Guernsey Laudato Si’ Group

Destruction of forests

Norah Gregson one of our CAFOD parish volunteers in Guernsey reports on the Guernsey Laduato Si’ group . “In Pope Francis in his encyclical, “Laudato si “,  calls on all of us  to do two things : to care for the planet , “Our Common Home “, and to have” solidarity with the poor  “  We are only too aware of the  environmental challenges we face and of how much our use of the planet’s resources impinges on the poorest people in it . Our experience of “ Lockdown “ has really brought to our attention the huge importance of the natural world and  our need to protect it . We have also learned that we  CAN live more simply , use food more thoughtfully , waste less ,consume less .As parishioners of Our Lady and the Saints of Guernsey we have formed a group ,” Laudato  si  Guernsey” to pray ,reflect and act on Pope Francis’ call, to find ways of putting it into action in our community to inspire us all to ecological “Conversion. “.

As individuals and families we can think and act more thoughtfully towards our God given and beautiful  planet and we hope to bring some ideas of ways for us  to do that each week .

What better  people to start us off with a few tips than some of our youngest pupils from Notre  Dame School.  Here are  some of them :

“Try walking some days instead of driving. “ Ella Rose Y 6

 “Don’t flush baby wipes or other wipes down the toilet as they DO NOT break down . “  Shea  Y6 .”

Rising sea levels in Pacific Ocean are destroying islands

Walking for Water in Guernsey and Jersey!

Helen Shepherd

Helen Shepherd Headteacher at St Mary & St Michael Primary school in Guernsey is taking part in CAFOD’s Walk for Water 10,000 steps every day for the 40 days of Lent.

She told me “16 days into my challenge which is proving rewarding in so many ways. I feel humbled by the generous donations from family, work colleagues, parishioners, anon, pupils and their parents.  My initial target of £200 has been super-exceeded and I’m comfortably on my way to £1000 (and hopefully beyond). Her just giving page is here .

CAFOD’s Lenten challenge has made me make time; to find the time to walk.  School life can be so consuming, there’s always so much to do, so, like many Headteachers (and teachers), I’m in the habit of staying late at work!  However, in order to walk 10,000 I’m having to make the effort to leave school earlier in order to get my steps in.  The spin-off of this is that my husband and children are enjoying seeing a bit more of me too.

I’m so fortunate to live on the beautiful island of Guernsey so I’m truly spoiled for choice each evening – beaches, cliffs, tranquil lanes are all on my door step.  Whilst I’m enjoying walking and my surroundings, my thoughts turn to the lives of Abdul and Abdella who, unlike me, aren’t making this journey, each day, out of choice.”

Matt Bewers

Matt Bewers one of our school volunteers who lives in Jersey is also taking part in the Walk for Water challenge . You can donate to his just giving page here .Matt was inspired to take part after hearing Conor Molloy, CAFOD’s Country Director for Ethiopia, talk about the difficulties of accessing clean water for many communities in the rural areas of Ethiopia. Conor explained that despite the difficulties there is hope and in 2017 CAFOD worked with local partners in the north of Ethiopia to provide communities with solar powered water pumps . These pumps enabled water tanks to be filled with water for domestic use and for irrigation channels to sustain crops.  Consequently the lives of Hagos and his family were transformed and they no longer had to spend hours collecting water.

Hagos at a water tank.

Many thanks to Helen and Matt and to everyone else who is taking part in the Walk for Water challenge . Please support them and help provide much need food and water to families living in poverty around the world.

Headteacher runs 5k for CAFOD

Helen finishing her run at Vazon bay Guernsey

Thank you so much to Helen Shepherd Headteacher of St Mary & St Michael Catholic Primary in Guernsey who took part in CAFOD’s Christmas 5K fun run on 27th December and raised £331 which is fantastic!

Helen said “After returning home from Sunday morning Mass on 27th December , I donned my running gear and began my warm-up.  Having only just returned to running in October, after a break of many years, this would be my second 5K run in the space of a two weeks.  At this point, I was still only taking baby steps! The children at school, jokingly call me the ‘CAFOD Queen’ so when I received the email calling on all runners, I felt unable to ignore the call! The morning was biting – cold, but at least dry.  My daughter Hannah was my pace-setter (and photographer) although she chose to cycle.”

Thank you Helen for fundraising for CAFOD and also many thanks to all those who supported her .Could you fundraise by joining our Lent Walk for Water ?