Farewell to Peter Johnson

Ben Oldham, CAFOD Leeds diocesan manager, hand Peter his World Gift

Ben Oldham, CAFOD Leeds diocesan manager, hand Peter his World Gift

After 20 years of dedicated service to CAFOD as a volunteer, the time has come to for Peter to retire from his role with CAFOD Leeds. Peter is the longest serving member of the team in Leeds and started working for CAFOD before Leeds even had a regional presence.

When Peter started there were only 100 people working for CAFOD in total. There were no overseas offices and CAFOD were based in one office in Stockwell. Peter travelled to Sheffield from Ilkley to work in the volunteer resource centre. Thanks to Peter’s hard work and commitment we now have 100’s of volunteers who work with the universities, schools, and parishes across the diocese of Leeds.

To mark Peters retirement a special presentation was made after mass at the church of the Sacred Heart, Ilkley. Mgr Heskin introduced Ben Oldham who spoke fondly to express the gratitude of all the CAFOD staff and our partners overseas. Peter was presented with a special gift from CAFOD Director Chris Bain, aptly it is an icon of the feeding of the 5,000. Peter received a World Gift of a chicken breeding farm from his friends and colleagues.

Ben said “The Leeds diocese is has a wonderful team of committed volunteers who are passionate about helping their brothers and sisters living in poverty overseas, and work hard within their parishes to show of solidarity with them. Peter has been instrumental in recruiting and motivating this group of wonderful people, without his hard work and passion, the landscape would be very different.

I attended a meeting last year where we were provided with an update on a meeting between Pope Francis and the leadership and staff of Caritas Internationalis (the Catholic Church development network of which CAFOD is a member). One quote that particularly struck me was when Pope Francis thanked Caritas for “giving oneself, going outside oneself and being at the continuous service of people living in extreme situations”. Peter Johnson has given himself, gone outside oneself and has been at the continuous service of people living in extreme
situations.

Thank you Peter for giving a huge amount to CAFOD and for being an invaluable support to staff throughout your time with us. You’re a wonderful man and you’ll be missed.”

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