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.
CAFOD Parish Volunteer Malcolm Rose counts the money raised
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
On Tuesday 11 July, CAFOD Volunteers and Supporters from across Birmingham Archdiocese gathered at St Columban’s, Solihull for our CAFOD Summer Campaigns Day. We were really pleased to be joined by Fr Peter Hughes, a Columban priest who has spent most of his life as a missionary based in Lima, Peru. Fr Peter explored Laudato Si’, and our invitation to listen to the cry of the poor and the cry of the earth. We also heard moving accounts of Fr Peter’s work, as a CAFOD partner, with some of the most desperately impoverished communities in Peru.
Why not explore Pope Francis’ call to care for our common home with your parish group? Our Laudato Si’ study guide unpacks key themes within the encyclical and includes passages from the encyclical, witnesses from CAFOD partners around the world and UK parishes, discussion questions, prayers and ideas for action. We were also delighted to be joined by Sarah Hagger-Holt from CAFOD’s Campaigns Team who shared how we can involve our parishes, schools and communities in our latest campaign, Power to be . Power to be calls on the World Bank to ensure renewable energy access for the world’s poorest people. Local, renewable energy is usually the cheapest, fastest and most efficient solution to bring power to the poorest communities. It can help families to lift themselves out of poverty, and children to pursue their hopes.
Could you hold a Power to be card signing in your parish? All resources, including action cards, poster and organizer’s guide, are available here
A very grateful thank-you to all our wonderful Volunteers and Supporters who joined us and who enriched the day so much with their thoughtful contributions, energy and enthusiasm. There was a real buzz about the day and I was left very inspired by Fr Peter, Sarah and our Volunteers and Supporters alike.
Lizzie Wignall, CAFOD Birmingham
On Saturday 8 July, St Augustine of England parish, Solihull held an afternoon summer fair garden party for CAFOD.
CAFOD Parish Volunteer, Michael Keating, shares:
‘The summer fair garden party took place in our parish garden on a beautiful summers day. The parish garden nestles between John Lewis, Waitrose and Wetherspoon, and all tastes are catered for by all four. There were cakes in abundance, made by the Catholic Women’s League, soft drinks, tombolas and a big raffle. We had a live entertainer who sang for us during three sessions over the course of afternoon.’
The garden party was well attended and was supported by Fr Dominic Kavanagh, Fr Paul Devaney and parishioners. The afternoon was enjoyed by all and a very generous amount was raised for CAFOD.
A very grateful thank-you to all who attended, organised and supported the garden party and many thanks to all at St Augustine of England parish for your kind generosity, your support and your ongoing commitment to CAFOD, it is much appreciated.
Do take a browse of more photos from the garden party below: