Canon Anthony Dwyer
Our Lady of Lourdes
1 Kirkwick Avenue
01582 712245

Church Address:
Our Lady of Lourdes RC Church
Rothamsted Avenue

Office Administrator: Mrs Melanie Armitage
Office hours: 9.30am - 12.30pm, Mon to Thu
Safeguarding Representative: Mrs Brigid Brennan

Our Lady of Lourdes is a Fairtrade Parish and a LiveSimply Parish.

Developing World Group

The aim of the Developing World Group is to help projects in less developed countries.

The Group helps fund projects costing from under £1,000 to £7,500 in most cases.

It raises money by means of donations made in a collection box at the back of church, standing orders, other donations including the Green Box Collection (see Finance below), Gift Aid and via the proceeds from a variety of social events.

The Group receives regular reports as projects develop and after they are completed. These are used to update parishioners using the Parish Newsletter, the notice board at the back of the church, as well as in annual DWG Project Reports which are included in a supplement to the Parish Newsletter at the end of each calendar year (please find electronic versions of the last two below).

The DWG section of the Parish website provides material on projects and the other main aspects of the Group’s work, including its goals and history.

This is a dynamic group, which always welcomes new members.

Recent News

Project Report for 2021

Click here to read the Project Report for 2021

Harpenden Jigsaw Festival

The Festival, which our Developing World Group and High Street Methodist Church (HSMC) organised, took place on 27, 28 and 30 August. Virtually all the 1,400 completed jigsaws were displayed, chosen, broken up and sold to visitors, raising £8,225. This sum will be divided equally between the DWG’s chosen charity, Workaid and HSMC’s. Workaid’s share, £4,113, will go towards the cost of a container to carry refurbished tools to vocational centres, prisons etc in Africa; and to training vocational centre staff in Tanzania in sewing machine maintenance/repair, so that students leaving with refurbished sewing machines can maintain them. Many of our parishioners donated unmade jigsaws to, or completed jigsaws for the festival; and volunteered to help during it or came to view it. A huge thank you goes out to all concerned.


The Group currently comprises fifteen members, who meet each quarter at one of their homes.  Members propose and thence identify projects which fit in with the Group’s goals. Once they have been researched thoroughly and the Group has agreed to support them, the Group helps fund them. In recent years the Group has donated to around 5-6 projects a year, but there are also years when most of its income goes to one or two projects only. There are a variety of fundraising events including quiz nights, barn dances, the annual Golf Day, and musical performances, and also a range of ways to make individual donations (see Finance section below). The Group works with other Parish Groups such as the Ladies Group and the choir in terms of fundraising, sometimes for specific projects.


The group’s aims are: 

Consistent with this, all projects should:


The group was set up as the ‘Third World Group’ around 1976 by Ian McGregor and Terry Lane. It was inspired in part by a CTS booklet, ‘One Parish – One World’ – published in 1974 about the experience of a Midlands parish on making a practical response to the Pope’s appeal in Populorum Progressio to all Christians to ‘open the paths which lead to mutual assistance among peoples, to a deepening of human knowledge, to a more brotherly way of living with a truly universal human society’. For many years, relatively small amounts were given to needy causes to further the group’s objectives. In 1999, it was agreed that it would be of more benefit to both the benefactors and donors, if projects were selected which were funded over a 12 to 18 month period. Such a time range allowed not only for larger projects, but also enabled more information to be provided to parishioners which showed exactly what their money was being used for and the practical outcome of each project. While the time taken to fund most recent projects has fallen, the Group has increased its emphasis on obtaining feedback, which as well as enabling better assessment of project outcomes, also aids future project selection.

Joining the Group

All parishioners are most welcome to join, as well as warmly invited with their friends to all the group’s fundraising events. The DWG is open to proposals for small projects which meet its criteria, from all parts of the world. Please see the Ministries & Groups page for contact details, or talk to any member of the group.