Schools volunteer looks back on using the Lampedusa Cross



Lampedusa cross in the Leeds Volunteer Centre

The Lampedusa cross used by Paddy resting in the Leeds Volunteer Centre.

Schools Volunteer and Deanery Coordinator Paddy Spiller from Leeds recently used CAFOD’s Lampedusa Cross in a number of diocesan events. Here she sheds light on her recent experiences:


“The Lampedusa Crosses are made from the wreckage of the boat carrying refugees that foundered off the island of Lampedusa on 3 October 2013 with the loss of 349 lives. On two occasions I have used the Lampedusa Cross which is kept at the CAFOD office in Leeds.

Find out more on the Lampedusa Cross

The first occasion was at St Joseph’s school in Barnoldswick. With the top two classes, in the school hall, I lead a workshop on refugees. I had hoped that afterwards there might be time to do the Lampedusa Cross pilgrimage, but it was not to be. However, I did spend a couple of minutes walking around the hall, in among the groups of young people, talking about the cross. Following the workshop the significance of the cross was evident to them.

The second occasion was at the Knights of St Columba Youth Seminar which was held at Leeds Trinity University recently. Having started with a short discussion using the “Refugee Statistics Icebreaker” information, we made our pilgrimage around the chapel, an ideal space for this pilgrimage as it is spacious and fairly round, including a sizeable area of open floor space which easily accommodated my shower curtain map with about thirty people standing around it. All the people present wrote a message to the refugees.

Buy CAFOD Lampedusa Cards here

Next month, one evening after Mass, I am leading the pilgrimage in my own parish. I might have to put the map on PowerPoint, so that everyone can see it as I think the shower curtain might take up too much space, unless we move some chairs……? I’ve got a month to work that one out!”

If you or your parish would like to use the Lampedusa Cross or organise a pilgrimage, please ring Joanne Taylor on 0113 275 9302.

Garforth Parish wins Leeds’ first CAFOD ‘Live Simply’ Award and inspires others

“Last month St Benedict’s parish in Garforth has become the first in Leeds to win CAFOD’s prestigious Live Simply award for their fantastic efforts in creating a greener Parish. With donations from the surrounding community and resources sentimentally used from the old St Benedict’s church building they have created a beautiful sustainable vegetable garden. Parishioner David Jackson frequently tends to the church’s vegetable garden.

David working in the parish garden

David Jackson in the parish vegetable garden

He said: “Our installations of the cross are made with pieces of the old church to emphasise not only Jesus’ renewal through the passion, but also the renewal of our Parish. Everything we grow here in the garden we also pass on to parishioners at the end of Mass. There are those in our community who can’t afford locally grown produce so being able to lend a helping hand is the greatest reward.”


Continue reading about St. Benedict’s Parish winning the ‘Live Simply’ Award


Fr. Gerard and parishioners Trish and David with their award. (3)

St. Benedict’s celebrate winning CAFOD’s ‘Live Simply’ Award

The esteemed award; only granted to 20 other parishes nationwide has inspired an Elmet parish to apply for the Live Simply award. St Joseph the Worker parish have begun their green journey by dedicating an evening discussing ways in which they as a community can work towards sustainable living. Parishioner Fran Bostyn organised the event and led by Fr. McCarthy and is extremely enthusiastic about the future of the parish.

Fran said: “I first thought of the idea after attending a Call to Action meeting. I realised that for a long time, the church and Pope Francis have both worried about climate change, particularly in his recent encyclical. Now CAFOD has given us a way, through the “Live Simply” Award, to act on these issues locally.


“The first step that we have agreed on vocally is to become a low-carbon parish and to look into double-glazed windows. We have also discussed exciting ideas such as using the community supermarket tokens in our parish so parishioners can vote for their favourite green idea.”

Find out how your parish can apply 

The Live Simply award is a great way to encourage sustainability across the Diocese, St Benedict’s have set a fantastic example and we wish St Joseph the Worker all the best in their journey towards Living Simply and a greener future.”

Communications volunteer Clare McKenzie reporting on the ‘Live Simply’ Award in Leeds. 

CAFOD attends Charity Day in Otley

CAFOD at Otley charity day

CAFOD attended a Charity Day last Saturday at Our Lady and All Saints parish in Otley. The event, organised by local Councillor Nigel Francis, brought charities from across the diocese to talk to local supporters and raise awareness about their upcoming campaigns and volunteer opportunities. Supporters were greeted with complimentary sandwiches and cakes, along with the opportunity to win prizes at the tombola stand.

CAFOD leeds at Otley event

CAFOD held a stand and displayed leaflets and volunteer sign up forms, whilst discussing upcoming campaigns with  keen supporters. Over £25 was kindly donated by people who attended which will go towards CAFOD’s Ethiopian Food Crisis Appeal.

Learn more about CAFOD’s Ethiopia Appeal  

CAFOD representative for Otley, Bronagh Daly, said: “I am so grateful to all that attended to show their support for local and national charities. It is through intimate events like this that CAFOD can continue to support our brothers and sisters in the global south. A fantastic day was had by all, despite the weather, and we would like to thank both Nigel Francis and the parishioners of Our Lady and All Saints for organizing this event.”

If you or your parish would like to host CAFOD at an event or if you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact Bronagh at 0113 275 9302.