Livesimply – not Sackcloth in Ash

We were delighted to hear an update from Ash on their work towards becoming a livesimply parish. Mike Harte, CAFOD Volunteer, said:

‘Our CAFOD team held a combined Live Simply Pledge and Power to Be talk at each weekend Mass recently. Three of our team (there are six of us in total) gave the talk

‘As a result, we received 24 signed Live Simply pledges and 39 completed Power To Be cards, which we presented during the Mass Offertory collections on the subsequent weekend’s Masses. These will be forwarded to CAFOD as part of our Live Simply plan.’

Two of the Ash team encouraging their fellow parishioners to live simply, sustainably and in solidarity with the poor

Two of the Ash team encouraging their fellow parishioners to live simply, sustainably and in solidarity with the poor

The livesimply plan can be seen below:

Live Simply Plan

Live Simply

  1.  Parish families’ nature walk (8th Oct)…..newsletter/notices 24 Sept, 1 Oct
  2. Live Simply banner (recycled materials)….by 1st Oct (Offertory), notices/newsletter 24th ff.
  3. Weekly Live Simply Tip in parish newsletter

Live Sustainably with Creation

  1. Supply flower bulbs to create an outdoor reflection area… 1st Oct (Offertory);
  2. CAFOD Power to Be card signing at Masses 16/17 Sept.
  3. Appoint ‘monitor persons’ for energy saving

Live in Solidarity with People who are Poor

  1. Weekly food bank collection.
  2. Fairtrade stall.
  3. Fairtrade ‘kitchen’


The Livesimply Pledge, designed by the group for the subsequent week was:

I pledge myself to live simply by participating in the parish launch week activities:

Sat/Sunday – short talk and sign Power to Be card

Monday – ensure to turn off lights and TV etc ‘standby’

Tuesday – turn off all laptops, I-phones, etc one hour earlier than normal

Wednesday – cook left-over foods

Thursday – sort out recyclable materials for parish banner

Friday – spend 15-30 minutes in quietness, maybe outside

Sat/Sunday – replace a weekly shopping item with one from our Fairtrade stall

signed:  ………………………

The days could be rearranged to suit the signatories.

CAFOD and Oxfam campaigners campaigning about Sainsbury's 'Fairly Traded' Tea

CAFOD and Oxfam campaigners campaigning about Sainsbury’s ‘Fairly Traded’ Tea

In addition to this the group wrote to four local Sainsbury’s store managers regarding Sainsbury’s new policy of restricting the local farmers control over the financial premium they receive on the sale of all ‘Fairly Traded’ goods.

Mike said ‘While Sainsbury claim to be very supportive of small, poor farming communities, three respondents have promised to pass on our concern about the wording “Fairly Traded” on their products, to the team that deals with this policy.’

Our thanks go to Mike, the CAFOD group and the parish for making great progress on the livesimply award and for raising a voice about Fairtrade.

“Listen to the Cry of the Earth and the Poor” a talk by Fr Peter

Fr Peter Hughes

Fr Peter Hughes

You are invited to Christ the Prince of Peace Church Weybridge on Saturday 15th July from 10:45 to 12:30pm to hear Fr Peter Hughes give a talk called  “Listening to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. The response of the Church in Latin America to Pope Francis’ call.”  A long term supporter and volunteer of CAFOD heard Fr Peter speak in another diocese and commented that in his many years of being involved, this was the best event CAFOD has ever done!

You are also very welcome to join the parish for their Saturday morning Mass at 10am before the talk starts.

Fr Peter Hughes is an Irish Columban priest from County Mayo who has spent most of his life as a missionary based in Lima, Peru. As well as his work in some of the most desperately impoverished communities in Lima, Peter is an advisor to the Instituto Bartolome de las Casas and CELAM, the collegial council of Latin American bishops designed to promote pastoral leadership, initiatives and inspiration for the 22 bishops conferences of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The talk will be followed by a simple lunch so for catering purposes please book a place here or contact or call 01483 898866 for more information.

How Religion Affects Society by Olivia, CAFOD volunteer.

I am a Theology and Religion student from the University of Birmingham currently doing a 2-week volunteering placement with CAFOD.

I chose to do my placement with CAFOD due to the global work the charity does and my interest in how religion affects society.

During my time at CAFOD I have had many experiences. I have been involved in workshops, meetings, writing blog posts and articles, looking at the impact of social media and much more.

New York pic 2.jpg

Me in New York

Looking at the social media for different regions and the most popular tweets/facebook posts/ blog posts was really interesting. Social media has a huge impact in society today as we can see from many events. Therefore, by using social media to promote the charity and the campaigns and events within CAFOD is highly important. It is a great way to communicate with a wider audience and from looking at what posts were the most popular we can underline just how much religion affects society.

Taking part in the Catholic Social Teaching Workshop also demonstrated how religion affects society. Especially with the encyclicals. These are written by the Pope and tell what we should do in reaction to issues in society. For example, global warming which has serious effects on humans and the world, and so by listening to the Pope and changing our treatment of the world, we are able to see the effects of religion. A significant moment was the Second Vatican Council; this changed the attitude of the Catholic Church to being more inclusive and accepting of other religions; another example of religion affecting society.

As well as this, attending meetings for volunteers about what they can do to fundraise and help those who are less fortunate than them. I found the projects that CAFOD do such as Connect2, Powertobe and Livesimply to be highly impactful on society. These projects enable communities in the poorest countries to live their dreams.

The list is endless on how religion affects society and my time at CAFOD has deepened my knowledge and understanding of how religion does this.