Top tips to get your congregation get online

Following the Coronavirus outbreak, many parishes have moved their services online. In the initial few days of lockdown, our local CAFOD worker Bronagh Daly volunteered her Sunday to bring an online version of Children’s Liturgy to young families, interested in keeping a bit of normality to their Sunday routine.

online pic of the liturgy2020

There are so many different tools to help people get online, but it can be difficult to know where to start. CAFOD volunteer Serga Collett, from St Laurence’s church in Cambridge, shares her top tips:

  1. Create a social media community

“Father is working hard to create a community – this is an interesting process and it’s amazing how quickly people have mobilised. Social media is always there. It is such an immediate way to contact people, which is so good.” CAFOD has its own Facebook community too!

  1. Use existing channels to promote new things

“We now live-steam masses every day and post about them in our weekly newsletter and on Facebook to remind everyone.” Diocese of Leeds online streaming

  1. Set up a tech team of parish volunteers

“We have an amazing tech team. If anyone visits the church website and has a problem, the number for the tech team is on there and they can help. This is especially important for parishioners who aren’t used to everything being online.”

  1. Use online tools to set up meetings

“We have used meeting platforms such as Zoom to have an ‘Ablaze’ mass experience for our confirmation candidates.” In the Diocese of Leeds, maybe we could set up an online group for CAFOD volunteers to discuss how we can all stay connected in these challenging time. Send me an email to Bronagh know your ideas and availability.

  1. Even if you encounter difficulties, make sure to persevere

“In these times, computers are a real live-saver. Through technology, you can see how many people are out there, and while you can’t meet them face to face, you can still see them and speak to them.”

You can read Serga’s full blog here: And, if you would like to share your story, do get in touch.

What treasured item has helped get you through lockdown?


Ellouise with book and coffee

Elouise and her treasured cuppa and good book!

The period of lockdown has been a massive change for all of us – and each one of us has that one special item that has helped get us through.

Here at the CAFOD, we’re creating a story about the items that have helped our supporters and volunteers across the country stay happy and healthy during lockdown.


Whether it is knitting needles, a musical instrument, a yoga mat or mixing bowl – we’d love to compile all your stories and share them on the CAFOD website and in the media.


If you’d like to get involved, then please email a landscape picture of yourself holding your treasured item along with your name, age, profession, location, and 50-75 words about your treasured item to Elouise in our media team:


Connecting to the wider church


Founding mothers

Founding mothers of CAFOD 

Thanks to streaming technology, many parishes are now able to live-stream Sunday mass – and the theology team here at CAFOD have been working hard to create time to connect the wider CAFOD family.

On Thursday 23 April we have an online opportunity for prayer and chat. And, next Wednesday 29 April, Fr Liam will be saying mass for all CAFOD volunteers and supporters at 6pm.

You can sign up to both talks here:

We hope you have a wonderful week, and if you’d like to get in touch, please feel free to ring or email us on: or call Bronagh Daly on her CAFOD mobile 07748 514641

2019: A look-back and message of thanks

We started 2019 by waving our gap year volunteer, Madeline, off on her trip to Uganda with messages of support and solidarity from supporters and volunteers from across the diocese.madeline in ufganda


In the run up to our Lent 2019 Fast Day appeal, we met with supporters and volunteers at two Inter-generational days in Bingley and Skipton


We welcomed our newly appointed Director, Christine Allen, to our Diocese Lenten Lookback on the 5th April, as we looked through posters, leaflets and resources from the 1960s up to recent years and chatted with volunteers who have supported CAFOD for over 40 years.Lenten Lookback


Our school volunteers continued to visit local Catholic primary and secondary schools, and we held our first CAFOD Children’s Liturgy meeting in May, with two liturgists saying they would like to train as new school volunteers.

Children from local schools and parishes met with CAFOD’s DRC Country Rep to hear about how Climate Change is having an impact on livelihoods in some of the poorest communities and we talked about what we can do to support with fundraising, prayer and campaigning.


As the summer approached we ramped up our campaigning spirit and lobbied 100s of MPs at the Mass Lobby of parliament in June and our CPC, Bronagh Daly, wrapped local MP Alex Sobel up in a ‘The Time is Now’ banner whilst asking what he will do to make sure our country reduces carbon emissions to net Zero by 2045. Alex Sobel with Gappers June Mass Lobby


Moving on towards late summer and harvest, many parishes and schools across the Diocese continued to arrange Creation Masses and signed petitions for more action on Net Zero from government. Across the Bradford Deanery plans were under way to host a week of celebrations and conversations on Climate Change


As Madeline’s gap year came to a close, she gave us an insight into her year as a volunteer with CAFOD and how much her trip to Uganda had changed her view on social action and how we can all play our part in the fight for equality.

1800 children attended workshops and assemblies across the diocese led by our local CAFOD school volunteers hearing about water projects in Uganda over the Harvest period, THANK YOU so much to all the schools who prayed, campaigned and fundraised so families living in the world’s poorest communities can flourish.


And so, we arrive at Advent, a time when we reflect on the nativity story, and remember this is a time for giving. A time to stretch out the hand to the stranger, offer food to the hungry and shelter to those in need of care.

On behalf of all the CAFOD supporters, staff and volunteers here in the Diocese of Leeds we would like to thank you for all your prayers, your many 100s of hours of volunteering and offers of support wish you a very happy and peaceful Christmas

Our Volunteer center will be open again on Monday the 6th January 2020 so please get in touch if you would like to find out more about volunteering for CAFOD.

4th Nov 2019: Leeds Diocese Core Team meeting for CAFOD

Our next CAFOD in Leeds Core Team meeting will be held at The Briery, 38 Victoria Avenue, Ilkley, LS29 9BW on Monday 4th November 2019.

Please email to book your place

Briery centre IlkleyWe have 3 remaining places on this event, it is a small event where we invite CAFOD supporters and volunteers to help shape our work in the Diocese of the coming years

Exploring CAFOD’s new strategic framework

As our previous strategic framework comes to an end, we are taking a fresh look at our direction in our new ten-year framework ‘Our Common Home’. We have rephrased our vision, mission and values and affirmed Pope Francis’ mandate on the environment by focussing on ‘integral ecology’.

We would like to discuss your reactions to the framework and hear your views on how you see it impacting our work with the Catholic community and how you carry out your volunteering.

We’ll make sure we have time to unpack any unfamiliar language and will have a colleague who has been closely involved in drafting the framework to help guide us and answer any questions.

A member of CAFOD Leadership team will also be invite to join us, I will let you know who this is, once it has been confirmed


Date:  Monday 4th November 11am

Time: 10:30am – 12pm

Venue: The Briery, 38 Victoria Avenue, Ilkley, LS29 9BW

Aim of the meeting: Exploring CAFOD’s new strategic framework