Recently, we caught up with one of our amazing volunteers, Betty Fleetwood, who alongside her husband, is the local Parish Contact at St Gregory the Great and Our Lady of Peace in Shottery Stratford upon Avon. She has written a piece about involving and educating the Children’s Liturgy about the Lent Appeal.
“Parishioners from both parishes take a lively, informed interest in CAFOD and are always generous to the many charities which they support through ‘special collections’ throughout the year.
“All 4 Mass’ are very well attended and getting the message across is made much easier through the great resources available from CAFOD: posters, prayer cards and information sheets .The many online ideas, information, relevant statistics etc are always valuable and the ‘short talk’ is well crafted and lends itself easily to adaptation.
“However, for the speaker with perhaps 3-4 talks to give over one weekend standing up behind the lectern can sometimes be daunting and getting the message across in a fresh, simple and effective way can be a challenge.
“This year CAFOD’s Lenten theme ‘Turn On The Tap’s’ gave me a real opportunity to involve our Children’s Liturgy group, which provides opportunities for children, 2-12 years to understand, reflect and to act on the liturgy of the day.
“Mandy Bennett, our Children’s Liturgy team leader was very keen to develop the idea of the Lent Appeal and to involve as many children as possible. The group seem to have a very natural ability to dramatise the text, much to the delight of the congregation.
“After Mass on Feburary 19, the children attacked the whole theme very convincingly and with gusto. Our parish priest Fr Alex supported and encouraged all the participants and never once indicated anxiety over the buckets of water, piping , jugs and other watery ‘props’ so effectively employed by the children on the alter.
“The young narrator was poised and thoughtful in her delivery and the story of girls sacrificing their education out of necessity to find and carry precious water to their homes and villages was beautifully and convincingly told by the children; some very little and other, older children who understood well the sad and terrible consequences of living in ‘water poverty’ particularly in relation to the lives of girls.
“How CAFOD intervenes providing basic technologies such as pumps and water storage systems and the involvement of communities in maintaining these systems was very effectively presented.
“Congratulations to the liturgy team who worked so hard to develop the presentation and to all the children who participated and contributed so much to the success of this appeal in our parish.”
Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to fundraise throughout Lent, you can still donate and qualify for match funding until May 9. You can find out more about volunteering for CAFOD and learn about new and different ways to get involved.