Crosby Campaigner in Parliment

Crosby campaigner travels to parliament to ask MPs important questions before the general election
 
Local campaigner Peter Firth travelled from Crosby to Westminster to speak with MPs in Parliament to ensure the interests of the world’s poorest people will be kept in mind during the upcoming general election.
 
On Monday 24 April, sixty supporters of the aid agency CAFOD travelled from across the country to meet with MPs from different political parties at Speaker’s House in Parliament. Peter met with MPs to speak about maintaining commitments to supporting people living in poverty through UK aid and action to tackle climate change.
 
Peter said: “The reason why the UK should continue investing 0.7% in the aid budget really came home tonight. I have been critical, thinking that the money gets wasted and goes to intermediaries but I have been convinced today.
 
“It is not just about prestige, not even about the money but the investment projects the UK as a caring and passionate society. We are very lucky, and we should share that.” 
 

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CAFOD campaigner Peter Firth (Right)

Commons Speaker the Rt Hon John Bercow MP told the reception:“For my part, I always think the greatest moral challenge of our times is to try to do something about the gross crisis and disfiguring scar of global poverty.
 
“The fact that 1,000 million people around the world exist on less than a dollar a day and very, very, very large numbers of people besides exist on only moderately more than that is, frankly, a source not only of anxiety but of real shame to us all.”
 

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Commons Speaker the Rt Hon John Bercow MP

The campaigners who attended the Parliamentary reception are CAFOD ‘MP Correspondents’, supporters who write to MPs on international development issues such as the impact of climate change and trade practices.
 
CAFOD is encouraging Catholics to ask election candidates to support UK commitments on tackling poverty overseas and climate change, as well as working to ensure that Britain remains an outward-looking and welcoming nation.
Neil Thorns, CAFOD’s Director of Advocacy, said: “It is so great to see local constituents raising their voices before the general election and making their local political representatives aware of issues that are important to them.
“Pope Francis himself warns that people living in poverty can often be an ‘afterthought’ in political discussions and that’s why it’s so important that we remind candidates of the need to remain an outward-looking nation – one that cares for the interests of people in the world’s poorest communities.
“This is why the commitment to maintaining UK support for overseas aid is crucial for saving lives and pulling people out of poverty.” 
Find questions to ask your candidates at cafod.org.uk/election

 

Fund Raiser in Marldon Avenue

Marldon Avenue, Crosby was the place to be on Thursday 20th April where a fund raiser was held for CAFOD’s East Africa and Yemen Appeals.  Bernadette Callaghan writes:

“Between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. well over a hundred people visited my house to enjoy tea, coffee and biscuits. They spent a huge amount of money on plants, cakes, gifts, fancy goods, tombola and raffle. Luckily we could use the garden as there was no rain!

“Much laughter was heard as everyone enjoyed the cakes and the company of like-minded people. It was a wonderful day and we were well rewarded after all the hard work. Many thanks to my friends who helped organise the day, to those who helped on the day and to those who sent donations as they were unable to attend. Of course, many thanks especially to all who came and supported the event and helped raise the grand total of £1,916 – 37.”

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Ged Edwards, CAFOD Community Participation Coordinator for the area said, “I know that Bernie and her friends thought that £800 would be a great total but they were amazed with the response and final total and people had such a good time together too!  Thanks so much to Bernie and her friends for taking the time to do this and congratulations with such an amazing result!  People in East Africa and Yemen need every penny!”

If you would like to follow Bernie’s great example and need some suggestions or materials like posters to make it happen, please get in touch with Ged or Colette liverpool@cafod.org.uk.  Many thanks!

Meet Our Volunteers – Eamon and Maeve O’Neill

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Eamon and Maeve lead the 17-strong CAFOD Group in St Bartholomew’s established when Vin McMullen, CAFOD’s first Regional Organiser inspired them in 1993.  The Group continues in the sure knowledge that their work is in solidarity with one another, the parish at large, clergy and CAFOD Liverpool Volunteer Centre as well as with our sisters and brothers overseas.

In this spirit they have enabled the parish to remain aware of our work and in response to donate £264,098 to date, supporting Fast Days, emergencies, Connect2 and hold two main community events, a sponsored walk and Coffee Evening for the parish and beyond into Rainhill.  Eamon is a speaker at Mass in St Bartholomew’s and in other settings on request, and he takes donations from the parish each week to the CAFOD Shop in Liverpool.

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Members of St Bartholomew’s CAFOD group

Maeve was also a Diocesan Team member and adviser and an Education Volunteer for several years.  She is a Traidcraft representative and the Group runs a weekly Fairtrade stall at Masses, and she supplies other groups and events in the area during the year.

Both have also been part of the Group’s longstanding efforts to promote CAFOD’s campaigns through lobbying for many years as well as its prayer life (e.g. Lampedusa Cross: Holy Week 2017).

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Maeve and members of her group

 

Lampedusa Cross Walk of Witness

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Archbishop Malcolm McMahon Blessing the Cross

50 Rainhill residents led by the St Bartholomew’s CAFOD Group led a Walk of Witness for Good Friday in Rainhill.  The Walk was an ecumenical event with parishioners from St Ann’s CE Church and St James’ Methodist Church walking in solidarity.  The Group had asked to use the Liverpool Lampedusa Cross for the walk which was also used at other times during Holy Week at St Bartholomew’s.

Lampedusa Cross at St Teresa's Norris Green

The Lampedusa Cross at  St Teresa’s in Norris Green

This cross was made from pieces of a boat wrecked off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa. The first Lampedusa cross was made from a boat on which 311 Eritrean and Somali refugees were drowned making their way from Libya to Europe. The community on the island helped save the lives of 155 others.

In Lampedusa’s church, Francesco Tuccio, the island’s carpenter, met some of the survivors who were Eritrean Christians. Moved by their situation, he used his skills to make each of them a cross from the wreckage as both a reflection of their salvation from the sea andalso as a powerful symbol of hope for their future. A similar cross was made for Pope Francis, who carried it at a memorial service for those who had perished.

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The Lampedusa Cross at St Oswalds in Warrington

In 2016, Mr Tuccio made the Liverpool Lampedusa Cross. It bears witness to the dangerous journeys and many uncertainties migrants and refugees face today. It reminds us of the power of our own acts of love, mercy and hope.

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The Lampedusa Cross at the Walking Day Event in Warrington. 

The Lampedusa Cross Service is a simple and powerful liturgy which can be used by anyone.  At the end, people are invited to respond by writing their own messages of hope to refugees which are sent to CAFOD and distributed to refugees around the world.  Here’s a picture of the Archbishop Malcolm blessing the Cross and his own Message of Hope.  And the messages do reach refugees, as you can see here through the work of our partner Caritas Hellas on the island of Lesbos in Greece.

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The Lampedusa Cross Logo

The Cross is available to use for parishes and communities in the Archdiocese and there are beautiful resources to accompany it and to engage people in consideration of the plight of migrants and Jesus’ call to love our neighbours.  If you are interested in using the Cross for a small or large group of people, please call Ged or Colette on 0151 228 4028 or email liverpool@cafod.org.uk.

Meet Our Volunteer – Mike Merriman

 

MM2Mike has been an unfailing supporter and a powerful advocate for disadvantaged people throughout his more than 33 years as a CAFOD volunteer.  Starting the CAFOD Liverpool Fun Run in 1983 with other volunteers, through his vision, his humour, his strength and leadership, he has carried it throughout.  He is always engaging and working alongside others to bring the Fun Run the success it always is, an expression of solidarity by the Catholic community of Liverpool and their friends.

 

Mike was a wonderfully engaging interviewee on Radio Merseyside on several occasions encouraging participation in the Fun Run.  Through the Fun Run to date, people have been able to add at least £459,000 and a lot of prayer and hard work to the efforts of their brothers and sisters overseas

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In 2008, CAFOD Liverpool Manager Chris Lappine said of Mike, “This is the 25th CAFOD Liverpool Fun Run and I know from experience that most of the lasting things in this world are often established not by high profile people, but by those who on a day-to-day basis quietly and generously have given their time, their energy and their love.”

 

Mike has always worked tirelessly in the background to make this happen.  As a volunteer visiting Schools in the Archdiocese, he has also spoken with PE and RE staff, head teachers and parish priests to encourage greater participation in CAFOD’s work.