In her role as a CAFOD parish volunteer, Jenny Hayward-Jones is getting creative about preparing for Lent. She has five suggestions for how you can run CAFOD’s Lent Appeal in your parish this year despite the current restrictions affecting us all.
In the weeks before Lent, I am usually focused on what I will give up for Lent (usually chocolate), what Lenten prayer or reflection programme I will try to follow. I’m also usually thinking about how to persuade my two kids to come to Mass with me every Sunday in Lent and hoping that my pancakes turn out better than they did last Shrove Tuesday.
This year, things will be different. With a national stay at home order in place to protect us from the coronavirus, not all of us can go to church at the moment.
My church is open for communal worship but not all of the congregation can be there for Mass. I worry that our usually very generous parishioners may not notice CAFOD’s Lent appeal because they can’t get to church at the moment.
Here are five things I’m going to do to share CAFOD’s Lent Appeal in my parish which you can do too!
1. Place a notice in the parish newsletter
Place a notice about the Lent Appeal in the parish newsletter for two or three weeks in a row, to make sure that parishioners who miss looking at the newsletter one week might see it the next week.
2. Share Lent envelopes
Ask your parish priest to leave envelopes in your Church’s porch for parishioners to pick up when they come in for Mass.
3. Mention CAFOD’s Lent Appeal during Mass
Ask your priest to mention the Lent Appeal during Masses on the weekends of 27/28 February and 6/7 March, so that more people might hear about it and to remind parishioners that they can give online via text or send their donation in the envelope directly to CAFOD head office.
4. Post Abdella’s story on social media
Ask your parish Facebook administrator to place posts on your Facebook page to let people know about Abdella’s story, and invite parishioners to give to the Lent appeal, using these special parish resources on CAFOD’s website.
5. Share the Lent video
Ask if CAFOD’s Lent video featuring Abdella’s challenging walk for water could be placed on your parish website and on the Facebook page. If your parish livestreams Mass you could also ask if the CAFOD video can be played at the end of Mass or a CAFOD donation image placed on the stream platform.