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 Clements becomes the 3rd Live Simply Parish in the Arundel and Brighton Diocese

St Clements Parish Church became the third Parish in the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton to receive the live simply award on the 6 April 2019.

The parish started to work towards achieving the award in 2017. They were inspired by reflecting on Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si. They contemplated how they could best respond to the Pope’s prophetic words.

They decided that they wanted to do something practical and the Live Simply Steering Group was born.

Jonathan Inns, coordinator of the group, explained that working towards the award has brought the whole parish together. Both young and old have taken part and all of the Parish has been able to share in the achievement of receiving the award.

The process has raised awareness of green issues and highlighted the benefit of living simply so that others can simply live.

The Parish has established a vegetable garden, implemented a recycling scheme and developed a tree planting scheme for newly baptized children.

Jonathan would encourage other parishes to get involved . He explained that it has been a very rewarding faith, affirming process. 

If you would like further information on considering if this is something that might interest your parish. Look here

The Campaigns Team and CAFOD Arundel and Brighton would like to extend their congratulations to Fr Graham, Jonathan Inns, The Live Simply Steering Group and all the Parishioners at St Clements, Ewell on their outstanding achievement in gaining this award. We hope that this will inspire other parishes to follow suit.

St George’s Junior School raises an amazing £1181 for CAFOD

St George’s Junior School Weybridge Headmaster, Mr. Antony Hudson, presenting the funds raised by the school to CAFOD Education Volunteer Nicola Michael.

Congratulations to St George’s Junior School who recently raised £1181.24 for CAFOD. CAFOD Education Volunteer Nicola Michael recently delivered an inspiring Lent Assembly to the upper juniors to kick start the Lent season.

Nicola spoke about how the students could pray, fast and give during Lent. She told them about Rabiul, a 12-year old boy from Bangladesh who lives with his mum Mahinur and dad Khalek. They live by a river and Mahinur rely on fishing in the river to support her family but, unfortunately, last year it dried up and all the fish died and the fish have not returned since. Nicola explained that some days the family just drink water for dinner. Yet God has given enough resources on this planet for everyone. No one should go hungry. She went on to say that the good news is that CAFOD is part of the global Church network that reaches to the ends of the earth. CAFOD knows where Rabiul and his family are and how to help.

Rabiul and his family from Bangladesh

Nicola challenged the pupils to give up something during Lent and to donate it to CAFOD. Lots of imaginative ideas were discussed and the pupils were so responsive.

Nicola thanked the pupils at St George’s for presenting her with the cheque and said the money could be spent on buying more fish for the river, buying hardy rice seeds that would grow in salty water, or even buying ducks that would cope with living in the region.

The assembly culminated with a prayer and the children were left empowered to act upon their sense of justice

CAFOD Arundel and Brighton would like to thank the Headmaster Mr. Antony Hudson and all pupils at St George’s Weybridge, for their outstanding fundraising effort. You are an inspiration!

Follow the link  Give it up Challenge this Lent for more resources for primary school teachers, pupils and parents for more ideas how to support this campaign.