From tiny beginnings CAFOD is now a huge organisation within the Catholic Church of England and Wales set up to help the development of the third world. For years the parish has supported the two annual fund-raising events; the Lent and Harvest Fast Days. Since early 2002 the parish has also played its part in broad-based projects involving several dioceses. The first of the projects gave funds to partner organisations in the Horn of Africa. This project gave way to one dealing with Brazil until 2006 when “focusafrica” took over. These projects do not replace the Fast Days but get their funds from direct giving and from a number of social events.
APF Red Box Collection Appeal
The Association for the Propagation of the Faith (APF), in conjunction with the St. Joseph’s Missionary Society (Mill Hill Fathers), exists to support the growth of Christian communities and work for the development of the poor, mainly for the peoples of the Third World, regardless of religion. The principal source of income is provided by the red mission collecting boxes. The red box has been at the heart of support for the mission for almost a century, playing a vital role in the life of the church. To be a Christian is to be a missionary. The parishioners of St. Bernardine’s actively support the APF Red Box collection appeal which is collected and counted once a year.
Ethical trading means companies are involved in a process of trying to ensure that the basic labour rights of the employees of their third world suppliers are respected. The FAIRTRADE Mark which applies to products rather than companies, aims to give disadvantaged small producers more control over their own lives. It addresses the injustice of low prices by guaranteeing that producers receive fair terms of trade and fair prices. St. Bernardine’s is officially registered as a FAIRTRADE Parish and holds a sale of FAIRTRADE goods after Masses on the first weekend of each month.
Miscellaneous Missionary Activities
The parishioners of the St. Bernardine’s regularly support various other missionary activities through special collections taken throughout the year .