The Pugin designed altar at St Augustine
On 2 July, St Augustine, Solihull, held their annual summer fayre in the church garden. The Church designed by Augustus Pugin is a gem set in the Town Centre between John Lewis and Waitrose supermarket. Although the weather was mixed, the day was still a great success, raising £3,098 for CAFOD. I caught up with Michael Keating, who has been taking part in their fayres for many years.
“We have been holding fayres in the parish for over 30 years now, and usually, we have two fayres a year, one at Christmas and a summer fayre. We have a long history of supporting CAFOD fundraising.”
“This year the weather was mixed, meaning not as many people could attend, but the parishioners are always very generous and even if they didn’t attend on the day, they still contributed towards the effort. Many people in the parish generously donate their time and materials and we always sell everything at bargain prices.”
“We had a tombola stall which had everything from bottles of whisky to pickled onions, people bought tickets and if the ticket ended in a 0 or 5, they won either a great or a joke prize.
Last weekend, over 50 CAFOD supporters, volunteers and charity workers gathered in Newcastle under Lyme to complete a pilgrimage carrying the Lampedusa Cross – a cross made out of the wreckage of refugee boats, to show solidarity to refugees across the world.
People from across the North Staffordshire Deanery gathered at Coolock Pastoral Centre for a pilgrimage and reflection around the Lampedusa cross. CAFOD supporters were joined by charity workers who are supporting asylum seekers in Stoke-on-Trent.
Learn more about the Lampedusa cross
Despite a last minute change of route due to road closures, the group completed their pilgrimage, led by Deacon Neil Adlington, around the grounds of the centre. The group stopped at various points to reflect and pray for those who have been displaced from their homes. They were blessed with good weather as the rain held off for the duration.
At the end of the pilgrimage, Catherine, Rick and Jon from Soli House Youth Ministry, led a signing of cards, with messages of hope, which will be shared with refugees in a special ceremony in November.
Local CAFOD officer, Julia Hood, attended the pilgrimage and said:
“It was such a spiritually moving day; the compassion shown by the community showed that they really do care. We would like to say a massive thank you to Sisters Bridie and Betty for helping us to organise this pilgrimage and to everyone who attended. To complete the pilgrimage holding the Lampedusa Cross was very poignant as it brought the issues so much closer to home.”