Before the summer holidays in June 2016 parishioners from all three of our churches met to reflect on Pope Francis’ encyclical ‘Laudato Si’. Central to his message is how we see our role in the world that conforms with the vision of St Francis. The PPC have decided that we as a Parish should work towards gaining a LiveSimply Award for the Parish so I shall explain more at the Masses this weekend and suggest how we, as a parish, can live simply, sustainably and in solidarity with the poor.Fr James.
A steering committee for working towards our LiveSimply Award has been meeting and we will be keeping you all up to date with information in the bulletin, on notice boards in each Church and on the parish website. Your representatives from each community are Hilary Bolger, Becky Walker, Aideen Shiell and Linda Dawson from Sacred Heart, Janet McIlwee, Mary Rando and Mary Edmonds from St. Helens and Katie Maidment and Rob and Clare Hardie from St John of the Cross.
OUR PARISH ACTION PLAN (below) has been submitted to CAFOD and in due course Live Simply assessors will visit our Parish to see if we have achieved the Live Simply Award.
ACTIONS TO LIVE SIMPLY
Main action: To use the weekly Parish Newsletter to suggest to parishioners ways in which we can all be involved in living more simply. We will have a box into which parishioner can place any ideas that they would like the parish to try. A new suggestion will be published every month. We will have a list to sign for those willing to take the suggestions on board
Encourage Parishioners to use the monthly Fair trade stalls and seek out Fair trade produce in the supermarkets and to encourage people to buy ‘World Gifts’ at Christmas rather than unnecessary luxury items
For the Parish to pray the ‘Live Simply Prayer’ each week during the Bidding Prayers at Holy Mass and to spend time in prayer and meditation in the Memorial Gardens in Sacred Heart and St Helens, and to explore the possibility of using some of the grounds for parishioners to grow vegetables.
ACTIONS TO LIVE SUSTAINABLY WITH CREATION
Main action: Recycling – Ensuring that Parishioners are aware of how to correctly use the local recycling facilities with the hope that communications with the local organisations will lead to even better local recycling methods.
Encourage parishioners to become ‘MP Correspondents’ who help raise awareness and understanding of the causes of poverty and injustice and to encourage them to support policies and activities that help poor people around the world.
Reducing wastage in the Parish by encouraging the use of LED bulbs and switching off lights and turning down thermostats in our churches and homes. In the future trying to reduce the number of paper copies of the weekly newsletter by encouraging people to sign up for a weekly electronic version.
ACTIONS TO LIVE IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE POOR
Main action: Supporting Refugees in Norfolk and elsewhere. In Norwich working closely with ‘English Plus’ by collecting bikes, tools and vacuum cleaners to assist with resettlement. Financially and politically supporting refugees in the Greek Islands and in Calais
Supporting the Cromer and Norwich Food Banks and North Norfolk SVP particularly during this Advent by parishioners having an alternative ‘Advent Calendar’ which involves donating a necessary food item each day throughout Advent. The boxes/bags of food can then be brought to each church and will be taken to the Food Bank for distribution.
‘Coins for Cambodia’ each household will be invited to take home a glass ‘thankfulness’ jar. It will act as a visible reminder to be grateful for our own amenities e.g. clean water. The money raised will go towards water projects in North West Cambodia being organised by ‘Support Cambodia’. The Parish has a well-established twinning link with the Parish of St. Francis Xavier in Svay Sisophon in Battambang Province, Cambodia.