St. Joseph’s Parish received the CAFOD Live Simply Award at a special celebration mass on Sunday 19th November 2023. The award was presented by Paul Kelly, a CAFOD Assessor; he congratulated us for all of our achievements on our Live Simply journey. The mass was beautiful, a special letter of congratulations from Bishop Ralph was read and the school choir sprinkled a touch of stardust when they sang their hearts out at the end. Receiving the award was a very proud moment for the parish, one that will live on in our memories for a very long time.
We began our Live Simply journey in the autumn of 2021, there had been many events that year caused by climate change – devastating floods, fires, storms and unprecedented high temperatures. The effects of climate change were all around, it was very clear that we were facing a crisis affecting each and every one of us, a crisis that was, and still is, damaging our world, our common home; God’s creation.
St. Joseph’s were deeply moved by Pope Francis’ call to hear the Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor and took up his challenge to take action. We began searching for something that we could do and decided that the CAFOD Live Simply Award was perfect for us. Parishioners took on the challenge with great enthusiasm, in our action plan we built on things that were already being done and also took on new challenges.
Bad news about the environment, pollution, loss of biodiversity, climate change and the plight of the poor are featured on the news and in the media night after night and we often feel powerless to help but don’t know how. Working towards the Live Simply Award brought the whole parish together; it addressed our deep felt need to do something, gave us a focus for action and motivated us to go further. The challenges and triumphs along the way culminated in an enormous sense of achievement when we were presented with the Live Simply Award.