Tag Archives: Father Rob Esdaile

Thirst for change: Father Rob goes to Downing Street

Father Rob Esdaile handing in Thirst for change actions to No.10 Downing StreetIt 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

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Water challenge: Father Rob reaches the finish line

Father Rob starts his water challengeSo I’ve reached the finishing line.  I washed my hair (and the rest of me!) in a bowl of water for the last time this morning, having heated enough in a kettle to take the chill off.  Then I went to collect my last container of water. In fact I only picked up five litres this time because I’m away at the CAFOD retreat this evening and I’d managed to save a bit from yesterday. 

I walked back with some of the children heading for our neighbouring primary school, who seem to have been fascinated by it all.  All that the parents of one six-year-old could gather from their giggling son on Monday night was that Father Rob had talked about toilets, which he clearly found hilarious. But I hope some got rather more out of the school assembly than that! Continue reading

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Water challenge: Father Rob is running low!


We had a really good parish pastoral team meeting last night at the presbytery, trying to tease out priorities (including choosing our next overseas development project as a parish).

But I woke up with a headache this morning – the headache of having run out of water.  A dozen cups of tea and coffee, followed by the washing-up that created, meant that I only just had enough to make breakfast and wash. I now realise what unexpected guests can mean for the world’s poorest people.

Call on the PM for clean water and safe sanitation for all >>

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Water challenge: Flushing, floods and Fast Day collection

Father Rob and water at the altarDay three: It’s been a busy 48 hours.  We made the CAFOD Thirst For change campaign the focus of our prayer at mass, inviting people to fill in the campaign cards after the homily and to write a prayer of thought about their ‘Thirst for Change’ on the ‘raindrop’ cards.

Then we collected the cards up together with the ordinary Sunday parish collection in bright red buckets.  We were able to announce that their Fast Day collection the previous week had raised nearly £1,400 (leaving our ‘Bucket-o-meter’ suspended just above the blue ‘water-level’ on the back-wall of the sanctuary).  Sponsor me here >>

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Water challenge: water saving tips from Father Rob

Bucketometer in Thames DittonWell, the good news is that I’ve got through the first day on five litres of my precious daily ration, although I was out for supper, ‘saving’ some of my budget, and I still had last night’s washing-up water ‘in stock’ – which became this morning’s toilet flush.  (You really don’t want to know the details!)

Actually, that’s one of the things that I’ve noticed about today.  Lacking water forces me to face some very basic human issues – beginning with how to wash my hands without running water.

Call on the PM for clean water and safe sanitation for all >>

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