Congratulations to St Edward the Confessor’s CAFOD Group who were awarded a Papal Blessing for over 30 years of fundraising .

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I was delighted to visit St Edward the Confessor Church in Chandler’s Ford on Sunday to present the St Edward the Confessor CAFOD group with a Papal Blessing to congratulate them on over 30 years of fundraising for CAFOD.

In 1988 Fr Peter Wilkie parish priest of St Edward the Confessor asked for a volunteer to help with CAFOD family fast day envelopes. The regional organiser from CAFOD South visited the parish and encouraged a group to be set up and Cecily, Pauline and Sheila became involved.  However, at that time St Edwards was embarking on a £3-4 million extension so some of the parishioners were not keen on fundraising for CAFOD but Fr Peter told them “We must walk alongside the poor always” and so the St Edward the Confessor CAFOD group was established.

Since then, the group has grown in numbers and has not only raised funds at family fast days but has taken on board specific projects. The CAFOD group ensured that parishioners took ownership of the projects by encouraging them to vote on which projects they wanted to support.

Since 1988 this parish has supported over 15 projects including Connect 2 El Salvador, Connect 2 Peru and most recently Hand On Magdalena Medio peace building in Colombia. A total of £117,000 has been raised for these projects over the years which is just amazing. Not to mention the money donated at Harvest and Lent family fast days!

Projects that the group have supported

On behalf of CAFOD I would like to say a huge thank you to the present members of the group: – Margaret Birtwhistle, Meg Clapham, Cecily Exworthy, Sylvia Hendricks, Pam Marchesi, Maureen McFarlane, Moira Moriarty, Sheila O Neill, Freda Pierce. Pauline Wilson, Clare Fearon, June Wilson, Mary Vokes, Clare Lasker.

I would also like to remember those past members who are no longer with us:- Gill Farnsworth, Carol Williams, Eileen Milles, Cecilia Jones and Tess Cunningham.

3 years ago Clare, Cecily and Gill took part in CAFOD film about 30 years of soup lunches at St Edward the Confessor .

Thank you so much for your love and concern for those living in poverty overseas.

None of this would be possible without the support from the parishioners so thank you all for your generosity which has been truly amazing. Also many thanks to Fr Raffaele for all support that you give to the group.

The CAFOD Display at the church

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