Churches Together in Formby Join Together in a Walk around the World

Back in September 2017, Pope Francis urged ctf1Catholics across the world to come together to respond to the ongoing refugee crisis with compassion and call on governments to protect the human dignity of people on the move.

Incredibly, we have already walked three times around the world, and are now aiming to walk a fourth time around to send a strong message of support for refugees to Theresa May and the UN.


Churches Together in Formby have Shared the Journey by organising a walk round Duke Street Park on Saturday 7th July. Together, the parishes of Our Lady of Compassion, St Jerome’s and St Anne’s Freshfields walked a total of 58 miles that will contribute to our efforts to walk a third time around the world in solidarity with refugees and migrants.

They have also signed campaign cards to petition Theresa May to ensure that the UK stands up for human dignity at the UN discussions of refugees later this year.

CAFOD volunteer, Siobhan, said ctf3“I got involved with Share the Journey because I hope that should we ever find ourselves in such awful conditions that we need to flee our homes that others would help and welcome us. It’s not that long ago that Liverpool kids were evacuated to the likes of Wales during WWII. My dad was amongst them. What would we have done had the families in Wales not took our children in during those war-torn years of bombings?”

“It was lovely to see our own parishioners from Our Lady’s meeting up with parishioners from a number of Formby churches including St Jeromes, St Anne’s, Holy Trinity and the Methodist church. Pope Francis is an inspirational gentleman who is touching the hearts of many people.”

CAFOD Community Participation Coordinator, Ged Edwards, said, “This is a fantastic achievement, especially just before an England match! It’s wonderful to see the churches in Formby coming together in this way and supporting this fantastic campaign. Thanks to all concerned for the brilliant organisation.”


Find out more about the campaign.






Young at heart 96 year old takes to the water!

They say that age is just a number, and according to 96 year old Mary Johnson, from St Dominic’s Parish in Huyton, this is most definitely the case!

A keen swimmer, Mary swam 22 lengths in support of this year’s Lent appeal for CAFOD.  She said, “I used to swim every day but now that I’m older, I swim twice a week!”

Mary gathered sponsorship from her parish, St Dominic’s, for her efforts and raised a fantastic £650.  The parish also held a tea party which raised an additional £250.

CAFOD’s Community Participation Coordinator, Colette Byrne, said, “What a fabulous achievement for Mary to be able to swim much further than a lot of people, including myself could, and at an incredible age!  She really is somebody to aspire to!’

‘We’re also delighted because the money she raised will be matched by the UK Government, so CAFOD are receiving double, which is phenomenal!’

CAFOD’s Lent appeal this year focussed on our work to combat malnutrition in Zimbabwe.  Hunger can kill children, but CAFOD is providing seeds, fencing and farming training for families and communities so that everyone has enough to eat.  With support like the fundraising from Mary, we are able to continue this fantastic work.


96 year old Mary swam 22 lengths for CAFOD


Archbishop Malcolm McMahon supports CAFOD’s Share the Journey campaign

This week is Refugee Week, a week which is a celebration of the contribution of refugees and promoting understanding of why people seek sanctuary.

Pope Francis calls us to act in solidarity with refugees and migrants.  One way you can respond to this call is to get involved with our Share the Journey campaign.

Join us as we walk 24,900 miles – the distance around the world – in solidarity with people who are forced to flee their homes. As part of our campaign we also invite you to sign our Share the Journey petition to the Prime Minister, asking her to put human dignity at the heart of global agreements on refugees and migrants.

Archbishop Malcolm McMahon is also on board!  He signed his card last week, and CAFOD’s Community Participation Coordinator, Colette Byrne was there.  She said, “We’re so happy to have the support of the Archbishop with this campaign.  We have been really impressed with the way that so many parishes have embraced Share the Journey, and we’ve even seen pastoral areas coming together to walk with one another too’.

‘We were extra happy yesterday on World Refugee Day, when it was announced that people from across England and Wales have managed to walk the whole distance around the Earth already.  Its not too late to take part though…. We’re going around again, so please join us!”


Archbishop Malcolm McMahon signs his CAFOD campaign Share the Journey action card.

St Joseph’s Shevington Shares the Journey

Its the start of Refugee week!  War, persecution, natural disaster and poverty force millions of people from their homes. Inspired by Pope Francis, we respond with compassion and call on governments to protect the human dignity of people on the move. As part of our Share the Journey campaign, we are aiming to walk 24,900 miles – the distance around the world. You can see how far we’ve walked already by checking our online totaliser here!


St Joseph’s Shevington have joined us on our journey and contributed a fantastic 2,319 to our mileage total! Between Monday 7th and Saturday 12th May, families from the parish walked in solidarity with refugees and migrants. They were joined by primary school student from St Bernadette’s and St Marie’s schools, who each walked a mile a day for four days racking up an outstanding 1,668 miles!

On Saturday 12th May, 49 walkers chose between a 6-mile and 10-mile route, with parish priest Fr John Hindley among others successfully completing the 10-mile walk.

Later in the day, 81 walkers completed the shorter 2 and 4-mile routes, with 37 children completing a 2-mile treasure trail along the way.

All walks began with a prayer and when asked by members of the public what they were doing, walkers responded, “The Pope asked to walk so we are doing!”

CAFOD volunteers, and event organisers, David and Joyce Madden said:

“Pope Francis asked Catholics to walk in solidarity with refugees and migrants and CAFOD asked its supporters to walk around the world – how could we refuse?!


“Our group is a small one – of six members – but we are lucky and very thankful for the friends in the Parish who willingly step in to help on special occasions.  We announced our basic plan at the weekend Masses during the CAFOD Lenten Fast Day Talk. Refinements, brilliant ideas and the co-operation of our two Primary Schools and St Bernadette’s Nursery culminated in a very successful 5 days.


The actual walk day was hectic, noisy, full of laughter and eventually cake.   It made all the hard work worthwhile.”


All their hard work certainly paid off, and they have managed to get the Liverpool diocese’s total off to an incredible start!


Ged Edwards, CAFOD Area Representative, said, “It’s a fantastic achievement to bring together not just people in the parish but also local schools as well. St Bernadette’s does a brilliant job for CAFOD in keeping our focus on the pressing issues on refugees and migrants, and this is just one example of that.”


To find out more about how you can get involved with Share the Journey, visit our website:

Volunteer’s week celebrations!

We had a great time celebrating the achievements of our wonderful volunteers for Volunteer’s Week on Saturday at the CAFOD Volunteer Centre, where we had a Volunteer’s ‘Thank You’ Afternoon Tea Party!

CAFOD Community Participation Coordinators, Colette Byrne and Ged Edwards, baked home made cakes and scones to treat their volunteers and thank them for the hard work that they do throughout the year!


CAFOD Volunteers Pat, Irene and Pauline kindly helped with scone preparation.

Ged said, ‘Our volunteers do so much for CAFOD in their parishes, in local schools and in their communities.  We rely on them so much to spread the message of CAFOD’s work to the supporters in their area and they do a fantastic job!’

‘We were really keen to acknowledge their efforts, inviting them to our Volunteer Centre and giving something back to them, and what better way to do that than with home made cake!”


CAFOD Volunteers, Doreen, Pat, Irene, Pauline and Ricardo enjoying tea with Colette from CAFOD.

CAFOD volunteers are currently working on organising parish walks for the current Share the Journey campaign.

Colette, said, “The volunteers who attended the tea party really appreciated the opportunity to talk to fellow volunteers from other parishes in neighbouring areas, we would really encourage CAFOD volunteers to attend our future get togethers, not only to hear about the amazing work they are contributing to, but also to enhance the team spirit among all CAFOD volunteers’.


CAFOD Volunteer, Sr Jo Gleeson enjoyed tea and cake with CAFOD supporters from St Dominic’s Parish.