OLSE parish recognised for commitment to living simply


Members of a Catholic parish in Fulwood have recently been rewarded for their efforts to ‘care for their common home’ as they received the livesimply award from  CAFOD.

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Parishioners from Our Lady and St Edward’s parish, Fulwood, have spent the last two years making tangible changes within their parish to live simply, sustainably and in solidarity with people in poverty.

In January, their hard work paid off and they received their award at a ceremony attended by the parish priest, Canon Bob Horn, members of the parish CAFOD group and two external assessors.

The church community came together to get involved in many ways: hosting an environmental family quiz night to illustrate how easy it is to go green, working imaginatively to ‘upcycle’ rubbish into art, and working to sell Fairtrade goods within the parish.  The group also organised meetings with their local MP and Minister of Security, Ben Wallace, to highlight their concerns at Government level.

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Two members of the parish at a soup lunch for CAFOD

The parish are long-time supporters of CAFOD, and have had an additional partnership with Kalomo, a town in Southern Zambia, who they have supported for more than twenty years.  Hearing about the impact of climate change on the lives of the overseas community during a visit from a Zambian nun only inspired the parishioners further.

Stephen Garsed, a member of the CAFOD group at Our Lady and St Edward’s, said: “The award is a recognition of the progress made, and we see it as a milestone, not an end. This has been a true community effort which has seen the whole parish focus on environmental stewardship and social justice, and we aim to promote the importance of caring for our common home.  This has been a grassroots project and we believe that it is so important to be a voice of people living in poverty by campaigning and showing solidarity.

“We hope that this award will be an inspiration to other parishes to embark on their own livesimply journey.”

CAFOD’s local representative in Fulwood, Patrick Gardner, added: “It’s brilliant to see Our Lady and St Edward’s parish being recognised with the livesimply award.

“By living simply, sustainably, and in solidarity with people living in poverty, parishioners are demonstrating their compassion for our global neighbours. It’s a fantastic achievement and just the start of a wonderful journey.”

Find out more about CAFOD’s livesimply award


Celebrating our Volunteers

CAFOD campaigner and parish volunteer, Stephen Garsed, shares his volunteering story with us……

Stephen at a parish Live Simply evening

Stephen at a parish Live Simply evening

On arriving in Preston 25 years ago, I joined a parish with an active CAFOD group. I am also part of a CAFOD group at my church, Our Lady & St Edward’s in Preston, promoting the Live Simply Campaign in response to Laudato Si’.

Over the years I have learned that development is much more than ‘giving aid,’ it is about working in partnership with poor communities to meet their needs.



Stephen at the Climate Lobby with his MP

Stephen, and his wife Anne, at the Climate Lobby with his MP at the House of Parliament

This goes right to the heart of what it is to be a Christian, irrespective of  denomination. With my wife, Anne, a Methodist, and other members of the family, I have campaigned on issues such as: trade justice, the Jubilee Debt Campaign, climate change, and tax justice. The joint work of CAFOD and Christian Aid on these issues is something we support both together and individually.

We have lost count of the amount of campaign cards and letters we have written to our MP. The most memorable events have always been the big national rallies, particularly meeting our MP during the “For the Love of” campaign.

Stephen has recently taken on the role of  Campaign Volunteer Coordinator for CAFOD in Lancaster diocese.  A vital role in ensuring our campaigning impact and engagement is as high as possible at a local level. So you’ll be hearing more from Stephen in the coming months……..

Speak up on climate and energy this summer


Livesimply with Eco-congregation

Eco congregationIs there something your church could do to engage with creation care and sustainability?

As part of Climate Week, St Paul’s Scotforth, Lancaster are hosting a morning to explore this.

David Hughes, who runs both Eco-Congregation and the Live Simply Award , will explain them.

It takes place on Saturday March 9th 2013, 9:30am – 12 noon, at St Paul’s Parish Hall, Scotforth Road,  Lancaster LA1 4TS (across road from the church).

Representatives from local churches who have already gained an award will be on hand and also a local assessor of the Eco-Congregation scheme.

There will be opportunities to ask questions, share ideas and talk with others. Whether your church has begun on this journey or not does not matter.

Come along and be inspired to start something in your church.Livesimply

Refreshments available.

For further information contact Hugh Kidd on hkadmin@phonecoop.coop or tel 01524 39018

To download a flier, click here

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