2017

However, this year, we have the power to go to much greater lengths to achieve our 3 major goals – Tackling the Climate Crisis, Ending Unjust Debts and Holding Business Accountable – by arranging virtual meetings with our MPs and encouraging everyone to sign our petition. As Britain will be hosting the G7 in June and the COP 26 in November, it is vital that we raise our voices and ensures the Government listens. It is our duty to ensure the Government does what is necessary to bring in a more just world. I am taking up the challenge and am waiting to hear back from my MP.

Can you imagine the difference it would make if we all talked to our MP. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity which we cannot let slip away. We are the voices of the most vulnerable communities who have contributed the least to Climate Change. We are also the voices of children and future generations. If we put our heart and soul into CAFOD’s Reclaim our Common Home Campaign, we can be a generation that future generations can be proud of.

Understand our latest Campaign Reclaim our common home

Climate Change 2021: The Road to COP26

Andy Wansbury is a parishioner from St John Vianney in Bexleyheath and an active campaigner with CAFOD. He has agreed, with a bunch of other campaigners in the diocese of Southwark, to write some blogs this year to accompany us all on our journey to the COPE 26 next November. Here is the first campaign article of a Series you will find every month on our blog.

The new year began with high positive hopes with the role out of Coronavirus vaccines, only for us to feel deflated by the new lockdown.  Coronavirus has dominated our lives for the last nine months to the exclusion of almost everything else.  As serious and as important as Coronavirus is, some of the issues that have been lost from the news are just as important and just as urgent.  Climate Change is one of those issues.  Climate Change hasn’t gone away it still is a major threat to our world. We must not forget about it.

Munshigong_After The Cyclone_May21_2020_Day_2 (24 of 29).jpg

Tropical cyclone Amphan, Bangladesh

Scientists are still stressing the need for action and emphasizing that it is the most vulnerable people who will suffer the most from the effects of, whilst being the least responsible, for Climate Change. 

This Christmas’ Royal Institution’s Christmas Lectures* on the BBC (which are aimed at young people), chose to look at Climate Change. In the third lecture, Dr. Tara Shine spoke with Hindu Amaro Ebrahim from Chad (one of the least developed countries in the world). Hindu explained how Climate Change was affecting Chad. It is causing temperatures to rise (and rise faster than the global average) and along with a decrease in rainfall, it has caused Lake Chad to shrink by 90% of its 1960 size. The result is that local people are leaving the area becoming refugees, impacting on food security, job security, and causing conflict in the country.

Make sure communities hardest hit by the climate emergency are listened to at COP26 

Dr. Shine then went onto compare how much Chad was adding to Climate Change as opposed to other countries who are less affected by Climate Change. She compared annual production per person of carbon dioxide (CO2). The chief cause of climate change.


  • Chad 0.06 tons of CO2 is produced per person per annum
  • India 1.9 tons of CO2 is produced per person per annum
  • UK 5.5 tons of CO2 is produced per person per annum
  • USA 15.5 tons of CO2 is produced per person per annum

The message was clear that those least responsible for Climate Change are those sufferingKenya the most from the consequences of Climate Change. Not only are they suffering the most from Climate change but they are already some of the poorest people in the world.

Sign CAFOD Petition to the Prime Minister to reclaim our Common Home  

CAFOD Mass Lobby 2019 Time is now 05 Eleanor ChurchCAFOD and its partners have been championing this cause for long time, that Climate Change is a crisis that is affecting the poorest people in the world, who are least responsible for climate change, the most.

What can we do what should we do to respond to this?

We can assess our own actions that produce CO2: can I cut things I do that produce CO2? Do I always need to take the car? Do I need to store all those old emails? Are just a couple of examples of questions we should asking ourselves.  We can help educate people even just by word of mouth, encouraging the better use of resources.  We can petition our politicians and demand that they support and promote policies at local, national and international levels, that will minimize or reduce Climate Change.  We must make politicians realize that taking action against Climate Change is a vote winner, especially as we head towards COP26. Read more about COP 26 and the UK

If we want there to be a world for future generations (no matter where they live in the world), we must act now.  It doesn’t matter we can only take a small action, every little bit we do builds with the actions of others into a large action and change for the good can be achieved. Sign our new petition to reclaim our common home 

*Royal Institution Christmas Lecture by Dr Tara Shine broadcast 30/12/2020

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