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.
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.
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.
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.