My memories of Volunteering

  Kris Pears took the Lampedusa cross on a pilgrimage to WalsinghamYesterday, Kris Pears told us about his first experience of volunteering and now he shares his most memerable volunteering experience.

Since that first experience I’ve been allowed to speak in every Coventry parish (but one, and I hope to speak there this autumn), the majority of Warwickshire parishes and last Harvest I went down to Worcester where a couple of friends of mine (Angela & Paul) fed me & put me up overnight so that I could speak on Saturday evening & Sunday morning without having to drive an extra 120 miles round trip.

Then the greatest opportunity (so far) came my way when I applied to go as part of the CAFOD delegation for the UN climate change negotiations in Paris, 25 of us a mixture of CAFOD staff and volunteers went over for 5 days for what was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, we were at Le Bourget on the Saturday when that historic agreement was reached at COP21, the 21st meeting & the first agreement, other groups had gone home because the conference had been scheduled to finish on the Friday but we were there, in the afternoon we joined the human chain that surrounded the Eiffel Tower, the first public gathering allowed after the shootings and bombings which had taken place only a few weeks earlier, historic agreement & a chance to show solidarity with the people of Paris – what an amazing trip.

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Bernard White (second right) travelled to Paris with CAFOD supporters to call for a climate change agreement (Liam Finn CAFOD) (002).jpgI’m looking forward to our annual Birmingham KV gathering in the middle of next month & a training day for Laudato Si and the opportunities that I hope that will lead to for spreading the wonderful work that Pope Francis has started.’

Lizzie, CAFOD Birmingham CPC overseeing the Coventry deanery, shares:

‘I had the pleasure of getting to know Kris during my Step into the Gap Year in which we collaborated on a talk on CAFOD’s work in Zimbabwe and the One Climate One World campaign together at Warwick University Chaplaincy. I am now grateful for the opportunity to continue to accompany Kris on his volunteer journey and feel very lucky to have Kris as part of the team.

kris pears Kris is always very willing, proactive and motivated, bringing a real energy and passion to his work, engaging and inspiring others.

Within his parish, St Thomas More, Coventry, Kris has engaged parishioners in a breadth of CAFOD’s work including an energy audit and promoting World Gifts, alongside Parish Volunteer Kevin Duffy, and sharing the message of the Lampedusa Cross at the parish pilgrimage at Walsingham.

Within the Coventry deanery, through his role as Deanery Coordinator, Kris has been fundamental at supporting the existing volunteer team through pre- Fast Day emails. Kris is also fantastic at identifying opportunities to extend the supporter base through promoting opportunities, such as the upcoming Connect 2: Peru evening, within the Justice and Peace, Catenian and teaching networks.

Further afield, Kris’ speaking at Mass, whether it be on Fast Days or campaigning, has really encouraged deeper engagement in our work and helped grow our volunteer team.

Many thanks Kris from all at the Birmingham Volunteer Centre and on behalf of our brothers and sisters overseas for all of your ongoing commitment, motivation and passion for change.’

If you feel inspired to volunteer, you can contact us: birmingham@cafod.org.uk

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