School Volunteers gather for Summer term Refresher

On Monday 8 May, our lovely team of School Volunteers across Birmingham Archdiocese gathered for our Summer Term Refresher.

It was a pleasure to be joined by Gemma Salter, from our Education Team, who helped unpack some of our Summer Term assemblies and workshops for primary and secondary schools.

These included assemblies and workshops on our Power to be campaign. We got hands on and created our own sun of messages calling on the World Bank to support local, renewable energy so that children everywhere have the power to achieve great things and lift themselves out of poverty.

SV Summer Refresher- use

Our Birmingham Archdiocesan team of School Volunteers with their ‘Power to be’ sun

We also heard a moving account of the impact of climate change and CAFOD’s work in Cambodia from our Step into the Gap Volunteer, Charlotte Bray’s, recent visit.

Thank-you very much to all who joined us, for your energy and enthusiasm and for being such a great inspiration to children and young people across our Archdiocese.

Would you like to join our School Volunteer team?

We’d be delighted to hear from you at or on 01922 722 944.

Students from Cardinal Newman Catholic School, Coventry reflect on the Lampedusa Cross and offer messages of hope and love to refugees

At the start of July, Cardinal Newman Secondary School, Coventry hosted our Lampedusa Cross and completed messages of hope cards to be shared with refugees at the end of the Year of Mercy.

Lampedusa Cross, Cardinal Newman, CovCardinal Newman’s Chaplain, Laura Kemp, tells us more:

‘We had the honour of having a Lampedusa cross in school, this cross is on a pilgrimage to teach others and share a message of hope and salvation, whilst also raising awareness of the suffering of those seeking refuge.

The Lampedusa cross is made from the pieces of boat that was wrecked off the coast of Lampedusa. This boat was carrying nearly 400 people from Somali and Eritrea seeking safety and refuge- 311 drowned on the journey. Francesco Tuccio used parts of the shipwreck to make crosses for the survivors as a symbol of hope after their ordeal. Some of these crosses are now travelling round the world as a message of hope, peace and mercy.

Students have been reflecting upon the significance of this cross and writing messages to those seeking refuge, all of these messages will join the CAFOD campaign and will also be sent to refugees around the world as messages of hope and love. We are extremely proud of the respect, love and understanding that our students have voiced in their messages.’

Laura Kemp, Lay Chaplain

Our Lampedusa Cross for the Birmingham Archdiocese is on display at St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham.

If you would like to borrow the Lampedusa Cross for your parish or school pilgrimage or messages of hope card signing, do get in touch (


St Joseph’s Year of Mercy Pilgrimage

school assembly

Getting ready for the pilgrimage

On Monday 13th May, Year 4’s from St Joseph’s school, Goldenhill, completed a Year of Mercy Pilgrimage to show solidarity with refugees across the world.

As part of Year 4’s sacramental preparation we invited Mr Mayland from Cafod to lead us in a school based Pilgrimage. Our pilgrimage focused on the act of being merciful to others during the Year of Mercy.

After the pilgrimage, the pupils gathered in the prayer garden and heard reflections and bible readings linking to a refugee’s daily life. Listening to real life accounts from refugees was both inspiring and saddening. The story of the horrific events at Lampedusa inspired us to create our own prayers to send to them.

listening to prayers

Reading out prayers 

We are going to ensure that we continue to use these inspiring acts of mercy by being more merciful in our daily lives as part of our on-going journey of faith.

Mrs Mellor, RE Co-ordinator said: “Thank you, Phil,  for your lovely assembly last Monday, several children and staff commented on how good it was. The children are this week continuing their research into refugees, so we will be completing further Lampedusa prayers to send.”

Download our resources to organise your own Lampedusa Cross Pilgrimage