Ready, steady, bake: Schoolchildren’s Christmas fundraiser

Pupils from a primary school in Warrington have raised an impressive amount of money for the development charity CAFOD and St Rocco’s Hospice by hosting their very own version of The Great British Bake Off within school.


The winners of the Bake Off!

Pupils from reception through to year six at Our Lady’s Catholic primary school baked an array of different Christmas themed cakes, cupcakes and biscuits to impress the judges: a panel of pupils from the school’s ‘Mini Vinnies’ group and two of the school’s governors.

The ‘Mini Vinnies’ group was formed with the intention of ‘turning concern into action’ and meet weekly after school to plan activities that make a difference to the world around them, such as singing in old people’s homes and raising money for charities.


Just some of the cakes on offer!

The grand total, £136, was raised by the children when their homemade cakes were sold at the Christmas fair later that day.

Mrs O’Hara, who heads up the group, said: “The highlight of the day was the number of entries we had and the enthusiasm, hard work and variety of creative cakes that came from the children.

“Fundraising for good causes is at the heart of our school and it’s great for the children to be able to know they’re making a difference while having fun!”

Every child who took part was awarded a certificate.

One pupil from a year five class, who is involved with the Mini Vinnies group, added: “My favourite part of the day was eating the cakes and sending the money off to the charities we’d helped! I like helping other people to have a fairer life.”

The winners and runners up of the competition received an apron with ‘star baker’ embroidered on the front.

One of CAFOD’s local representative in Shrewsbury, Bridget Fenwick, said: “The cakes looked absolutely delicious and what an inventive way to raise money for charity.”

Fellow representative, Katie Hallows, added: “Their actions will help to transform the lives of other children who live in the poorest communities across the world. Well done!”

Find out more about CAFOD’s work in schools


Parishioners in Shrewsbury share Brazilian families’ joy after campaign success

Thanks to the support of parishioners from across the Diocese of Shrewsbury who were amongst the 4,000 people to support a CAFOD petition, over 1,000 people in São Paulo will spend this Christmas safe in the knowledge that they no longer face eviction from their home.

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#FicaMauá – Let them stay

In September 2017, CAFOD launched a campaign to halt the eviction of around 1,000 people living in the abandoned hotel in the centre of São Paulo, Brazil.

The Mauá Building in the centre of São Paulo stood empty for 17 years until 2007, when 237 working families moved in.  They lovingly renovated the building and for the last ten years have called it home.  The building has been home to a thriving community, providing a social use and revitalising an otherwise derelict area in the city centre.

Ever since they moved in, the families have been trying to win the legal rights to their home, which Brazilian law allows, asking that the authorities acquire the building and convert it into social housing for low-income families.

In a landmark case, after ongoing campaigning by the families, public authorities have agreed to purchase the building for around £4.6 million (20 million reais), allowing for it to be converted into social housing.

Your actions helped to bring about change

It is thanks to your support that the fear and uncertainty of losing their homes is no longer a reality for the families living in the Mauá community.

Neti de Araújo’s, a leader in the Mauá community, said:  “I want to thank each and every one of you for your support. I am very happy knowing there are people like you, our friends and companions.

“After so much struggle and sacrifice, ten years of ups and downs, it is finally feasible; we have persuaded the owners of the need for families to live here. The struggle will continue! Thank you!”

CAFOD’s representative in Shrewsbury, Bridget Fenwick, added: “The way that parishioners from Shrewsbury have rallied together to prevent this injustice, where over 1,000 people were threatened with being left on the streets this Christmas, has been astounding.

“We are so thankful that so many people in the diocese have acted: spreading the word, signing the petition and even standing in solidarity with the community by photographing themselves with a #ficamaua sign.

“Your prayers and messages of solidarity have given the families strength and hope at this difficult time.”

The fight continues

CAFOD will continue to support stand in solidarity and pray for the families in their struggle for a safe and permanent home.

Find out more about how you can directly support families in Brazil  


Warrington Network to host sing-along Carol concert

You are invited to get into the festive spirit in a carol concert which will be held on 3 December from 6pm. The concert is being organised by volunteers from Warrington’s CAFOD network and is free to attend but of course, donations are welcome!

The evening will be held at Sacred Heart Church, 7 Old Liverpool Rd, Warrington WA5 1AE.


Volunteers from in and around Warrington are hosting their first Christmas carol concert in aid of  CAFOD.

Members of the Warrington CAFOD network are inviting people to join them at the sing-along carol concert.   With performances by local schoolchildren and an appearance from Phoenix Community Choir,  the evening promises to be a vibrant event with plenty of high quality entertainment.

The network’s chairperson, Julie Johnson, said: “The carol concert will be a great way to reflect, but also a great evening full of feel-good, high quality entertainment. It will be lovely to bring people together from across the town, and what a way to begin Advent!”

CAFOD’s representative in Warrington, Ged Edwards, said: “This is a relatively new network of CAFOD volunteers and they are already achieving great things! The members are so passionate about what they are doing and it’s lovely to see the group growing.

“Their commitment will help to transform the lives of communities across the world.”

The concert is on 3 December at Sacred Heart parish church, Liverpool Road, Warrington and will begin at 6pm.  Simply turn up on the night and make a small donation.  After the concert, there will be festive refreshments.

Find out more about CAFOD’s work