Living Simply in Lancaster Diocese
St Joseph’s was one of the first Catholic parishes in the country to become a Livesimply parish. There are now at least a dozen, with more working towards it. The Livesimply Award recognizes the ways in which we try to make a difference in our local community and the world. The award reflects a commitment to live more simply and sustainably and to stand in solidarity with the world’s poor.
We were presented with a plaque commemorating our achievement during the Mass celebrating the Feast of Christ the King (2012).
Paul Kelly, a member of the parish Livesimply Group, said: “This parish is fantastic at showing solidarity with poorer countries by raising money for CAFOD and missions such as the Bernadine Sisters in Burkina Faso; we’ve now tried to emphasise the connection between that and the effect on the poor from each of our everyday lifestyle and shopping choices here at home.”
To apply for the award we had to take on three substantial actions under the headings of Living Simply, Living Sustainably and Living in Solidarity with People in Poverty, as well as at least six other supporting activities. More details about our actions are available here.
Fr John Winstanley, the then parish priest, encouraged the move: ‘The Livesimply Award provides the parish with a real focus to live-out the simplicity of the Gospel message of love; to live more and more in the manner of Jesus himself, in our care and appreciation of each other, and in our care and appreciation of the earth and all its gifts.’
The award has been developed in partnership with CAFOD and Eco Congregation, to offer support and encouragement to communities to put their faith into action.
Bishop Michael Campbell offered his support for the direction which the parish has taken, saying: “In this Year of Faith, you have demonstrated a tangible sign of your commitment to express your faith in an engaging and practical way. Of course, it is only the beginning of a journey for you all, as you demonstrate a clear response to Pope Paul VI’s call in Populorum Progressio upon all Catholics, all Christians, all people of goodwill, not to talk – but to act.
The sign of hope that St Joseph’s Parish gives is much needed in today’s world and one which I hope others in the Diocese will be encouraged to follow. I offer my support, prayers and good wishes to you all as you continue your journey of faith – in action – together.”
Rosa Trelfa, from CAFOD, praised the dedication of St Joseph’s parishioners. She said: “The diversity with which St Joseph’s has given the Livesimply message is inspiring – from the nurturing of the parish’s flower meadow, to the involvement of the youth group in CAFOD’s Thirst for Change campaign, with their Recycled Fashion Show earlier this year. They can be justly and rightly proud of the start they’ve made. It’s a great encouragement to us all.”
More detail about LiveSimply is on the national web site here