What’s next after Harvest? Julie is sharing her ideas.

Julie Valentine is a parish Volunteer at Our Lady Queen of Peace in East Sheen. She reflects on her experience of this Harvest Family Fast Day and what is coming up next for us all. 

Harvest in a Nut shell

Julie Valentine from East Sheen shares her experience on Harvest Fast Day in her parish

What was Harvest like this year? I heard that some parishes like St James the Great in Petts Wood achieved very substantial collections for Harvest and got a good response from their parishioners to donate via their mobile phones.  Or other parishes like Our Lady of the Rosary in Sidcup managed to advertise successfully in the parish newsletter and social media.  A few parishes like St Vincent de Paul, Battersea, were even brave enough to try the cashless payment with ordering some devices from CAFOD.  These examples were very uplifting and show the wonderful commitment of my fellow volunteers and their parish communities.

For me though, Harvest Fast Day was disappointing and flat.  With the church still not open for Sunday Mass, there were no posters, no inspiring talk at the Masses, no satisfaction of watching the pile of envelopes mount up in the collection basket.  Our priest kindly circulated the CAFOD Newsletter and did his best to remind parishioners during the Zoom Mass and, to me, it all passed with scarcely a ripple …

So here we go again, I thought.  Back into relative lockdown and now also face the prospect of a “non-Christmas”.  How about all those people that CAFOD works with, for whom every year is probably a “non-Christmas”?  They are still battling their own problems, their own helplessness, their own hopelessness… But does it have to be like that?  “No one beyond reach” is our motto.  Time to pull up my socks and think creatively about how I can continue to do even a tiny bit for CAFOD!  In my country, Jamaica, we have a saying “one-one coco fill basket” (Coco is a small root vegetable).  I must try to contribute my coco. 

What’s next after Harvest?

First stop : the CAFOD Website

First stop, the CAFOD website.  What are other people doing?  Wonderful things – I saw the runners in the marathon and heard of parishes raising thousands of pounds with sponsored runs and walks.  That’s one option, maybe not for me though but my grand children!  https://cafod.org.uk/Fundraise/A-Z-of-fundraising-ideas

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Lent Fast Day Friday 22nd February 2013 – Be Hungry for change this Lent

Did you know that one person in eight goes to bed hungry each night?

God created a world of abundance with enough for everyone’s needs and it’s a scandal that we’ve turned it into a world of inequality and want. Does this make you hungry for change?

Tabita and her mother Rose - Photograph by Annie Bugeroth

Tabita and her mother Rose – Photograph by Annie Bugeroth

This lent we are following the story of a young girl, called Tabita, who lives in Kenya. Three years ago when she was just a baby, Tabita was dying from hunger. A drought killed most of the family’s livestock, leaving them with very little to eat. The family was emaciated and Tabita became severely malnourished.  What kept Tabita alive was the nutritious milk of their one remaining goat. It was a dairy goat provided by you, CAFOD’s supporters.  Dairy goats are much hardier and produce much more milk than the local breed of goat in Tabita’s village of Partuk.  Now that Tabita and her family are stronger they can plant crops and grow food to feed themselves, today and in the future. Many, many other families like Tabita’s need support right now to survive and have hope for the future.

Together, our donations, voices and actions make a bigger difference: not only to the lives of the poorest who struggle to feed themselves right now, but also in challenging the global systems that many keep families trapped in poverty.

Food for thought:

· 870 million, or 1 in 8, people do not have enough food on a daily basis. That’s the equivalent to the combined population of the US, Canada, EU and Australia.

· Across the world, the price of basic food is expected to double by 2030.

· In developing countries people spend up to 70% of their income on food.  In richer countries people spend between 10-20% of their income on food.

So what can we do, as individuals and in our communities? 

Support Lent Fast Day!

Help make this Fast Day a success by promoting it in your parish. Can you give the Fast Day talk, or hand out envelopes after Mass on the weekend of 16/17 February? Could you hold a frugal Fast Day lunch in church, or at home?

Why not pick up an extra envelope for a friend or family member who’s not in church.

Use our Lenten calendar

Set up a daily reminder to yourself to use our Lenten calendar online. Each day it offers food for reflection and includes a simple action. Lent is a great opportunity to make a quiet space, each day, for prayer and reflection.

Sign our Hungry for Change action cards

Sign-up online, or sign an action card and spread the word by passing on the other half of the card to someone else.  Want to make an even bigger difference? Hold a parish card-signing after Mass, and display your messages of solidarity in your local church.

Hungry for more?

Lent is a time for reflecting not just about our relationship with God, but also our relationship with others. That’s why it’s such an important time for the parish as a community as well.


Sharing a meal is a powerful way of expressing community and of being in communion with others.  So we’ve produced a resource based around a meal that you can use in your parish, or in any group setting. It’s called the Emmaus Meal: opening our eyes to the hungry body of Christ, and is inspired by the gospel story.

The resource is free to order; simply call 0300 011 5680 or find out more at on our website.

Tell us about it!

If you’re planning to hold an event – whether it’s an Emmaus Meal, a frugal Fast Day lunch, a fundraiser, or a big card signing – Please let us know! We’d really love to see any pictures and stories so we can share these more widely on  our blog or in our Newsletter. Get in touch with us, your CAFOD diocesan team, at southwark@cafod.org.uk , tel: 01322 294924

You can give someone a lifeline this Lent by donating to our 2013 Lent appeal online.

Most importantly we ask you to hold Tabita and many others like her in your prayers this Lent. May their dignity be upheld and may they flourish throughout their lives.


Sign-up for the email newsletter

If you would like to receive the CAFOD Southwark diocese newsletter in glorious colour (and help save us money and paper) please e-mail the CAFOD Southwark Office: southwark@cafod.org.uk

(Apologies if you’ve already requested an email copy and  received the June newsletter by post. We are in the process of adapting to a new computer system. Please email us again and we’ll endeavour to make sure you get an email copy next time.)