CAFOD (Catholic Aid for Overseas Development). Cafod activities have been a feature of life at St.Gerards since 1990. It’s main aim is to give help to the less developed coutnries of the third world through:
1. Prayer: both personal/private and a monthly inclusion in the general intercessions.
2. Education: posters with examples of CAFOD works & quarterly newsletters are posted in the Church for information.
3. Fundraising: these include ‘Lenten Lunches’ the ‘100 Club’ and of course the CAFOD collection boxes and ‘one off’ donations.
The Parish collects on average £2000 per annum. The money is used by CAFOD for specific disasters, but the bulk is devoted to assisting poorer countries to help themselves. It is very clear that tremendous works can be achieved with relatively small amounts of money in these areas.
St. Gerards contributions have been focused on Women’s Groups in Honduras, World Health, Education, Food, Livelihood and in 2002/3 on ‘Today, Tomorrow, Together: an enterprise to aid people in South East Asia’.
C.L.O.W. (Children’s Liturgy of the Word)
A fun and practical way for 3 to 11 year olds to understand the ‘GOOD NEWS’.
‘Let the children come to me’ Jesus said. ‘Do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs’. Mark 10:14
St.Gerards Church Choir
Fifty + Club
St.Gerard’s 50+ club was set up in the early 90’s on the initiative of the then Parish Sister. The aims of the Club are to enhance the spiritual and social lives of it’s members by means of regular meetings and general fellowship.
The Club meets on the first Tuesday of each month. Trips and days out are arranged for the summer months. While at other times talks, lunches and other social activities are arranged. The Club members mostly belong to the prish, and friends are welcome by invitation. Perhaps the most valuable aspect of the Club is that so many of the members that live alone really look forward to the monthly meetings.
In the words on one elderly widow ‘It’s my lifeline’.
Guild of St.Stephen
Altar serving is important: working as a team with other ministers, servers have a special responsibility, which when well done, helps the whole congregation to pray better and to join in worship as a community. To serve is to Reign.
St.Vincent de Paul Society
The SVP is an organisation dedicated to tackling poverty and disadvantage by providing practical assistance to those in need but also by offering friendship to people who are feeling lonely. More information can be found on their website http://svp.org.uk
Union of Catholic Mothers
The Union of Catholic Mothers is a national Organisation whcih promotes the full ideal of marriage, Christian values in family life, the preservation of faith, the religious education of children, as well as offering practical help to those in need.