Category Archives: Justice and Peace Group

The General Election & CAFOD’s Year of Encounter

CAFOD and SVP – A Year of Encounter: Catholics are being asked to make sure that political parties commit to taking action to tackle poverty and social injustice.  At the parish assembly recently, parishioners highlighted the Cost of Living Crisis, Climate Change and  Migration and Asylum as key issues we wanted to raise with constituency candidates. You can find suggested questions on these issues (and others) on a sheet at the back of church, or on CAFOD’s website.

Fr. Frans van der Hoff

Fr. Frans van der Hoff died in February. You can read his obituary on-line as it appeared in several newspapers. He was a co-founder of the Fairtrade movement. In 1988 he worked by helping coffee growers in Oaxca, Mexico to gain a fair price by selling directly to consumers via a certification mark. Working with other organisations the idea of ‘trade not aid’ spread and  in 1994 the Fairtrade label was officially adopted. His vision of a peaceful means of asserting the rights of small farmers has had a profound effect across the world. However, sales have fallen with the cost of living crisis and the farmers face increasing costs due to climate change.
Please support our Fairtrade stall and also buy Fairtrade products when you are shopping if you can. Fr Frans abiding belief was that ‘A world with more solidarity is possible.’

Thank you

To all those who took part in any of our Parish Lenten activities. There has been a lot of support. The response to the Mothers Day appeal was tremendous. Thanks to all those who baked cakes and to all those who bought them. Over £300 was raised and shared by the Parish charities -Dorothy’s Wells Tanzania and Changing Lives, Plawsworth. Likewise the donations of craft items for children attending Family Visits at Low Newton prison were very generous. The families and Nepacs are always very grateful for items we provide. 

Next Year’s Local Charity – Your Suggestions

Money raised each year from Coffee after Mass supports one local charity and one overseas charity. From April 2024 to Mar 2025, Kidshelp Cambodia is the chosen overseas one.

For the local Charity, suggestions are now being invited from parishioners. It must be a registered Charity.

If you have a charity which you wish to be considered please complete the details on the sheet in the narthex. The Justice and Peace group will then make decisions for the coming and possibly future years.

COP 28

The UN Climate Change Conference started this week In Dubai. Pope Francis is attending and is due to speak on Saturday 2nd Dec. He has written a new message, Laudate Deum, imploring political leaders to act with greater urgency to tackle the climate crisis. CAFOD have asked us to contact our local MPs to ask them to act on the Pope’s call.

Prisons Week – 8th-14th October 2023

An Ecumenical week of prayer for prisoners, their families, prison staff, victims of crimes etc.

Our parish supports Nepacs a local Prison Charity for prisoners and their families. As well as our collection of toiletries and food packs for women released from Low Newton, this year we also appeal for craft materials for children attending Friday Family Visits at Low Newton. Activities are provided by Nepacs staff and volunteers to make visits as happy and relaxed as possible. Supporting family contact helps during difficult times and is important in reducing the risk of reoffending.

There will be 2 collections on Sunday 8th and Sunday 15th October. Please put donations in the labelled boxes which will be in the narthex from Sunday 1st October. Your generosity will be very gratefully received.

On CAFOD and Camels

Karen Kilby, the Bede Professor of Catholic Theology at Durham University, recently travelled with CAFOD to a region in East Africa suffering drought. Karen has served as a Trustee of CAFOD for the last 6 years. If you missed her recent talk, ‘On CAFOD and Camels: Theological reflections on a recent trip to the horn of Africa’, it’s available on our YouTube channel, on the link below.

CAFOD – Fix the Food System

The world produces enough food to feed everyone. So why do some people go hungry? What’s wrong with the way the world produces food?
Mark Maughan, Community Participation Coordinator for CAFOD, will lead a talk and discussion about why we need an alternative food system that puts people first.
Please come along at 7.00 – 8.00 pm, Thursday, 2nd February, in the Jubilee Room at St. Joseph’s, Gilesgate, and find out how the imbalance of power in the world’s food system is impacting farmers, their communities and all of us as members of one human family. And to learn a few simple ways YOU can help.

Diocesan Advent Collection

We’re appealing for even greater support for our Diocesan Refugee Project during Advent this year as we prepare for the coming of the Christ Child. This is in the spirit of the comparison of the Holy Family to a modern-day refugee family made by Pope Francis. The Project relies on donations from schools and parishes throughout the diocese. There has recently been a reduction in donations from some areas thought to be the effect of the cost of living crisis on the faithful. Items for the project include toilet rolls, biscuits, sugar, rice, tea, coffee, olive oil and tinned food – specifically fish, chick peas and tomatoes. Please leave your donations in the labelled box in the narthex. Your generosity is very greatly appreciated.

Chaplaincy and Parish Event: CAFOD’s Fix the Food System

CAFOD is currently running a campaign called Fix the Food System. Part of this campaign involves a Seven Station Journey which invites people to think about the way our food is produced, and the impact this has on the poorest people and on the climate. Mark Maughan (who is the Community Participation Co-ordinator for CAFOD in the diocese of Hexham and Newcastle) is coming to the parish to talk us through the Seven Station Journey. There is no fundraising as part of this initiative – the focus is on raising awareness to put pressure on the UK Government to make a positive change.

This is a joint Chaplaincy and Parish Event, at 7.30 pm (following evening Mass) on Wed 19th Oct 2022. This event will also be live-streamed on our YouTube channel at

Parish Walk: Walk Against Hunger

CAFOD is challenging us to walk 200km this Lent. That’s a long walk for one person, but we are planning to do it together as a parish.  We’ll be meeting at St. Cuthbert’s on Saturday 26th March at 2pm to take part in a short guided walk of 6km (4 mile) with interesting views of Durham. An easy shorter version will also be available. Please do invite family and friends to join us too.

This is a great opportunity to get together, out of doors, and to raise money for CAFOD at the same time. We’re suggesting a minimum donation to CAFOD of £2 per person or £5 for a family ticket.  Donations can either be made via St. Cuthbert’s (you can leave an envelope marked ‘CAFOD Walk’ in the collection basket) or via the just giving page on the CAFOD website.  If you’d like to get sponsors for the walk, a sponsorship form is attached.

Justice and Peace

Our parish collects biscuits and toilet rolls to help provide basic supplies to asylum seekers in the diocese. These are collected regularly, on the first Sunday of the month. If you would like to donate items and haven’t brought anything in yet then please remember to bring them to Church on or before Sunday 2 September and place them under the bench in the narthex ready to be collected.