CAFOD volunteers and supporters get inspired for Harvest Fast Day in Oxford

On Saturday 30 September, 20 CAFOD volunteers and supporters from the Oxford Deaneries gathered for an inspirational morning of learning, questioning and idea-sharing in preparation for Harvest Fast Day and the further development of parish activities.

Harvest 2017 Supporters’ Day Oxford Deaneries

CAFOD volunteer and Trustee John Guy writes :

Bishop William on Sudan and South Sudan

“The morning was the brainchild of CAFOD Coordinator, Debbie Purfield, who invited Bishop William Kenney, Auxiliary Bishop responsible for the southern region of the Archdiocese of Birmingham, to introduce the day with fascinating insights into his work in Sudan and South Sudan. He described the role of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales in supporting the Church in the two countries, and his particular role as former President of Caritas Europe in wider aspects of supporting the Peace and Justice in many war-torn countries.  He emphasized the important work and success of CAFOD as the official agency of the Bishops’ Conference for overseas development and its relationship to the wider international Caritas group; CAFOD is a widely-respected NGO and one of the few permitted to work in South Sudan by the Government.

Bishop William Kenney shares his experiences of Sudan and South Sudan

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Parishioners from Corpus Christi Oxford open their garden to support Connect2

Heavy rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of parishioners from Corpus Christi, Oxford, when they held an Open Garden afternoon to raise funds for the CAFOD Connect2 Project with Sebeya, Ethiopia.

The rain didn’t deter 100 year old Gretta Guy from enjoying the scented flowers of the garden

The Italianate garden of parishioners Nicholas and Pam Coote has featured in books, magazines and on TV.  It is semi-formal in style, inspired by the Mediterrnean architecture of the house and a love of Italy – dramatic plants, defining hedges, a multitude of pots, decorative paths and cooling green shade.  It is regularly opened under the National Open Garden Scheme and the abundant scented flowers and mosaic water gardens are always  popular features.  On Saturday, amidst stormy rain and gusty winds, the gardens were opened to raise funds for the CAFOD project supported by the Parish.

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Visitors enjoying tea and cakes under the gazebo

Parish Priest Canon Mervyn Tower, said,

“This is a beautiful Italian oasis in the centre of the Parish and it was good to see the enthusiasm of the Connect2 group and the participation of parishioners in the rain.”

Pam Coote, who collected the entry fees under a large green umbrella, said,

“I am delighted we made so much money for CAFOD despite the dire weather, due to everybody’s generosity and enthusiasm.”

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Pam Coote and Richard Brooke collect entry fees for the Open Garden event

The Justice and Peace group at the Parish had made cakes, scones with cream, and biscuits to sell at the tea stall, which retreated into the garage to avoid the downpours.  There was quite a lot left over but with ingenuity and speed they were all sold at a pop-up cake sale after the 6pm Mass that evening at Our Lady of Lourdes, Wheatley, and  the 9am Mass on Sunday morning at Corpus Christi.

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The tea stall retreated into the garage!

Proceeds from the event amounted to over £250, taking the total Connect2 fund-raising to over £6,600, making a significant contribution to the Parish target to raise £7000 for Sebeya. This would be equivalent to the cost of installing an irrigation system to overcome the dry and arid conditions of Northern Ethiopia – but not of Oxford on Saturday afternoon!

Well done to all who organised the event and who attended it!

> Find out more about our CAFOD’s Connect2 scheme