LEARNING TO LIVE SIMPLY IN EWELL

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It all began when a small group of St. Clement’s parishioners met to study the papal encyclical Laudato Si.  We were inspired by the writings of Pope Francis, who was himself inspired by the life of his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi.

We reflected on the messages in Laudato Si and considered how we as a community could respond practically to protect our world, act with tenderness to each other and reach out to those in our community in need. We were keen to bring together young and old and encourage those who do not always get involved in the day to day life of the parish.

Our answer was to become a Live Simply parish and to apply to CAFOD for their Live Simply award.    

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With the backing of our Parish Priest, Fr. Graham Bamford, and the parish we launched the initiative in May 2017 and were registered by CAFOD as a participating parish on 10th July 2017.

Since then we have

  • made a Live Simply banner and a special notice board
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  • built a vegetable garden, which has been a great success, despite our very dry summer this year, producing good organic vegetables for sale. The proceeds from the sales went to our Connect 2 Cambodia appeal
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  • made sure that all coffee and tea served at St. Clement’s is Fairtrade. We have purchased recyclable cups and started a compost bin
  • set up a walking club to encourage spending time together and appreciating our surroundings
  • held a walk to church weekend encouraging car sharing for those who couldn’t walk
  • held a “Live Simply” reflection during Lent, leading the Stations of the Cross
  • produced a Parish Christmas card, as an alternative to individual cards
  • run a parish social in aid of Epsom and Ewell Food Bank, raising £620
  • raised awareness about refugees and migrants by taking part in CAFOD’s Share the Journey.
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We are now hoping to become the third parish in the Diocese to receive CAFOD’s Live Simply award and we shall be submitting our evidence very soon.

We hope the experience of working towards the award will continue as a positive opportunity for everyone in the parish, young and old, to come together with one goal: to make God known by the way we, as a community, act.

Story: John Farrell, Jonathan Inns and Charlotte Gregory    Picture:  Charlotte Gregory

CAFOD would like to wish Fr Graham, John Farrell, Jonathan Inns, Charlotte Gregory and all the St Clements Parishioners luck in their forthcoming assessment and to thank them for all their hard work in striving to achieve this award.

CAFOD’s Young Leadership Training Day

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Young Leaders 2018-2019

At CAFOD we recognise that young people can make a huge difference, which is why we want to equip senior students to be Young Leaders  in their local and global communities. CAFOD’s Young Leadership Programme is designed for Sixth Formers and provides them with training to develop leadership skills.

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On Wednesday 16 January, St Peter’s Catholic School in Guildford kindly hosted CAFOD’s second training day for  Young Leaders in their amazing purpose-built St Cecilia’s Hall. The day was ably led by CAFOD’s Sarah Burrows, Young Leadership Coordinator for Youth. There were over sixty Sixth Former attendees from schools across Arundel and Brighton and Portsmouth including: St Peter’s Guildford, Salesian College Chertsey, Cardinal Newman School Hove, Christ the King Isle of Wight, Salesian College Farnborough, St Anne’s Southampton, St Joseph College Reading, Oaklands College Waterlooville, and Farnborough Hill School.

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The day involved prayer, reflection, icebreakers and feedback on how the students had undertaken leadership projects last term. I was amazed at how brilliantly these young people engaged with one another and enthusiastically shared what they had done previously; such as making videos to show awareness of CAFOD, leading CAFOD assemblies to primary school pupils, organising CAFOD stalls, mufty days, cake sales etc.

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During the day they also explored Lent family fast day.   Training was given on CAFOD values, motivating listeners to become engaged in CAFOD projects, hearing about how young leaders work in Colombia and learning how to speak up for justice and peace. In the afternoon they were asked to plan a school fund raising event and present their ideas to a critical ‘Dragon’s Den’ panel who made them justify their decisions! One group even came up with the idea of the Sixth Formers raising money through giving up their time to help out in younger classes.

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My thanks to Sarah Burrows for leading the day, Kevin Mendes and St Peter’s Students and staff for hosting the event, Jo Lewry for her assistance, staff and chaplains from the schools who supported the day; but most of all, to the Young Leaders 2018-2019. You are an inspiration!

There certainly is HOPE for the future when you see the commitment, compassion, energy, drive and creativity of these young people empowered to make a difference. We look forward to seeing you all again for the final day in May.

Happy New Year! What about gifting your time to CAFOD as a new year’s resolution?

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Can I make a difference in 2019? Yes I can!

Why not make a new year’s resolution to make a real difference in 2019?

Perhaps you are tired of the all the negativity you read and hear about in the press?  I know I am! It seems to be relentless doesn’t it? Squabbling politicians, rudeness and intolerance of different points of view; increased violence on our streets, gossip about public figures, overloaded national health service and drones causing havoc to people’s holidays!

One thing I have realised since joining CAFOD is the incredible work that our volunteers do to support us out of the goodness of their hearts. It is truly humbling for me to have met so many really kind, helpful, committed people who want to make a real difference to this world. They come from all walks of life and offer what help they can. These people care so much for the suffering and hardships experienced by so many people and really strive to live more simply and do anything they can to preserve our beautiful world. Indeed, they are unsung heroes.

If you find yourself with some time to spare in 2019; then why not consider volunteering for CAFOD? We have so many roles such as: parish volunteers, media volunteers, office volunteers, campaign volunteers, school volunteers, MP correspondents, and fundraisers to name but a few. With your help, we can make an even BIGGER difference.

Will you help us to transform the lives of our brothers and sisters living in poverty overseas by choosing a different sort of challenge in 2019? New Year’s resolutions with a difference

You can always call me at the Arundel and Brighton office on 01483 89 88 66 or email: arundelandbrighton@cafod.org.uk if you have any questions. I would love to hear from you.

Jenny Finlayson (Community Participation Coordinator for Arundel and Brighton)