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.
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.”
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?