Parish Contact Shelagh shares her story.

The role of a Parish Contact – Shelagh Popperwell

Cafod’s existence relies on the continued generosity of the general Catholic community, Parish by Parish, countrywide. Each Parish autonomously raises funds, charitable giving cannot be prescribed, although ideas for money raising events can be shared. We are always on the lookout for innovative schemes.

As the Parish contact for Cafod at Our Lady and The English Martyrs in Urmston, I am supported by a wonderfully enthusiastic, willing team. We recognise the importance of Fast days and attempt to approach each one as if it were the first. We have guest speakers on Cafod’s current missions, display appropriate posters and, on the most recent Fast day, decorated with festoons of balloons. There is always an appeal, each family given an envelope with their Mass book for return with the following Sunday’s normal collection.

We always have a coffee morning in October and sell home made cakes, Christmas gifts and books. We generally make between £300.00 and £350.00 which incorporates about £100.00 for a raffle with good prizes, including plenty of booze. We do two market stalls a year selling items donated by the Parish family. We are also fortunate in having one subscriber who, rather than giving to Cafod directly, buys wool monthly throughout the year for a prolific knitter who, for free, knits it all into childrens’ clothing, whilst another contributor supplies hand made jewellery, arts and crafts.

Over and above these things a Parish contact needs to help to ensure that Cafod’s good name is maintained in the Church community and to be well informed about aspects of Cafod’s work. Here the Cafod website is invaluable. We also think that, where possible, it is good to involve individuals in Cafod’s campaigning projects, such as signing the current petition on climate change to be presented to the Prime Minister at the opening of the Paris summit. Lastly, and most importantly, is Cafod’s spiritual work. The rosary is said on Fast days for the people of the appeal. Sometimes there is a Holy hour where, combined with prayers and readings, Cafod’s work is highlighted.

Working with Cafod is variable, stimulating and enjoyable.

We have 178 parishes in the Salford diocese and 145 parish contacts. If you would like to be a parish contact in your parish or are willing to work as part of a CAFOD team in your parish please ring the office on 0161 705 0605 or e mail us at salford@cafod.org.uk
Thank you

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