By: Damian Dillon
The Knights of Saint Columba in Southend-on-Sea were awarded CAFOD's Live Simply award at the end of January, after two years of working to an agreed plan with CAFOD and are the first non parish in the Diocese of Brentwood to achieve Live Simply.
The plan was to drive both spiritual direction and the group's works in the community in a concerted effort to be active for the good of the Church and for the good of the local community and the award also marks Southend-on-Sea 192's ninetieth year of existence having been inaugurated on January 1st 1928.
The work they did towards the award was a simple adaptation to their actions already performed around the six parishes they work in, and was an opportunity for the Knights as a group and as individuals to work on increasing their Catholic faith, and to reach out to the local Community to make a difference. Using Laudato Si and the teachings of the Church to guide their efforts they worked to help the poor, to aid the sick and the lonely and they prayed with a greater focus. They switched to fairtrade wherever they could in their own activities and events that they organised, and they supported and brought together an array of local charities and local support groups such as the Southend Older People's Assembly, the local Sisters of Nazareth, and the Brentwood Catholic Children's Society as well as recycling collections to help Vision Aid Overseas and Tools With A Mission working with several local Church of England parishes in a wider community effort.
This award marks the continuation of their efforts to increase their faith, and reach out in support of others in need locally and further afield as they work together in charity, unity and fraternity to support the work of the Catholic Church in the borough of Southend.