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It's Family Fast Day!

23 February 2024
Parish volunteers - Enfield

Family Fast Day is our day for praying and sharing, and giving the cost of a meal so that another family can get expert help when they need it most.

This Lent you can help parents all over the world

James is a fisherman from Liberia. When his family had no food, he faced a terrible choice: To stay home and stay hungry or to risk his life going out to sea in his small canoe.

Today, throughout England and Wales, parishes and schools are holding vital Fast Day collections – as well as community lunches, prayer meetings and film nights – to raise funds for hardworking people like James, who risk losing everything to feed their families.

Lent Appeal - Picture

James with his partner and their son on the beach.

Thanks to support from you, our Catholic community here in England and Wales, James now has the right safety equipment to help him return home safely - and with a bigger catch, enough to feed his family and his crew with surplus to sell.

Remembering the first Family Fast Day

The very first Family Fast Day was held in 1958 by a group of women led by Jacquie Stuyt, Evelyn White, Nora Warmington and Elspeth Orchard. They asked children to give up their sweets and asked their parents to make just one main meal for the family – as cheaply as possible – and to give the money they saved to feed people who were hungry.

Elspeth said at the time; “We weren’t doing anything special, we were just doing what we thought we ought to do, remembering that we are all God’s children.”

The First Family Fast Day

The organisers hoped to raise £500 for a mother and baby clinic in Dominica, but they were surprised and delighted when the generous Catholic community of England and Wales donated over £100,000 in today’s money.

This year, your Lenten donations will help fishermen like James in Liberia – and parents all over the world – feed their families safely, and for good.

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Join the walk to fight poverty

Our team of Big Lent Walkers have together already clocked up nearly 40,000 kilometres! It’s not too late to join them yourself – or sponsor someone else who is taking on the challenge this Lent.