Parish working towards award through sustainable practices

SS Joseph & Swithun parish is taking up Pope Francis’s call in Laudato Si’ to better protect the world by focusing our attention on living sustainably with creation and in solidarity with people in poverty – working towards official recognition for the community.

During our Advent Retreat, it was decided that the time has come for us as a Catholic community to respond to Pope Francis’s invitation in Laudato Si’ to “work with generosity and tenderness in protecting this world which God has entrusted to us”.

An important part of our faith is to care for creation and develop respect for other people. Our response is to work towards achieving a CAFOD livesimply award, to help us go deeper and take action.

The livesimply award is presented to communities who can show how they have been living simply, in solidarity with people in poverty, and sustainably with creation.

Below are some practical ideas suggested by our parishioners during the Advent Retreats for how we can all help to mitigate climate change  and to achieve the livesimply award for our parish.

Before The Flood – film screening
As part of this mission, parishioners are invited to a film night in St Joseph’s Parish Hall on Sunday 27 January (film starts at 6.30pm), when we shall be screening Before The Flood (2016, dir. Fisher Stevens), a powerful documentary about climate change, featuring Leonardo DiCaprio.

You are welcome to bring snacks and drinks to the film event, but please remember to use glass/aluminium drinks and recycled utensils – no plastic bottles! Tea and coffee will be available from 6pm.

Suggestions for helping to stop climate change:

  • Do not buying products containing palm oil
  • Reduce our consumption of meat
  • Put pressure on MPs and campaign for change
  • In winter, turn the heating down and wear warmer clothes
  • Recycle – use compost food waste
  • Turn lights off when not in use
  • Use public transport – walk more
  • Use paper bags
  • Use energy-efficient products, e.g. light bulbs
  • Insulate your home
  • If you buy a car, look for energy efficient/hybrid models
  • Fly less and offset trips by donation to a reforestation charity
  • Shop for organic food
  • Shop for free range food
  • Use ecological cleaning products
  • Support incentives for bicycles and more bike lanes
  • Avoid air-conditioning
  • Shower more/bath less
  • Go solar/investigate solar subsidies
  • Avoid buying products packaged in plastic and tell the shop you are doing this and why
  • Install a water butt
  • Use a milkman/woman
  • Reduce food waste by making a weekly menu
  • Switch to green electricity tariffs
  • Share you good ideas with others

Suggestions for the parish to achieve the live simply award:

  • Request recycling facilities
  • Adopt no use of plastic in the parish and outline terms and condition for events in the church hall
  • Encourage donations to the local food bank
  • Use gift aid donations
  • Use energy efficient products (light bulbs)
  • Switch to green electricity tariffs