How a soup lunch helps transform communities around the world

CAFOR parish volunteers prepare homemade soup to be served at the Harvest lunch.
CAFOR parish volunteers prepare homemade soup to be served at the Harvest lunch.
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Churchgoers have raised more than £400 to help communities around the world, by serving soup.

More than 70 parishioners from Our Lady and St Edward’s parish in Preston came together to raise money for international development charity CAFOD’s annual Harvest appeal.

The main event of the day was a soup lunch, featuring homemade mushroom, tomato and French onion soups, and using traditional china bowls and cutlery instead of disposable alternatives to minimise waste.

Stephen Garsed, a CAFOD volunteer for the parish, said: “Our Harvest and Lent soup lunches are an important part of the parish social calendar.

“They are so well attended and the diners so generous because they really enjoy the occasion and are keen to support CAFOD’s work.

“It is also a great get-together for the parish CAFOD Group, with a real buzz in the kitchen.

“The joy on the faces of those at the sink shows that washing-up is also a social occasion - another reason for ditching the disposables.”

CAFOD is working with communities around the world to give them the tools to lift themselves out of poverty.

This approach has already borne results in rural Uganda, where, with many communities having been devastated by drought, children would trek miles for water, risking their safety and hampering their chance to get an education.

Donations from parishioners across England and Wales have helped to install solar-powered water pumps in rural villages.

Patrick Gardner, CAFOD’s representative in Preston, said: “We would like to say a massive thank you to the community of Our Lady and St Edward’s for organising this brilliant event.

“Their compassion and generosity will help communities around the world to grow and prosper.”

Donate to the Harvest Appeal at www.cafod.org.uk/harvest