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.

Hannah Jordan represents CAFOD Arundel and Brighton at COP24

CAFOD campaigner Hannah Jordan in Poland, COP24 Credit Rosie Heaton

Hannah with some CAFOD campaigners

Thirty campaigners from CAFOD were invited to join the delegation to the UN climate summit in 2018, where world leaders met to agree how the goals of the Paris Agreement could be pushed forward and limit emissions to 1.5 degrees.

Read CAFOD’s response to the Paris Agreement

The CAFOD delegates, travelled by coach from 5-11 December to Katowice and Krakow in Poland, where the climate talks were held. This was an opportunity to learn about the decision-making process, hear from other campaigners across Europe on living sustainably and campaigning on climate change, reflect on partner stories and bear witness with others for change.

CAFOD campaigners Hannah Jordan and Harriet Rees at COP24 rally Credit Rosie Heaton

“Let us be protectors of creation” POPE FRANCIS

We are very proud that Hannah Jordan from our Diocese of Arundel and Brighton represented us and here is a reflection of her experience.

‘My experience in Poland was a massive eye opener for both my faith and activism towards climate change. ‘The March’ united thousands of nationalities, all determined to achieve our common goal of climate justice. Being in Poland with CAFOD has motivated me to spread awareness of the real effects of climate change on people’s lives and what we can do to help them through our faith.’

We thank Hannah for sharing her reflection and feel sure that others will be motivated by her experience.

Find out how you made a difference with Power to be

J. Finlayson