Meet the volunteer - Nigel
Nigel volunteers in his parish, Christ the King, Bedford. His amazing support and hard work provides a lifeline to those most in need.
What first attracted you to CAFOD? Was there a particular story you heard that inspired you?
Not specifically CAFOD, but my first real memory of desperate need was the Ethiopian famine and Live Aid. My wife and I have always been churchgoers and we can see the real and practical work CAFOD does and want to support that.
Could you tell us about what you did for CAFOD for Lent?
One of the things we did is that we have a grandparents group and 14 of us sat together, prayed for the work of CAFOD, and shared a bread and soup lunch. We collected £50, which was added to the CAFOD Lenten Appeal collection.
How did you start the grandparents group? What does the group do?
The Catholic Grandparents Association was founded by Catherine Whiley in Ireland and has members all over the world. Christ the King, Bedford Catholic Grandparents Association group originally were part of a joint group, together with SS Philip & James church and Holy Cross church members, all in Bedford. We have made annual pilgrimages to Walsingham, more recently travelling in our own minibus. Walsingham hosts a special annual Grandparents' Mass every July which we have attended for several years.
Our monthly meetings are great fun, as we study booklets about grandparenting, and apply our own experiences to our study. We enjoy refreshments together, and share news of our grandchildren. Our meetings always begin with the Grandparents Prayer composed by Pope Benedict XVI, and we conclude with prayer intentions for our grandchildren. We hold a monthly raffle, the proceeds of which go towards providing free transport for the annual pilgrimage.
We look forward to having a meal together on special occasions at local restaurants, but our most recent meal was a frugal lunch preceding our Lenten meeting. From this meal we were able to make a donation to CAFOD.
Another feature of our grandparents group is our affiliation to the Catholic Grandparents Association, through which we keep up to date with Catholic grandparents worldwide. We would love more grandparents to attend our meetings - we know they would value their membership of our group.
How has your faith motivated you?
I consider myself a Christian and think of my fellow human beings all the time, whether my next-door neighbour or someone thousands of miles away who I will probably never meet. I believe all people are important and should be given equal opportunities and treated fairly. So many of the problems in our world are man-made and I pray that mankind is kinder to its fellow human beings.