We are all aware that water is very important in our lives and we need it to keep our bodies hydrated. We drink more water than ever nowadays, and many people carry a bottle of water with them wherever they go. However, not everyone is as fortunate; millions of people are living without access to clean water. Lack of access to water threatens people’s health and dignity and, in some countries, having to walk long distances to fetch water stops women and girls from earning a living or going to school.
During Lent, the parishioners of St Mary’s the Mount Parish in Walsall were urged to pray for those who suffer as a result of this problem, and also to support them in a practical way. After Mass, at the beginning of Lent, bottles of clean, fresh water were sold; everyone was encouraged to buy a bottle of water and enjoy the refreshment that it provided, whilst appreciating that others in the world are not so fortunate. Throughout the period of Lent, children and adults demonstrated their love for others by generously filling their empty bottles with coins and returning them to church at Easter.
More than 250 bottles of water were sold and a total of £1,240.58 was raised through the generosity of parishioners.
The money has been donated to CAFOD’s World Gifts to support the work they are doing to help address water problems in other parts of the world. A significant percentage of the money raised will be used to fund a ‘Community Water Supply’, providing the materials and skills to build and maintain boreholes, pumps and water tanks and ensure clean, safe water for an entire community. The remainder will enable individual families to be kept safe from infection by providing safe water in their homes, for the purpose of drinking, cooking and washing.
Mary Byers, Parishioner at St Mary’s the Mount, Walsall