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


Shrewsbury Memorial Mass

Candle memorial.jpeg

This November, the month of remembrance, CAFOD are once again holding Memorial Masses across the country to remember friends who have been at the heart of our work, but are no longer with us.

Our Mass in Shrewsbury is being held on Saturday 4 November at 12pm at  Our Lady Star of the Sea & St Bernard, 2a Enfield Road, Ellesmere Port, CH65 8BY.

Everybody is welcome to join us on the day, where there will be a Book of Remembrance to honour the people we have lost this year.

These Masses are our opportunity to stop and say thank you for the incredible impact our supporters have made. Without them we would not be able to reach those most in need.

Add your loved ones name to the Book of Remembrance.


Diamond couple donate to CAFOD

A happy couple from Sale recently celebrated sixty years of marriage surrounded by their nearest and dearest at St Hugh’s Parish Centre, Timperley, choosing to donate to CAFOD instead of receiving gifts. 


Sheila and John Ridd met at a dance hall in Longford Park, Stretford, when they were 19 and 23 respectively.

After John spotted a ‘red headed, blue eyed’ girl across the room and asked her for a dance, the rest was history.   They married in St Theresa’s Church, Firswood, Stretford in 1957.

Since then, they have had three children, ten grandchildren and six great grandchildren. The whole family gathered together to celebrate Mass and watch as Sheila and John renewed their vows, at a ceremony presided over by parish priest Fr. Pat Monroe and Fr. Jim McGrath. There followed a party for over 90 people.  Unfortunately, their family from New Zealand were unable to attend!

The party featured a video compilation of their lives made by their eldest son and live music from their granddaughter, with John describing the evening as “absolutely fantastic.”

Instead of receiving gifts, the couple asked for donations to CAFOD, the Catholic overseas development charity, and collected over £300 from their charitable guests.

John said: “We’ve had such a wonderful relationship. Sheila’s from a big family, the eldest of seven, so she has kept me in line over the years!  We chose to donate to CAFOD instead of receiving gifts, as after sixty years of living in our home, it’s full to the brim with everything we need.”

Sheila added: “We received a card from the Queen and a blessing from the Pope on our anniversary.

“The party was brilliant, and everything went to plan.  It was nice to bring everybody together to celebrate the lovely times we’ve had over the years.

“It was a real family affair, and a number of friends were invited from the parish, including the priest – they’re our parish family.”

Bridget Fenwick, CAFOD’s local representative in Sale, said: “It sounds as if Sheila and John have had such a lovely marriage, and what a kind way to pass forward their good fortune.

“The money they have raised will go to helping CAFOD to stand beside people living in poverty overseas.

“We’d like to send both our gratitude and congratulations to the pair!”

Thank you John and Sheila for your wonderful support!

Find out more about the work CAFOD does