Holy Family Catholic School

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Year 2 Recommended Reading

Our Class Charity: St Joseph's Penny with Caritas!

ST JOSEPHS PENNY APPEAL, 1904:

In 1904, there had been a huge growth in population since the Industrial Revolution. Wages were low and not enough for a family to live on. There was a housing shortage. Families crowded together in poor conditions and rented out space in their own room to lodgers. Many landlords did not look after their properties which became slums. There were sewers and open drains running in the streets. Drinking water, the colour of watery mud, often came from a ditch at the side of the street. Many people died from starvation and destitution. Life expectancy for a man was 47 and for a woman was 50. At that time, the attitude towards children was different from today but was beginning to change. There was child labour – children were expected to work to bring in money to help support the family. Children worked for long hours, often doing dangerous jobs for low pay. Some were chimney sweeps; some worked in noisy wool or cotton mills; some worked down coal mines; others were errand boys, shoe shiners or sold matches on the street. Children were often poorly educated because they had to go out to work rather than go to school. Lots of destitute children lived on the streets. Their parents may have died, or they had been turned out of their home to fend for themselves. Some children ran away as they were badly treated. Others were put in prison for stealing.

HOW THE CHARITY STARTED:

  • Bishop Herbert Vaughan was the Bishop of Salford at this time. He was a man of great vision who cared about cold, hungry children without parents and wanted things to change.
  • He wrote a letter called “The Loss of Our Children”.
  • He asked for help to care for poor children from religious sisters (nuns) including Alice Ingham.
  • Alice was born in 1830 and lived in Rochdale. Even as a young girl she felt called by God to care for the poor children of the town.
  • As an adult, Alice became Sister Mary Francis from the Order of the Franciscan Missionaries of St Joseph and together with Bishop Vaughan, she set up homes for orphaned children living on the streets and eating out of dustbins.
  • In 1886 the Catholic Children’s Rescue Society (CCRS) was founded to carry on this work. • Alice sadly died in 1890 but her great work continued.
  • Bishop Vaughan wondered how this vital work could be paid for. That’s when he came up with the idea of the St Joseph’s Penny Appeal!
  • He thought that children would want to help other children.
  • The first St Joseph’s Penny Lenten collection took place in 1904 when Bishop Vaughan asked all the children in all the schools to donate one penny.
  • This first collection raised 55,217 pennies. This amounts to around £230 today.
  • Children took St Joseph’s Penny to their hearts and our schools have been supporting the Lenten appeal ever since to help others.
  • In 2010, CCRS became part of the Caritas Diocese of Salford – the “home” charity of the Diocese.

 

A PENNY COULD BUY A LOT IN 1904. WHAT CAN IT BUY TODAY?  VERY LITTLE!

Every penny counts but imagine if every pupil in every school could give £1. Or, if they could come up with a challenge which would raise the figure 1904 - £1.90 or £19.04 or £190.40…. During #LockdownLent, Caritas would be able to help so many more people!

 

To find out more about our class charity, visit: https://www.caritassalford.org.uk/service-view/sjp2021/

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