Championing sustainable living led St John the Evangelist to get a livesimply award

Earlier this month, parishioners at St John’s the Evangelist, Bridgnorth, were the recipients of CAFOD’s 40th livesimply award. They were presented with the award for championing sustainable living. Their efforts focused on promoting a simpler, greener life style in solidarity with the world’s poorest communities. St John’s the Evangelist is the first church to gain the award in the Shrewsbury diocese.

Find out more about sustainable living and livesimply  

St John’s the Evangelist’s tips for sustainable living 

The parish received the livesimply award after a rigorous assessment. Here are just some of the ways their parishioners become sustainable living champion:

  1. Living simply: The parish organised a Laudato Si’ study group to inspire parishioners to live a simpler and greener lifestyle. Along with the study group the parish also offered a livesimply mass and created a livesimply check list which all parishioners received after mass with actions to care for creation. The local catholic school, inspired by the livesimply check list, created an Advent calendar with daily actions.
  2. Living sustainably: The group of 30 active members split into smaller groups to encourage several initiatives. These included creating a contemplative meditation garden at the side of the church and planting trees to mark significant events like sacraments, death, anniversaries. They also organised a litter picking project in the community and a plastic bottle top collection for the local children’s hospital.
  3. Living in solidarity: The livesimply group promoted CAFOD World Gifts at Christmas and the sale of Traidcraft Christmas cards in partnership with St John’s primary school. More recently they organised a Share the Journey walk in solidarity with refugees.

Mary, who led the livesimply group, said: “We were delighted to receive the award but also humbled as we realise that more needs to be done to move us forward and make a difference.  We are extremely grateful for the support we have received from across the parish and from Fr Iain, our Parish Priest”.

Champion sustainable living and become a livesimply award community

How can I/we start championing sustainable living?

“An important part of our faith is to care for creation and to develop respect for other people in the world. Becoming a livesimply parish helps you go deeper and to take action”

Paul Kelly, St Joseph's parish, Lancaster diocese

The livesimply award is open to all Catholic communities - parishes, schools, religious orders and chaplaincies. It is given to communities that have taken significant steps to respond to the Church’s call to live simply so that others may simply live. It helps communities to celebrate achievements and gives the focus and inspiration to go further and become a sustainable living champion.

After receiving the award for the Cathedral parish in Brentwood Brenda said: “The whole process has been hugely inspirational. From not really knowing where to start, I feel we have come so far and done so much. I’d encourage other groups just to look and see - you’ll be surprised at how much you can achieve.”

Follow these three simple steps to start your livesimply journey and sustainable living:

1-   Explore our livesimply resources and share the idea with others in your community. A small enthusiastic group, whether an existing CAFOD group, a Justice and Peace group or a handful of people ready for a new challenge, is all you need to get started. Be sure to get  the backing of your parish priest or head teacher.

2-   Sign-up to livesimply as a parish. When you sign-up we’ll invite you to an email group for livesimply communities. This is an easy way for communities to share ideas and resources, and to help you to complete an action plan. Alternatively call us on 0303 303 3030.

3-   Complete an action plan. Use our simple action plan template to detail the sustainability activities in your parish and begin your journey to becoming a livesimply parish.

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