It was so good to be part of the little group handing in the Thirst for change petition at 10 Downing Street.
This event summed up for me in so many ways what CAFOD, and this campaign in particular, is all about. Read more about the hand-in >
There we were: school students, a parish priest, a campaigner who’d walked to London along the canal network from the West Midlands, and a highly skilled water engineer from a CAFOD partner organisation in Ethiopia, the nation so dramatically linked in the public mind with water shortages at the time time of the 1984 famine that led to Band Aid.
And the five of us were making the voice of the world’s poorest heard by the powerful. This is what CAFOD does so well: uniting different generations and very different life-settings around a shared faith and a commitment to work with people in poverty to build a better future. Continue reading
I’m feeling better than expected. I know this morning that there’s a thick band of rain moving across England. You just resign yourself to a bad weather forecast. I’ve done enough walking, so I come prepared.
I’m now on the edge of a canal, resting on a gate. I have no real idea of where I am. I’m north of Milton Keynes, but I’ve been navigating by bridge numbers.
My feet are holding out well, I didn’t expect to have too many problems. It is an intensive walk, but I think I’ll survive. I also went to the chiropodist before the walk to ensure my feet had a good MOT.
Monday, I walked all day with Jim Murphy. He is an ideal travelling companion, because the time travels so fast. He has got an endless supply of stories.
He was talking about Irish mythology – pre-Christian times in Ireland. There was an apprentice to the king who happened to slay the king’s dog. The apprentice was a young man and became the king’s dog. His role from then on was to shorten the king’s journey by telling him stories. Story-telling has certainly worked for me!
Call on the PM for clean water and safe sanitation for all > Continue reading
Jim takes part in a CAFOD lobby of parliament
One of the riches of the Catholic Church is its social teaching. This calls us to act in solidarity with our neighbour wherever and whoever s/he is, “Solidarity is first and foremost a sense of responsibility on the part of everyone with regard to everyone” (Pope Benedict XVI, Charity in Truth 38).
For Catholics in England and Wales a remarkable example of such solidarity is CAFOD whose 50th Anniversary is this year. This inspired me to do something to mark the occasion but, more importantly, something that would make a difference to the lives of my sisters and brothers in developing countries.
I believe strongly that our faith calls us to take action to bring about positive change in the world. One way of doing this is by campaigning with CAFOD. My name is Jim Quinn and I have been a campaign volunteer for many years now.
Jim Quinn, from the Birmingham diocese, is planning to walk 155 miles on a personal pilgrimage to raise awareness of CAFOD’s Thirst for change campaign. We caught up with Jim to find out more about his hopes for the walk and what inspired him to action.
Where are walking and when? I’m setting off from St Chad’s Cathedral in Birmingham on 22 April, travelling 155 miles along the Grand Union canal to finish at CAFOD‘s office Romero House on 15 May. On the 15 May, tens of thousands of campaign messages will be delivered to the Prime Minister.
I’ll be travelling through three dioceses: Birmingham, Northampton and Westminster. I will be joined on the last day by my parish priest, Father Eddie Clare, one or more parishioners, Campaign volunteer James Walker and Becky, another walker, who will be coming to the end of her own walk for water along the full length of the Thames! Continue reading
Everyone seems obsessed by the freezing temperatures that have reached the UK recently. But I can’t help but thinking: well, it is winter after all, isn’t it normal to be cold?
Yet at Christmas the mild weather was at the centre of many family discussions, often leading to a joke about global warming and the fact that it wasn’t such a bad thing.
I was talking to a colleague this week about her recent trip to Southern Africa when I was struck by the words of Ricy, headman of a village in Zambia where CAFOD works: “Climate change is already affecting us. It’s not something we read about in the papers like you might do in England. It’s a problem that we are living and breathing every single day”.
Support CAFOD’s Thirst for Change campaign >> Continue reading