CAFOD Advent Stalls at St Joseph’s parish in Thame – a wonderful event!

Parishioners from St Joseph in Thame felt they would like to start Advent by having a sale of the fruits of their labour, using their own talents to make gifts which could be sold to support CAFOD’s Advent Appeal as well as those in need locally.  Theresa Buchanan, the parish volunteer writes:

“Someone had learned bookmaking during lockdown and provided lots of hard-backed and soft cover notebooks; preserve makers (some of them allotment holders) shared their jams and chutneys; bakers made cakes, biscuits and bags of sweets; knitters made fun covers for chocolate oranges, tiny sweet-filled Christmas stockings for the tree, scarves, cushions, glove- and finger-puppets, headbands of all sorts for joggers, girls and babies and lovely cardigans for children; quilters quilted Christmas table mats and runners, tea cozies, bags, pouches, felt gingerbread tree ornaments, lavender bags and sachets, needle cases, Christmas wreaths and bunting; jewelry makers made bracelets; people donated  assorted cards, some photographed and printed by the donor’s brother.

There was also a table of cards being sold in aid of Blackfriars Overseas Aid Trust (BOAT), made and sold locally for many years by a member of both parishes.

We had the stalls set up after the three weekend Masses and were flexible with the method of payment which was cash or card (as we had a CAFOD contactless device). This enabled people to spend as much as they liked!

Christmas gift bags and pretty boxes from last year had been donated and we invited our buyers to take one instead of buying a new bag elsewhere.  There were also recycled padded envelopes which they could use to take away cards and other fragile items.  We still have some goods left which we hope to sell over the weekends of Advent.

The sale was split in CAFOD’s favour and so far we have raised £500 for CAFOD and £200 for local needs.

Makers were encouraged to value what they had made, as the proceeds were going to help others, and parishioners are happy to help worthy causes. There was a recent email within my CAFOD mail with the heading “Poverty doesn’t do Black Friday”. This was added, with a sad face, to the board behind one of the tables.

Apart from being a fundraiser and providing an opportunity for people to shop locally and to reuse what they could, this was a lovely social event for those who worked together on it and, hopefully, for those who came to buy.

Not all of those who made things attend St Joseph’s, but through conversations in the quilt group they certainly know about CAFOD and helped willingly.”

A MASSIVE THANK YOU to all those who organised and made items for the stall as well as to those who supported the stall.  What a great idea to help our brothers and sisters in need as well as build community.

Birmingham CAFOD blog to close.

For the past 11 years we have shared news, updates and stories on this blog. Many supporters, volunteers, schools, parishes and other groups have been featured and have inspired others to support of their own.

However, the world of the internet and social media is a fast-changing environment and many good things must come to an end. We have concluded that it’s better to feature our thanks, celebrations, requests and stories in other places and to close down this blog.

We still have plenty to share and will continue to do so, most notably on our local page of the main website Birmingham |CAFOD, Facebook page , our Twitter stream, CAFOD’s main events page and the CAFOD’s national blog.

If you haven’t followed or liked us on those places, please do. You may also want to sign up for our e-news, sent out centrally once a month with lots of interesting info and updates. You can do so on this page.

Thank you to all who have featured in these articles and to all who have helped us bring these stories together and present them on the blog. Thank you to Theresa Buchanan, Siobhan Doyle, Jim Quinn, Phil Mayland and Trevor Stockton who were particularly helpful in compiling stories for the blog.

Please do keep in touch with us. Let us know what’s happening in your parishes and schools and how amazing people are supporting CAFOD and we’ll share those stories. The blog will go offline around Christmas so please do keep us with us elsewhere. And thanks once again for your support.

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Do also contact us by email birmingham@cafod.org.uk if you have any local stories you would like us to publish.

St Joseph’s Parish Thame Goes Green for CAFOD

Many parishes have been amazing in what they have done to support CAFOD’s Climate Crisis appeal and the Go Green challenge this Harvest Fast Day.  One such parish is St Joseph in Thame.  Parish volunteer Theresa Buchanan writes:

“Our Harvest Fast appeal this year had some hiccups along the way, but we tried to Go Green and be as COVID-safe as possible. 

St Joseph’s Parish Thame holds a plant sale as part of CAFOD’s Go Green challenge

We didn’t hold a hunger lunch this time.  Instead, we held a plant sale which ran from Saturday 2 Oct am until Sunday 3 Oct pm.  

Preparing for CAFOD’s Go Green Plant Sale

Plants were transported to the church car park by willing volunteers – we had a mother and son with a buggy and smiles.  It took five trips! This reminded me of my childhood when women saved their prams once the children no longer needed them, to transport heavy loads since few had cars then.

Each of our weekend Masses on 2 and 3 October was a Climate Sunday Mass and we used the Mass sheet provided by CAFOD.  The Harvest Fast Day short talk, delivered at each mass, explained how people around the world were dedicating their lives to care for God’s creation.

Apart from plants and pumpkins 🎃 (far more stock than appears in the photos) we had a donation of some handmade notebooks, made during lockdown. They will make lovely gifts for friends.

Hand made notebooks for CAFOD sale

So far we have raised over £655 for the Harvest collection out of which over £345 was from the plant sale! We were delighted.”

What a wonderful idea and effort from all those involved in the plant sale.  A huge thank you to St Joseph’s parish for your amazing support of CAFOD’s family fast day appeal.  Through your prayers and donations you are helping those most affect by the climate crisis.

>> To donate to CAFOD’s climate crisis appeal click here