Southport school first to win eco award!

Our Lady of Lourdes primary school in Birkdale, Southport, came together on Friday 3 November to celebrate being the first school in the country to receive the livesimply award.

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Staff and pupils from Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School in Birkdale invited MPs, governors, and local clergy to boast their new award, which was awarded as they proved how their school community had been living simply, sustainably and in solidarity with people in poverty.

Ged, Justine and Paul from CAFOD  enjoyed a Fairtrade tuckshop and a special assembly led by the children.  A pupil from each class across the school who had showed unknown.jpgan outstanding commitment to the project received their own certificate, and classes took part in environmentally friendly activities such as bulb planting ready for spring.

The school kick-started their commitment to being eco-friendly when they won a £50,000 ‘eco makeover.’  They spent the money on installing solar panels and another panel which shows their output display clearly for the children to look at.  In the past, pupils also campaigned by writing to their local MP to request recycling bins in Southport, which was a huge success.

When the school, who are long-term supporters of CAFOD, heard about the livesimply award, it seemed like a national progression.  Children in the school attend a gardening club, growing their own fruit and vegetables, which they make soup out of and share.

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LiveSimply tree!

Annie Swainson, chaplain at the school, said: “The ongoing effort from children across the school has been inspiring.  The support from families in the school is equally incredible and we are very grateful!

“It was great that so many governors, community members and clergy could come down to celebrate us being the first school to receive the award – it was a real community event.  This isn’t just a one off, it’s a commitment. Our livesimply actions will be carried into the future as we develop and grow the project.”

Each year the children fundraise for CAFOD at Lent and Harvest, as well as learning about issues across the world, including the refugee crisis.

Paul Kelly, who assessed the school in his role as a CAFOD volunteer, said: “It’s been brilliant seeing the enthusiasm of Our Lady of Lourdes school and how committed everyone is to respect one another, respect people in need at home or abroad, and respect the environment. They have really embraced Living Simply, from the large solar panels to the smallest trough of wild flowers, from paper recycling to growing fruit and vegetables.

IMG_7298.JPG“The school thoroughly deserve the accolade of being the first Catholic school in the UK to get the LiveSimply award. The presentation ceremony at a special assembly was really upbeat; a great celebration of their achievements. I loved the way they used the whole day to get classes focussing on new LiveSimply ideas for school and home, and I feel very positive the school will build their LiveSimply ethos in the future.”

Find out more about the livesimply award

 

Live Simply progress in Ormskirk

The LiveSimply award is awarded to Catholic communities who can show how they have been living simply, in solidarity with people in poverty and sustainably with creation. It celebrates what you have already done and inspires you to do more. The award is an opportunity to respond to Pope Francis’ invitation in Laudato Si’ to “work with generosity and tenderness in protecting this world which God has entrusted to us”.

ls0We have several fantastic LiveSimply parishes across the diocese and more who are in the process of applying, one of which is St Anne’s in Ormskirk. Susan O’Halloran, CAFOD Volunteer, has been updating us on their progress. The parish is making great progress and has been holding lots of events to promote LiveSimply and to generate wider parish support.

Susan said “On the whole we’ve had plenty of church involvement and had success with things we weren’t excepting to!” She also said that their most successful event so far was their LiveSimply weekend; “we had a shared meal after the Saturday afternoon mass. We also had the bidding prayers and homily in line with the LiveSimply theme, and encouraged members of the parish to make a pledge. The pledges were then cut into leaves and we have made a display in the church of our LiveSimply pledge tree.”

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Stephen Cooke, CAFOD Liverpool office volunteer and parishioner at St Anne’s added, “The organising group have done a fantastic job, many of the tasks have been so simple yet effective, an example being a bulletin audit, which has already resulted in a 25% reduction in bulletins printed each week, saving paper, ink, electricity, time and money. The actions will have benefits for the parish and the wider community long into the future”

It’s wonderful to see such enthusiasm and support for the LiveSimply award, good luck to St Anne’s in completing their award!

Could you and your community be more sustainable? Can you get involved in the LiveSimply award?

St Anne’s will be hosting a talk by Ged Edwards about his visit to The Philippines on 29th November, everyone is welcome to attend.

Liverpool Volunteer Centre’s Livesimply Launch!

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Emily, Colette, Stephen and Ged at our Livesimply launch

The Livesimply award is awarded to Catholic communities who can show how they have been living simply, in solidarity with people in poverty and sustainably with creation. It celebrates what you have already done and inspires you to do more. The award is an opportunity to respond to Pope Francis’ invitation in Laudato Si’ to “work with generosity and tenderness in protecting this world which God has entrusted to us”.

 

In the CAFOD Liverpool Volunteer Centre we have decided to apply for the Livesimply award and we’re aiming to be the first Livesimply volunteer centre in the country. We wanted to be able to fully understand the process of applying so that we can have a better understanding of both the benefits and difficulties that parishes may face when they apply. On Harvest Fast day, 6th October, we launched our application with a shared lunch here at the volunteer centre.

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Ged enjoying his simple soup and bread lunch with Fairtrade bananas.

We have printed out our aims and put them on the wall, so that we are all clear in our goals, and our roles as a group and as individuals, and so that visitors can find out about what we’re trying to do. Our three major tasks are; reducing energy use, providing vegetarian food for all training days and lunches and promoting links between groups and individuals through Livesimply. We are also planning to install a Bug House, plant wildflowers, buy local products to support local suppliers and use environmentally friendly cleaning products.

Ged Edwards said, “Liverpool staff and volunteers are really committed to Livesimply and it dawned on us that we could try to apply to CAFOD as well as parishes and schools! It will give us an understanding of the pressures parishes are undertaking and it will be great to act in solidarity with our sisters and brothers both here and overseas.”

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Livesimply banner.

Colette added, “After working with parishes in Liverpool Archdiocese and seeing them launch as a Livesimply parish, I’m delighted that we have joined them here in the CAFOD Liverpool Volunteer Centre.  I think it’s really important that we practice what we preach.  We’re asking people to evaluate how they live their lives, and emphasising how it can impact our planet and the people living on it.  Pope Francis asks us in Laudato Si, to care for our common home.

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The Liverpool staff at the Livesimply launch with bread and soup meals.

If we can all start to make small changes in our day to day lives, it can make a big difference to the world’s poorest people, who suffer the most because of our actions, for example, through the effects of climate change.”

 

 

“If you have any suggestions about things we can do or how we can operate more simply, sustainably and in solidarity with the community we would love to hear from you!”

Find out more about the Livesimply award.

Live Simply Launched in Widnes

LSWID1St Wilfrid’s Parish in Widnes had their LiveSimply launch Thursday 21st September. The launch was attended by 22 members of the parish and promoted their LiveSimply action plan. There were plenty of Fairtrade products on offer, with the usual tea and coffee, as well as wine, cheese and chocolate for attendees. Pauline Rolt, CAFOD volunteer at St Wilfrid’s, commented that “A good time was had by all” and that conversations about the launch continued the next morning, being the main topic of conversation at coffee after mass.

The LiveSimply award is awarded to Catholic communities who can show how they have been living simply, in solidarity with people in poverty and sustainably with creation. It celebrates what you have already done and inspires you to do more. The award is an opportunity to respond to Pope Francis’ invitation in Laudato Si’ to “work with generosity and tenderness in protecting this world which God has entrusted to us”.

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St Wilfrid’s were already doing plenty of things that contributed towards the LiveSimply award, such as using Fairtrade tea and coffee, using reusable mass cards and orders of service, and holding Laudato Si’ talks among many others. By putting together an action plan, the parish is now well on its way to achieving the LiveSimply award. Part of this action plan involves establishing an annual ‘Walk to Church’ day, supporting the work of the Medaille Trust through volunteering opportunities and reducing the environmental impact of the parish buildings.

This is an extremely exciting time for the parish, and they are looking forward to trying new things which will bring the parish closer together as a community.

LSWID3Fr Mike said that he is “really delighted to see such a great turnout from parish members from across Widnes. I’ve been in this parish for a year now.  when I arrived, I could see that so much work was already taking place here, we were already fulfilling so much of what the award asks for.  Adding some new ideas gives us something new to focus on and it’s so impressive to see the parish working together to achieve this goal.  This scheme has positive impacts on both our planet and on our parish community, I would recommend it ”.

In the CAFOD office we are delighted to see how well things are going in Widnes, it’s encouraging to see such enthusiasm for the LiveSimply scheme and it shows how easy it is to do, especially when so many things are already being done in the community. Are you already doing any of these actions? Could you and your community be more sustainable? Can you get involved in the LiveSimply award?

For more information, please contact the office.

CAFOD Liverpool Volunteer Centre
27 Crofton Road
Liverpool
L13 5UJ
0151 228 4028

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St Anne’s Ormskirk celebrates their Live Simply Weekend!

St Anne’s Ormskirk is one of the parishes across the Archdiocese taking part in the Live Simply Award Scheme. To celebrate approaching the half way point they hosted a Live Simply weekend.

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A stall with information about Livesimply.

The weekend started with a shared lunch after mass on Saturday which some asylum seekers from Ormskirk and Skelmersdale came to, to provide a chance to integrate with the community, and to allow the parishioners to “Live in Solidarity”. About 50 people attended this and brought lots of almost entirely vegetarian food, “Living sustainably”.

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Some of the food available.

There were displays about the work so far in the Live Simply campaign, including artwork done by the children in St Anne’s school,  a Fair Trade stall and sales for Sreepur Vilage in Bangladesh, which carried on with coffee after Masses on Sunday morning. The stalls raised £180 .78 for Fairtrade and £53.40 for Sreepur Village. Fair Trade tea and coffee as always after Sunday morning masses and proceeds to Marian Care in Southport as always after Sunday Morning Masses.

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The Fairtrade stall.

At all of the four Sunday Masses, including the Saturday evening vigil mass, the priests preached on the theme of Live Simply, there were appropriate hymns and Live Simply themed bidding prayers and Eucharistic prayer IV for special occasions – Jesus who went about doing good – was used.

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Some of the artwork created by the local primary school St Anne’s.

At each Mass parishioners completed pledges, for how they would Live Simply, Sustainably or in Solidarity, and they were then collected and included in the offertory.  The four masses were attended by 534 people in total, and a lot of pledges were collected.

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Some of the many pledges by parisioners.

At the 10.30 family Mass the children in the liturgy group made their own pledges on big suns which they brought in and took up as part of the Offertory and they stayed on the altar during Mass then went to the Lady Chapel.

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An individual pledge.

The pledges are currently being sorted, and listed, to see which pledges are most popular to allow the parish to focus on particular activities while allowing individual parishioners to focus on their own pledge.

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Some of the Live Simply artwork displayed on the pillars around the church.

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A sign encouraging people to switch off the lights, to save electricity.

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A sign pointing to the recycling bins, to encourage recycling.

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A bin, for used teabags.

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One of the many CAFOD posters.

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A poster explaining many of the different food labels.