There’s eight days to go until we hand in your Thirst for Change campaign cards into Number 10. Chris Knowles, a chaplain at Loreto Sixth Form College in Manchester, went wild with the water theme! How will you tell the UK government to act on water injustice?
After six months here, I’m still working out what I’m doing, but then no one really knows what chaplains do! The school have been great – they’ve let me go wild with all this water stuff!
I spent two hours one night in the gents putting up water fact cards. Each had a Bible quote about water and a fact for the students to read. There was one by every urinal and on the back of every toilet door. A few other kind volunteers put the same up in the ladies.
At college, we launched Thirst for Change with an assembly so all 2,400 students could hear about the campaign. Because there are many religions in the college, we were able to look at the role of water in different religions too.
We started Lent with an Ash Wednesday service focusing on water – even the hymns were water themed! I gave everyone a bottle of water during the service and some paper which dissolves in water. I asked them to write something they wanted to leave behind and then to pop the paper in the water and watch it dissolve.
I told them that it’s not enough to leave something behind. They needed to do something new, so then I asked them to take the water bottles and fill them up with £5, £10 and £20 notes!
We set up a wishing well in reception. Originally it had water in, but then it leaked everywhere, so we made it a dry well. I felt this was symbolic of the reality facing many of the people that CAFOD works with. Students and staff threw in their change and we raised about £100.
It’s easy to get caught up in trying to raise more and more money. But making change happen is broader than just raising money. I wanted everyone to feel like they could get involved in Lent in a variety of different ways and to make the whole college feel different and special during Lent.
How have you taken action for Thirst for change? Tell us your story by adding a comment below.