Bishop William supports the Power to Be Campaign

CAFOD Coordinators Lizzie Wignall and Debbie Purfield had their annual meeting with Bishop William Kenney who was very supportive and delighted to hear how parish involvement across the south of the diocese where Lizzie and Debbie are focusing on has risen over the past year.

Lizzie, Bishop William and Debbie support renewable energy for the poorest

Lizzie showed Bishop William some crosses with really moving words made by primary school children when they heard about the refugee crisis and Debbie mentioned how 17 people came forward recently at St Joseph’s (Thame) to be parish volunteers for CAFOD.

Bishop William and Lizzie support the Power to Be campaign


Bishop WIlliam was moved by the crosses which he read and was delighted to hear how a lot more parishes were supporting CAFOD not only through donations but also by campaigning and prayer.



To show his solidarity and support the Power to Be campaign, Bishop William signed the petition card calling on the World Bank to ensure renewable energy access for the world’s poorest people.  He said,  ‘What is important is that people are at the centre not economic systems.’

Bishop William Kenney signs the Power to Be petition

Thank you Bishop William for your continued support!


Bishop William will be sharing his experience of Sudan and South Sudan on the following dates:

Date : 30 September 2017

Venue : Our Lady Help of Christians, 59 Hollow Way, Cowley, Oxford OX4 2ND.

Time : 10am for 10:30am – 1:30pm followed by a shared lunch till 2:30pm.

All welcome! Bring a friend along too.  Please book : or 01844 264723

Date : 28 September 2017

Venue : Sacred Heart, 17 Lime Tree Avenue, Bilton, Rugby, CV22 7QT

Time : 7pm (teas and coffees) for 7:30pm-9pm. 

All welcome! Bring a friend along too. Please book : or 01922 722944

Parishioners sign up to promote CAFOD at St Joseph – Thame

It was wonderful to have over 15 people come forward to volunteer in at St Joseph’s in Thame.  Debbie Purfield, coordinator for Oxford North, approached parish priest Fr David Hartley to see if the parish was willing to promote CAFOD more.  Fr David warmly invited Debbie to give a talk at all masses weekend of the 22 / 23 July.  The response was amazing considering a lot of people had already gone off for their summer break!  It was so wonderful to have people across the spectrum come forward ranging from 15  to 75 years!  Some wives were seen cajoling their husbands to sign up too.

Margaret and Jim Crisp sign Power to Be campaign cards

Margaret and Jim Crisp very kindly offered to be the parish contact and disseminate information and organise the Fast Days.  Thanks so much.  They started their role there and then by signing our Power to Be petition cards there and then!

>> Sign our petition to the World Bank

Fr David who was very pleasantly surprised said, “It is wonderful to see so many people come forward. I am delighted.  We can now do much more.”  Fr David also signed our Power to Be campaign card and will be encouraging the parish to be involved in campaigning too.

Fr David Hartley supporting CAFOD campaigns

Thank you to all who signed up to promote CAFOD at St Joseph’s.  Thank you for giving your time, talent and skills to help our brothers and sisters in need.  You are an inspiration!

> Find out more about volunteering in your parish


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.


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.”

Oxford 1

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.


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