Bags of Ideas and Growing Fundraising at St. Mary and St. George parish Totnes

Plants on the way to CAFOD Stall

St. Mary and St. George have raised over £400 since lent this year.  Recently they have done a sponsored slim, plant stall and are hoping to start a fruit and veg box over summer, all in aid of CAFOD.

I am sure all reading this like ourselves are inspired by this fantastic fundraising.  So why not get involved yourself,  are you or do you know any budding slimmer’s or people with green fingers or other creative talents together you can make a real difference to lives of our sisters and brothers around the world and put your faith into action. It does not need to be anything complicated a simple stall at the back of church with an honhesty box will do.

CAFOD Bags and Plants

For more information and support contact the CAFOD Plymouth volunteer centre on 01752 268768 or plymouth@cafod.org.uk

CAFOD Stall

Celebrating our volunteers at CAFOD – Fantastic Kevin Vickers

Kevin in the Office

Kevin in the office, transforming the world with his keyboard, love for his neighbours &big smile

Kevin was the former Band Master of the Royal Marine’s Band, Plymouth, serving numerous tours on the Royal Yacht Britannia, afterwards working in the Royal Naval Careers Service, becoming the South West Peninsula Recruitment Manager. In Total Kevin served 41 years for the Royal Navy. Following this he became the manager of the Plymouth Driving Test Theory Test Centre for 15 Years.

After his retirement Kevin joined us as Parish Volunteer for South Brent and Buckfast Abbey in 2010 and has tirelessly worked for CAFOD’s Plymouth Office since 2013. Kevin is a key member of our team, each week Kevin supports the CAFOD team in the Diocese of Plymouth by meticulously updating CAFOD’s database, Activity Log and contributing to the day to day tasks of running the office.

Kevin said “Its great to put my faith into action alongside the CAFOD Plymouth team and our terrific partners. I really feel like I’m making a real difference to the lives of the poorest people in the world and to CAFOD’s work in the Diocese of Plymouth”.

Kevin is such a pleasure to work with and his commitment to CAFOD’s work and his dependability are truly inspiring!

Thank you Kevin, you are fantastic! – Your amazing service and volunteering enables CAFOD’s work in the Diocese of Plymouth to continue to have a huge impact, and enables our sisters and brothers around the world to truly flourish.

Step into the GAP: Sharing stories of Cambodia in Blackpool, Devon and Somerset

James Ronan, who visited Cambodia on CAFOD’s Step into the Gap, talks about how he has been sharing his experiences of seeing CAFOD’s work in Cambodia.

Since returning from Cambodia I have had the privilege of being able to share the important stories of the people we spent time with on the visit overseas. I have been giving talks and sharing my experiences of CAFOD’s work with students, staff and parishioners in my placement at St Mary’s Catholic Academy and the parish of St John Vianney in Blackpool and across the country. It has been an amazing opportunity sharing the monumental work achieved in Cambodia in such a short space of time only made possible through the Catholic communities support here in England and Wales through CAFOD.

Both myself and fellow gapper Hannah (who went to Ethiopia) had the opportunity to share on the 4th April about our overseas visits at a parish evening at St John Vianney, which was attended by nineteen people. I shared the stories of the Cambodian communities we met in Ou Breus village and how through CAFOD and its partners support the community now has better access to clean safe drinking water through the development of a water pump. For the presentation evening for parishioners I cooked a Cambodian dessert called Kuay Kamuan (Bananas cooked in Coconut milk) and Hannah cooked Ethiopian spinach which went down really well.

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James shares Step into the Gap Cambodia visit with parishioners at an evening at St John Vianney’s in Blackpool.

Most recently I travelled back down to Devon where I am originally from to share the Step into the Gap experience with CAFOD Plymouth School Volunteers at their training day in Honiton. It was great to catch up with CAFOD staff members Simon Giarchi and David Brinn about my work and be able to talk to school volunteers about seeing CAFOD’s work first hand and how through not only parishes but schools engaging in CAFOD fundraising, change has been achieved.

A few days after my visit in Honiton I gave a presentation on Sunday after Mass at Our Lady of the Assumption & St Mary Magdalene in Tavistock (my old parish church) which was attended by over sixty parishioners. Again this presentation was really well received and raised over £100 for CAFOD in donations.  It was nice to go back to the parish where previously I had so much CAFOD input (was previously the CAFOD parish contact and a volunteer for CAFOD Plymouth in my time as a parishioner).

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James at the CAFOD Plymouth schools volunteers training day sharing about the Step into the Gap Cambodia visit.

The week after I travelled over to Somerset where I was warmly welcomed by the parish of St Thomas More in Bradford on Avon to share the stories of the Cambodian people I met and to kick start the parish in getting involved in CAFOD’s work.

On Sunday the 21st of May I attended Mass at the parish and was warmly welcomed by the whole congregation. I shared a little about my placement at St Mary’s, my gap year experience and the importance of CAFOD’s work in Cambodia. I then invited parishioners to listen to my talk after Mass which was in the Hub next door, it was great to see such enthusiasm from the parish about getting involved in CAFOD’s work. Around twenty parishioners attended the presentation after Mass where there was tea, coffee and cake with all donations going towards CAFOD’s work overseas. In total the parish raised £200 for CAFOD from my sharing of CAFOD’s work in Cambodia which was a fantastic achievement and it is hoped now that the parish will go on to fund-raise and get more involved in CAFOD’s work.

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James sharing with parishioners of St Thomas More. 

It has been great to share the first hand experiences of CAFOD’s and its partners with others and the important stories of the Cambodian people I met and spent time with in Cambodia. I am really looking forward to the last few months in my placement in Blackpool working at St Mary’s getting students involved in CAFOD’s work.