Southport school first to win eco award!

Our Lady of Lourdes primary school in Birkdale, Southport, came together on Friday 3 November to celebrate being the first school in the country to receive the livesimply award.


Staff and pupils from Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School in Birkdale invited MPs, governors, and local clergy to boast their new award, which was awarded as they proved how their school community had been living simply, sustainably and in solidarity with people in poverty.

Ged, Justine and Paul from CAFOD  enjoyed a Fairtrade tuckshop and a special assembly led by the children.  A pupil from each class across the school who had showed unknown.jpgan outstanding commitment to the project received their own certificate, and classes took part in environmentally friendly activities such as bulb planting ready for spring.

The school kick-started their commitment to being eco-friendly when they won a £50,000 ‘eco makeover.’  They spent the money on installing solar panels and another panel which shows their output display clearly for the children to look at.  In the past, pupils also campaigned by writing to their local MP to request recycling bins in Southport, which was a huge success.

When the school, who are long-term supporters of CAFOD, heard about the livesimply award, it seemed like a national progression.  Children in the school attend a gardening club, growing their own fruit and vegetables, which they make soup out of and share.

Livesimply tree

LiveSimply tree!

Annie Swainson, chaplain at the school, said: “The ongoing effort from children across the school has been inspiring.  The support from families in the school is equally incredible and we are very grateful!

“It was great that so many governors, community members and clergy could come down to celebrate us being the first school to receive the award – it was a real community event.  This isn’t just a one off, it’s a commitment. Our livesimply actions will be carried into the future as we develop and grow the project.”

Each year the children fundraise for CAFOD at Lent and Harvest, as well as learning about issues across the world, including the refugee crisis.

Paul Kelly, who assessed the school in his role as a CAFOD volunteer, said: “It’s been brilliant seeing the enthusiasm of Our Lady of Lourdes school and how committed everyone is to respect one another, respect people in need at home or abroad, and respect the environment. They have really embraced Living Simply, from the large solar panels to the smallest trough of wild flowers, from paper recycling to growing fruit and vegetables.

IMG_7298.JPG“The school thoroughly deserve the accolade of being the first Catholic school in the UK to get the LiveSimply award. The presentation ceremony at a special assembly was really upbeat; a great celebration of their achievements. I loved the way they used the whole day to get classes focussing on new LiveSimply ideas for school and home, and I feel very positive the school will build their LiveSimply ethos in the future.”

Find out more about the livesimply award


Share The Journey

On Wednesday 27 September, Pope Francis demonstrated his special concern for people on the move by launching Share the Journey, a new campaign which supports refugees and migrants.

Share the Journey brings together more than 200 Catholic organisations, including CAFOD and Caritas Social Action in England and Wales, as well as our sister Caritas agencies in every continent. Together, we will call on all our governments and on all people, to play their part in welcoming and protecting people forced to flee their homes due to poverty, war, persecution or natural disaster.

Pope Francis said, “Hope is the desire to share the journey of life, as the Caritas campaign that we inaugurate today reminds us. Brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to share the journey! Do not be afraid to share hope!”


The Pope’s actions aim to highlight the Church’s commitment to sharing the journey of people on the move. World leaders must be called upon to do the same as they begin to negotiate new UN global agreements on refugees and migration, which are due to be finalised in September 2018.

In 2016, nearly 40,000 CAFOD supporters sent messages of hope to refugees. These messages are being shared with refugees in Europe and all across the globe. In 2018, CAFOD will produce new materials to help Catholic parishes and schools to get involved with the Share the Journey campaign, building up to a week of action in June 2018.

Colette said “we’re really excited to launch Share The Journey in Liverpool. It’s our opportunity to come together in our parishes and schools to show solidarity with our brothers and sisters overseas. If you would like to find out more please do get in touch with us here in the office on 0151 228 4028; we would really love to see as much participation with this as possible”.

We’re asking you to sign our petition to call on the UK government to take a lead in protecting refugees.

Find out more here.



Live Simply progress in Ormskirk

The LiveSimply award is awarded to Catholic communities who can show how they have been living simply, in solidarity with people in poverty and sustainably with creation. It celebrates what you have already done and inspires you to do more. The award is an opportunity to respond to Pope Francis’ invitation in Laudato Si’ to “work with generosity and tenderness in protecting this world which God has entrusted to us”.

ls0We have several fantastic LiveSimply parishes across the diocese and more who are in the process of applying, one of which is St Anne’s in Ormskirk. Susan O’Halloran, CAFOD Volunteer, has been updating us on their progress. The parish is making great progress and has been holding lots of events to promote LiveSimply and to generate wider parish support.

Susan said “On the whole we’ve had plenty of church involvement and had success with things we weren’t excepting to!” She also said that their most successful event so far was their LiveSimply weekend; “we had a shared meal after the Saturday afternoon mass. We also had the bidding prayers and homily in line with the LiveSimply theme, and encouraged members of the parish to make a pledge. The pledges were then cut into leaves and we have made a display in the church of our LiveSimply pledge tree.”

Stephen Cooke, CAFOD Liverpool office volunteer and parishioner at St Anne’s added, “The organising group have done a fantastic job, many of the tasks have been so simple yet effective, an example being a bulletin audit, which has already resulted in a 25% reduction in bulletins printed each week, saving paper, ink, electricity, time and money. The actions will have benefits for the parish and the wider community long into the future”

It’s wonderful to see such enthusiasm and support for the LiveSimply award, good luck to St Anne’s in completing their award!

Could you and your community be more sustainable? Can you get involved in the LiveSimply award?

St Anne’s will be hosting a talk by Ged Edwards about his visit to The Philippines on 29th November, everyone is welcome to attend.

Hear about how CAFOD’s made a difference in The Philippines!

During the summer Ged, and two of his CAFOD Colleagues (Maggie Mairura, who is Ged’s counterpart in the Nottingham Diocese, and David Brinn, CAFOD’s National Schools Volunteer Programme Coordinator) visited The Philippines to see for themselves how money donated to CAFOD was used in the aftermath of Typhoons Haiyan and Melor.


David, Ged and Maggie reach the Philippines at last!

David, Ged and Maggie

104 million people live in the Philippines, 80% of whom are Catholic.  Following Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, CAFOD supporters responded with an amazing £5.4m in a special appeal.  The Typhoon recovery programme was completed  at the end of June.  Anticipating this over 12 months ago, CAFOD’s Partner there,  Caritas NASSA, approached CAFOD for help with a “legacy project” to help them sustain the changes they’d been making.  They knew that working through volunteers would become increasingly important for them so they asked for CAFOD staff who work with volunteers to help them do things differently in the future.

typical Bayanihan blog 4

A typical Bayanihan

Ged said, “It was a great honour to share what we know and to work alongside our partners to deliver it.  We also took the marvellous opportunity to see first hand the projects that CAFOD supporters have helped to fund and the progress local communities we visited have made since The Philippines was devastated by these massive Typhoons.”

During his visit Ged wrote several blogs which you can find at

Phil Crosby

The poster for the Crosby talk

The first talk we have planned is at St Helen’s Church in Crosby, on Tuesday 9th November, four years after Haiyan.

And the second talk we have scheduled is at St Anne’s Parish Centre, Prescot Road, Ormskirk on Wednesday 29th November from 7.30 – 9pm.

Ged would be happy to talk to your parish, group or school saying “I’d love the chance to visit more people to share my experience, and give the people the chance to find out how their support for CAFOD helps people in areas such as The Philippines.  I was so impressed with how people work together there and how they battle with the natural disasters and the impacts of climate change as well as dealing with injustice on a large scale.”

If you would like to arrange a visit from Ged please contact or phone 0151 228 4028.

CAFOD’s Memorial Mass

This November, the month of remembrance, CAFOD are once again holding Memorial Masses across the country to remember our friends who have been at the heart of our work, but are no longer with us.

Our Mass in Liverpool is being held on Saturday 25 November, 5.30pm at Sacred Heart, Liverpool Road, Ainsdale, Southport, Merseyside, PR8 3BP. 

Everybody is welcome to join us on the day, where there will be a Book of Remembrance to honour the people we have lost this year.

Candle memorial

These Masses are our opportunity to stop and say thank you for the incredible impact our supporters have made. Without them we would not be able to reach those most in need.

Add your loved ones name to the Book of Remembrance.