Parishioners from the LiveSimply group from St Mary’s in Monmouth and St Frances of Rome, Ross-on-Wye have been getting together over the last six months to explore ways to live more simply in their respective communities.
The first meeting of the new year saw the group hone in on planning the actions that they wish to take going forward. Pope Francis has called on us all to make simple daily gestures to care for the world’s poorest people, for future generations and for the earth, our common home.
The parishes are considering a great variety of actions including Fairtrade, ethical shopping as well as taking stock of what they already possess and decluttering. Other initiatives being considered include recycling candles, parish retreats, skills sharing and rediscovering hobbies!
The parishes have both held Lampedusa Cross pilgrimage actions to show solidarity with refugees and collected donations for a refugee camp and local food banks. During Advent, they appealed for donations for CAFOD’s Syrian Refugee Crisis Appeal.
The group is also focussing on nature, food and energy. It is great that the Cardiff Archdiocese is one of the original 16 dioceses in England and Wales that are now part of the renewable energy scheme. Since then two others are in the process of switching. If other parishioners switch their own energy to renewable – in particular, Ecotricity, then CAFOD also receives a donation.
Simple changes everyday like turning our lights off, not leaving appliances on standby and choosing LED lights could save each of us between £45 and £80 a year.
The livesimply award is an opportunity for Catholic communities to respond to Pope Francis’ invitation to:
“work with generosity and tenderness in protecting this world which God has entrusted to us”.