Jeremy Cain, Community Participation Coordinator (CPC) for Hallam diocese, tells us the best thing about his job.
Yesterday was a good day. Not quite a getting married/having a baby/winning the lottery sort of day, but pretty good nonetheless.
Arguably, the work of a CPC is not at the glamorous end of the CAFOD spectrum- we don’t jet out to foreign parts and see, first-hand, how our work is having a positive impact on people’s lives. However, what we do get to do is visit the parish communities who so generously support us. For me, it’s definitely the highlight of our job and yesterday was no exception.
I’d been invited by Fr. Damian Humphries to speak at Holy Rood in Barnsley about Harvest Fast Day. For years, the parish has been a great supporter so I wasn’t surprised when I was greeted with a “You’re very welcome, Mr. CAFOD!”, and they meant it. Everyone I spoke to was so friendly it left me feeling like this was my home parish. However, it was especially good to meet John, our parish contact, and Pat, a woman with so much enthusiasm that she should bottle and sell it! Together with John’s wife, Sue, who was sadly unwell yesterday, they make sure that CAFOD’s mission remains high on the parish’s list of priorities.
But it’s not, of course, the only priority and John spoke to me about how there’s an increasing demand on people’s generosity; he’s concerned that as people are being asked for more and more, their ability to give to CAFOD will decrease. Nevertheless, he thinks he’s found an answer and one that chimes perfectly with CAFOD’s commitment to Laudato Si’: recycling!
Did you know, that you can trade in your trash for cash? With only a little bit of effort, the stuff you no longer want or need can be converted into much-needed funds for CAFOD’s work. And the best bit, of course, is that it doesn’t cost you a penny!
We’ll always need people to be as generous as they can for our Fast Days but if, like John, we get creative, then there’s lots of ways we can generate a little extra. Barnsley may not be glamorous (though, to be fair, I didn’t see all of it) but it’s still a great place to be.