On 20th June CAFOD Salford’s ‘simple, practical response to Laudato Si‘ was launched at St Vincent de Paul’s, Norden, Rochdale.
Our B.O.B. box, a dual purpose bird-nesting or bat roosting box, is set to make a huge impact across the Diocese of Salford – making a contribution to improving our own environment as well as supporting CAFOD’s work overseas.
The launch was attended by over 50 people – parishioners, volunteers and
representatives from local schools, members of Rochdale’s Catenian Circle and staff from HMP Buckley Hall, who will be participating in the project. We are, like with our partners overseas, working in partnership with HMP Buckley Hall to respond to Pope Francis’ call for us all to show our love for our common home by “living more wisely, thinking more deeply and loving more generously.”
Bishop John Arnold, who has been an encouraging supporter of the project from the outset, gave the project a ringing endorsement when he said :
“In ‘Laudato Si’, the letter of Pope Francis to us all, he talks about our ‘care for our common home’. We have to look after our world and all the creatures in it, just as we are to look after each other and never forget or ignore the needs of the people in the poorest countries of the world.
The B.O.B. boxes give us a real opportunity to connect with nature, by helping endangered birds and bats that are so important to our local environment.
And by buying the boxes we provide much needed funds to help the poorest of people to have clean water and build sustainable livelihoods for themselves.”
During the launch event, kindly hosted by parishioners of St Vincent de Paul, we talked about ‘Laudato Si’ – caring for our common home, living more wisely, thinking more deeply, loving more generously and showing our love for creation.
Students from local primary and secondary schools were able to pack and make B.O.B. boxes to take back to their school – assisted, if necessary, by members of the parish and members of the Rochdale Catenian Circle.
As one of CAFOD’s Trustees we all know Bishop John to be a firm supporter of CAFOD. He regularly shares, across the Diocese, his reflections on his travels with CAFOD but he is also a man of action, a fine ‘fisher of men’ and budding carpenter!
It was a privilege to take work benches and tools to Wardley Hall in May, for Bishop John to make his very own B.O.B. box ! On completion he immediately sited his box up a tree, on his front lawn.
The project’s start-up costs have been met by generous donations, particularly from Rochdale Catenian Circle, who donated £1500. Members of the association have continued to be generous in their support of the project in a variety of ways. Consequently, the project is cost-neutral to CAFOD and to our parishes and schools, which will enable the project to have an even greater impact.
We are indebted to HMP Buckley Hall, in Rochdale – without them the project would just have been another one of those great ideas that doesn’t get off the drawing board. The Business & Industries and Preventing Re-offending teams have warmly embraced the project. They will be cutting, drilling, branding and packing the B.O.B. box flat-packs. A CAFOD volunteer has agreed to warehouse a supply of B.O.B. boxes and will arrange for them to delivered and distributed across the Diocese.
What can you do?
Our volunteers will supply and deliver B.O.B boxes to you, free of charge!
If just 15% of the Diocese buy a B.O.B. box the project expects to raise over £500,000 for CAFOD.
Participating parishes and schools are asked to collect as many orders as they can from within and across their communities. A flat-pack B.O.B box will cost just £10 and contains everything you need to make your very own B.O.B. box! The box can be put together in under an hour and you’ll only need a hammer and a screw-driver to make one!
£2.50 from each box returns to CAFOD Salford, allowing the project to remain self-funding and self-sustaining. This money will be used to re-order materials.
The participating school or parish retains the remaining £7.50 and they will decide how to spend the money raised. The money raised, through orders and sales, will be spent on CAFOD’s World Gifts or, if the parish is a Connect2 parish, they can spend it on their Connect2 community.
Here’s a snapshot of the ‘global impact B.O.B. could have !
1 B.O.B. box would buy a ‘Net That Protects’ or two ‘Happy Queen Bees’
4 B.O.B. boxes would buy a ‘School Starter Kit’
8 B.O.B boxes would buy a ‘Chicken Breeding Farm’
94 B.O.B. boxes would buy a ‘Community Water Supply’
B.O.B. Boxes in schools
A school in the Diocese bought 70 boxes for their off-time table week, as a follow up to the CAFOD ‘Laudato Si’ workshop that students took part in.
The school decided to adopt B.O.B. to help them meet their ‘Laudato Si’ challenge.
I lead one session for a group of staff and Yr 6 students on the Monday. Later on in the week, the session was repeated for Yr 4 students on Thursday. All students successfully made their own box. Students could buy their box to take home for themselves or give the box back to be sited around their school environment. One of the Yr 4 students took his box home and by the end of the weekend his box had had it’s first visitor.
Some plans parishioners have got for B.O.B. in their parishes
Parishes will be holding B.O.B. box days, to make boxes for those without the means.
Parishes will be delegating the spending of the money raised to their ‘Little Church’ groups.
Parishes are going to be selling B.O.B. on their street.
Parishes are buying, making and donating boxes to a local conservation project.
Parishes are using B.O.B. boxes to ‘green-up’ their parish environment.
Prisoners will be able to make a B.O.B. box with their kids when they come to visit.
Parishes across Salford are using B.O.B. boxes to help to make ‘Laudato Si’ connections between people and place, between people, their community and their environment, showing that they ‘care for our common home’.
Many thanks to the following for all their support
Thanks to Design Technology staff from Thornleigh Salesian College for cutting all the bats – that could be 50,000! – and the Graphic promotion team for producing a range of PDF materials that parishes or schools can put on their websites or download for printing.
Thanks to Sue Allerton a CAFOD volunteer for writing our B.O.B. box prayers.
Thanks to everyone, too many to mention, who have made this project possible.
Thanks to you for helping to make B.O.B. have a global impact.
Be with us, Lord, on our journey.
If you would like to find out more about B.O.B boxes and discover how you can bring ‘Laudato Si’ to life in your parish or community please contact :