Freda’s Summer Party

By CAFOD – Southwark Office


John and Freda

Freda and John Vine, held an afternoon tea party to fundraise for CAFOD in June. As volunteers, they organised the event in their garden, attracting numerous visitors.

We would like to warmly thank Freda for this wonderful initiative and commitment. We would also  to give a special thanks to all those who helped. Including those in the kitchen who prepared food and cleared up, and the 4 young “waitresses” who attended on guests. Everyone had a lovely afternoon in Bexleyheath.


A Selection of Cakes

Freda said “We were pleased to welcome Father Jim and Father Romanus from St. Stephen’s Church, along with about 70 other friends, neighbours, parishioners and well-behaved children. Everyone tucked into the sandwiches, cakes and the delicious scones, courtesy of our friend and CAFOD co supporter, Jo Stanton. The tea and coffee were nearly as popular as the soft drinks and water!”

“A total of £626.60 has been raised for CAFOD’s Partners. This included some donations we were pleased to receive from people unable to attend, and from the sale of some plants. £30 worth of donations went to the Greenwich and Bexley Hospice.”


Plants for Sale

Overall, the afternoon was a success. “I spent wonderful afternoon in John and Freda’s lovely garden, eating a delicious afternoon and enjoying the company of all the parishioners that attended.  John and Freda do so much for CAFOD and numerous other charities, and their warmth and enthusiasm was infectious.  It was great to see that they had solar panels on their roof and water butts in the garden – care for God’s creation in action!” Jessica Coffin from CAFOD. “It was so warm that people were seeking shady parts of the garden, and even once the day had cooled down, nobody seemed to want to go home!”

Many thanks for all those who generously donated raffle prizes. We look forward to seeing you all again this time next year.

If you are inspired by Freda and John’s successful fundraiser, we encourage you to organise your own event within your parish and raise money for CAFOD.


Acclaimed Electronic Duo Inspire Greenwich Students to Act on Climate Change

By CAFOD – Southwark Office

Thanks to Hal St. John and Cherrie Anderson, founders of the electronic band ‘Ooberfuse’ from Woolwich, students from St. Ursula’s Convent School in Greenwich had a musical workshop on renewable energy.


Students showcasing their lyrics

The critically acclaimed duo visited the school on Monday 10th July, giving students the opportunity to learn about CAFOD’s latest Power To be campaign and the significance of renewable energy for the world’s poorest communities. The students wrote their own lyrics, inspired by the campaign, and even had the chance to sing and showcase their work with Ooberfuse. The school hall may have been a contrast to the band’s latest venues, the Ministry of Sound and the O2, but everyone had a fantastic time.

Both Hal and Cherrie were really pleased with how successful the day was. Hal was especially impressed by the lyrics written by the students. “It is always a tall order to make scientific problems attractive to a young audience, as usually their minds are anywhere else. But it helped that we focused it around things that they already knew about.  The real test was when they were writing their own lyrics but when they read them back and they were such powerful lyrics, it was great to see.”


Learning about ‘Power To Be’

Ooberfuse was formed in 2010, and within just a few years their quirky and upbeat songs have been praised by many, including Boy George, The Guardian and BBC 6’s Tom Robinson. Their music has since taken them all over the world from Madrid, where they played for two million young Catholics on World Youth Day, to Iraq, where they played at a refugee camp in Erbil. Both social justice and inequality are strong themes within their music. They are also soon to release a song about the plight of refugees. Whilst promoting social justice and their Catholic faith through music, the Ooberfuse was motivated to get involved with CAFOD’s work, and run a workshop for the students at St. Ursula’s Convent School.

Cherrie was originally from the Philippines where Typhoon Haiyan struck in 2013. “Climate change was just an idea but when Typhoon Haiyan hit my hometown it became so real. That is when we decided to devote our music to social justice and raising awareness about important issues.  After the typhoon CAFOD  were one of the first aid agencies on the ground responding to the need, so it’s great to be involved with them now.”


‘Power To Be’ display, created by students 

Through our Power To Be campaign, communities have been encouraged to lobby the World Bank to invest more in local renewable energy. Despite the fight to reduce worldwide poverty, only less than 3% of their expenditures go towards renewable energy. Through our campaign, we are asking the UK’s representative at the World Bank, Melanie Robinson, to use her influence to ensure that children everywhere have the power to achieve great things and lift themselves out of poverty, without harming the planet.

Our message is reaching many people, and thanks to a fun-packed day, students were made aware of our responsibility to be stewards for our planet. “People in places like Kenya are suffering because they do not have access to electricity. Around the world, one in six people don’t have electricity; that’s equal to 1.2 billion people and we should do something about it.” (Saumu, Year 8).

School Chaplain, Susan Elderfield, was also inspired by the duo’s message, “I don’t think we should forget the message of today; how we should look after the planet. Each one of us has a responsibility – from switching off the lights to getting involved with NGOs to becoming politicians. It’s our planet and our job to look after it.”

To engage in our Power To Be campaign, you can sign our petition online, order action cards at our shop to sign within your parish, or organise a Power To Be Liturgy to continue to raise awareness, pray and spread the message.



Elisabeth Steward, CAFOD Parish Contact at Our Ladye, Star of the Sea, tells us about the different ways her Parish has been supporting CAFOD:

In September 1997 I was offered a place on the CAFOD Pilot Project to take CAFOD Parish Contacts to Kenya. An unforgettable experience and a real eye-opener into all the good work being done by CAFOD working with local partners. On my return to the parish I gave a slide show of the experience.

In December we signed a Covenant with the Poor, pledging to raise at least £2,000 for CAFOD for each of the three years to the new millennium. The first year we raised £10,000!!

We have kept going, supporting all the CAFOD parish projects for development work, mostly in Africa. We simply have a brown wooden box covered with a CAFOD poster for donations. As people come through the porch, open the glass door and enter the church, they cannot miss the box – and parishioners know why it is there!

In the porch we have a coloured poster showing the total raised each month. Each week our Parish Priest thanks us for continuing support for CAFOD.

Elisabeth Steward

Farewell to Fr John Lavery

“Happy Retirement and Many Thanks.”

We would like to wish Fr John every blessing for a very happy and healthy retirement in Ireland and to thank him again for his support and commitment to CAFOD’s work to bring about greater justice in our world.

Having looked at the donation record for Our Ladye, Star of the Sea over the last 20 years, his parish has donated the incredible sum of £138,426.79 through Fast Days, emergencies and the various CAFOD projects starting with Challenge 2000/2001, following by Today, Tomorrow, Together, Focus Africa and currently Connect2: Ethiopia.

An amazing achievement for such a small parish. Thank you so much Fr John, ably assisted by the CAFOD Contact Elisabeth Steward and of course supported by the generosity of the parish.

Christine Bryant, CAFOD Southwark

Christine Bryant, Elisabeth Steward, Fr John Lavery and Jim Simmons (Photo: CAFOD Southwark)

Please tell us how your parish is supporting CAFOD

We know that many parishes in the Diocese run campaigning and fund-raising events on behalf of CAFOD throughout the year and we would like to hear about them. If you have a CAFOD event in your parish and would like to write a short report for the newsletter, say 100 -150 words, and include a photograph if you have one, then we will be very happy to include your report in our next newsletter.

NB. We’ll need your article by Friday 9th December for inclusion in our January 2012 Newsletter.