The Bishop of Salford paid a visit to Burnley to inform CAFOD supporters about his visit to El Salvador and Nicaragua.
Bishop John Arnold was welcomed by Fr Michael Waters, parish priest of St John the Baptist’s RC Church, Burnley, whose parish hosted the talk.
Bishop John is chairman of the Board of Trustees of CAFOD and it was in this capacity that he visited CAFOD funded projects in Nicaragua and El Salvador.
CAFOD is the official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, and part of Caritas International.
Bishop John began his talk by saying that before his visit he did some research into the political and social history of Central America.
He was struck by how most of the countries in the region have gone through constant violent struggle and upheaval, dating all the way back to the warring Aztec/Mayan empires, followed by colonial Spanish reign and more recently the political revolutions and civil wars of the 20th Century.
Anne Marie Coppock, St John’s CAFOD treasurer, said: “It’s only through the generosity of local people and around the country that CAFOD is able to help change the lives of the neediest people around the world. This fund-raising enables needy people to help change their own lives for the better by learning new skills which give them a livelihood to help feed, educate, and keep their families healthy.”
St John’s parish has raised tens of thousands of pounds for the work of CAFOD over nearly 30 years.
It has done this through holding Lent soup kitchens, quizzes, coffee mornings and other events.
St John’s CAFOD group has also taken part in and promoted many CAFOD national campaigns. This campaigning seeks to change the lives of thousands of communities by advocating for changes in governmental policy and practice, in this country and internationally, that reduce poverty.
It is hoped Bishop John will be able to give another talk in Burnley again soon after his next fact-finding visit to a different part of the world. Until then the people of St John’s will continue raising money.