Last month Our Lady of Lourdes Church Harpenden achieved the CAFOD Live Simply award for championing sustainable living. It is only the sixth church to gain the award in the Westminster Diocese and the 46th parish in England and Wales.
On Sunday 10th March a celebratory Mass was said and the prestigious Live Simply Plaque was officially presented to Canon Anthony Dwyer by Maria Elena Arana, the CAFOD Live Simply Award Coordinator.
The Mass began with the church choir singing the beautiful canticle, 'Laudato Si, mi Signore'- 'Praise be to you, my lord'. The hymns and bidding prayers had been specially chosen for the celebration and the wooden plaque, made from recycled benches from a church in Edinburgh, was taken up during the offertory procession.
Marie Elena spoke movingly to the congregation about 'Live Simply' and also about the CAFOD Lenten Fast Day next Friday, 15th March.
After Mass ended, Canon Anthony formally planted an Acer tree in the garden at the front of the church and set a commemorative plaque in place. At the reception afterwards Canon Anthony cut a specially commissioned cake, embellished with a rainbow and the words 'Live Simply' in green icing, and proposed a toast to 'Our Lady of Lourdes- a Live Simply Parish'. He emphasised that the award was just the beginning and that the parish did not intend to rest on its laurels.
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