Chester CathSoc announces CAFOD as its charity of the year

Students at Chester University’s Catholic Society, affectionately known by its members as ‘CathSoc’, have recently announced the development charity CAFOD as their charity of the year.

cathsoc launch

Members of Chester CathSoc

One of CAFOD’s local representatives in Chester, Bridget Fenwick, visited a CathSoc meeting to share the work of CAFOD and officially launch the partnership.

The society, a part of Chester University, has previously supported CAFOD by fundraising – organising cake sales and an open mic night – and have taken part in national campaigns by writing and sending messages of hope to refugees.

This year the students will continue to raise money and support the charity in their campaigning efforts.

Kelly Haburigura, Chester CathSoc’s charity co-ordinator, said: “We are honoured to be working with CAFOD as our charity of the year. I hope the partnership will allow our students to become more involved with poverty reduction and to stand up for global justice through their faith.


CAFOD representative Bridget with members of Chester CathSoc

“As an international development student and devout Catholic, I am excited for this partnership because this is my chance to work on projects I am passionate about. Hopefully, these projects will leave a good impact on people and inspire other Catholic youths to continue to strive for change.”

Bridget Fenwick, CAFOD’s local representative in Chester, added: “It’s great to have this partnership with Chester University’s CathSoc. They are an incredibly passionate group of young people who are visibly putting their faith into action.

“The group have been a great support to us already, and it’s brilliant to be their chosen charity for this academic year. We are really looking forward to seeing how the partnership progresses.”

Find out more about CAFOD

Bridgnorth church on quest to livesimply

A local MP has shown his support to a Bridgnorth church who took a pledge to live simply and in solidarity with the poor, in an award scheme led by the development charity CAFOD.

Bill Cash MP

Les Winwood and Christian Lea, Shropshire County Councillors, Fr. Iain Griffiths, Parish Priest, Bill Cash MP for Stafford and Bridget Cash his wife

Bill Cash MP joined his fellow parishioners from St John the Evangelist’s church, Bridgnorth, for Mass and a ceremony unveiling their new meditation garden, just one of many actions the group have taken as they work towards receiving their livesimply award.

The livesimply award is given to communities who can show they have been living simply, in solidarity with people in poverty and sustainably with creation.

The group have been busy since their project was introduced to the parish in March: litter picking the cemetery, hosting a knit and natter group, organising a teddy bears nature walk for toddlers and coming together to design and build a meditation garden for the community to enjoy.

At the launch of the garden, and to celebrate the end of the Season of Creation, well-behaved animals were invited and at least ten dogs joined their owners to come to the ceremony.

Mary Gilbert, one parishioner involved in the project, said: “We aren’t just doing this to tick off the actions; it’s really exciting to make a difference and see a wide range of people getting involved as we get the ball rolling.

Pets and parishioners

Parishioners with their pets!

“Everyone has truly come together, and it’s been a real community effort. It was great that so many people, including Bill Cash MP, the local deputy mayor and councillors, came along to support our efforts.”

Bill Cash, MP for Stone, said: “It was good to be able to spend the evening with such an inspiring group of people, and to see the actions those at St John the Evangelist’s church have been taking in their efforts to achieve the livesimply award.

“It is a real community effort and I wish them all the best with their endeavours.”

Bridget Fenwick, CAFOD’s local representative in Bridgnorth, added: “It was great to attend the mass and see the progress the parish have made towards receiving their livesimply award.

“The way the local community and the St John’s church have come together to make this happen is commendable, and I wish them all the best as they continue on their journey to become a livesimply parish!”

Find out more about the livesimply award


Wirral campaigners take part in ‘Walk of Witness’

During the Week of Action, a group of walkers from Wallasey joined together to campaign for local, renewable energy around the world by taking on a ‘walk of witness.’ by Rosie Heaton

 The walk, which lasted four miles and passed by a series of renewable energy sources, was organised by Anne and Jill from Holy Apostles and Martyr’s Church in Wallasey as part of the Climate Coalition’s Speak up week of action.

Our first stop on the day was Cross Lane, on the site of an old landfill. By the site was five wind turbines, situated on the site of Wallasey Fleet Hire who aims to be the first vehicle hire company in the UK to be completely powered by wind turbine electricity.

We then moved on to the Solar Campus, a listed building completed in 1962 by Emslie A Morgan.  This building has glass panels on the side, and is heated using passive solar energy. Two of the walkers had actually attended this school when it was first built and so it was interesting to hear their views on how effective it was – apparently it always stayed nice and warm in the winter time!

After visiting the Solar Campus, we walked to the beach where we were able to see the Burbo Bank offshore wind farm, which has been fully operational since 2007. Its enormity is hard to imagine from the beach, where it is still 7 kilometres away from the shore. The wind turbines are almost as tall as Blackpool Tower and the site is 10km² in total… That makes it equal to 1,400 Anfield football pitches!

The walk was a really great idea to support the Speak up Week of Action and CAFOD’s Power to Be campaign and it was a real treat to see how many people, not just from the church, turned up to show their support.

The weather was very kind to us and it was great to see sustainable energy being brought to the forefront of people’s minds, plus being able to celebrate the resources that are being used so close to home.

Thank you to Anne, Jill, and everyone who took part in the walk for a great day!

Find out more about Power to be