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LiveSimply


livesimply is a major new initiative to which many Catholic organisations and groups in England and Wales are signing up. It challenges us to reflect, celebrate and take action for justice. Its message is clear: God calls us to "live simply, sustainably and in solidarity with people in poverty", and its intention is far reaching: to transform our communities in such a way that human dignity is respected and everyone can reach their full potential.

Far from demanding lip service, livesimply summons us to action. Its meaning and mission is radical, challenging us to go against widely-held cultural and economic assumptions about wealth creation - that we all aspire to have more and that economic growth should be our goal. Instead, livesimply asks those who have more to make do with less, to live more generously and to share more readily. It questions whether our priority is wealth or justice and invites us to make an option for the poor because the injustice of poverty impoverishes us all as human beings.

The Live Simply Group, with the support of Fr. Peter and encouraged by our Archbishop, has committed our parish to take up this challenge. What is involved? The campaign slogan says it all:-

LIVE SIMPLY    LIVE SUSTAINABLY      LIVE IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE POOR


The live simply award supports and encourages communities to put their faith into practical action.  To gain an award a parish must demonstrate at least nine ways in which it is putting into practice the three principles:-

  1. To live simply is to take only what we need from the earth, not to demand more and more.
  2. To live sustainably is to take account of the impact of our choices on other people and on the earth that nourishes us.
  3. To live in solidarity with those living in poverty is to make a strong and lasting commitment   to the common good so that all people can live life to the full.

These principles are interactive. To live simply is to reject "consumerism", to resist the urge to buy more than we need, not to try and keep up with the Joneses, not to make "materialism" our golden calf.   Following this path we are also starting to live sustainably, but we can then go further.   Recognising that the earth's resources are not limitless, we should reduce our carbon footprint, by saving energy, and recycling for example.   Where do our imported vegetables and flowers originate?   Are they produced by peasant farmers using traditional methods that honour the environment, or by multinational companies profiting from a poorly-paid workforce and damaging the environment through excessive use of chemicals and groundwater? Our sacrifices to live simply and sustainably will be easier to bear if they are made in the spirit of living in solidarity with those less well off. But living in solidarity also requires direct action. This can range from prayer, through supporting campaigns on justice and peace issues, buying fair trade and tradecraft products, by supporting outreach collections, and by volunteering to work for a charity or a good cause - the Night Shelter for example.

The actions which we made our targets are:-

LIVING SIMPLY

Masses for Parish Anniversary, Live Simply Mass and Supper., Bread and Soup Lunches on the Lent and Harvest Family Fast Days. Inspire parishioners to "reflect on the empty promises of consumerism and materialism" and to celebrate the gift of creation.

LIVING SUSTAINABLY

Seek individual pledges by parishioners. Energy saving audit for the Church and Hall. Walk and cycle to Church Sunday. Recycle audit and action for Church and Hall and suggestions for parishioners to take up. Live simply tips in newsletter.

LIVING IN SOLIDARITY

Winter Night Shelter. Promote the "Hunger for Change" campaign. Hold a reflective parish walk. Promote prayers for the outreach charity of the week, and for other justice and peace causes. Arrange petitions on suitable justice and peace issues..

It is our belief that livesimply is about being a parish that thrives practically & spiritually.  St. Augustine's does that with all of the activities that curently go on within the parish. The activities for this campaign have been mainly to raise awareness of the livesimply aims within the parish.    Pope Francis's wish that we should demonstrate that we are a poor church for the poor should inspire us to seek further ways of living in accordance with the principles of livesimply.   The campaign has not ended yet.