CAFOD has a major role to play in our parish Not only does this organisation collect and distribute funds to alleviate the effects of injustice and poverty in overseas countries, but it also raises our awareness of the issues that underpin them.
Other charities and activities supported in different ways include the New Generation Christian Foundation, Christian Aid, Aid to the Church in Need, Fair Trade, Food Bank, Christian Community Action, Mary’s Meals and CIRDIC (for the homeless).
Periodically, our parish newsletter includes a supplement containing news of what’s going on in this major area, together with prayers and reflections. New parishioners and old are urged to contact the Parish Office to express their interest and, if they wish, to indicate any specific ways in which they would like to help.
If you want more information, please contact the Parish Office.
New Generation Christian Foundation
Aid to the Church in Need
Christian Aid, founded over 60 years ago, is an inter-denominational charity which works to bring an end to poverty in countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean. The organisation also supplies aid to communities suffering from natural disasters or man-made crises such as famine or war. A small group of volunteers from the parish takes
part in the annual Christian Aid house-to-house collection in East Reading, collecting in the streets allotted to us by the East Reading Christian Aid Group. We welcome more helpers.
APF: Red Boxes
As a Parish we have always been great supporters of the APF. Our Parish has been supported by many Mill Hill Missionary priests, most notably Fr. Terry Burke. The Association for the Propagation of the Faith (APF) assists each of the Catholic Church’s mission dioceses to provide pastoral care and preach the Gospel effectively. The APF works in England and Wales with the Mill Hill Missionary Society. Funds for the Missions are collected through the famous red collection boxes. To find out more about the work of the APF and the Mill Hill Missionaries, contact our parish APF promoter and coordinator, through the Parish Office.
The parish is now a Fair Trade parish. Parish groups use fairly-traded tea and coffee for refreshments including those served after Mass. The stall selling fairly traded goods, especially coffee, biscuits and confectionery, is open after morning Masses on the last Sunday of the month in Advent Room (entrance to the Church). In the run up to Christmas the stall opens more frequently and at the 5.00 pm Mass for the purchase of Christmas cards and gifts. Any profit made is sent to the Tradecraft Foundation which provides education in farming and business techniques to fair trade producers and others. Buying fairly traded goods ensures that producers in the developing world receive a fair return for their work plus a bit extra (a premium) to enable them to improve education, medical and other services in their communities.
Buying from Tradecraft ensures that all profits go to these communities and small-scale producers, especially women.
Parishioners of Our Lady of Peace give generously to the Woodley Food Bank. Woodley Food Bank provides emergency food parcels and ongoing support to people in times of crisis and with extended needs and gives support to Earley, Lower Earley, Shinfield, Woodley, Winnersh, Hurst, Twyford, Waltham St Lawrence, Sonning, Charvil and all the surrounding areas. There are no strict boundaries and they are happy to assist people in any area, recently supplying a parcel to a family in crisis in Henley as they were referred through a local contact.
Woodley Food Bank accept referrals through government agencies, health services, schools, family centres and churches as well as from other charities and support services and clients can also self-refer. An individual or family does not need to ‘qualify’ as being at a certain level of need, if they are asking for support, it will always be given. Woodley Food Bank will however, also monitor the level of usage so they can refer or signpost the individual for further support if required (such as debt-management advice, benefits steering, counselling).
In 2015 Woodley Food Bank provided 503 food parcels to people in need. Up until the end of August 2016, they had already reached that figure so they predict they will supply something in the region of 750 food parcels by the end of the year.
If you would like information, please contact the Parish Office.