A ground-breaking agreement on climate change, signed in Paris in 2015 by 196 countries (including the UK), came into force in November 2016. This was a recognition that climate change is by far the most serious danger facing mankind and all life on earth. The effects of climate change being felt now include increased extreme weather patterns – droughts, flooding, stronger and more frequent hurricanes. In the UK we are experiencing hotter summers and wetter winters. Sea levels are rising as the result of polar ice melting and the water is expanding as it warms up. The warmer water absorbs more carbon dioxide resulting in it becoming more acidic.

The impact of this is falling most heavily on people in the developing countries – those who have done least to cause it and who also have the least resources to cope.

Heavy monsoon rains in Pakistan destroyed thousands of homes, roads, bridges and farms in August 2013 for the third year in a row.

We need to ensure that our politicians do take the actions they know are necessary. To enable us to do this, CAFOD is launching a new campaign “Our Common Home”, named after Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical Laudato Si’ – On Care for Our Common Home, which complements what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says  that our responsibility as good stewards of creation is to care for our world and not ‘steal’ resources from future generations.    

We need to tell the government to embed in law that the UK will reach “Net Zero” carbon emissions by 2045 – that is, the emissions we produce will be no more than the carbon that is being absorbed e.g. by trees and plants. We all need to play our part in putting pressure on our Government.

CAFOD will be joining other organisations in a mass lobby of Parliament on Wednesday 26 June, where thousands of people will be discussing climate change with their MPs. A coach will be running from Hove via Crawley.

Sign up today. If not, we will have no answer when, as Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenage climate activist said: “Our grandchildren ask us why we knew, but did nothing.”

Sign our petition and find out more about the lobby today:  CAFOD also invites you to reflect how you, your family and your parish can work together to respond to the climate crisis, inspired by the teachings of Pope Francis. Use the  “Live simple activity poster”  to think and discusses about how your community can do a few simple things to live more sustainably and cut down on carbon emission.

By Roger Morton CAFOD Campaign Volunteer Coordinator

St Clement’s Parish in Ewell holds the first Creation Celebration and celebrate their LiveSimply Award

On Sunday 12 May the parish of St Clement’s in Ewell held the first CAFOD Creation Celebration followed by a formal presentation by their MP, Mr Chris Grayling, of their recently achieved LiveSimply Award. The Creation Celebration was organised by CAFOD Parish Volunteer Coordinator, Jonathan Inns and his LiveSimply Team and the Mass was celebrated by the parish priest Fr Graham Bamford. It was a beautiful service with wonderful musicians, readers, involvement of children, and an offertory, bidding prayers and homily that reflected the theme. The service and party afterwards was packed.

The celebration was attended by Mr Ryan Henson, Senior Political Adviser for CAFOD, and he spoke about the effects of climate change which we are already experiencing, both in the UK but much more in the developing countries and the impact this is having on those already living in poverty.

The LiveSimply Award was formally presented after the Mass during the parish celebration to Jonathan Inns by local MP, Mr Chris Grayling, who commended the parish on their hard work and achievement.

CAFOD Arundel and Brighton would like to thank Fr Graham, Jonathan and the LiveSimply Team on an uplifting Creation Celebration and on their tremendous achievement. They truly are an exemplary parish on how to LiveSimply.

Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish fundraising for Lent

A special thank you to the parishioners of Our Lady Star of the Sea for all their fundraising efforts for Lent Fast Day.  Frugal lunches were held each week over the Lent period, raising over £900. An amazing effort!

A new fundraising idea was carried out involving the youth of the parish too. They were each given a full tube of smarties and were given the challenge to fill the empty smartie tubes with 20p coins. Some of them even managed to fit £12 worth of 20ps. 

A group of local parishioners knitted adorable rabbits with cream eggs raising over £100 for CAFOD.

All these efforts are very much appreciated, and they make such a difference towards helping CAFOD reach and support people in need around the world.

We invite you to look for more fundraising ideas  to keep supporting CAFOD. These easy fundraising ideas can be adapted to use at schools, parishes and work with young people, friends, family and colleagues.

You can find more help and advice in our How to fundraise guide  and our health and safety pages.

CAFOD A&B would like to thank Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish for their amazing fundraising efforts.