The One and Only CAFOD Cafe!!

I was lucky enough to visit CAFOD’s one and only Cafe last week at St Matthew’s in Jersey!   A whole cafe dedicated to raising funds for our work!  

Vi Alcock (pictured above) told me, ‘In 2002 it was Father Tom’s vision that we should open a cafe dedicated to CAFOD in one of our unused rooms. He asked me to run it for him. To this end Father Tom enlisted the help of parishioners to get the room ‘ship-shape’. The theme was to be ‘African’ and most of the memorabilia used was from his African Missionary days. The Mass Vestment hung on the wall was one that he himself had used. In his capacity as a Missionary he realised the strength of help that was required in God’s name. Therefore, with this conviction, the Cafe was born.’

‘In the beginning, we raised very little, approximately £5 if we were lucky, but gradually this has increased to over £20, but more remarkably, good people brought in donations of collected loose change and envelopes with paper money containing sums of £50, £60 etc etc…  Parishioners also donate tea, coffee and biscuits.  So far £8,000 has been raised!’

Vi said, ‘Not only is it important to raise money to help our brothers and sisters in the developing world but it’s also important for our community too! This has become very visible on a Sunday morning, to see people chatting to each other over a ‘cuppa’ – talking to perhaps someone they would normally just nod to.’

‘I am grateful and I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge all the help I have received for CAFOD from many people – especially the ladies who ‘fill in’ when I am on holiday. I should also say that I had help from Deacon Paul when he was with us. He was so aware of the part CAFOD played in the support of our fellow men. Father Tom – may he rest in peace – would be really chuffed!’

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