A Modern Lenten Appeal in Skipton

Researched and written by Matty Maslen, CAFOD volunteer

St Stephen’s Parish, Skipton, took a leap of faith into the modern world for their Lenten Appeal this year. The Parish used a contactless fundraising machine to collect donations and found it a great success.

Sheila Gregory profile pic 2020

Sheila Gregory, CAFOD Parish Volunteer, St Stephen’s Skipton

The Lenten spirit of Almsgiving was captured and magnified by the machine. This was especially the case with visitors to the Parish. The machine was especially effective at encouraging visitors to be generous in donations.

St Stephen’s Parishioners welcomed the new technology after it was introduced to them by Sheila Gregory who said: If you want to pay with blips in the data sphere instead of cash I can help you with that!”. This

Although in lent we are encouraged to reflect both on the sufferings and sacrifices of Jesus, but also to look forward. We are told during this time to prepare the way for the Lord, to embrace change for the better – and St Stephen’s have done just this. (The next change is to ensure the government attach gift aid to these contactless donations made – which is not currently the case!)

Contactless machine Lent Appeal 2020

The generous donations of CAFOD supporters throughout the year, but especially during Lent, are felt throughout the world’s most in-need communities. St Stephen’s has demonstrated how embracing new ideas can help us to feel connected to these communities overseas and to each other.

As Sheila said: For me it is SO important never to forget the suffering and travails of our family in the developing world- especially as I sit here in comfort!”.

 

For more information about contactless giving, please get in touch by email contactless@cafod.org.uk

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.

Fri 20th Sept: CAFOD Harvest Briefing (CAFOD Volunteer Centre, Hinsley Hall)

A warm invitation to all CAFOD Parish Volunteers to hear about our current Harvest Family Fast Day Appeal.

Familly Fast Day Harvest 2019At this event you will meet with fellow CAFOD Parish Volunteers who promote CAFOD within their local Catholic communities through prayer, campaigning and fundraising to support families living in the world’s poorest communities.

We will start the briefing with a prayer reflection, provided by CAFOD theology team and have a look at the case study from Uganda, featuring Fabiano who is thankful for the support from CAFOD to bring a safe water supply within reach of his community.

Projects similar to these are making a real change to the lives of families all across Uganda, and we will explore in the briefing how we can be more careful with our consumption of water, talk about the impact of not having access to a safe source of water and reflect on how our actions have a direct impact on our global brothers and sisters like Fabiano.

What: CAFOD Volunteer Harvest Briefing
Where: CAFOD Volunteer Centre, Hinsley Hall, 62 Headingley lane, LS6 2BX
When: 11am Friday 20th September 2019
Why: To prepare for Harvest Family Fast day in our Parishes

Light refreshments will be provided after; a simple soup and bread to help us think about how we can eat simply on Family Fast day on 4th Oct 2019.

If you are interested in attending, please email leeds@cafod.org.uk so we know how many people to cater for.