This joint parish group was launched as the “CAFOD Support Group” on the first of June 1992 – following a discussion between Ft Matthew Jones and Peter Heneker, who was then head of CAFOD Wales. It was later renamed as the “CAFOD and Third World Group” – reflecting the fact that support was also given to individuals working abroad, in addition to CAFOD. It has since been renamed the “CAFOD and Overseas Aid Group” as the term “third world” was no longer appropriate.
Its name has changed, but it continues to be a joint parish group with the emphasis on fundraising. There has always been wonderful support from both parishes. There is a small planning group but we are always hopeful for more people to join us, or just get in touch and see if there is anything they could help with, however small.
Money we raise is sent to Emergency Appeals such as Darfur and the Phillipines.The rest is sent for CAFOD staff to use where they feel it is most needed.
Over the years we have also raised money for Jospice International in Honduras where Shirley Powell’s niece works for the organisation; we have been able to send money to St Stephen’s parish in Chunga, Zambia, where Fr Tobias was based, and to Fr Cosmos also in Zambia. These priests have previously worked in our own Parish. We have raised money for the hospice in Lusaka which was built for sufferers of HIV and AIDS.
Whilst we hope and pray for a better, fairer world where it would not be necessary for this sort of support- we are reminded of Jesus’ words- “the poor will always be with you”. Unjust systems mean that for many, a step out of grinding poverty can still depend on the generosity of people like us who have plenty. Shirley Powell has promoted CAFOD’s campaigns over the years and has inspired many of us to join demonstrations in places like Birmingham, Edinburgh and London, and to write letters to our MP’s.
The support from our parishes has been outstanding- and a real witness to the presence of the Holy Spirit working among us. It has been a great privilege to be part of it.
For more details, contact Shirley Powell at St Francis Church, or take a look at the CAFOD website via the link below.