As part of volunteers’ week, we spoke to two Leeds volunteers who have dedicated their time towards aid agency CAFOD’s exciting Connect2 campaign.
Connect2 links communities in England & Wales with people in Brazil, Ethiopia, El Salvador, Cambodia and Peru.
The scheme is built on CAFOD’s values of solidarity and partnership, where parishes in the UK are able to stand alongside communities overseas to fight against poverty and injustice.
The Connect2 scheme is your chance to take a journey with ordinary people leading extraordinary lives, by fundraising as a Parish community.
The money you raise will support our work in your partner community and in other communities like theirs throughout their country. You really can help transform lives.
Connect 2 is a chance to link the faiths of two parishes from across the world. Joining Connect 2 gives an insight into the different Catholic cultures of churches in countries that CAFOD and its partners work within. It allows for real life examples of how CAFOD positively affects communities across the globe, and enables a community to be a real part of CAFODs work.
Joining one parish to another allows a strong bond to be formed between the two, living in solidarity with each other.
Joe Burns, member of the Assumption Church in Leeds said “people in our church community feel as though they have got to know the Puentecitos community through the updates provided by CAFOD”. Joe went on to say “Our congregation of the Assumption Church has been visited in recent years by two members of our connecting parish from El Salvador and we were able to engage face to face with them learning more about their community and life style.”
The Church has put on a South American evening, in which they celebrated, ate and danced South American style. To raise money the congregation held an Auction of Promises and managed to raise £2,000 for their connecting church and surrounding community. Events like this are a way of bringing the work that CAFOD does to life, as well as helping continue helping those in need in other areas of the world.
This is just one example of a Connect 2 community and the contribution that they have made to a Parish 5,341 miles away. Connect 2 is a way of joining with CAFODs overseas partners on a personal level, and seeing first-hand the difference that money raised has on the communities.
Would you like your church to become a Connect 2 parish? Follow the link below for more information and the sign up page!
The CAFOD group at the Assumption Church in Leeds (part of the parish of Our Lady of Kirkstall) held an Auction of Promises on April 26. We held it on a Sunday afternoon and combined it with Afternoon Tea – for which people paid a modest entry fee.
It was something that the group had never done before so we were a bit unsure and had many discussions (too many!) about how to handle different circumstances and aspects of the organisation of the event. Our hopes were that we could make £500 – £800 out of the event to support our Connect2El Salvador link with the communities in the area around Puentecitos.
We had a catalogue of 45 promises. They included all sorts of things from many different members of the church community and some people from the other two church communities that form part of the parish. Promises ranged from our church Ceilidh band offering to do a ceilidh for someone’s special occasion, through offers of IT or GCSE tuition to doing cleaning or ironing or making home made soup.
We were fortunate to have in our church community Peter Dowson who is a member of the Toastmasters Association. He agreed to act as Auctioneer for us and came suitably togged up in a very impressive outfit.
About 60 people turned up on the day. There was a certain feverish atmosphere in the room as the auction started and when, quite early on, there was a bidding war over two hours of IT tuition (!) it became clear that this was probably going to turn out a bit differently to what we had expected. Peter was very efficient and the whole auction element was completed (all 45 promises) within 45 minutes. People were then able to relax over a cup of tea (or something stronger as the bar was open) along with a few sandwiches and cakes. Many people were unable to successfully bid for anything but the auction itself was fast-moving and entertaining in its own right. Many people remarked how much they had enjoyed the occasion and quite a few who were not able to bid successfully donated the money they would have paid for a promise.
When all the successful bids were totted up, and the entry money (and donations) added in, the total for the whole event came to £2255 which was beyond the wildest expectations of anyone in the group. Our thanks go to all who supported the event in so many different ways, and this in turn reflects the commitment of everyone in the Assumption church community to the work of of Cafod and to our link with Puentecitos1.