The CAFOD Carol Service online!

This year the annual CAFOD Carol Service is going virtual! Join us for carols on Thursday 17 December, from 7:30pm-9pm.

Every year St John Rigby College, partner schools and the community are involved in the CAFOD Carol Service at St Teresa’s Church, Up Holland. Coronavirus means that we have not been able to do this in person, but we refuse to give up… this year, we are going virtual!

‘We are proud to share the gifts and talents of students, pupils and the community in our CAFOD Carol Service 2020. Each year, this service raises lots of money to support the work of CAFOD and we will hear this year from a guest speaker about the work completed in South America.’

Join us and join in with the CAFOD Carol Service 2020.

CAFOD works with local partners and communities across the world – responding to emergencies, promoting long-term development and raising public awareness of the causes of poverty. We work with people of all faiths and none for a safe, sustainable and peaceful world.

Click here to watch our CAFOD Carol Service promo

How is coronavirus is affecting the Democratic Republic of the Congo?

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is still recovering from years of devastating civil war, which killed almost four million people.

Imagine living in a country where everything is imported from outside, and now, there is nothing coming in, where the markets need to open every day so people can survive and where you need to pay for your healthcare in cash.

Women from Centre Olame make masks to respond to the coronavirus outbreak

Join us to hear more about the challenge of coronavirus in the Democratic Republic of Congo

In the DRC the infrastructure has been broken down for many, many years so people have relied on Church infrastructures for a long time. In the areas controlled by rebels, we are getting reports from our Church partners that people are suffering, many of whom live in areas that are hard to access .

However, there is good news, the Church is very well organised and our Church partners are there and can reach many people. There is an understanding that we as humanitarian workers, especially we as a Church institution, have the prior experience in tackling Ebola and can bring this experience to the coronavirus pandemic.

We have repurposed some of the funding we had for long-term development to put into the coronavirus response and we are supplying food to close to 2,000 households in six communities in Kinshasa. And we plan to extend this project to further communes.

To learn more about how coronavirus is affecting some communities in the DRC join our exclusive dialogue with Bernard Balibuno, Country Representative for CAFOD in DRC, and John Birchenough, Head of Humanitarian Programmes in Africa on Thursday 10 Dec 11am-midday.

If you would like to donate to the coronavirus appeal click HERE.

Please note, the mask making activity is not funded by CAFOD, although Centre Olame is a long-standing CAFOD partner.

5 Minutes with…Bronagh Daly

We caught up with Bronagh Daly, Community Participation Coordinator in the North East team, to find out what Children’s Liturgy is all about, what it was like producing LIVE broadcasts throughout the pandemic and how you and your family can get involved!

What is the best thing about your role?

Meeting lots of interesting people from across Yorkshire who care passionately about social justice, they are all so inspiring and make me want to share their stories with others.

What is Children’s Liturgy Live?

A LIVE broadcast lasting 25 minutes, with short gospel stories, songs, social justice, and craft activities to help families feel connected at a time of social distancing, and also to remind us that we are part of a global family.

How did you get involved in Children’s Liturgy?

I am a liturgist in my local parish, and I suggested to our parish team that maybe we could do a live session for the local families in lockdown. My manager Martin asked if I would like to join him and another colleague at CAFOD in the planning of the very first Children’s Liturgy LIVE (and explore the idea of the three of us, as trained liturgists in our own parishes, hosting a LIVE session for families). We could not believe that over 500 families logged on for the first session. What we thought we’d do for a few weeks turned into months.

We asked the families who were watching if they would like to have some training to become presenters and we now have 10 families all trained and, on a rota, and would love more families to get involved. We have even had special guests from as far away as Sierra Leone!

How did you find running Children’s Liturgy throughout lockdown?

It has been a real eye opener to see  how many families across England and Wales love CAFOD and are really up for trying loads of new activities including posting artwork, crafting, fundraising and writing prayers LIVE on Sunday mornings. My children have loved getting involved as presenters, and their friends love joining in online too. It is a real family feel with all the regulars who send in their artwork every week and a great joy to welcome new families each week. My family in Ireland love to see us on the LIVE broadcast, and grandparents also join too.

What have been the highlights for Children’s Liturgy this year?

I always wanted to be a primary school teacher, and never got around to doing my PGCE. So being able to design, deliver and promote these sessions to young families is probably the closest I will ever come to my dream job. It is such a joy to help with writing the scripts and preparing behind the scenes along with so many other helpers. I love being part of the team and getting to know my colleagues in Volunteer Support and Theology better. Being part of Children’s Liturgy has brought me on a faith journey, and I have made some amazing new friends including my friend Maggie in Truro.

How can I get involved?

If you are interested in working with young families, we’d love to hear from you! Get in touch with the Liturgy LIVE team by emailing theology@cafod.org.uk and we will provide you with technical and presenter training.  If you want to join along in the songs, stories and craft click this link to join us every Sunday at 10am.

Anything else?

We’re currently working on some new exciting online content to do with crafting, so watch this space!