St John’s, Bridgnorth launch Live Simply

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Paul and Clare Cooper from St John’s Church in Bridgnorth record the minutes from their first meeting to launch the Live Simply award in the parish

The morning began with Meet and Greet and coffee. A total of 20 people attended.

Fr Iain began the meeting with the Live Simply Prayer.

Mary Gilbert presented a short video about how the Live Simply Campaign has been taken up in other parishes around the country, which included examples of specific projects that groups were working on and the benefits that had been brought, not only to others, but to those involved.

Watch the video

Mary explained the principles of the Campaign which covered three areas titled ‘living simply’, ‘living sustainably’ and ‘living in solidarity’. We were shown resources such as ‘100 Ideas’ and the Live Simply Hymn from the CAFOD web site:

Discussion followed about what we were already doing as a parish, such as supporting the Bridgnorth food bank, Mary’s meals, SVP sick visiting and lifts to Mass, among other activities. Post-it notes were provided for people to discuss with others in the meeting what they did at home as individuals or families to contribute towards living simply, sustainably and in solidarity with others. Further ideas were encouraged to create momentum for possible projects.

John Gilbert collated all the ideas and presented a summary of the different categories

It was proposed to sign up as a parish to Live Simply and work towards the award. The vote was unanimous and Fr. Iain backed the proposal.

Fr. Iain also commented on some of the attractive ideas suggested in the ‘100 Ideas’ list including:-

  1. CAFOD World Gifts / Christmas cards for sale in Church
  2. Feast of St Francis Liturgy
  3. Create a quiet contemplation space at the side of the Church and include bird feeders, bird/ bat boxes etc
  4. Consider using a Credit Union
  5. Cook a meal from scratch using only local ingredients

Find out more about how to become a Live Simply parish

Mary went on to show an example of an action plan for the award and discussed the time span and eventual assessment in order to achieve the award. She suggested that we would need to set up a Steering Group to take the ideas forward. Most thought they would like more time to consider and it was agreed that we would have another meeting specifically to create a Steering Group and to develop our ideas.

The meeting ended with Holy Mass.

Livesimply: Reducing our impact on the climate

CAFOD’s Livesimply campaign remains evermore relevant and useful when it comes to reducing our impacts on the climate. By living more sustainably and taking only what we need we are living the Gospel values of care and greater solidarity with the poor.

Here are some ways in which living simply can reduce our impact on the climate:

Eat less meat…

Eating a plant based diet just once a week uses fewer resources and produces 930 lbs less of CO2 a year

More talking, less clicking…

Most of us spend a lot of time on our computers or electronic games this means we talk less face to face as friends and families. Save the power: Talk or play board games or read!

Drive less…

Walk or car share to church. Commit to walking or cycling to places less than 2 miles away.

 Turn it off and save energy…

Turn out the lights when you leave a room. Unplug your power lead when you finish using a laptop or electronic game or charging up your mobile phone.

 Reduce packaging waste…

Buy more food without packaging or make sure it has only one layer of packaging.

In following one or more of the suggestions above together we can reduce our carbon consumption and so do our part to protect the climates of the world.

(adapted from St.Alban’s Parish, Macclesfield, Monthly Newsletter, Feb 2015)