Beth and Steve Taylor are the CAFOD parish volunteers at St Peters Winchester. One of the key roles of a parish volunteer is to share stories from the communities that CAFOD supports. We work with local experts who help some of the most difficult-to-reach people in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Through a local priest, a midwife or a water engineer – our global reach is present in the lived experience of local communities. These skilled women and men understand what people need because they are part of the communities they work in. Their commitment, passion and knowledge reach people other organisations can’t. It is crucial that our parish volunteers share their stories with parishioners so that they know the difference their donations make and the how it changes peoples’ lives.
Steve and Beth describe how they became CAFOD parish volunteers ….
“It started by accident. The Family Fast Days in the Parish were publicised in the Newsletter and the collections arranged. But it was all a bit impersonal and distant despite there being a worthwhile story to tell. The story gave details of the people CAFOD were helping, why they needed help and how sustainability was sought so that the money donated would have a long-term benefit, not just be a “one-off” handout.
As coordinators for the Parish Justice and Peace group, we realised that this lack of detail could be remedied by a parishioner standing up and explaining the context, the purpose and the benefits the donations would bring. Before you could blink, we found ourselves in front of the congregation with a script in our hand. But with seven Masses around four churches, we have only managed to cover the Parish with the help of other willing volunteers. Has it helped? We hope so, but at the very least nobody in the Parish can say they were never told!”
During Lent this year our parish volunteers shared Abdella’s story about his daily walk for water .This inspired many volunteers and supporters to participate in the Walk for Water 10,000 steps a day for the 40 days of Lent challenge. Across England and Wales the walk for Water challenge raised over £800,000- just amazing!
So if you are interested in becoming a CAFOD parish volunteer please contact Jo on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07710 09447