Great Day with School Volunteers exploring Zero Hero resources.

School volunteers

Fantastic day on Tuesday with some of our school volunteers exploring this term’s resources on climate change. We are asking schools to get involved by being Zero Heroes and inviting their MPs into their schools to discuss how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero.

Our school volunteers visit primary and secondary schools in the diocese to deliver assemblies and workshops on CAFOD’s work. They are a great team and we are looking for new volunteers to visit schools in the Guernsey, Hampshire Downs, North East Hampshire, Portsmouth and St Swithun Wells Pastoral Areas.

Exploring the resources

Exploring the resources

Linda Heneghan our school volunteer for the Reading Area told us why she is a school volunteer. “It’s a real privilege to be able to visit our Diocesan Schools and share the amazing work that CAFOD is able to accomplish due to the ongoing support of Schools and Parishes. The children are so eager to learn about their brothers and sisters in the developing world and have a real empathy for them in recognising the injustices and social inequalities that exist.

Volunteering has allowed me to keep in touch with Catholic Education, work alongside young people and meet old and new friends. I love it when I go into schools and the children recognise me as the CAFOD lady and occasionally I’ll be greeted in the same way out of school. It’s great to have a sense of purpose and be a very small cog in ‘machinery’ that makes up our amazing Catholic charity CAFOD.”

To find out more about being a school volunteer please contact Jo on 01252 329385 or email 

Beautiful Creation Celebration Mass at St Michael and All Angels

Creation Celebration mass

Many thanks to Fr Gerard for celebrating our first Creation mass on Sunday. It was a lovely celebration with a great choice of hymns by the music group and fantastic singing! The mass focused on thanking God for the wonderful world in which we live and asked Him to help us care for it and protect it for future generations.

A HUGE THANK you to Tim Collins for organising the mass and to Sarah Croft from CAFOD’s Campaigns team for joining us as well.  Thank you to all those who signed the petition to the Prime Minster asking for net zero emissions by 2045.  Don’t forget the Time is Now lobby of Parliament on Wednesday 26th June please sign up here. 

Tim & Sarah

We are hoping that other parishes around the diocese will also be able to hold a creation celebration mass during the summer and to encourage a discussion about climate change and ask people to sign the petition. All the information  you need is here or contact me at

Maureen & Sarah

Inspiring talks from Libby (CAFOD) and Fr Richard McKay at Living Simply Conference

Conference attendees

What an inspiring day we had on Saturday at the joint CAFOD and Caritas Portsmouth conference “Living simply and in solidarity with the poor”. Many thanks to St Peter’s in Winchester for hosting the day and special thanks to our speakers Libby Abbot Campaigns Officer at CAFOD and Fr Richard McKay .

Libby Abbot

Libby started off the day focusing on living simply. She shared her experience of visiting   the South Pacific islands of Siti Levu and Yasawas and how climate change is effecting them today.  Rising sea levels mean higher and lower tides, and warmer water is bleaching the coral reefs and making it uninhabitable for the fish and other sea life.   She meet with CAFOD partner Caritas Fiji  to discuss disaster risk reduction work as storms are getting stronger and sometimes reaching category 5  with wind speeds of up to 145 miles per hour.

Next Libby talked about CAFOD’ s new campaign Our Common Home and shared the many ways to get involved from signing a petition to the Prime Minister which can be printed off so that other parishioners can sign as well , to organising a Creation Celebration Mass in your parish and coming to the Time is Now Climate Change lobby of parliament on 26th June to meet with your MP.

Fr Richard McKay

Fr Richard McKay the parish priest from St Nicholas of Tolentino, an inner city parish in Bristol, spoke about how to live in solidarity with the poor. He started with Christ words echoing Isaiah “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free..” Luke 4:14 -21

He described how his parish supports those in need in the local area including refugees and asylum seekers. Their parish mission ..”is to be a people at the service of the poor, both locally and globally; to be a community of warmth and welcome; to be a community of healing and hope.”  He told moving stories about the parishes’ work with asylum seekers and the setting up of their charity Borderlands from Exclusion to Belonging. He challenged us all to “open ” the doors of the church, to welcome everyone and to be a “field hospital” for those in need.

” Fr Richard’s talk  eloquently linked faith and holiness with action for the poor ” attendee at the conference.

Anne Dodd

In the afternoon we had a workshop on how to become a livesimply parish led by Anne Dodd from Our Lady and St Edmund’s parish in Abingdon who achieved the award in 2017 . Kevin Gallagher, director of Caritas Portsmouth led a workshop on the different Cartias projects in the diocese.

Caritas workshop

Thank you to all those who came and I hope you found the day as inspiring and challenging as I did !