A Harvest Like No Other

It has been a challenging year. For many of us, it’s a hard year we’ll look back on recognise God’s love and care as he carried us through. For others it has been a time when we’ve rediscovered our love of nature or the simple joys of life.

Family Fast Day this Harvest looks different. Our church buildings have fewer people in them and we can’t do certain things we always took for granted.

But some things haven’t changed. And they won’t change. We know that each person, especially the poorest amongst us, matters. We know that every life is created by God and is precious. And we know that our love of our neighbour reflects our love of God. We also know that, sadly, countless people throughout our world face chronic food shortages, malnutrition and poverty.

This year schools and parishes, Catholic networks and religious orders and countless individuals are doing what they can to help those in need, showing that their love is practical, not abstract. It is easy to see in our own families that if one person suffers, we all suffer. We also know that we are a global family, each of us brothers and sisters, each of us precious and loved.

Many will support our work by donating online while others will text CAFOD to 70085 to donate £10* to our Coronavirus Appeal, the focus for our appeal this Harvest. Our volunteers are trying extra hard to let people know about the need and inspire them to respond.

It’s such a sign of hope that our communities are still determined to support our work, to help those in need, even when many of us are in need ourselves. Thank you for your compassion. Thank you for expressing your faith and sharing the love of God with people you’ve never met.

Many people won’t be able to get to church this Harvest. If you would like to join us online and enjoy being church with us in prayer and community we would be delighted to open our doors and welcome you in.

We have virtual events to suit everyone, all of which can be found on our website cafod.org.uk/fastday.

  • Harvest assembly for schools – Thursday 8 October, 9.30am (primary) and 10:00 (secondary)
  • Fast Day live talk on the coronavirus crisis- Friday 9 October, 11am
  • Family Fast Day Mass – Friday 9 October, 6pm
  • Global Family Food event – Saturday 10 October, 12pm
  • ‘Harvest Like No Other’ quiz – Saturday 10 October, 7pm
  • Children’s liturgy- Sunday 11 October, 10am
  • Prayer and reflection with Bishop John Arnold, Sunday 11 October 7pm

Please do let others know about these events, particularly if they’ve not been able to get to church recently and might be missing it. Maybe you could send them the links and help them get online? If you use Facebook or have a parish WhatsApp group, maybe you could share CAFOD’s posts about the events and encourage your friends to join. This Harvest, let’s try to ensure that no-one is beyond reach.

*Texts cost £10 plus one standard rate message and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via telephone and SMS. If you’d like to give £10 but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text CAFODNOINFO to 70085. For more information please see our Privacy Policy:cafod.org.uk/Legal-information/Privacy-notice

Prayer & Chat

‘Only in the Crucified God – Questions and Answers on Faith, Hope and Love’

The prayer and chat session this week will be led by Deacon Sean Loone from Our Lady of the Wayside parish in Birmingham. Deacon Sean is the author of the recently published book ‘Only In The Crucified God’ whose proceeds are going to CAFOD’s coronavirus appeal.

The prayer and chat session will be tomorrow Thursday 17 September 2020 from 11am – 12pm.

To join the session register here

To get a copy of the book click here

Lavender Bags for Summer of Hope

By Theresa Buchanan

Batch 3 almost finishedIn the latter half of July I emailed my parish contacts (around 80 people) inviting them to get involved with CAFOD’s Summer of Hope and asked them to suggest what we could do as a parish. The following day I received a phone call from Eva, one of the ladies of the parish who suggested making lavender bags. She and her daughter normally do this each summer but this year that was impossible for them due to COVID-19 preventing her daughter from returning to England. Eva has managed to raise £350 in the past for another cause, but I couldn’t imagine at that time that I would raise more than £50.

Eva gave me lots of  ribbon and lace to use. Being a quilter I already have a stash of fabrics waiting for the “right” project, and it seemed to me that Summer of Hope was just that, so, with permission from parish priest Father David, I took away some of the church lavender and used one of Eva’s lavender bags from last year as a guide for the twenty seven bags which I subsequently produced.

Batch 1

Batch 1

On the first Sunday only one person bought some, ten, but then I was asked for another five, and so on. Debbie, my CAFOD CPC, brought me a large bag of highly scented lavender. From this I learned that not all lavenders are equally scented. I used this for a second batch of thirty-six which were snapped up quickly, some through Facebook where I had put a photo and a CAFOD “donate” button.

Batch 2

Batch 2

Parishioners at the other Masses also want lavender bags, so I have produced thirty seven bags for batch three, still using Debbie’s lavender, but I now have more lavender provided by Jeni, another parishioner which should ensure that all bags are filled, making the grand total of one hundred.

I then had Gill bringing me a bag of ten lovely fat and fragrant lavender bags to add to the hundred, so we are doing well.

Fat lavender bags

Gill’s fat and fragrant lavender bags

More lavender is expected soon from the far-away garden of Anna Maria’s parents.

As long as we can find lavender and customers I will continue to produce bags. My fabric stash is hardly dented, but I feel happy that I have used it for such an important cause….and, as I type this, an order for ten more bags has come through the letterbox!

Well done Theresa and all who have contributed to the lavender bags. At this time they have raise nearly £240!! You are all such an inspiration!

>> To donate to this wonderful work, click here.

>>To know more about CAFOD’s Coronavirus Appeal click here.

>>To find out about our exciting volunteering opportunities click here call us or send an email to birmingham@cafod.org.uk we would love to heard from you!!