Search

Swaffham woman given a special blessing by Pope Francis

PUBLISHED: 13:40 29 June 2017

Mary Prentice received her blessing with two others who were recognised for their service. Picture: CAFOD

Mary Prentice received her blessing with two others who were recognised for their service. Picture: CAFOD

Archant

A Swaffham woman has been awarded a special blessing from Pope Francis in recognition of her years of volunteering for an aid agency.

The Papal Blessing was given to Mary Prentice for the work she has carried out as a volunteer for CAFOD since the 1990s.

She marked the achievement by having tea with Bishop Allan Hopes in Norwich, who thanked her and two others who were receiving certificates for their continuing services to the agency, and presented them with their Blessings.

Bishop Allan called it a “great occasion” and a wonderful way to mark such an achievement.

Ms Prentice said: “I had no idea I was going to be given a Papal Blessing. It’s not something I’d ever thought about and I still haven’t come down to Earth. All the ladies in the congregation were teasing me by looking through for their best Ascot hats for me to wear to tea with the Bishop.”

Ms Prentice began her time with CAFOD by running a stall at the Walsingham shrine and despite a busy working life as a headteacher, she was also heavily involved in campaigning.

Through writing letters to her MP and encouraging others in her church to sign petitions, she told everyone she could about the agency’s work, earning her the nickname ‘the commercial’.

“I probably got more out of volunteering in Walsingham than anyone else, I loved meeting people. Everybody who came was so keen to tell you what they were doing for CAFOD in their parish. It was wonderful, they were so proud and had such enthusiasm. That was the thing that really impressed me, the love the Catholic laity have for CAFOD. When they do all that they do, the least I could do was open the stall.”

CAFOD’s representative in East Anglia, Stephen Matthews, said: “The dedication and enthusiasm Mary has shown over the years is inspirational. It is volunteers like her that allows CAFOD to bring life, hope and dignity to men, women and children from all around the world. Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do.”

CAFOD is the official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. It aims to support people around the world, particularly in poor communities. It works through local churches in order to reach places that would otherwise be restricted.

Other news

Yesterday, 15:41

Council tax bills in Breckland are set to rise following a district council decision to shore up its reserves and reduce its reliance on the New Homes Bonus.

Yesterday, 14:08

Plans for an equestrian business in north norfolk were refused despite the applicant claiming it would create two jobs and boost the economy.

Yesterday, 18:42

Clinicians at the region’s mental health trust are too busy to complete mandatory basic life support training, it has been revealed.

Yesterday, 08:18

A police chase which saw up to 12 officers in pursuit for 20 miles across mid-Norfolk has led to the opening of an investigation.

Most Read

Yesterday, 14:08

Plans for an equestrian business in north norfolk were refused despite the applicant claiming it would create two jobs and boost the economy.

Read more
North Norfolk
Yesterday, 08:18

A police chase which saw up to 12 officers in pursuit for 20 miles across mid-Norfolk has led to the opening of an investigation.

Read more
Norfolk police
Thursday, February 1, 2018

News that Lionel Richie will be performing in Norfolk has left hundreds of residents eager to get their hands on tickets but others have been left feeling apprehensive due to memories of last summer’s chaotic Tom Jones concert.

Read more
Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Five hundred new homes could be built and more than 1,000 jobs created on a former Norfolk airbase.

Read more
Tom FitzPatrick
Monday, June 8, 2015

New signs are appearing, telling drivers they are now in a pay and display car park, alongside new machines to take their money.

Read more
Norwich

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 4°C

min temp: -1°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Fakenham and Wells Times e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter