On Friday 26th February, schools from across the Diocese of Salford joined us to share and celebrate their work for CAFOD in our annual Schools Conference.
Many of our local schools have CAFOD groups that do amazing activities for CAFOD throughout the year: fundraising, campaigning and praying for the world’s poorest people.
Eight of our High Schools came together to share what they had been doing, inspire others and celebrate their achievements. We heard about so many wonderful activities covering all aspects of CAFOD’s work!
We began the day with a liturgy, where Fr David Featherstone helped us reflect on climate change and our response. During the offertory, schools brought up objects representing their projects including a heavy concrete stepping stone from St Augustine’s Faith and Justice team! They later explained to us that the stones had been made as part of a retreat day on global justice, and are going to be displayed in the school as a reminder of the pupils’ commitments.
In the afternoon, Bishop John Arnold joined us to hear presentations from the schools on their work. The pupil’s creativity and originality was displayed in the range of wonderful projects, and the achievements of the pupils was incredible. Holy Family school managed to organise a meeting with the local councillors, and now their school is going to extend their recycling scheme to include food waste. Loreto High worked with Bike Life Manchester to encourage other pupils to cycle, help get bike lanes in the local area and organise a hub for bike repairs.
Pupils have also been inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’. St Thomas More pupils wrote a letter to the earth, inspiring us to take action both locally and globally for a better world. St Augustine’s students linked Laudato Si’ to the Year of Mercy creating a ‘Door of Climate Mercy’ in school.
Schools have also been involved with ‘Make a Splash’ activities this Lent, with Brownedge St Mary’s pupils holding water-related competitions and St Cuthbert’s group challenging pupils about their use of water including bringing along a beautiful water droplet made from bottle tops to highlight our use of bottled water.
All the pupils really impressed Bishop John who shared his experiences of CAFOD’s projects around the world. We were also lucky to have new groups from St Monica’s School and St Peter’s School who were encouraged by the more established groups.
We were so inspired by the students in our schools who are taking action to make a real change in or world. In Laudato Si’ Pope Francis praised the efforts of young people in demanding change in the world, and our pupils certainly are an example to us all!
Thank you so much to all the schools who came on the day and those who have been involved throughout the year!