Advent ‘hunger lunches’ change lives across the world

A group of churchgoers from Crewe held a ‘hunger lunch’ each Friday in Advent to raise money for CAFOD.


The hunger lunch, which is a simple lunch of soup and bread, was served by parishioners from St Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Crewe, each week in Advent. Guests were invited to eat as a part of the community for a small donation, which was put towards buying a gift from CAFOD’s World Gifts catalogue.

These gifts make a very real difference to people living in poverty. Since its inception, the scheme has raised over £12 million, enabling CAFOD to provide 104,000 school starter kits, 57,000 goats and 40,000 chickens.

The group used the money raised to buy a World Gift which will help refugee Rohingya children who have fled from Myanmar.

Instead of sending Christmas cards, parishioners were invited to write one message to the whole local parish community.  The cards were transformed into a collage, which was displayed in the church over the Christmas period on a ‘Goodwill Message Board’ and the money saved by parishioners on Christmas cards donated to CAFOD.

Harish Narotham, one of the organisers of the event, said: “I really like CAFOD’s ethos of helping others to help themselves, and the fact they provide people from across the

hunger lunch

Harish with the Goodwill Message Board

world with the knowledge and experiences needed to be independent.

“We hosted hunger lunches throughout Lent and, with our parish priest’s support, and were excited to raise even more money at Advent.”

CAFOD representative in Crewe, Katie Hallows, said: “During Advent, we are reminded of Mary and Joseph’s long journey to Bethlehem and how they relied upon the kindness of strangers to provide them with shelter.

“We are so grateful to St Mary’s for fundraising to provide meaningful gifts that helped to transform lives this Christmas.”

Find out more about World Gifts

A brilliant ‘knit-ivity’ scene this Christmas!

Written by CAFOD volunteer, Sacha Wynne 

This winter, members of the Chester CAFOD Support group, who have raised over £90,000 over the last 29 years, came together to raise even more funds for CAFOD by raffling off a knitted nativity.


Two members of the CAFOD support group with CAFOD representative, Katie Hallows (middle), and the knitted nativity

The Knitted Nativity Raffle was formed as part of the Chester CAFOD Support Group’s annual Christmas activities, which also includes a November coffee morning and a December Christmas lunch.

At each event, members of the public made donations and knitted hats and stars sold in aid of CAFOD’s refugee appeal.

One member of the group, when asked about what motivated her to support CAFOD, said: “There are so many people in trouble or in need.  With CAFOD, you can do something to help.”

The raffle raised an impressive amount, more than £100, in just a few weeks through donations from the community.P1020295

In the past, the group have also supported major social campaigns run by CAFOD and have even travelled to places such as Germany and Italy to carry CAFOD’s message of global justice.

Another member of the group shared how her faith inspired her in her work with CAFOD: “Jesus gave what he had- whatever we can give, if we give with a prayer and the right spirit, God will multiply that.”

The winner of the Knitted Nativity was announced on 13th December.

CAFOD’s local representative in Chester, Katie Hallows, added: “I’m so impressed by the amount Chester Support Group have raised over the years, and their commitment to campaigning for global justice is incredible. The money will go to transforming lives across the world.”

Find out more about CAFOD’s refugee appeal 



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