Rita Belletty with LiveSimply award won by St John Bosco's, Reading
A short film celebrating a scheme that challenges parishes to change the way they live has gone ‘live’ on the CAFOD website. The film – lasting just under four minutes – celebrates the success of the LiveSimply parish scheme, which was launched 18 months ago. The scheme asks parishes to make a commitment to living simply, sustainably and in solidarity with the poor, and the film features interviews with members of one of the four parishes to receive the LiveSimply award so far, as well as two that have just signed up to the scheme.
Starring in the new film are parish members from St John Bosco in Reading – the first parish to receive the LiveSimply award – and from the twin parishes of St Joseph’s and St Bede’s in Newcastle.
Four parishes from three different dioceses have received the LiveSimply award. As well as St John Bosco, they are St Stanislaus in Dulverton, St Bonaventure’s in Bristol and St Joseph’s in Lytham St Annes.
Maria Elena Arana from CAFOD’s Campaigns team said: “This new film shows that any parish, however big or small, can benefit from living more simply – in ways they may never have expected. It’s an opportunity to inspire your congregation and neighbourhood with a message of hope and transformation, and to engage practically with big issues like global poverty. We hope this short film will encourage many other parishes to take up the challenge.
“Becoming a LiveSimply parish is a long term venture. We are delighted that these four very different churches have shown that they are united by a determination to make a difference. We know that many more are following in their footsteps.”
The LiveSimply scheme was launched with Bishop Declan Lang at Clifton Cathedral in May, 2011. St John Bosco started their efforts earlier when they decided as a parish to take action on climate change and then became part of the pilot programme for the award.
St Bede’s and St Joseph’s parishioners came together with members of groups and schools from the two parishes to launch the scheme in their parishes with a Pledging Mass on September 22.
Organiser Audrey Marshall said: “LiveSimply has given us a shared goal. Everybody in the parish is full of ideas about things that we’ll do. It costs nothing, and it’s good fun. I can see the idea spreading throughout our Diocese and through the whole country. I know we are not the first, but we are among the early ones, and I think we have a long way to go.”
To watch the video, please visit: http://www.cafod.org.uk/News/Campaigning-news/New-LiveSimply-video
To apply for the award, parishes have to take on three major actions under the headings of living simply, living sustainably and living in solidarity with people in poverty, as well as at least six additional activities. These could be anything from installing solar panels or an energy-efficient boiler to supporting Fairtrade, from campaigning with CAFOD to organising a community clean-up or local litter-pick.
Paul Kelly from St Joseph’s Lytham St Annes explained the impact the scheme has had on him. He said: “It’s reaffirmed parts of my faith. An important part of my faith is to care for creation, and celebrate that, and to develop respect for other peoples in the rest of the world. Becoming a LiveSimply parish helps you go deeper, and to take action.”
More information about the award can be found at: http://livesimplyaward.org.uk/