Remembering Loved Ones

Our third annual Memorial Mass was held on Friday 24 November at St Anthony’s Parish in Wolverhampton.

Mem Mass1Thank you to everyone who joined us at our diocesan Memorial Mass on Friday evening, held to remember and give thanks for all those who have supported CAFOD’s work – through volunteering, prayer, campaigning or donations – and who have made our work possible.

We are very grateful to volunteer Trevor Stockton, who organised the Mass and led the parish music group. Thank you also to Mgr Mark Crisp and Fr David Lloyd for celebrating our Mass and to St Anthony’s for hosting us.

Mem Mass2

Our Book of Remembrance was on display and included the names of all those we remembered and prayed for. Their memory will live on in the lives of all those who have been touched by their kindness and generosity.

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Thank you Trevor

At our recent Harvest Fast Day Mass, held at St Joseph’s Parish in Wolverhampton, we took the opportunity to thank and recognise the contribution of one of our longest serving volunteers, Trevor Stockton.

Trevor Papal blessing

Trevor being presented with his Papal blessing by Bishop David McGough

Trevor has been a CAFOD volunteer for very many years – according to our records since 1992 but Trevor will tell you that he was involved for many years before that, even before we had a CAFOD office in the Birmingham Archdiocese.

He’s had and still does a variety of roles, including:

  • Parish volunteer, in his parish of St Anthony of Padua.
  • School volunteer, visiting local schools to talk to young people about our work.
  • Deanery Coordinator, supporting other CAFOD volunteers locally.
  • He’s a passionate Campaign volunteer and has been involved in many lobbies and marches over the years, including Make Poverty History and the Jubilee Debt campaign, amongst many others.
  • Trevor also writes prayers, reflections, liturgy and songs for us, which I know he really enjoys and he has a great gift for. Until recently he organised our annual Fast Day Masses and he is currently busy organising our Mass of Remembrance being held on November 24th at St Anthony’s Parish in Wolverhampton.

Find details here about our Masses of Remembrance

There are so many ways in which Trevor has and still does support us that are too many to list. To mark the amazing and considerable contribution he has made to our work for more than 25 years Bishop David McGough presented Trevor with a special Papal blessing.

Thank you to Trevor and all our wonderful volunteers for the wonderful contribution they make and for standing in solidarity alongside our sisters and brothers in need around the world.

Find out how you can get involved in volunteering for CAFOD


Supporting UK Aid – MP Correspondents make a difference

CAFOD MP Correspondents (MPC) write to their MP about issues of global justice, usually (but not exclusively) in connection with CAFOD campaigns. Through these letters, correspondents build a personal connection with their MP, grab their attention and give them a mandate to act. MPCs cover about 80% of the constituencies, that is over 450 MPs. This has the real potential to influence government international and domestic policy.  It isn’t an onerous role either and is ideal for people who would like to make a difference by volunteering but feel they have not much time to give.

>> Find out how you can sign up to be an MP Correspondent

CAFOD aid lobby

MPCs from across the country were invited to meet MPs  in Parliament on 17 October. The aim was to raise issues with approximately 60 MPs on World Poverty and overseas aid.  Several other agencies were also involved, including Save the Children, UNICEF, and VSO.  Each participant was asked to contact their MP in advance to arrange a meeting  during the afternoon.

John Barker, one of our diocese MPCs  representing the East Oxford constituency, was there to meet his newly elected MP Annalise Dobbs. There were also four other representatives from different agencies, making East Oxford the best represented constituency.  John tells us:

John Barker supporting CAFOD campaigns

Initially, Ms Dobbs said was unable to attend because of Parliamentary Business. However, she considered the issues so important that at the last  minute decided to reschedule her appointments to meet with us for about half an hour.  Although this gave us little time to prepare, we were able to explain the reason for our visit to Parliament and raise many issues. We urged Ms Dobbs to support maintaining the Government’s commitment to overseas aid  and oppose any attempt to divert funding elsewhere, thereby lessening the impact of UK funded aid programmes.

Everyone felt it was a very successful day.  In particular, it was useful to discover synergies and network with representatives from other agencies, as well as meeting CAFOD MPC from different constituencies.  With this new impetus, the East Oxford group agreed to keep in touch and support each other in their efforts to lobby their MP.

> If you feel inspired to become an MP Correspondent, find out how here.