#LiveSimply in the High Peak

Last Saturday afternoon I set out for St Anne’s in Buxton and the stunning scenery along the A515.  I had been invited by Fr Gerry Murphy and the Parish Council who have registered for the CAFOD LiveSimply Award.  They were launching it this weekend and I was going to speak at both Masses.

buxton 2

It was also an opportunity to meet up with Yvonne, CAFOD parish contact; we had first met back in 1993 when we were doing the Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies (CCRS).  She was also putting me up for the night!


The parish of St Anne’s first registered for the award in 2016 but it was put on hold due to the ill health and subsequent death of Fr Denis Higgins, who had been parish priest for over 30 years.  So now with their new parish priest they were ready to revisit their plans.

The Live Simply Award, originally introduced by CAFOD over 10 years ago, but reinvigorated by the letter of Pope Francis, Laudato Si, calls and challenges Catholic communities to live simply, to live in solidarity with the poor and to live sustainably with creation.  The origins go further back to Populorum Progressio, the 1967 Encyclical written by Pope Paul VI which stated:

“All Catholics are called to act…Catholics of richer lands must play their part to help development. They should be in the forefront of those who fight to build a better world, based on justice and equality.” 

buxton 1

In 2002, the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales in their letter The Call of Creation stated; Individual actions may seem insignificant but together the small steps of many people can have an astonishing impact.”  This is truly reflected in the Award being a community achievement, people working together and supporting each other to achieve their Live Simply goals, because “The way we live and the choices we make affect the lives of others.”

And so as a community and as individuals, the parish of St Anne’s will work together to achieve the award through small, simple acts; continuing to support their local food bank and NightStop, working with CAFOD to fundraise and campaign. A big action is working towards being a Fair Trade parish.


Not only does it give the community an opportunity to nurture their spiritual lives, the Live Simply award also offers opportunities to:

  • Strengthen friendships in the parish, school and communities
  • Offer support for taking practical steps
  • Play their part in big issues that affect them and
  • Develop and nourish connections within the wider community in Buxton, in the Diocese, with their global neighbours

So we wish them well on their journey and will encourage them in their efforts as they strive to ‘Live simply so others may simply live’.



Our Lady & St Edwards parish in Thorneywood, Nottingham are also working towards the Award!

Are you interested?



Family Fast Day at Our Lady’s in Sleaford: School and Parish!

So after my visit to St Hugh’s in Lincoln, I traveled south to Sleaford. My first stop the parish of Our Lady of Good Counsel to meet up with Parish Volunteer Barbara and her husband Mike.  A group of about 15 people were gathered for coffee after the morning Mass.

20180219_113740After brief introductions it was my opportunity to thank the parish for their continued and steadfast support – from our database records which go back to 1990 they have donated an amazing £60,275.13!  Something to celebrate! They have consistently raised funds at Fast Days and also responded to Emergency Appeals.  As well as sharing about this Family Fast Day I was also able to recount stories from Livison Chipatiso, our Programme Officer in Zimbabwe who I had accompanied the previous week.     For lunch, we joined the Churches Together in Sleaford for their Lenten Soup lunch at the local Anglican church, which will be hosted by Our Lady’s next Monday.

Then it was over to Our Lady of Good Counsel School.  I was immediately struck by the display in the entrance.  A beautiful tree with home made Romero Crosses hanging from it.

romero cross tree (2) It was lovely to then be able to tell the students that Bishop Patrick had recently returned from El Salvador and had visited the crypt of Blessed Oscar Romero.  A real link between school, diocese, CAFOD and our partners overseas.


Who was Oscar Romero?

Once the whole school was assembled it was my second opportunity of the day to share with our students the theme of this year’s Family Fast Day and encourage them with their #giveitupchallenge.  Every student would be taking home a pledge for them to sign, having given some thought to what they were going to give up and how much they hoped to raise for CAFOD.

CAFOD’s Family Fast Day resources for schools

Again the atmosphere in the school was warm and welcoming, eager to take an active part in the assembly and keen to answer questions, though maybe not so keen to be in the photo!20180219_150140

As mentioned in my previous post, I find it so inspiring and uplifting to visit our Diocesan schools but that is not my job – mine is to recruit more school volunteers to add to our growing team! So if you want to be inspired and uplifted and have an opportunity to nourish our young minds, please do get in touch!

Being a school volunteer 




Family Fast Day 2018

Maggie Mairura, Community Participation Coordinator for CAFOD in Nottingham Diocese writes…………….

I am obsessed with Hamilton, the musical – what? you’ve never heard of it?  I have been listening to the soundtrack for over a year, watch snippets on YouTube and finally, yes finally will be in the room where it happens on 27/7/18! (I am so obsessed I use song lyrics in my blogs!)hamilton

So a new lot of tickets go on sale today and there will a real frenzy of activity to get them.  So while I sit here smugly knowing that I will be there, I want to invite you to other amazing events taking place; no tickets needed, no frenzied internet activity required, just come along and be blown away by how your support through prayer, fundraising and campaigning makes a difference and you are part of the narrative in bringing about change.


On Sunday 11 February, 4.30 to 6.30pm at the Volunteer Centre in Bulwell, Nottingham not only can hear about our founding mothers, our partners in Zimbabwe and UKaid matched funding but also about my visit last year to our partners in the Philippines.




On Friday 16 February you will be able to meet Livison Chipatiso, our programme office from Zimbabwe who will be sharing his experiences of working with communities to overcome hunger and malnutrition; introducing new farming methods needed to challenge the impact of climate change.   To do this, come and join us at Holy Spirit Church Hall, 4 Stonelow Rd, Dronfield S18 2EP      12 – 2pm   All welcome!

Family Fast Day Resources   

So, you don’t have to wait for it too long   Come and join us knowing that by playing your  part in this years Family Fast Day history has its eyes on !