English Martyrs go green for CAFOD

Margaret Hodgson, our wonderful Schools’ Volunteer Coordinator, recently visited The English Martyrs School in Hartlepool. 

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English Martyrs students play Sometimes, Always, Never

When you finish a can of coke (or other fizzy drink) do you make sure it gets recycled? Do you eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables instead of pre-packaged meals? Do you use both sides of a piece of paper? These are just some of the questions we asked students at English Martyrs to see just how environmentally aware they were.

In a change from their normal Geography lessons, CAFOD were invited in to work with the students on the issue of climate change. The game Sometimes, Always, Never is always a favourite, asking the young people to give one of the three answers to twenty questions that explore different things we could do to help reduce climate change.

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Getting to grips with the climate change game

This was followed by the climate change game, a classic board game with a twist that, as the name suggests, presents students with a variety climate change dilemmas to overcome!

It was a great time to visit as we’ve just launched a new campaign, Power to Be, that asks governments and the World Bank to invest more in renewable energy. This will not only help offset climate change but also provide poor people living in rural areas with a much needed source of power. If you’d like to get involved, please follow the link to our webpage.

A major coup for the North-East

On Thursday 2nd February, Lord Nicholas Stern will reflect on what’s happened in the ten years since his landmark report on the economic impacts of climate change.

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Lord Nicholas Stern climate change.

This major event will be held at Newcastle University and  will be followed by a panel discussion on Christian Responses to Climate Change including CAFOD’s very own Maria Elena Arana. Click below for full details.

4th Newcastle Jubilee Development lecture

Hexham and Newcastle campaigners attend retreat to reflect on the Year of Mercy

Katie Binns, our communications intern, reports on a day well-spent in Leeds.

CAFOD Campaigners attended a special day of reflection where explored how they can continue to live out Pope Francis’ call to be “witnesses of mercy.”

On 19th November, enthusiastic campaigners from our diocese attended a special CAFOD retreat day where they reflected on their understanding of the Year of Mercy.

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Pope Francis’ latest encyclical is bigger than just climate change!

During the day, the volunteers attended workshops, where they learned about the meaning of mercy, studied extracts from Laudato Si’ and explored the story of the Prodigal Son.

Dave Cross, Community Participation Coordinator, said, “It was really good to unpack the main messages behind Laudato Si’ that took us beyond just seeing the encyclical as something about climate change; but it was something much more than that.”

They then had a shared a lunch, which was made from contributions from the group, each bringing their own dish. After lunch, they group had time for personal reflection where they then re-joined to share their thoughts.

The Year of Mercy officially ended on the 20 November, on the Feast of Christ the King and celebrations were held across the country.

Throughout the month of November, CAFOD held 17 retreat days across the country where attendees discussed the works of mercy and the meaning linked to action in our families, communities and in our world.

Campaigns Manager, Sarah Croft, said: “The retreat was an opportunity to be refreshed and sustained; it allowed volunteers to take time out from everyday life to reflect on their own faith journey, in the company of other CAFOD supporters and in peaceful surroundings.

During the day, we explored the Scriptures and Church teaching together. We also took time to learn from each other’s experiences and to be inspired and enriched by stories from CAFOD’s campaigning and work overseas.”

Go to the CAFOD website for a range of resources to help you to pray and reflect on Laudato Si’ and the spirituality of creation. You can also find some suggestions for ways in which you can join with our campaign for climate justice.