On Saturday CAFOD Salford held a day of celebration, reflection and sharing at the Cathedral Centre adjacent to Salford Cathedral to mark the 50th Anniversary of CAFOD. Ann Wilson, our outgoing Diocesan Manager (thank you Ann for all your hard work over the last year), introduced the day and took the opportunity to introduce Ged Edwards, the new CAFOD Salford Diocesan Manager , who starts work this week. The day began with a quiet time for reflection and prayer, which was ably led by our very own Spirituality Team, the team started the day with a scripture reading from Gospel of Matthew 25: 34-40, “For I was hungry and you gave me food…..”
Ann Wilson then gave her manager’s report for the year. Ann began by reminding everybody of CAFOD’s roots in the Second Vatican Council and the first Fast Day held by the National Board of Catholic Women back in 1962 and 1960 respectively. She then gave a summary of the events of the last year that included thanking all for their incredible fundraising events during Lent which saw CAFOD raise just over £9 million in England & Wales; this has been matched by the Government to give a fantastic total of £18 million! CAFOD Salford raised almost double their usual amount during Lent which was helped through the many sponsored “Walk for Water” events around the diocese.
Following Ann’s report the 6 local CAFOD Action Teams (CATs), which cover the whole of the diocese, had time then to construct a display of their activities or events over the last year. The CAT members were then free to visit their fellow CAT’s displays to share their ideas and experiences.
Lunch was then served, which was a shared one, as everybody contributed in some way to a fine luncheon spread to celebrate 50 years of CAFOD. During lunch people had the chance to visit the different stalls. Vin Allerton had his usual bountiful supply of Traidcraft and Fairtrade goods, Bernie Slater had her splendid “Out of Africa” jewellery stall (which sells jewellery produced in Kenya by small-scale producers who then invest profits back into local development schemes) and a CAFOD stall which featured some wonderful Christmas cards designed by Anne McGough in aid of Salford Loaves & Fishes at the Windsor Drop-in Centre for Homeless People. Both Bernie and Vin will supply their stalls to any interested parish or group who wishes to raise money for CAFOD, please contact the CAFOD Salford Office for further details: 0161 705 0605 or firstname.lastname@example.org
After lunch CAFOD Salford had the pleasure to welcome Jessica Matthews, from the Africa Liaison Team at Head Office. Jessica had recently visited the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and she shared with the group her experiences and insights into the work of CAFOD within this troubled area of central Africa. She spoke in particular about the work CAFOD’s partners do with women who have suffered through the effects of sexual violence during the conflicts within the DRC and its neighbouring countries such as Rwanda. After speaking Jessica faced some searching questions from the audience.
Mary Clark, Diocesan Officer, then gave a short presentation to update the group about the new campaign, “Hungry for Change“, which was launched last week at a national campaign conference in London. CAFOD is part of a national campaign on food organized by BOAG (British Overseas Aid Group), which is made up four other aid agencies: Christian Aid, Oxfam, ActionAid and Save the Children. The campaign for food justice will go on throughout 2013 and is centred around the fact that 1 in 7 people around the world still goes to bed hungry in a world where there is enough food for all.
Margaret MacArtney, a member of the CAFOD Salford Spirituality Team, gave an update about the work of the team. She offered their services, saying how they could deliver half-day or full-day retreats around the theme of love and justice to help support the work of the CATS and CAFOD parish groups. For more information please contact the CAFOD Salford Office.
Following the updates from Mary and Margaret the CAT groups were then left to focus on discussing potential future events for their areas and how they could improve their ways of working. Future events included theatre productions in aid of CAFOD, summer cream tea dances and improved communication within CAT areas.
There was a short time for evaluation and feedback just before the day finished with some closing prayers. Everybody appeared to have enjoyed the day’s experiences and had plenty of inspiration and ideas to take back to their part of the Diocese of Salford. Many thanks to all those people who attended and hopefully in 2013 we will come back to share even more CAFOD stories of prayer, campaigning and fundraising.