Well done to the Caring for Creation Group at English Martyrs who have completed the LiveSimply award.
The LiveSimply Award is a flexible CAFOD initiative inviting groups, with the support of their parish priest, to live simply, live sustainably and live in solidarity with the poor. It’s a chance to recognise and promote some of the great things you might be doing already and a chance to experiment and try something new. New ideas give us a chance to reach out and include new people, and for all of us to deepen our understanding of our faith by exploring it in a different way.
The initiative starts with a consultation and audit and then a plan to take on three challenges in each of the three areas of the award. Once you have the plan, it’s shared with the whole parish so as many people as possible can be encouraged to participate. On completion there is a chance to invite two CAFOD assessors to come, giving affirmation, a chance to celebrate together your progress.
Their activities included in the assessment for the award included:
- Promoting waste reduction, encouraging people to recycle.
- Installing recycling bins in the church colonnade.
- Including tips and advice in their parish newsletter and weekly email, referring to Laudato Si wherever possible.
- Encouraging everyone to make a Live Simply pledge at Lent and Christmas, eg:
- Buying presents from CAFOD.
- Using recycled wrapping paper and
- Shopping locally for Christmas food.
- Encouraging people to make Sunday carless and walk to church if possible.
- Showing the Global Healing video to the parish community, giving everyone the chance to see it, and the Novena videos.
- Giving out Caring for Creation advent calendars to parishioners.
They recommended ways to live sustainably with creation to their parishioners including:
- Organising a creation prayer walk followed by refreshments in the church hall, raising £200 for CAFOD.
- Planting bulbs in the church grounds, involving the children and generating a sense of awe and wonder.
- Holding a plant exchange in spring, exchanging and giving plants and offering advice on growing them; raising over £200 in donations for Ukrainian refugees.
- Taking part in a Day of Action march on Climate Change.
- Breathing new life into English Martyrs’ Bethlehem Garden, planting yellow and blue flowers in support of Ukraine; planted bulbs for the Spring.
- Organising a free harvest lunch during the Season of Creation, using produce parishioners grew; over £330 given in donations to CAFOD Pakistan Flood Appeal and
- Caring for Creation advent wreath making.
Ways to live in solidarity with the poor included:
- Holding a Taize Prayer evening, followed by refreshments, raising £42.00 for The Pakistan Flood Appeal.
- Organising a Christmas Craft Stall which raised £750.00 for CAFOD for a village water supply.
- Holding a plant sale and harvest table, raising £400 for Reading refugee support group.
- A weekly collection and deliveries of food and other supplies to local Dee Caf foodbank and ‘New Beginnings’ homelessness charity and
- Craft materials regularly collected and delivered to Afghan refugee women.
Amazing! Such fantastic activities – thank you so much!