Share a soup lunch and show you care

Sharing a soup lunch is a wonderful way to live our faith in action. As we join together for this humble meal we express our solidarity and support for our global brothers and sisters devastated by war, climate change, poverty and famine.

Soup lunches provide an opportunity for prayer and reflection and it’s a chance to give practical help by raising money to support CAFOD’s amazing work.

A simple lunch for Family Fast Days

A simple lunch at St Augustine in Tunbridge wells

A simple soup lunch at St Augustine in Tunbridge Wells

We talked to Maria Chiara, a CAFOD volunteer from Italy, about a simple soup lunch that CAFOD staff and volunteers enjoyed at Romero house as part of Family Fast Day.

“We came together to share our simple meal and reflect on the lives of those living in extreme poverty. People brought different home-cooked soups such as lentil, carrot and sweet potato.

We began our lunch with prayer and reflection. We took the opportunity to remember the women who  started Family Fast Day and then CAFOD in the early ‘60s, and to think about the supporters and volunteers who have shown incredible commitment and generosity in helping others.

It was wonderful for me to be there and show solidarity with our global neighbours, who we thought of them as we sat down to eat.  I work for Caritas Cagliari and we have many projects to put our faith in action to help and empower those living in extreme poverty, so I was very excited to discover CAFOD fast days.”

Take a look at this video to see what we were up to!

A life saved with your help

You can have a simple soup lunch anywhere and at any time to show that you care!

You can have a simple soup lunch anywhere and at any time to show that you care!

Maria told us about an inspiring film they watched about Lilian. “The lunch was a chance to stand in solidarity with women like Lilian, who was very sick with HIV. The Family Fast Day film showed us how CAFOD had nursed her back to health. They gave her support and training to stay healthy and to rebuild her and her children’s life. It showed me how by eating simply and donating to CAFOD, lives can be saved”

How can I organise a simple soup lunch?

With November and the cold weather approaching why not hold your own Family fast day soup lunch? In fact, any time is a good time to make or buy soup and share a simple meal to show spiritual and practical solidarity for our global brothers and sisters.

CAFOD has loads of great information and resources to help you Plan a soup lunch in your parish Everything from choosing a venue, posters and to promoting the lunch in your parish newsletters. There’s even a recipe for a delicious pasta and bean soup!

Speaking at Mass for Family Fast Day

John Sibley is a volunteer at CAFOD and an experienced public speaker. Here, he shares his best tips and tells you everything you need to know about speaking at Mass for Family Fast Day. The message? Speaking at Mass can seem daunting, but all it takes is good preparation!

What I learnt from speaking at Mass.

About five years ago, I volunteered to speak at mass and went to Romero House (CAFOD’s London office) for a day of training.

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One of our volunteers speaking at Mass

There are different forms of public speaking. Speaking on a soap box to shoppers at a junction on the South Circular Road is different to speaking at St Joseph’s! For example, teachers and lecturers are naturally proficient at speaking, but usually at church, you would not expect to be questioned during your talk as you would in a classroom.

Get some tips and ideas for speaking at Mass

Speaking at Mass: Keep calm and arrive prepared.

Public speaking is not easy and speaking at Mass can be quite difficult for the beginner with little or no experience. In fact, it can be difficult for anyone, with or without experience. The main reason for this is because there is little audience reaction.

But, if you keep your talk short and sweet without mumble or waffle then the congregation will show an interest by looking at you, maybe smiling at something you have said and afterwards giving their reaction.
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It all started with, “Why not?”

Meg, a CAFOD Media Volunteer, shares the story of the newest CAFOD coordinator, Andy Wansbury. Here she tells us how Andy began his journey as a volunteer.

“I used to be a forensic photographer,” Andy recalls. He had been in the Forensic

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A group photo from Lent Fast Day 2016–when it all started for Andy

Science Service for 12 years until 2011. Since then he had been at home, caring for his daughter. And then CAFOD reached out to him. “Eileen Hayes from CAFOD came to speak at the Lent Fast Day 2016 in my parish and asked for volunteers. I thought it was a call for me as I had always been interested in CAFOD work,” he says. He had always wanted to be a parish speaker, so when they finally asked him to be a part of the family, he just thought, “Why not?”


Why volunteer?

Andy began his CAFOD journey by giving talks in school. “Last September, there was a private school in Lewisham who needed a volunteer. I underwent training in the summer,” Andy explains. The training would occur twice a year, for a full day. “And soon I was giving talks for about 20 minutes in schools and parishes, about what CAFOD does and what we are all about.” There are also various volunteering opportunities for other aspiring volunteers who would like to do something else.

Andy had recently become the new volunteer campaign Co-ordinator for the deaneries of Bexley, Greenwich, Gravesend, Bromley and Lewisham. I thought, “My, what huge responsibility this is!” it all seemed so overwhelming. But he patiently explained that his role is mostly to act as a support person. Whenever there is a campaign, he is there to extend a hand if needed, but not necessarily having to be directly involved. “I am still getting the grips of it, ” he admits.  His latest assignment is trying to help with the committee appeal for East Africa. He is also hoping to recruit motivated volunteers to promote CAFOD campaigns in parishes.

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Andy sporting his signature look

Because of his new role, Andy is every where CAFOD takes him. He would show up in his Harley-Davidson, wearing black leather boots, navy trousers, and of course, a CAFOD shirt. He believes in making a first impression, and quite an impression at that. “It makes people remember you. And when they remember you they remember what you say, and the message you’d like to imprint on them.”

 

Discover the latest campaigns here

Many thanks, Andy, for all your fantastic work so far!

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