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Here are our top tips for your parish to live simply, live sustainably and live in solidarity with your global family.

LiveSimply award celebration Leeds

LiveSimply members in Leeds were awarded the LiveSimply award for their efforts to create a greener Parish.

The pace of consumption, waste and environmental change has so stretched the planet’s capacity that our contemporary lifestyle, unsustainable as it is, can only precipitate catastrophes, such as those which even now periodically occur in different areas of the world.

Pope Francis - Laudato Si', paragraph 161

Commit to a LiveSimply journey

Committing to live simply, sustainably with creation and in solidarity with those in poverty can help us deepen our relationship with God, ourselves and one another.


LiveSimply for schools

Your school's actions will impact our global family, your local community and your school community as you reflect the teachings of Laudato Si’ and Catholic Social Teaching along your journey.

Action plan: Ideas to get you started

Living simply

  • Organise a LiveSimply Mass or service in your parish. This is something that could be organised at any time of the year, but especially during the Season of Creation. It's an opportunity to give thanks for God's creation and to discern what it means to live simply.

  • Write parish 'Prayers for Tomorrow'. This is a way we can consider the impact of our actions, ask for God's forgiveness for the times we have harmed our common home and pledge to make changes in our lives.

  • Collect LiveSimply pledges across the parish. Ask your fellow parishioners to write down what they will pledge to do to live simply, sustainably and in solidarity with God’s creation and design a 'pledge tree' from these commitments.

  • Arrange a parish viewing of The Letter. This is a film about the call in Laudato Si’ for us to care for our common home.

  • Consider the impact of our food choices. What we eat can make a huge difference in our own contribution to the climate crisis. The bishops of England and Wales have encouraged all Catholics to continue our ancient tradition of abstaining from meat on Fridays. Can we do this each week, and perhaps choose to eat more plant-based foods on other days too, knowing that these contribute fewer emissions than meat production?

  • Grow food, plants and trees. Nature and biodiversity are key elements of tackling the climate and environmental crisis. If we are fortunate enough to have the space, can we look to plant trees at church and at home? Can we grow vegetables in a parish garden and plant flowers that will attract bees and other pollinators?

  • Organise a parish creation walk. We have been blessed with a beautiful world – and given a responsibility to care for it. Spending time in nature helps us to strengthen our desire to care for it. Could your parish organise a summer ‘creation walk’ in a local area of natural beauty?

Living sustainably

  • Recycle and reuse materials, clothes and electrical goods. Manufacturing phones and laptops uses lots of minerals and metals mined from the earth, often harming the environment and communities living near mines. Producing clothes can use vast quantities of materials and water. Can your parish arrange regular collections of old electrical devices and clothes swaps, such as second-hand school uniform exchanges? Can we pledge to not buy new clothes for a year and make do with those we have?

  • Reduce energy waste in your parish. A lot of the energy we use to heat our buildings – and the money we spend on it – is wasted because of leaky structures. Can your parish investigate measures to reduce energy waste through draught-proofing or insulation?

  • Use renewable energy to generate electricity and heat your church. Using solar panels to generate electricity from the sun is one of the most important steps in moving away from polluting fossil fuels. Similarly, heat pumps or infrared heaters are a way of moving away from burning fossil gas to heat our buildings. The ‘Guardians of Creation’ project being undertaken in a number of dioceses has advice on ways of achieving this in your church.

  • Travel to church sustainably. Travelling to church by walking, cycling or taking public transport is a way of caring for our earth, and providing ways for people to lock bikes can encourage parishioners to do this. Could your parish set up a rota for people to share lifts to church when they need to drive, or install electric vehicle chargers to make it easier for drivers to move to more climate-friendly electric cars?

  • Switch to an ethical bank. Some of the money we might be fortunate enough to have in savings, investments or pensions could be in funds that are backing fossil fuel projects. Can we encourage people in the parish to move to ethical bank accounts, pension schemes or green investment schemes?

  • Give sustainable gifts. Giving gifts is a lovely way to mark birthdays and special moments such as baptisms, First Holy Communions, Confirmations and weddings. Could the parish look to plant a tree for these important occasions, or give gifts with real meaning, such as CAFOD World Gifts?

Living in solidarity

  • Organise CAFOD family fast days at Lent and Harvest. Fasting and giving alms are traditions almost as old as our faith itself. Organising a family fast day lunch and collection in your parish is a way of raising funds to support people in communities around the world to lift themselves out of poverty.

  • Support local foodbanks. The number of people in our local communities struggling to meet the cost of living is growing by the year. Is there a space in your parish where people can donate items for people using local food banks?

  • Welcome people who are refugees and migrants. More people than ever are being forced from their homes as the climate emergency makes areas of the world inhospitable and leads to shortages of basic resources. What can your parish do to welcome people who have left their home countries – whether because of the changing climate, conflict or poverty – and are now living in your community?

  • Calling for change for our common home and our global family. Raising our voices to call for action is crucial way of showing support for action to tackle the climate emergency. Could you arrange to support CAFOD campaigns in your parish by organising parish petition signing or letter writing opportunities? And could you invite people to marches taking place locally or nationally to demand leaders act.

  • Invite your MP to parish events. Too often, decision-makers believe that the people who they rely on for votes don’t care much about an issue. Could you invite your MP to a Mass or parish event and show them the work your parish is doing to live simply?

LiveSimply Award

The LiveSimply award enables you to strengthen the bonds of community in your parish or your school, to nourish your spiritual life and care for God's gift of creation.