Catholic communities in Biggleswade and Sandy districts are campaigning during Lent to help provide clean water supplies in Africa.
This year’s CAFOD Lent fundraising campaign is being supported by churches and schools and donations will be doubled by the UK Government’s Department for International Development up until May.
Each of the six parishes in Churches Together in Sandy and Biggleswade will take turns in hosting frugal lunches during Lent, with bread being supplied free by Gunns of Sandy.
The events take place after Friday mass between noon and 1.30pm every Friday in Lent apart from Good Friday.
Alban Macdonald, treasurer of Churches Together in Sandy said: “We began the Lent Lunches in 1998 and ever since CAFOD has had matched funds, we have donated the funds to CAFOD.
“Each Friday one of the seven churches that are part of Churches Together in Sandy and Biggleswade take turns to serve each other.
“It is a great opportunity to serve and involve the community and people of the town come along and chat and meet new people. Since it started, Gunns of Sandy bakers have given us two dozen rolls free of charge for each event. Last week we raised £70.”
The campaign will help thousands of people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe, and Uganda to have better access to clean and safer water.
The money raised will enable taps to be turned on in villages across the world by repairing or providing water pumps and training in order to maintain them. Donations will also fund hygiene programmes, education in sanitation, and the building of latrines. Matched funds from the UK Government will enable access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene programmes to over 300,000 people.
CAFOD’s representative in Bedfordshire, Deborah Purfield, said: “Lent Fast Days are such a great way of bringing people together and raising an incredible amount to help others. I’m delighted that the UK Government is matching CAFOD’s work for the third time. This proves how important these initiatives are for people all over the world.
“Lent is a time when we look to make a transformation in our own lives. In making this transformation, we aim to see one in the world around us. We therefore put our faith into action by ensuring as many people as possible have access to the basic right of safe and clean drinking water.”
Donate to the Lent Appeal at cafod.org.uk/lent