Reflect on the Plight of Refugees using our Advent Service

Reflecting on the Lost Family Portraits

Reflecting on the Lost Family Portraits

Our Advent Service reflects on the theme of journeys . The readings explore the journey of the people of Israel in Exodus, the journey of Aza a mother who fled from Syria to Greece with her nine-month old son and the call of John the Baptist to prepare the way for the Lord.  During the service there was an opportunity to think about our own experiences of journey, who had supported us through difficult times in our lives and how we welcome the people we met on the way. We also prayed for those who had to flee from their homes because of war and violence, and those who are looking for a safe place and a friendly welcome.

Lost Family Portraits

Lost Family Portraits

At the service in my church I used the Lost Family Portraits as a focal point . These photos are in an exhibition in Parliament this week alongside messages of hope for refugees written by CAFOD supporters. The photos tell the stories of families living in the refugee camp in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon and the empty chairs represent missing family members who been lost during the conflict.

Inspired by Pope Francis’ special concern for migrants and refugees, we invite you to join the Share the Journey campaign. Alongside Catholics worldwide, we call on governments to agree on two global ‘compacts’ which place the human dignity of people on the move at their heart. Please sign the petition to the Prime minister here.

Please join with us in saying the closing prayer of the service.

Come Lord Jesus come and let your light shine though us so that through our action we may be salt for the earth, a light in people’s sight and that we might reach out to you in one another especially those in need. 

Amen 

We pray for refugees and migrants.

We pray for refugees and migrants.

 

Could you write to your MP and be a voice for the voiceless?

CAFOD MPC's with George Hollingbery MP for Meon Valley

CAFOD MPC’s with George Hollingbery MP for Meon Valley

We are on a mission to recruit more people who are willing to write to their MP a couple of times a year.  A CAFOD MP Correspondent (MPC) ensures that the voices of the world’s poorest are heard in the corridors of power. So please consider signing up here.

If you would like to find out more about the role  of an MPC then please come to  a training session on Tuesday 5th December at Amigo Hall next to St George’s Cathedral London SE1 7HY from 11am to 15.00pm with a shared lunch at 1.00pm. Come along to pick up some top lobbying tips and to:

  • Find out the latest insider information from parliament.
  • Discover top tips from the experts on how best to build a relationship with your MP.
  • Hear about CAFOD’s upcoming campaign plans
  • Meet and share ideas with like-minded campaigners.

Please sign up here for the training. 

We would also like you to use this as an opportunity for you to build up your relationship with your MP. Last year thousands of CAFOD supporters wrote messages of welcome, respect and love for refugees around the world. These will be displayed in Parliament in an exhibition during this week. Invite your MP to meet you in parliament after the training and see the exhibition together.

Sun Shines at Super Summer BBQ on Isle of Wight

Enjoying the sunshine at the Summer BBQ

Enjoying the sunshine at the Summer BBQ

Many thanks to Alistair Drain and his team of CAFOD volunteers for organising the annual Summer BBQ at St Saviour’s Church Totland Isle of Wight on Sunday 13th August. The sun shone, the BBQ sizzled and the crowds were entertained by The Bay Wailers, and an amazing £575 was raised for the refugee crisis.

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A HUGE thank you to all those who helped on the day by setting up the marques, doing the cooking, baking cakes, donating raffle prizes and volunteering.  Also thanks to those who supported the event and donated money to help CAFOD refugee crisis appeal which cares for people who have been forced from their homes due to war and violence.

Many thanks to St Saviour’s church for the use of their grounds and to The Bay Wailers for the entertainment.