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

St John’s, Bridgnorth launch Live Simply

Paul and Clare Cooper from St John’s Church in Bridgnorth record the minutes from their first meeting to launch the Live Simply award in the parish

The morning began with Meet and Greet and coffee. A total of 20 people attended.

Fr Iain began the meeting with the Live Simply Prayer.

Mary Gilbert presented a short video about how the Live Simply Campaign has been taken up in other parishes around the country, which included examples of specific projects that groups were working on and the benefits that had been brought, not only to others, but to those involved.

Watch the video

Mary explained the principles of the Campaign which covered three areas titled ‘living simply’, ‘living sustainably’ and ‘living in solidarity’. We were shown resources such as ‘100 Ideas’ and the Live Simply Hymn from the CAFOD web site:

Discussion followed about what we were already doing as a parish, such as supporting the Bridgnorth food bank, Mary’s meals, SVP sick visiting and lifts to Mass, among other activities. Post-it notes were provided for people to discuss with others in the meeting what they did at home as individuals or families to contribute towards living simply, sustainably and in solidarity with others. Further ideas were encouraged to create momentum for possible projects.

John Gilbert collated all the ideas and presented a summary of the different categories

It was proposed to sign up as a parish to Live Simply and work towards the award. The vote was unanimous and Fr. Iain backed the proposal.

Fr. Iain also commented on some of the attractive ideas suggested in the ‘100 Ideas’ list including:-

  1. CAFOD World Gifts / Christmas cards for sale in Church
  2. Feast of St Francis Liturgy
  3. Create a quiet contemplation space at the side of the Church and include bird feeders, bird/ bat boxes etc
  4. Consider using a Credit Union
  5. Cook a meal from scratch using only local ingredients

Find out more about how to become a Live Simply parish

Mary went on to show an example of an action plan for the award and discussed the time span and eventual assessment in order to achieve the award. She suggested that we would need to set up a Steering Group to take the ideas forward. Most thought they would like more time to consider and it was agreed that we would have another meeting specifically to create a Steering Group and to develop our ideas.

The meeting ended with Holy Mass.