PROTECTING OUR COMMON HOME

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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.org.uk/climatelobby.  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

Young Leadership Training Day 3

On Thursday 2 May the Arundel and Brighton Young Leadership Schools from St Peter’s Catholic School Guildford, The Salesians School Chertsey, and Cardinal Newman Catholic School joined together with Catholic schools from the Portsmouth Diocese for the third Young Leaders Day. It was kindly hosted by Farnborough Hill School who provided everyone with great hospitality and a delicious lunch. Sarah Burrows led the inspirational day on ‘Campaigning, ‘Laudato Si Climate Change.’

The Young Leadership programme provides a year of training to develop leadership skills such as team building, project management, problem solving and communication. At CAFOD we recognise that young people can make a huge difference, which is why we want to equip young people to be leaders in their local and global communities. The programme offers sixth formers an opportunity to take the lead and make a difference, as well as a chance to meet new people, gain confidence, skills and experience.

The day started with a prayer reflection and a Laudato Si animation  which reminded us  that Pope Francis has given all of humanity with a huge challenge to think about how we are living and how our living affects others, and the earth our common home. The Young Leaders reflected upon the question ‘what kind of world do you want to leave those who come after us?

This was followed by some icebreaker activities which included a string game where groups were given tasks such as constructing ‘5’ using the string with eyes firmly shut. Another one was when Young Leaders were given statements such as ‘climate change is the greatest threat facing humanity today,’ (Sir David Attenborough) and they had to decide and justify if they strongly agreed, agreed, disagreed or strongly disagreed.  This led into discussion about why we campaign, types of campaigns and the difference between charity and justice.

The schools then fed back on the fundraising activities they had led in their own schools since the last session. Many had led school wide and year group assemblies on CAFOD awareness, Lent Fast Day, and had raised money through cake sales and introducing Fair Trade tasters, followed by Fair Trade school sales. A session on statistics and stories followed with Young Leaders becoming aware that both were important for sharing issues about climate change.

A project management activity followed where the Young Leaders were asked to plan a project management activity in school with different time frames and a debriefing followed. The CAFOD Net Zero Campaign was introduced and Young Leaders then created a ‘0’ photo. They were encouraged to invite their MPs to visit their schools and to tell them they wanted the Government to commit to net zero by 2045.They were also invited to consider joining the CAFOD lobby of MPs on the 26 June. The day was rounded up with the key messages: that campaigning works and along with advocacy it is the most effective way to tackle the root causes of poverty and injustice and, secondly; tackling climate change is essential and the that the Young Leaders can become part of the solution.

The day ended with a  moving reflection of ‘Dear Matafele Peinem’ a poem written for a baby by a young poet and read out at the UN Climate Summit in 2014.

CAFOD Arundel and Brighton would like to thank Sarah Burrows, CAFOD,Young Leadership Coordinator, for leading an inspiring day and Farnborough Hill School for hosting the event.

For further information on the Young Leaders Programme – look here.

St Edmund’s Parish Godalming have a cake sale for CAFOD and Kasanka

On 2 and 3 March St Edmund’s Parish in Godalming held a roving cake sale in aid of CAFOD Lent fast day and Kasanka (parish in Zambia that we are twined with run by the FMDM sisters from Ladywell).The cake sale started off at St Edmund’s Church in Godalming for the Saturday evening Mass and then left over cakes were brought by Fr David to St John’s Church in Farncombe for the 8:45 am Mass and finally the rest were taken to St Joseph’s in Milford for the 10:15 am Mass .

An amazing £300 was raised and will be split between CAFOD and Kasanka.

Mary Waight Chair of the J&P group said, “It was a great parish effort and many thanks to all the parishioners who made cakes and filled the tables at each Mass and special thanks to our young people for selling the cakes .” 

Jo Lewry CPC Portsmouth

CAFOD A&B would like to thank Mary Waight, Jo Lewry and all those that supported this wonderful parish effort and importantly in raising £300. What a fantastic start to the Lent Fund raising.

For further ideas about how your parish could fundraise, look here.

For information on how to organise an event look here.