Birmingham East CAFOD supporters gather to hear about CAFOD’s work in Cambodia

On Saturday 17 June, Birmingham East CAFOD supporters gathered at Mother of God and Guardian Angels parish, Shard End to hear about CAFOD’s work in Cambodia.

Bham E CoT.jpg

Step into the Gap Volunteer, Charlotte Bray, shared moving accounts of communities, projects and partners visited during her recent visit to Cambodia.

We heard about how water and sanitation, sustainable agriculture and income generation, and community empowerment projects are helping to transform the lives of communities there. To find out more, do read Charlotte’s reflection, The Power of an Encounter .Bham E CoT, June17We then found out about our latest campaign, Power to be , which calls  on the World Bank to support local, renewable energy so that children everywhere have the power to achieve great things and lift themselves out of poverty.


Thank-you very much to Mother of God and Guardian Angels parish for hosting us, and to all who joined for your energy, enthusiasm and thoughtful questions.


Young Pianist plays for Connect2 Ethiopia Project

Parishioners from Corpus Christi, Oxford, and Our Lady of Lourdes, Wheatley, enjoyed a wonderful concert in aid of their CAFOD Connect2 project with Sebeya, Ethiopia.  Young virtuoso pianist, Jem Duckmanton,  played a wide range of pieces from 18th – 20th Century Classical composers.

Jem Duckmanton plays in aid of Connect 2 Ethiopia

The concert was the brainchild of Wheatley parishioner, Freda Duckmanton, whose 19 year old grandson, Jem, is a talented pianist and chorister, awarded a scholarship to study composition at the Purcell School.  Jem was delighted to perform for the Parish and proceeds from the retiring collection raised £360 towards the parish’s Connect 2 target of £7000, which it hopes to reach in autumn 2017.  This would be sufficient to fund a new irrigation system for the community in Sebeya in the drought-torn region of North Ethiopia, close to the Eritrean border.

>> Find out more about the Connect2 Scheme

Connect2 Target

During the interval in the performance, parishioners gathered over a glass of wine and learnt more about the CAFOD Connect 2 Project and Ethiopia.

The parish has done such wonderful events over the years  to support the community in Sebeya and this was no exception.

Fr Mervyn thanks Jem

Thanking Jem for a wonderful evening of music, Parish Priest, Canon Mervyn Tower said, “You have filled the church with wonderful sounds this evening, so much richer than listening to Classic FM on the radio.  Your rendering of Arabesque by Debussy was particularly moving but I am sure we all had our own favourite moments from pieces from Bach to Rachmaninov.”

The audience cheered their appreciation of Jem who played  Dudley Moore’s witty piece, Beethoven parody, as an encore.  At the end of the evening, Jem received three curtain calls in appreciation of his talent and commitment.

Thank you to Corpus Christi, Oxford, and Our Lady of Lourdes, Wheatley for organising such a wonderful event and particularly to Jem for using your amazing skills to help support our brothers and sisters in Sebeya.

To find out more about the Connect 2 Scheme and the other 4 countries involved in the scheme, visit our C2 website.


Vigil for Refugees, Stratford-upon-Avon, 21 June

This week is Refugee Week. In Stratford-upon-Avon, a Vigil for Refugees, focusing on the Lampedusa Cross , will take place in the Guild Chapel on Wednesday 21 June, 3-5pm. All very welcome to attend. Do read on for more details.

Refugee Week- Stratford-upon-Avon

Roger Matthews, the Chair of Welcome Here, shares:

‘People in Stratford will be able to find out more about refugees locally, nationally and internationally during Refugee Week 2017, which will run from Monday 19 June to Sunday 25 June on the theme Different Pasts, Shared Future.

At the heart of the week will be a Vigil for Refugees, to be held 3.00 – 5.00 on the afternoon of Wednesday 21 June at the Guild Chapel, Chapel Lane, Stratford CV37 6EP.

The vigil is being organised by Welcome Here, the group that has been set up by local people to provide a community welcome to Syrian refugees coming to Stratford under the Government’s resettlement programme. And the vigil is being supported by local churches and faith groups.

Special help is being provided by St Gregory the Great Roman Catholic Church in Stratford, which is providing a Lampedusa cross as a focus for the vigil. Lampedusa crosses are made out of the driftwood from wrecked boats that refugees have used to try to cross the Mediterranean, and Pope Francis has carried a Lampedusa cross at a memorial mass for refugees who have died.

The vigil is open to everyone, whether a churchgoer or not. It will provide time for silent prayer and contemplation as well as opportunities for sharing thoughts or readings with others. People will be welcome to take part for a few minutes or the whole two hours.’