The Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales has paid tribute to the work of CAFOD director Julian Filochowski who has decided to stand down after 20 years at the helm. In a letter to Mr Filochowski, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor - President of the Bishops' Conference and Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster - said: "In your time as Director, CAFOD has established a reputation as one of the most respected development agencies in Britain, indeed internationally. Addressing both the material needs of the poor and the moral imperative of building justice and peace in our broken world are the heart of CAFOD's work. "I am conscious that you and your management team have implemented important changes to increase effectiveness in meeting those challenges, while always striving to make mutual respect the hallmark of CAFOD's relationships whether with international partners, with government, with those who help to fund your work or with your own staff. "For what you have achieved in your 20 years as Director of CAFOD you have the grateful thanks and appreciation of the Catholic community in England and Wales. I do wish you every success in the future." Mgr Andrew Summersgill, General Secretary of the Bishops' Conference, lauded Julian for the huge contribution he has made in building CAFOD into a leading Catholic development organisation. "CAFOD has grown phenomenally over the last 20 years," he said. "It is now very well established in terms of Church and Government. "The Church identifies very strongly with the work CAFOD does on its behalf. Julian has proved a very important part of building it to that point, assembling a very strong team. "In the Third World Debt Campaign, for instance, CAFOD picked up the Holy Father's message and brought the issue to the fore on behalf of the Church. Its role in that has been pivotal. CAFOD has also been a very successful tool for evangelisation - a positive contribution to witness of the Church. "We confidently look forward to CAFOD continuing to go from strength to strength and would like to thank Julian for the admirable work he has done to make this possible."
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