Laudato Si’ (Live Simply)

“Never before was a Papal letter more enthusiastically received by other Christian Churches, other religions, politicians, scientists, believers and non-believers alike than Pope Francis’ letter on creation, ‘Laudato si’ two years ago. Though it is a challenging read at 189 pages it is clearly written and has a message that we should all try to absorb.” – Fr John Corcoran, Parish Priest.

A series of meetings was held in 2016-2017 to introduce us to the encyclical, to discuss it and consider ways of putting its philosophy into practice. Following this, we have started a new parish group whose objectives are to commit the parish, in its three church communities, to establish permanent activities and practices that will enable us to actively live the ideas engendered by Pope Francis, so that we may start to repair the damage done to our Common Home and offer a better future for our children and grandchildren.

We will be meeting regularly to discuss initiatives and progress. In the meantime, these pages will be used to pass on relevant news, advice, hints and tips, etc. We hope our website will become a valuable resource for all in the parish and elsewhere who wish to contribute to the success of the venture and to keep abreast of what we are doing. Our watchword is a phrase frequently repeated by Pope Francis in Laudato Si’ – “everything is connected”!

A Prayer for Our Earth

All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures. You embrace with your tenderness all that exists. Pour out upon us the power of your love, that we may protect life and beauty. Fill us with peace, that we may live as brothers and sisters, harming no one. O God of the poor, help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth, so precious in your eyes. Bring healing to our lives, that we may protect the world and not prey on it, that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction. Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain at the expense of the poor and the earth. Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature as we journey towards your infinite light. We thank you for being with us each day. Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle for justice, love and peace.
Amen

Overview of Laudato si'

We link with the primary schools in Clitheroe and Dunsop Bridge

St Michael and St John’s Citheroe Laudato si’ Group

Thorneyholme Forest School See the Photo Gallery for pictures of key activities and in particular the Tree of Trees Planting and The Tree Planting at St Hubert’s Church

News

January 27, 2024: Nearly New Sale

Thankyou to everyone for the help this afternoon and yesterday that made the Nearly New Sale such a success.  The sale made £165 altogether so we split it £80 to the PTA and £85 for Laudato Si.

There’s over 20 bags to be collected by Bags2School on Wednesday. There are two bags of coats. Does anyone know if SVP or anyone else could use them? Otherwise.  Otherwise they will go into Wrap Up Lancashire next year.  We have also taken a box of gifts/toys for a fundraiser Bowland High PTA are doing at the beginning of March, the rest is going to a charity shop.  So nothing has gone to waste and a great lesson in community building and recycling.

And people are already asking if there will be another.  I am sure there will!

January 13, 2024: Work on the Parish garden

Good attendance of adults and pupils, the main achievement today being the creation of a new plot for seeds, and of course the usual tidying and hauling

December 18, 2023: Laudato si’ meeting

See the notes of the meeting here

December 2, 2023: Work on both the Parish and the School side

A beautiful if cold day, but we soon warmed up. We trimmed the hedges, cleared the leaves, adjusted the ends of the dead hedging to keep away from the trees, moved the branches up from the bottom of the field to the dead hedging site on the school side and enjoyed the well deserved tea and cakes.

November 29, 2023: Northern Dioceses Environmental Group

See the notes of the meeting and also the talk by Deacon Gareth Rowe and the important new document from Pope Francis Laudate Deum, a supplement and update to Laudato si’

October 20, 2023: Laudato si’ Meeting – Planning Community Events

We are currently planning three events to aid community working, fostering parish/schools links, and to be part of a Church of all baptised people, working together to promote the Gospel message of evangelisation through living the life of Jesus, Faith in Action. 

See the full notes of the meeting here

October 2, 2023:Parish Fun Day -Thoughts on the day

On Saturday 23rd September the ‘Live Simply Parish Event’ took place. Different aspects of the community were represented and gave people an opportunity to meet new people and try new things. The turn out was excellent and it was lovely to see so many new faces. It was a brilliant example of the community coming together to enjoy some fun filled activities, always with thoughts of God and his wonderful creation in the background.

Rather than trying to describe the event in detail, see the comments and feedback here

See also the slide show on the SSMJ School website

September 23, 2023: Family Fun Day

Different aspects of the community were represented and gave people an opportunity to meet new people and try new things. The turn out was excellent and it was lovely to see so many new faces. It was a brilliant example of the community coming together to enjoy some fun filled activities, always with thoughts of God and his wonderful creation in the background.

Rather than trying to describe the event in detail, see the comments and feedback here.

See also the slide show on the SSMJ School website

September 19, 2023: NDEG Zoom Meeting

The Northern Diocese Environmental Group meets regularly with representatives from northern dioceses. On September 19, most northern dioceses were represented.

See the notes of the meeting here

September 16, 2023: The results for Hedgelife Help Out are in!

We didn’t take part in the Hedgelife Help Out but the results are interesting and encouraging and come with (at the end) information on local action groups.

Click on the image to see the results

September 11 and 14, 2023: Dead Hedging and preparation for the Fun Day

Two more days but these are concentrating on getting everything ready for the 23rd – tidying up and preparation for Antony Brown’s demonstration of dead hedging.

September 1, 2023: Dead Hedging on the Parish side of the gardesn

Three sessions so far now, the latest two on August 28 and September 1 and good progress made.

August 4, 2023: More work on the school gardens

We had good attendance this morning with two teams: two people working on clearing the brambles (at least another day on this; and a strong team of parents and children repairing one of the raised beds and planting.

August 2, 2023: Fun Day Organising Committee Meeting

Note we are now calling the Community Event a “Fun Day” and we have a committee representing SM&SJ School, SM&SJ PTA and SM&SJ Church. Not however that this is a Parish event and will be seeking to expand involvement and attendance throughout the three churches and the three schools.

See the notes of the meeting here

July 27, 2023: Clearing the brambles which were intruding on the gardens of the houses next to the school

Following a request (complaint) about brambles coming into a garden and not possible to clear from the garden side, a small party of four commenced a corridor free of brambles to protect the gardens on the one hand and to maintain rewilding on the school side. We will need one more day to complete the work.

July 19, 2023: Community Event Meeting

The meeting arose from an action point from from the July 10 Laudato si’ meeting following discussion on the need to build a bigger community within the Parish and with SM&SJ Primary School. The school has just won its Live Simply Award but although the Parish Laudato si’ Group has had a Live Simply Plan since 2018, and has achieved a great deal, there is a feeling that the Parish as a whole needs to be more involved before the Award would have meaning and represent a total Parish commitment to the Laudato si’ vision. Also in discussion came up the Parish Forum decision not to have an outdoor Weld Day Mass. Weld Day has been an important community event for a number of years now and for 2022 the preparation of the grounds after Covid and several years of neglect had been a wonderful community building exercise in itself. The Community Event is currently independent of the Parish Forum action to pursue something for 2024. The notes of the meeting can be found here.

Liz started the meeting with a prayer which isn’t recorded in the notes but reproduced here for its simplicity and power.

July 16, 2023: The Dead Hedge at Sabden in March 2022 and July 2023

The first picture shows Antony’ Brown beside the dead hedge when just completed and the one below as it is now in July 2023

July 15, 2023: Dead Hedging on the Parish side

We had a really good turn out and made a good start under the expert lead of Antony Brown.

July 10, 2023: Laudato si’ meeting

See the notes of the meeting here

July 1, 2023: Ribble Valley Citizens Summit for Climate and Nature

Organised by RVCAN and held at Trinity, the Ribble Valley Citizens Summit for Climate and Nature was a truly wonderful event. With an excellent keynote speaker in the form of Rob Hopkins and two panels totaling another 13 contributors, interest was held high from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm. There is much more happening abroad and locally than most of us had realized and it was very much an upbeat day and not doom and gloom. It was good to see so many of our Laudato si’ group present and there are lessons which I trust we can take back to our Parish. The day ended with a panel of local counsellors responding to the key priorities identified by the 150 or so people attending. We had (form left to right) Independent, Conservative, Green, Liberal and Labour. By far and away the most articulate and forward looking response came from the Green Party in the form of Malcolm Peplow of our Laudato si’ Group

June 15, 2023: After 6 more tonnes of woodchip

May 28, 2023: Back in the Gardens

Today we worked both sides of the fence.

On the Parish side we commenced tidying up in preparation for implementing our plans.

On the school side we tidied and weeded the raised bids where the school have now planted potatoes, onions, peas, beans and rhubarb. At the bottom of the field by Mearley Brook we planted a batch of new trees supplied by Antony Brown from Sabden, our ecology expert.

The trees we planted by the fence last year are doing well.

A good days work.

May 23, 2023: A Rewilded Garden

One of our Laudato si’ Group offered up this picture of their front garden

May 21 – 28, 2023: Laudato si’ Week

See the news item and resources on the CBCEW website https://www.cbcew.org.uk/laudato-si-week/

January 22 to March 18, 2023, Garden Days

We worked on 4 days during the period, January 5 and 21, February 25 and March 18.

See the slide show to observe activity and progress

February 7, 2023 Tree Planting at St Hubert’s with pupils from Thorneyholme

January 5, 2023 Laudato si’ Meeting

See the notes here

November 20 and 27, 2022: Fairtrade at Our Lady of the Valley

Fairtrade is a system of certification that aims to ensure a set of standards are met in the production and supply of a product or ingredient. For farmers and workers, Fairtrade means workers’ rights, safer working conditions and fairer pay. For shoppers it means high quality, ethically produced products.

Choosing Fairtrade means standing with farmers for fairness and equality, against some of the biggest challenges the world faces. It means farmers creating change, from investing in climate friendly farming techniques to developing women in leadership. 

With Fairtrade you change the world a little bit every day. Through simple shopping choices you are showing businesses and governments that you believe in fair and just trade.

Thank you so much to all who supported the Fairtrade Sale during these 2 weeks. Between the 2 participating churches of St Michael and St John’s and St Mary’s, Clitheroe and Sabden, we have made a profit (up till now, to be updated) of £62.15 (including trade discount, sale of Peace lilies and donations). This will be donated to CAFOD.

November, 14, 2022: The Queen’s Green Canopy “Tree of Trees” Tree Gifting

Thorneyholme School were honoured to be chosen as one of the recipients of the Tree of Trees; the centerpiece of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee weekend celebrations. The Tree of Trees stood tall as a message of hope, regeneration and optimism to our nation and the world. Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenants were asked to nominate organisations and groups they believe make a positive and measurable impact on their communities and the tree and pot are symbols of gratitude for the school’s tireless efforts. Thorneyholme is only one of  8 groups selected across Lancashire to receive this honour.

See Olgla Franklands letter to the Diocesan Laudato si’ Group here

See the Queen’s invitation here

The Tree of Trees supports Pope Francis’ message in Laudato Si’; the Care of our Common Home. Thorneyholme intend to generate as much publicity as they can and spread this important message to not only our local community, but further afield.

The planting of the school’s Tree of Trees was on Monday 14th November 2022 at 2.30pm and attended by:

.Martin Ainscough,  buy prednisone 20 mg High Sheriff of Lancashire                        

Councillor Stuart Hirst, http://marionjensen.com/2006/03 Mayor of Ribble Valley for 2022/23 

Councillor Cosima Townely, Mayor of Burnley 2022/23 

Peregrine Towneley

Father Peter Hopkinson, Salford Diocese Vicar General 

Laura Airton, Duchy of Lancaster, Estates Director  

Canon Paul Brindle, Parish Priest, Our Lady of the Valley

THE QUEEN’S GREEN CANOPY “TREE OF TREES” TREE GIFTING

The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) proudly announced the UK-wide network of over 300 inspiring organisations who will receive trees from the QGC “Tree of Trees” and hosted a a tree gifting

  1. Key Messages

A CELEBRATION OF CHARITIES, COMMUNITY GROUPS & PUBLIC ORGANISATIONS

  • The gift of a tree is a ‘thank you’ for all the valuable and tireless work that volunteers and individuals undertake for the benefit of their communities
  • It is a celebration of the diverse communities that come together for the benefit of all, often using the natural environment to improve health and wellbeing

INSPIRING PEOPLE TO PLANT

  • It is hoped that these special trees will raise awareness of the need to plant trees and inspire and encourage people to get involved in tree planting
  • Community groups can lead the way in inspiring others around the nation to plant and care for trees during the new tree planting season, between October to March

A LIVING LEGACY OF HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN

  • The “Tree of Trees” sculpture placed the importance of trees and nature at the heart of the historic milestone to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee. Her Majesty planted over 1,500 trees all over the world during her 70-year reign

The trees planted across the country in Her Majesty’s name will continue to spread this message, in honour of her extraordinary service to her country and her people.

October 29, 2022: Continuing the work on the school gardens

In the second of two days (the earlier one was October 8) we had a great turn-out despite the rain and have now completed the ecobrick/hessian surrounds for another two of the raised bids. 

Katrina says: “On behalf of the school, a massive thank you for all your hard work [last Saturday]. It really is appreciated. You battled on through the wind and rain so valiantly. The garden looks amazing.  It is brilliant to think the children could be using the raised beds this week. I am on with researching what they could plant and organising groups to do the planting.  A massive thank you again.”

We need another 200 ecobricks for the other three raised beds so let me know if you have some waiting for us.  I know some of you have.

Working hard

All finished

As part of Parish/School link, parishioners are helping with supervising the children on outings. The next one is Katrina’s EYFS class to Blackburn Cathedral on the train on Thursday 1st December, leaving at 8.15am and returning for 3.40 pm. The children are having a special Nativity tour of the Cathedral looking at the Christmas Nativity.  Please let the school know if you are able to come on the trip.”

October 22, 2022: St Mary’s, Bamber Bridge Deanery Workshop on the Environment

Our Parish was well presented at the workshop and we have established a good link with the Let Us Dream team, with commitment to taking on some of the ideas. For full details of the programme, see below

Dr Emma Gardner. Head of Environment, Office of the Chief Operating Officer Salford.  Diocese has got agreement  for our Deanery to pilot a workshop on the environment.  

The workshop is being led by John Paul de Quay of the Ecological Conversion Group and is part of Journey to 2030 and the Guardians of Creation Project for dioceses across England and Wales.  The project aims to help our church communities be the hubs of transformational change that we want to see in the world, by introducing Integral ecology (that all things are connected).  It introduces activities/tools to help rejuvenate and incorporate themes of social and environmental care into the community mission.

See here for more details  

Bishop John is the Project Sponsor and Salford Diocese is the pilot Diocese.

Mark Harold, our Rural Dean, asks that we try to support the workshop by advertising in our Parish. 

September 24, 2022: Trinity Church, Clitheroe, Coffee Morning

Members of our Laudato si’ Group attended and made useful contacts with Natural England and members of the United Reform Church and Trinity. Of particular interest was the Can O Worms which is the perfect way to compost garden and kitchen waste. See the Can O Worms website

September 22, 2022: Laudato si’ Meeting

See the notes of the meeting here

September 20, 2022: Season of Creation Services

Services were held at Clitheroe and Sabden

St Michael and St John’s, Clitheroe

St Mary’s, Sabden

Season of Creation: September 1 to October 4, 2022

The Season of Creation runs from 1 September (World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation) to 4 October (the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi) each year.

This ecumenical season is dedicated to prayer and action for the protection of creation. It is a time to renew our relationships with God our Creator, and with all creation, as we join together in prayer.

We give thanks for all that God has made, repent for the damage that we have caused and commit ourselves to take action to protect the earth our common home.

“Listen to the voice of creation” is the theme and invitation of this year’s Season of Creation. In his message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation 2022, Pope Francis calls on us to use the season to “cultivate our ecological conversion” and to pray together in “the great cathedral of Creation”.

Read the full text of the Pope’s message

CAFOD is the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development.

We are the official overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

We are also a member of the Caritas International Federation – a network of Catholic relief and development agencies.

9 September, 2022: Parish meeting to plan our Season of Creation Services

The services will take place on 20 September at St Michael and St John’s Clitheroe and St Mary’s Sabden. They are based on the guidance put out by CAFOD

8 September, 2022: Thorneyholme School

Thorneyholme School has sent me their Season of Creation display for parishioners to write their pledges to.

5 September 2022: Rewilding at Thorney Holme School

2 September, 2022: More wood chipping for our paths at St Michael and St Johns

29 August, 2022: Laudato si’ Update

The start of the rewilding at the Church of St Mary Magdalen

Our Parish Laudato si’ Group arises from Pope Francis’s encyclical of the same name but we are frequently reminded of the interconnectivity between Laudato si’ and Evangelii Gaudium, a key part of which is the much overlooked “Preferential Option for the Poor”.  The  “Preferential Option for the Poor” refers to a trend throughout the Bible, of preference being given to the well-being of the poor and powerless of society, in the teachings and commands of God as well as the prophets and other righteous people.  We are called on to look at the world from the perspective of the marginalized and to work in solidarity for justice.  And so Catholic Social Teaching and the CAFOD, Laudato si’ Live Simply Award embrace both Climate and Social Justice.

In that spirit and In the past week our Parish Laudato si’ Group has contributed to four local initiatives that take on these aspects of CST and at the same time attempt to build community within and beyond our Parish in the spirit of evangelisation and ecumenism:

  • The Darwen Asylum Seekers and Refugee Enterprise (DARE) visit to the United Reform Church on 24th August
  • A meeting of the Ribble Valley Climate Action Network (RVCAN) on August 23rd.  RVCAN has members from the Christian Community but is not a Faith based network.
  • The Clitheroe Christian community coffee morning for Ukrainians at Trinity on August 27th.
  • The St Mary’s Rewilding Project on 27th August (see the picture above).

Taking the “Preferential Option for the Poor” in the fullness of its meaning there is a great deal more than the four things above going on in our Parish and in the wider Christian community.  It would be good to know more about all of these things so that everybody can see the extent of outreach both within and beyond our Parish, and identify where they would like to become more involved.   

Within the Catholic Church as a whole there are two important upcoming dates for diaries:

The CAFOD Season of Creation from 1 Sept (World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation) to 4 Oct (the feast of St Francis of Assisi). This ecumenical season is dedicated to prayer and action for the protection of creation. It is a time to renew our relationships with God and all creation, as we join together in prayer. To that end the Parish CAFOD Group is hoping to have Care of Creation prayer services in our three churches.

Evangelii Gaudium, Sunday (3rd Sunday in September) and formerly known as Home Mission Sunday. For 2022 it is 18th September.  Pope Francis calls on the Church to embark on a fundamental change of direction when it comes to evangelisation, no longer relying on past structures and actions but to read the signs of the times and act passionately in proclaiming the unique message of the Gospel that brings joy to all people who receive it with an open heart.  He says: “I dream of a ‘missionary option’, that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channelled for the evangelisation of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation.

10 August, 2022: Rewilding Greenspaces

Katrina Harkin (SM&J Primary School) wrote to the Wildlife Trust for advice on rewilding part of the school field.  She says: “As a Catholic school it links quite strongly with our Laudato Si’ and Live Simple Approach so it is something we really would like to start so we have it in place for next summer”. 

John Lamb, Senior Conservation Officer for The Wildlife Trust (Lancashire) replied with a very detailed and useful guide he is drafting about rewilding areas including local parks and other greenspaces such as church/school grounds in anticipation of such queries coming in. 

He says: “Please find the draft guide to rewilding local parks attached – it needs some examples of sites and photographs inserting in due course. There can be a lot to think about, as there are lots of options and opportunities in managing land for wildlife”.

The draft can be accessed here.   It is a comprehensive, well researched, 16 page document which has far more coverage  than will apply but immensely useful in the parts that do.

It will also be useful in how ever we take our rewilding aspirations forward at SM&J Church, Clitheroe, and rather more so at St Mary’s Sabden. 

2 August, 2022: SSMJ Primary School Ecobrick Project

Today, we finally got round to using the ecobricks we have been making for well over a year now. 

Katrina Harkin, Forest School trained teacher at the school, has a plan. 

Yesterday was to be a trial to see how we might restore the raised beds which the school allocates to year groups giving them responsibility to nurture and maintain.  The wood currently surrounding the beds is rotting in places and unsafe.  We set to work with hessian purchased by the school and the 100 or so ecobricks in storage.

With a good turnout of Parish and School, we completed work on the first raised bed within a couple of hours and in so doing we learnt a good deal about the methodology.

We are not anticipating any more work until the beginning of next term by which time we need a lot more ecobricks.  Katrina is confident that the School will be keen to do this.  Parishioners are of course welcome to add their own.  We require around 400 more so help is much needed.

Thank you to all who contributed yesterday, those who produced the ecobricks and those who brought cakes and other goodies to help make the morning both satisfying and enjoyable. 

22 July, 2022: Laudato si’ meeting

 Present:  Mark Wiggin, Anthony Brown, Antony Brown, Andy Brown, Elizabeth Cullen, Phil Ryan, Anne Peplow, Malcolm Peplow, Joan Leeming, Keeley Ireland, Louise Kirbride, Laura Ashley, Emily Stell,  Sammy O’connor

Apologies: Sheila Shore, Grace Fellows, Betty Collinson, Zoe Mabbott, Maria Hillary, Carol Riley

The meeting was attended by 9 people from the Parish and 5 from the school.

Katrina Harkin and Anthony Brown gave presentations on the plans for the School Garden and the Church Garden.

The presentations were followed by brainstorming and discussion for the development of the gardens though much of this actually took place during the presentations. See the ideas here.

1 July, 2022: Weld Day Preparations – nearly there

It was another good turnout – and some went before the final photograph. There is a little more work to do on the benches but it’s looking good. We are using an enormous amount of wood chip and today we brought another 18 bags from Sawley.

See the slidshow

June 26, 2022: Garden Project – Preparations for Weld Day

Today we had a good turn out following a smaller group on Friday. We are now well on and provided we get similar numbers on Friday we should have an easy day of to complete what needs to be done and then enjoy the rewards of a nice brew and cake.

See the slide show

June 24, 2022: Swifts at St Wilfred’s, Longridge

Joe Howson (Deanery Hope for Justice Rep) reports that he had a look in the church belfry at St Wilfrid’s yesterday and there were four Swifts nesting, two in each bank of boxes. We are currently awaiting assessment/decision on whether we may go ahead with a Swift Project at St Michael and St John’s though this would be for next year now.

June 18, 2022: Laudato si’ Meeting at St Michael and St John’s School

Main points:

  1. Weld day preparation

Katrina suggested that the cut willow pile could be brought down to the wooded area at the bottom of the field

  • We could clean up the big tyre, fill it with soil and plant ferns, hostas and other shade loving plants
  • Carole Riley and Anthony to bring more woodchip for our next working day on Friday 24th at 2pm.
  • Raised bed area/eco bricks – there are over 100 ecobricks to use. Katrina to investigate sources of hessian and also Sam’s recycling centre (Blackburn). Could use old wood to make stakes to hold the bottles in place – could Malcolm cut the wood into stakes?

Katrina will contact St Mary’s School in Clayton-le-Moors to ask about their raised beds

We will meet on Tuesday 2 August and 10.30am to practise creating a raised bed from ecobricks

  • Concrete patch by church

We need to research rockery plants and how much light they need.

Anthony will ask his niece, Kate, for advice on the rockery

  • Hedgehogs – the importance of encouraging them was noted. Perhaps a project for later?

June 17, 2022: More Wood Chippings from Dunsop Bridge

Following tree felling at Dunsop Bridge there is a large amount of wood chippings which we have collecting and using on the paths as you can see in the pictures below and also in the large picture in the report for March 30.

Yesterday we brought back another 15 bags which is the 5th load from Dunsop and there was another load brought from another site at Newton. We need a lot of wood chippings!

This was a batch brought back on June 7

June 11, 2022: The School Garden and Weld Day Preparations

Scraping up the moss and treating with a vinegar spray
Wood chippings from Dunsop Bridge
We have yet to decide what to do with this wood but one way or another we will use it to develop a deadwood ecosystem or perhaps  deadwood fencing

June 9, 2022 Meeting about the remedial works needed to School Garden for Weld Day

Present: Anthony Brown, Betty Collison, Liz Cullen, Anne Peplow & Carol Riley

Background

On 8th June Anne and Carol went to check out the suitability of the School Garden for the Weld Day Mass which is scheduled to be held there on Sunday 3rd July. This followed a meeting of the Parish Forum on 18th May when it was suggested that the Weld Day Mass would be held in the school garden subject to the weather conditions being suitable.

Katrina Harkin from SMSJ’s school had previously advised the Laudato Si group that some remedial works would be needed to the garden to ensure safe access for SMSJ’s school children.

Carol and Anne went to look at the Garden on 8th to see what needed to be done to ensure that the garden was safe in the time available. Given the amount of work needed they were of the opinion that provided the children could access from the Church car park rather than from the raised bed area it might be possible to provide a safe space for the Weld Day Mass .

Today’s meeting was to inform the members of the Laudato Si group about the discussions that Carol had had with the Head of SMSJ’s and with Roy Cattermole and to get their views on the subject.

Firstly, Carol had prepared some estimates of the amount of materials that would be needed to make the paths closest to the Church carpark accessible. Carol had considered the possibility of lining the existing paths with a weed suppressing material (membrane) and covering this with wood and bark chippings.

The Paths measure approx. 68 metres, and it would be good practice to cut and lay the membrane before the wood/bark chippings are laid on top. This work would need to be carried out by our volunteers.

It is proposed that once the membrane has been laid, our volunteers could use the wood chippings currently located at St. Hubert’s Church Dunsop Bridge to line some of the paths in the garden. Volunteers would also be needed to bag and transport these wood chippings to the school site as soon as possible so that any shortfall in chippings can be calculated. Carol has calculated that approx. 5.52 cubic metres of wood/bark chippings are required. This would allow for a covering of approx.. 8-10 cms which would be made up of the wood chippings from St. Hubert’s and a top layer of Bark chippings.  

Roy Cattermole has agreed to look at the site on Saturday 11th June 2022 to give further advice and information about the wood/bark chippings but until we know how many wood chippings there are at St. Hubert’s we won’t know how much bark we will need to make the paths safe. Bark chippings are expensive and therefore any that we use will need to be paid for which is problematic because there does not appear to be a Church or school budget to pay for materials.

Thirdly, given the shortness of time available we all discussed the need for a Plan B. It was agreed that we would speak to Katrina and to Father Paul to see whether the School Playing field is a suitable alternative location for the Weld Day Service. We noted that the field does slope and that without some repairs to the school garden will continue to remain off-limits to the children.

Fourthly, we discussed the state of the black safety surfacing in the school garden. After speaking to Malcolm and Mr. Moon from the school it was agreed that power washing would not remove the moss and algae which is making it slippery. Anne agreed to purchase a nontoxic organic product called Algon and to test this on the surface to see if this can safely remove the moss and algae. Carol, Betty and Anne are to meet on 11th June at 10.30 to  do this.

Fifthly, Carol agreed to buy 7 membrane rolls at a cost of £8 per roll she hopes to (it is hoped that this cost can be off- set via fund raising/donations.

Finally, it was agreed that the volunteers would need to meet to undertake the work on the paths

11/6 10.30 Carol, Anne & Betty

16/6 1pm Liz, Carol and Phil

24/6 2pm Anthony

1/7/ 2pm anyone who is available to help.

Anthony agreed to mention these new dates on the Facebook page and in the Newsletter to see if we can get some more volunteer helpers.

May 13, 2022: Thorneyholme School Curlew Ambassadors

Olga Jackson reports:

As an ambassador school for Curlew Action, Thorneyholme RC Primary School in Dunsop Bridge are very proud of all the work their children have done to raise awareness of the plight of the curlew.

Curlews are in danger of becoming extinct and our school, which is located in the Trough of Bowland, is an ideal breeding ground for them. The curlew, a ground nesting bird, arrive with us in early spring, lay their eggs and remain here to rear their young. They leave us in July/August and can then be seen along the coast in places like Sunderland Point, near Lancaster and Morecambe.

As ambassadors the children have been learning about curlews for the past few years. They have taken part in National Curlew Day celebrations (21st April, traditionally the day thought to be when the curlew lay their first egg), writing poetry, recording the sounds of the curlew with recording equipment and writing stories about saving this red-listed bird.

This year, on Monday 7th February 2022, the junior children at Thorneyholme RC Primary school set up a bird survey area – square kilometre zone or transect, in preparation  for a bird count in May.  This was done by walking the area and using a GPS to map a point every 200m. They were joined by Grosvenor Estate workers Rob & Helen, a local Gamekeeper Scott and Steph Smith Ambassador for Curlew Action.  Children learnt about bird counting techniques; they looked at data since 1990 and discussed how there needs to be a balance between agricultural land and land suitable for curlews to live and breed.  On Tuesday 10th May 2022, the whole team completed this bird count.  Children mapped out the distance the birds were seen or heard in metres and the direction they were flying.  Many different birds were spotted not only the curlew, but swallows, lapwings, pheasants, oyster catchers, chiffchaffs and much more.

During the Easter holidays, both pupils and staff joined two other ambassador schools at the first ever National Curlew Summit at Sunderland Point, Morecambe, with their ‘Case for the Curlew’.

The ‘Case for the Curlew’ (see the attached photograph) was presented, along with a talk from five junior pupils, to members of The Curlew Action Group and approximately 100 children from Rylands and Overton Primary schools in Lancaster. Inside the case are 3D models of Curlew and their eggs and drawers filled with poetry, information cards, maps, data, graphs, the sounds of the curlew and much more. Ryelands and Overton – the coastal ambassador schools, also shared their work.  Thorneyholme are looking forward to working closely with these schools in the future. 

April 28, 2022: Laudato si’ Meeting, SMSJ School

Present: Anne Peplow (note taker), Liz Cullen, Anthony Brown, Katrina Harkin (Laudato Si Leader SMSJ), Phil Ryan

Apologies: Mark Wiggins, Malcolm Peplow, Grace Fellows & Zoe Mabbott

1. The Swift Project

Anthony had heard from Joe Howson about this. He confirmed that Salford Diocese in conjunction with the RSPB had undertaken several projects to encourage Swifts onto church land. Joe advised that due to a loss of habitat and fewer insects being available (an essential part of a swift’s diet) the swift population was in steep decline.

The project works like this: –

A specialist from the RSPB would be asked to inspect our church buildings to identify places that could safely be used to house Swifts. For example, in Longridge a belfry was identified. Without any disruption to the use and fabric of the belfry, nest boxes were placed in the belfry which encouraged the swifts to roost. They accessed and egressed from the belfry via the louvres which were in situ. Swifts are very clean birds, and their presence did not have a negative impact on the building or its use. As the building was a Grade II listed building no screws or other fittings were used which might have damaged the fabric of the building. Prior to the introduction of the nest boxes the Swift Project obtained permission from the Council to ensure that everything was done in keeping which the building’s Grade II status.

If we wish to proceed, we would require the approval of Fr. Paul. Anthony confirmed that he would speak to Fr. Paul before any steps were taken to move this project on. Subject to this, we would liaise with the Swift Project and arrange to have a site inspection carried out and take things from there.  

2. School Garden Development Plan

Katrina gave a presentation on this Plan. She confirmed that she is looking forward to proceeding with this project. Her number one priority remains the safety of the children. Work is still needed of the paths and on the raised beds to ensure that they are child friendly prior to the children being allowed access into the garden. Katrina said that some saw dust has been donated which could be used to line the pathways to prevent trips, slips, and falls and to reduce any further deterioration of the walkways. In addition, the existing raised beds need be upgraded with wood chippings to make them safer, sturdier, and fit for purpose. Malcolm is to be approached to see if he can undertake the work needed to improve the raised beds. Katrina said that there was approx. £30 left over from the money raised for the skip hire that could be used to purchase the wood which was needed. Katrina confirmed that power is available in one of the porta cabins although this would need to be accessed via a key which Katrina has access to. Anne will speak to Malcolm about this and ask him to email Katrina if he can undertake this work as he would need to purchase the wood to proceed. Plants are needed Anne said she could supply Sunflowers and pumpkins together with some flower seeds which had been donated.

3. The skip

The skip which the school have ordered is in situ can will be there until 3rd May 2022.

4. Trees and other resources

Antony Brown says that 30 Rowen trees can be delivered in September; help will be needed to plant these.

Katrina has accessed the Woodland Trust website which is also a resource for free native trees

Anne said that Malcolm had previously approached the River Ribble Trust and that it too could be a source for free trees.

Anne said that she had seen an article in the 30th April 2022 Castle View which referred to various environmental projects being carried out and funded by the National Trust, Cumbria Peat Partnership & Lancashire Peat Partnership. Along with Bowland AONB various schemes were underway and that this might be a source of funding for the School Garden Development Plan.

Katrina also mentioned that there was a watercourse running through the land at the side of the Playing Field. Anne said that she and Malcolm had attended a short course run by Priority Habitats Training run by the River Ribble Trust. She said that they appeared keen to get adults and children involved in monitoring our natural environment. They too could be approached to see if they would be willing to give the school some tips on monitoring and taking care of its natural environment.

Anne was asked to speak to Arnold about the covered raised bed area at the back of the Presbytery. He confirmed that he was looking forward to planting some potatoes once he had the opportunity to do so.

5. Eco – bricks

Phil Liz and Anne said that they would meet at 3.30 on 10th May at the Church Garden to look at the ecobricks to see how many there are and whether they could be used to construct a bench in the school garden. Fr. Paul had previously confirmed he did not think that a structure in the Church Garden would be a useful addition and nor did he think that any use of the pews or statues in a pray garden would be beneficial.

6. The Big Plastic Count

This Eco project which aims to get School children engaged in reducing plastic waste runs weekly from 16 March to 22 May 2022. Children are encouraged to monitor their household plastic waste for a week. Anne and Anthony both confirmed that they were going to take part on an individual basis to simply monitor and hopefully reduce that amount of plastic waste in their households. See https://thebigplasticcount.com/ for more details.

Next Meeting 9th June 3.30 at SMSJ’s School enter via the Main Entrance.

You can download and print a pdf of the notes here

April 20, 2022: Tree Planting at St Michael and St John’s Primary School

April 10, 2022: Trees and Hedges

Antony Brown of our Sabden contingent is offering us birch trees, five years old and ten feet high, but can we use them?

And here is a picture of some hedging Antony has done at St Mary’s Sabden

March 31 ,2022: Laudato si’ Meeting

See the notes of the meeting here

March 30, 2022: Update on the Garden Project

So far we have we have concentrated on generally tidying up and getting rid of rubbish. Before progressing much further we are waiting until we see what comes up and then we will decide what needs to be added and what is the best space to use for new projects.

More information on the way we are thinking can be found in the notes of the meeting on 23 March at St Michael and St John’s Primary School.

January 25, 2022, Laudato si’ (Live Simply) Group meeting

The main discussions centred on our plans for the Parish grounds and how the Laudato si’ Group might contribute to the Universal Synod.

You can find the following documents below:

Notes of the meeting

The Universal Synod Thematic Nuclei

An example response to one of the Diocesan Synod Questionnaire questions

Power Point to illustrate the parish grounds with pictures of the different plots

Synod Preparatory Document from where the Thematic Nuclei were taken

December 8, 2021: Laudato si’ (Live Simply) Group Meeting

Attending:  Mark Wiggin, Anthony Brown, Phil Ryan, Liz Cullen, Malcolm Peplow, Anne Peplow, Grace Fellows, Margaret Spencer, Katrina Harkin (for Zoe Mabbott)

Apologies: Bob Turner, Joe Howson, Zoe Mabbott, Olga Jackson, Betty Collinson, Sheila Shore, Ann Cooke, Dominic Aunger, Andrew Brown, Antony Brown. Joan Leeming

The detail of the meeting is best covered by the supporting documents

An aerial view of the Parish grounds

Our wide ranging discussion focused on:

We agreed:·   

  • Malcolm will draw up a plan of the gardens based on the drone picture and a tour of the gardens
  • Anthony will talk to Arnold Marsden and Bernard Mercer to ensure that we work in harmony with them
  • We will attract volunteers early in the New Year for an initial tidy/clean-up of the grounds prior to any work.

I will try and get a free Wednesday for a meeting later this month but based on the number of apologies for the recent meeting, and anticipated interest more widely, I anticipate planning groups to focus on:

Something we can do more or less immediately is the initial tidying up of the grounds prior to the main work which will need a bit more planning and professionalism.  There is quite a bit of work to do but when we did something similar at Sabden (September 18, 2017 on our webpage) we had 18 people who achieved a great deal in a morning of heavy rain.  It was a great community effort with some of the number providing the catering and cups of tea during the work and generating a great social atmosphere during the work and afterwards in the church hall.  I will put out an invitation in the newsletter but in the first instance please register interest by responding to this email – note interest and not commitment! 

October 27, 2021: Northern Dioceses Environmental Group Meeting

See the notes of the meeting here

October 10, 2021: From the Parish newsletter

CAMINO TO COP – A Great Big Thank You What an amazing coming together of all of the Churches and faiths around Clitheroe and Newton-in-Bowland. So many good people to thank. It’s probably a mistake to try and remember everyone from St. Michael’s and St. John’s who baked, shopped, prepared food, listened, talked, shared kindnesses and generally just said “what can I do?” Thankyou to those who started the donation ball rolling, to those whose soup fed a lot of cold and hungry people after a horrible wet and windy walk over Waddington Fell, for the scores of packets of oatie goodness, to those for “manning the tea urn” and taking responsibility for securing the Hall, to those who did sterling work on the cleaning and furniture moving. For the kind offers to put people up and for help publicising the event. To all those who helped especially those who just mucked in. Finally, to Green Theory for the wonderful donation and sterling work on the day. There were so many food donations and therefore the leftover food was distributed to Clitheroe & Clayton Food Banks, The Salvation Army, a Veterans Group, the Beavers, and the Cookery Club attached to the Food Bank.

October 7, 2021: Thorneyholme Banner again

The banner at the Great Stone of Fourstones

October 6, 2021: Thorneyholme Banner

Thorneyholme School, Dunsop Bridge, sent me these pictures of their contribution to the Camino when it reached Newton.

Olga Jackson, the Head, said: “The group were so happy to see the children with their banner that I felt we had to stay so we joined in with their meeting! They were both very shy to start with and didn’t speak but soon warmed up and joined in. They both spoke about being a plastic free school, how they loved being a forest school where they actually got to learn in the forest, how they learn about deforestation and other environmental issues and how lucky they feel to live in the country side in a lovely place. They even did a little recorded interview which will appear on COP socials. The banner will make its way to Bentham tomorrow where it will be displayed before moving on to Glasgow for COP and it will then be taken on another march in November. So, we had a lovely evening and met some really nice and committed people”

October 5, 2021

We had a great day on Monday with some new patches for the Coat of Hopes – not in the picture, they were stitched on later in the day but some wonderful contributions from our parishioners.

The walkers had done 300 miles by the time they reached Clitheroe with a hard day on Sunday from Haslingden in the wet. The Tuesday walk to Newton was even worse but much better to Bentham on Wednesday. These are hardy people and some of them over 70.

See a little video of the day here

October 2, 2021: The Camino to COP26 is coming this weekend

See the COP26 website

September 22, 2021: Parish Forum and COP26

COP 26 is on Glasgow on 31 October – 12 November 2021 when representatives from all the world’s governments, plus people from NGOs, businesses, faith groups, scientists, and other groups such as Indigenous Peoples’ delegations will attend.  In the Paris Agreement 191 countries agreed to:  

  • stop the world’s average temperature rising more than two degrees, or ideally 1.5ºC
  • respond to the impacts of climate change through adaptation
  • make plans to deal with loss and damage from climate disasters

COP26 is the deadline for countries to present their plans to cut emissions. Together, these plans need to set the world on track to stop global temperatures rising more than 1.5ºC by the end of the century.

From Sunday 3rd October to Tuesday 5th October, Clitheroe is hosting the Caministas – pilgrims walking the 500 mile journey from London to Glasgow to take part in the UN global convention on climate change. Our parish along with Trinity Methodist Church will be providing lunch for over 40 people on Monday 4th October at 12.30pm at St. Mary Magdalene’s Church Hall on Church Street, Clitheroe. If you would like to welcome the pilgrims, learn about their journey to COP26 or help with the lunch please contact either Anne Peplow on 07792637005 email anne.peplow50@gmail.com or Gaye McCrum on 07817878310 email gayeparis@yahoo.co.uk or Mark Wiggin on 07921211961 email m.wiggin@btinternet.com.

At the Parish Forum Anne Peplow provided us with details of COP26 and invited people to support the 40 Christian walkers on their way from London to Glasgow.  You can read Anne’s presentation here.

August 12, 2021

Take Action Now!

 

July 31, 2021 Laudato Si’ at Thorneyholme Primary School ‘

From Thorneyholme Primary School to the Diocesan Laudato Si’ Group:


See the start of our work on our courtyard, which we are making into a prayer and reflection area with the main theme of Laudato Si.  The cross which is the main feature of the courtyard is made of recycled wood. The upcycled green planter is going to have a sensory garden signage on it. Animals have both been given (reused) and made by the children.  The stones are largely Laudato Si’, although we have put some of our Remembrance stones in there.  These stones were decorated by pupils, staff and parents.  Our Gardening Club is run by an ex-parent and as you can see many crops are being grown, along with flowering plants for the bees. 

In addition to the above, we have worked on local conservation projects: tree planting, Curlews and sphagnum moss planting, as well as much more. 

July 23 to July 25: National Justice and Peace Conference

The theme of this years conference was the environment and Mark Wiggin represented our group at the conference. A summary of what happened can be found on the CBCEW website

June 24, 2021: Northern Diocese Environmental Group Meeting

Mark Wiggin chairs this meeting and will continue to do so following his retirement from Caritas at the end of June. A number of people in our Parish Group, and within its, network attend this group which is open to all.

See the notes here

June 17, 2021: Recycling via Sainsburys

Sainsbury’s are now taking for recycling virtually everything we were putting into our ecobricks.

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May 25, 2021: Laudato Si’ Zoom Meeting

See the notes of the meeting here

December 2, 2020: Laudato Si’ Zoom Meeting

See the notes of the meeting here 

Click on the links for the notes of the Northern Dioceses Environmental Group Meeting and a copy of the Hexham and Newcastle Social and Environmental Justice Policy 

March 8, 2020: Fairtrade

We had Fairtrade stalls at Clitheroe and Sabden. Here is the Sabden one

January 22, 2020: Laudato Si’ Meeting

See the notes of the meeting here 

December 6, 2019: St Michael and St John’s Primary School, Clitheroe

Sheila Shore had a very  successful meeting on 6th December to discuss recycling and the Laudato Si’ Garden Project.  There is minimal recycling in school but Mrs. Mabbott is very enthusiastic to take it further. At present paper and cardboard is collected in sacks.

Crisp packets are collected in a green box called Scrappy – a fairly recent parent initiative. (If this parent wishes to be identified it would be good to invite him/her to a relevant meeting). Batteries are collected in a tube.

Year 3 followed a “Plastic Pledge” ( for a period of time). Seasonally – Christmas jumpers are being recycled.

Sheila shared photos of St Mary’s Clayton le Moor garden. Mrs Mabbott  could foresee good use of tables and benches made from Ecobricks for packed lunch users in the Summer. They haven’t sufficient to do that now.

Mrs. Mabbott would like to attend our next meeting on the 22nd January.  Sheila will keep her updated 

November 18, 2019: St Mary’s Primary School, Clayton le Moors

Sheila Shore previously visited St Mary’s on July 18.  This return visit was a bigger party comprising Sheila, Anthony and Mary Brown, and Andrew Brown.  The project is ongoing with more eco-bricks still coming via school and parish.  It is under the direction of parishioner Bob Turner who has also instigated eco-brick projects at St Monica’s Primary School, Flixton and Oakhill Prep School, Whalley.

In addition to the eco-brick project, St Mary’s uses coloured bins throughout the school for recycling.

November 13, 2019: Laudato Si’ (Live Simply) Meeting

See the notes of the meeting here   

October 2, 2019: Laudato Si’ (Live Simply) Meeting

See the notes of the meeting here 

August 5, 2018: Plastic Recycling

There are two new recycling places in Clitheroe

Seal Metal Recycling is on Waterloo Road near Tesco’s and you can access their Facebook from their website. 

They take just about anything that can be recycled including those plastic food trays which are such a fag to cut into small pieces to put in an eco-brick.  They also take anything that goes into your blue bin which is great for the Ribble Valley Pocket Money Scheme for children as it’s much easier to earn points from the heavier stuff than it is from light plastic and polystyrene.  Children do however have to include a proportion of the light stuff to qualify.

OceanClear is at Unit 2, Wellgate Court, Wellgate (between Brioche and Your Style). It is an online Plastic-free shop! Launched in October 2018 their ethos is that every single piece of plastic waste avoided is a positive step in the right direction, and in working together, we can continue to move towards a plastic free future.  During the last 18 months Ocean Clear have partaken in beach cleans in the north west of England, and whenever possible carried out mini cleans on the banks of our local river.  OceanClear are well on their way with encouraging local businesses to participate in the national Refill scheme from City to Sea. This initiative makes free tap water refills easily available to everyone, so always make sure you carry your reusable bottle with you!  

Download their leaflet on what materials they will take.

Little Green Footprints refills your plastic containers.  Find them on Clitheroe Market or contact them via the details on the leaflet.  Note that you will pay more than you might pay elsewhere but cheap products are manufactured on the backs of the poor, the exploited and the enslaved.  We can only stop exploitation by refusing to take personal advantage of it.

July 25, 2019: Laudato Si’ Meeting

See the notes of the meeting here

July 19, 2019: Eco Doorstop

With a 4 pint eco-brick crammed with plastic you can still funnel a litre of sand down the hollow handle and shake it around the brick.  Decorated you can then transfom it into a lovely doorstop

July 18, 2019: St Mary’s Primary School, Clayton le Moors

Sheila Shore  visited St Mary’s Primary School in Acrington to learn about their recycling policy.  They have four coloured bins for: uncooked food, recyclable waste, non recyclable waste that can be used in eco bricks, and waste that cannot be recycled or used.  The recycling policy is linked with the parish and has featured on local TV news and in the Lancashire Telegraph, mainly for their use of eco bricks in construction, outdoor furnishing and garden projects.

July 17, 2019: Pope Francis, a Man of his Word

Hope in the Future and Laudato Si’ all in one go and more moving than people expected.  We will no doubt be showing it again in Sabden.

June 22, 2019: Hope in the Future Deanery walk

Although this was a Hope in the Future inspired walk, the sentiment is so similar to Laudato Si’ that in the current absence of a Hope in the Future webpage I am making an entry here.

Read a report of the walk

June 19, 2019: Global Healing Event 3

Global Healing is part of our Parish response to Bishop John’s call as we put our Live Simply Plan into action.  This final session comprised  a 15 minute film in four parts with discussion at the end of each part. 

Global Healing arises from one of the two most influential writings of Pope Francis – Laudato Si’.  The other is Evangelii Guadium.  Both have led to major initiatives, and in particular in our Diocese – Live Simply and Hope in the Future.  As Bishop John tells us repeatedly, the two are interconnected and both are about living a life of oneness with the whole of humanity and the whole of creation.     

We are fortunate that Bishop John is passionate about the environment, and for the lead he is giving us.  As Bishop for the Environment he is setting an example by turning the extensive grounds of his residence at Wardley Hall into a major environmental project.  The Laudato Si Centre seeks to respond to the challenge of Laudato Si’ by creating a space for practical action which will help to educate us to leave a sustainable world for future generations.

Laudato Si’ and Evangelii Guadium are more explicit and harder hitting that previous Popes’  writings and they demand a change of thinking and a change in the way we live our lives.  As Helder Camara, formerly Archbishop of Olinda and Recife, Pernambuco siad: “God does not accept praise, gifts and honour from those who have no eye or heart for the human family.

See the outcomes of part 3.

June 15, 2019: Wild Flower Garden at Sabden St Mary’s

Self seeded with a little help from parishioners, you get a wonderful display that needs only God’s creative genius.

June 5, 2019: Global Healing Event 2 – Before the Flood

Before the Flood is an environmental documentary featuring Leonardo Dicaprio. It is the second of three Global Healing evenings presented by the ‘Laudato Si’ (Live Simply) Group as part of a series of events about Living Simply. The film is 90 minutes.

The film was well received by a stunned audience at St Michael and St John’s with its strong message of our personal complicity in the catastrophic effects on the environment that we are all contributing to.  

May 2. 2019: Laudato Si’ (Live Simply) Meeting

See the notes from the meeting

March 30, 2019: Global Healing

Following Bishop John’s pastoral letter, the Laudato Si (Live Simply) Group showed the half hour Global Healing film again on Wednesday March 20th in the Parish Assembly Room at 7.30 pm.

We had an excellent discussion following the film. 

March 6, 2019 (Ash Wednesday): Live Simply in Lent

Some useful ideas for Living Simply in Lent from the Lancaster Diocese Faith and Justice Commission

March 3, 2019: Bishop John’s Pastoral Letter on the Environment

In his Lent Pastoral Letter, Bishop John asks to us to heed climate change and Care for our Common Home.   He says: “I would like to challenge every parish in this Diocese to form a group concerned with giving advice and making practical responses. I invite every parish to watch “Global Healing” as an introduction to practical ways of helping to heal our planet.”   With our Laudato Si’ (Live Simply) Group and Global Healing programme we are well ahead of most parishes.

Read the full text of the letter below and also see the leaflet he mentions Caring for our Common Home at Home.  Click on the images

February 13, 2019: Global Healing, Sabden

It was another really enjoyable evening even though there was only 17 of us, and some had to miss the film and attend to the food!  Once again we had a collection for the Refugee Day Out which brings the total now to £115.05.

Special thanks too to those who prepared the six cultural dishes. With five different faiths represented the discussion was lively and stimulating.  There will be two more events in Clitheroe to complete the series, dates to be arranged. For those who weren’t able to attend in Clitheroe or Sabden you can see the film and download the resources at https://www.ourcommonhome.co.uk/

January 23, 2019: Reaching out to Refugees

Our Live Simply Plan,  Live in Solidarity with the Poor Action 2:

Encourage parishioners to support the activities of at least one Parish Group that has a social action remit e.g, CAFOD, SVP, Food Bank, Refugee Response, Anti-Trafficking, and support  either directly or by donations and increased awareness of what they do.

Sean Ryan’s presentation of refugees and the Refugee Sponsorship Program generated a lot of interest and questions from the group.  It was a pity it was so small a group – just 14 of us.  Ironically it might have been the small size of the group – mostly from our Parish but one from the United Reform Church – that made the discussion easier and more coherent.  Sean speaks with passion and his superb  musical renderings of the main theme from Schindler’s List on woodwind to a series of pictures of refugees got us off to a good start.  He followed with a song called The Lighthouse by the Rend Collective and then launched into the Sponsorship Program and his work as National Caritas Community Sponsorship Coordinator.

His achievements are considerable but then Sean is a remarkable man.  He didn’t talk about himself but he puts his success down to the power of his Faith.  It was that Faith that lost him his well paid job when he became a whistle blower because of malpractice by his employer.  Along with his family he became homeless and for a while made a living as a street musician.  After applying for over a thousand jobs he finally got a position with Caritas.  Sean didn’t tell us any of that.  What he did say was that starting with his own Parish in Flixton he led the sponsoring of a Syrian family that has become the UK model.  Sean is employed by Caritas and also CSAN so he travels the UK encouraging parishes to set up sponsorship schemes of which there are now nearly 50.  Ten of these are in Salford Diocese.  His success has earned him an MBE.

There was a lot of enthusiasm from the group for the idea of our Parish sponsoring a Syrian family and we will pursue this.  It is something we will also take up with the Clitheroe Christians in Partnership Meeting on Wednesday January 30.

However for 2019 we hope we will be able to run another Refugee Day Out and we are collecting money for that from Live Simply events (e.g. this one and Global Healing).  For Sean’s presentation we got a very creditable £71.75, no doubt thanks to his infectious passion and commitment.

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January 15, 2019: Little Green Footprints

From our CAFOD meeting this morning.  Little Green Footprints refills your plastic containers.  Find them on Clitheroe Market or contact them via the details on the leaflet.  Note that you will pay more than you might pay elsewhere but cheap products are manufactured on the backs of the poor, the exploited and the enslaved.  We can only stop exploitation by refusing to take personal advantage of it.

January 9, 2019: Live Simply Meeting at Sabden

Important Dates for you diary:

  • Reaching Out to Refugees,  January 23
  • Global Healing at Sabden, February 13
  • Live Simply at Sabden (work on St Mary’s grounds), February 16
  • Live Simply at Sabden, April 13

See the notes of the meeting Live Simply meeting 9 January 2019

December 21, 2018: Update

First of all we have now sold our first  batch of 30 BOB boxes for a total of £300.  £90 goes back to CAFOD to make more BOB box kits and £210 is for our Parish CAFOD group to decide which CAFOD project to donate to.  We have our next batch of 20 BOB boxes to sell and have so far sold one.

It’s already four months since our last Live Simply at Sabden Day though a small team led by the Whites has made further progress in front of the church.  We need another date in our diaries and I’m sure there are things we can make a start on even during the winter months.  To remind you of plans – yet to be finalised – look at the notes of the meetings on this webpage, particularly the August meeting which has most detail.  Perhaps a Saturday in February?  It would be good to have something in the  diary to keep us focused.

Following the success of the Clitheroe Global Healing  event we decided to hold another similar event at Sabden and we have five meals so far volunteered.  This may well be enough.   We need to sort out an OHP and a date and suggestions for the latter would be good.  I think it will have to no earlier than February because in January there is a Parish Forum on the 16th and I have provisionally booked Sean Ryan, National Caritas Community Sponsorship Coordinator,  for the following week to talk about his work with refugees as part of our plan to attract support and volunteers for our  refugee work in the Parish.

At some stage not too long after a Sabden Global Healing event we need to arrange the remaining two Global Healing sessions in Clitheroe.  These involve a film but not a supper.

The next meeting is at Sabden on 9th January, at 7.30 pm.

December 5, 2018: Global Healing

 Over 40 people attended a very successful Global Healing event on Wednesday 5 December.

On arrival people were given a Global Healing leaflet which is about how our faith helps us care for our common home and lists things we can do. You can download a copy by clicking on the picture below and saving it.

On each table was another leaflet about what families and parishes can do and how we can educate ourselves and use our political voice.  You can download a copy by clicking on the picture below and saving it.

Fr John who has highlighted the importance of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ since its publication was unwell and sent his apologies.

Anthony Brown in his opening words read out a personal message to us from Bishop John:

On 18 June 2015 Pope Francis gave us the encyclical Laudato Si on Care for our Common Home.  From the outset Pope Francis made it clear that the two central themes of his pontificate would be care for the poor and care for nature.  Whenever I return from the desperately poor countries I visit as the chair of CAFOD trustees, I am acutely aware of the need to be constantly questioning the wastefulness and indifference of our affluent society.  In Laudato Si, Pope Francis challenges us to make connections between our actions and the increasing damage we are inflicting on our environment.   Every drop of water we drink, every strand of cotton we wear, every word we write on our computers affects the environment in some way.  He encourages us all to make the connections between our actions and their effect on the poor, the marginalised and the exploited. Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s creation is vital and urgent; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian faith. All of us can, and should, involve ourselves in protecting creation and as missionary disciples we are called to become instruments of God’s care for creation. I recommended Global Healing as a short course for Advent and I am very pleased that the Parish of Our Lady of the Valley is launching Global Healing tonight with two more events in the New Year. 

With my prayerful good wishes for the season of Advent.

+John

The 33 minute film, in three parts followed, with questions for reflection and discussion at the ends of parts one and two.  The questions were pursued over supper rather than during the film.

Andrew Brown said grace and seven meals were laid out for people to choose from – Carbonara,  Dahl, Spaghetti Bolognese, Mexican Chilli, Cheese Pie, Lancashire Hot Pot and Potato Pie.  Nearly all the food went and what was left would certainly not be wasted.

Andy Brown finished with the Laudato Si’ prayer taken from the Laudato Si’ encyclical.

Key points from the event:

  • Over 40 people attended including a number from the wider Christian community.
  • There were many positive comments about the film which was an excellent presentation of Pope Francis’ exhortation to us to recognise our responsibility in tackling the issues of poverty and the environment.
  • The film and the questions it posed featured in much of the discussion over supper. Deferring the questions until supper worked well although this was not the plan recommended in the leader notes.  To facilitate discussion the questions were on the tables.
  • A number of people expressed interest in making a practical response or in joining the Live Simply Group.  There was a strong feeling that people were  concerned about the issue and wanted to do something about it.
  • There were many extremely positive comments about the event and it was clear that people welcomed the opportunity to share a meal in good company, and engage in discussion on a serious matter.
  • There was no waste. We used the kitchen crockery and cutlery and the little food that remained was taken away to be eaten later.
  • The success was due to the substantial efforts of a few who knew exactly what they were doing, and the willing support of many others. A big thank you to all, particularly those who brought food and worked in the kitchen.
  • We sold our entire remaining stock of 8 BOB boxes and 13 packs of Caritas Christmas cards.
  • We talked about a possible repeat of the event on a smaller scale at Sabden.
  • Although the number of people attending was perhaps 15% less than tickets taken or ordered,  an attendance of over 40 felt substantial, even in a large hall.
  • Attendance was boosted by email approaches and personal contact to people who would not otherwise have been aware of the event. It is clear that the usual methods of publicity are only partly successful and that we need to work on communication in order to reach more people.

December 1, 2018: Christmas Fair at Sabden

We had a lot of interest with our BOB boxes at the fair and sold seven.  At £10 each £7.00 goes to CAFOD and £3 goes back for making more BOB box kits.  So we made £49 for CAFOD

 

November 14, 2018: Laudato Si’ Meeting

Read a report of the meeting The first part of Global Healing will be on Wednesday 5 in the Assembly Hall.  We have seven offers to make food for the cultural meal.  Tickets are free and will be given out at all Masses between now and December 5.

October 6, 2018: Share the Journey

Parishioners participated in a short walk to Share the Journey with refugees. We added 19 miles to the total which continues to rise.   We have already walked four times around the world in solidarity with our brothers and sisters. Can we make it a fifth?

October 3, 2018: Laudato Si’ Meeting

Read a report of the meeting

The next priority for the group arising from the meeting is Global Healing.  Global Healing (How our Faith can help us care for our Common Home) is a free resource sponsored by the Bishop’s Conference and can be a film evening including a worldwide supper or a short course of three evenings. Bishop John has recommended it for Advent. If it is to be an Advent event we would need to go for the first day on 5 December.

Our initial thoughts are covered in the notes of the meeting.

Click on the picture

September 16, 2017: Live Simply at Sabden

After our work things looked a lot better at the front of St Mary’s Sabden but some time last week somebody came and added the finishing touches for Saturday’s wedding. It goes to show what can happen when you make a little effort to make our Parish more welcoming.

Apart from all the hard work that people put in, credit should go to those who made insightful suggestions leading to the decision to prioritise the front of the church in time for the wedding, and the invitation to the wedding party to come and help.

Credit in particular needs to be given to Peter and Susan White who have worked tirelessly, and mostly on their own, at Sabden and without that work the current tidying work would have amounted to nothing.

September 8, 2017: Live Simply at Sabden

Despite the weather, which got steadily worse as the morning progressed, we had 18 people turn up to work on the garden at St Mary’s, Sabden.  This included six from next weekend’s wedding party who must have been pleased to see how many parishioners were there in the miserable weather, doing their best to make the place nice in advance of the wedding.  The weather might have been miserable but the event was anything but.  Somehow the rain was barely noticed until we’d finished and realised how wet we were.  Thanks to the numbers it took two hours to do a job that might have taken all day, but mostly what people will remember is the satisfaction of a job well done in good company, and having the opportunity to talk to people and get to know them better.  It was a great community event and a great show of welcoming.

This is only the start.  There is more basic tidying and maintenance but hopefully it won’t be long before we can turn our minds and efforts to the environmental aspects of what we are about here.  We will meet and plan before the next Live Simply Day at Sabden.  Watch this space.
 
The pictures show the area in front of the church but people did much more than this, each to their own allotted task.
 

August 13, 2018: Laudato Si’ Meeting: St Mary’s (Sabden) Project

Read a report of the meeting

August 10, 2018: Hedgehog conservation

Hedgehogs are becoming increasingly scarce and at the Sabden Summer Fair I met a man called George who named a hedgehog after him.  George noticed a hedgehog in his back garden one day and thought it would be a good idea to make somewhere for it to hibernate in his garage and sure enough George  was soon in there.   When the winter came George dragged some straw into his hibernating box and went to sleep till spring.  All the time a camera monitored every movement and the attached video is an edited version of hours and hours of film footage.

Click on the picture

June 30, 2018: BOB Boxes at Sabden Summer Fair

Click on the picture

We sold ten BOB boxes at the Fair at £10 each.  Of that money a total of £70 will go to CAFOD sponsored projects yet to be agreed by the Laudato Si’ Goup.  £30 will go back into the making of more BOB box kits.

June 23, 2018: Share the Journey walk on OLOTV Refugee Day

We are walking today in solidarity with all refugees and migrants throughout the world.

This is part of a ‘Share the Journey’ campaign throughout England and Wales.

All together in total we hope to walk 24,900 miles which is the distance around the world.

We hope that every step we take will be a message to world leaders when they meet in September 2018, to finalise global agreements.

We need to make sure that these agreements have at their heart the human dignity of all vulnerable people on the move.

June 6, 15, 22, 2018: Via Creativa, a series of talks exploring creativity, interconnection and resilience.

Click on the picture

June 13, 2018: Laudato Si’ Talk – Bats and Birds and Everything to do with the Environment

Click on the image below to see a pdf of Stephen Burrowes PowerPoint presentation (videos not included)

June 6, 2018: Our CAFOD Live Simply Action Plan is registered

..so we are on the way!

June 1 to June 6:  Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership Volunteer Week

Come along and celebrate National Volunteers’ Week with us! The Pendle Hill landscape is a wonderful place to spend time, and volunteering across it is even better!

As part of National Volunteers’ Week which runs from 1st to 7th June 2018, we will be delivering a number of activities and sessions within the Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership. Please come along to any of the sessions and find out more about volunteering opportunities and the wider Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership. New volunteers welcome and no prior experience needed!

Friday 1st June 1pm – 4pm. Join us at Spring Wood for a family friendly bushcraft session! Children must be accompanied by a parent/guardian throughout the session. All resources and materials provided but prepared to get muddy! BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL.

Saturday 2nd June 10am- 12pm. Join the Friends of Spring Wood at their regular monthly volunteer session at Spring Wood and get involved in some wildflower planting, as well as getting the opportunity to learn about this great group! All materials provided but please bring your own gloves if you have them. Under 18s must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

Sunday 3rd June 9.30am – 3.30pm. Come along and get involved in our Pendle Hill Volunteer’s session as we start some path repair work and remove some tree guards from part of the Pendle Way that goes from Barley up the hill. Meet at Barley Car Park. All tools provided but please wear suitable outdoor clothing and sturdy footwear. Bring extra layers and waterproofs, as well as lunch and snacks for the day. Under 18s must be accompanied by parent/guardian. BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL.

Tuesday 5th June 4.30pm – 7.00pm. Drop in to see us at the Unity Wellbeing Centre in Nelson to find out more information about our volunteering opportunities across the Landscape Partnership. Come along and ask us questions about the projects, future events and activities. Opportunities range from practical conservation to Pendle Radical research, archaeology to species surveys. There are also ‘Get Into Volunteering’ opportunities for groups so please come and see us if you are a group leader from Pendle, the Ribble Valley or Burnley.

Wednesday 6th June 10am-2pm. Join us for a walk with volunteers across our lovely Pendle Hill landscape. The route will be approximately 6 miles and we will meet at Downham Car Park. The route won’t go to the summit but will provide you with some great views and great paths. Please bring lunch as we will aim to have that en route. Under 18s must be accompanied by parent/guardian. BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL.

For more information about any of the sessions or to book a place please email volunteer@pendle-hill-lp.co.uk or call 01200 448000.

May 20, 2018: Spring Happening Environmental Stall

Following a request for the SVP to man a stall at a St Michael and St John’s “Spring Happening”, my suggestion to run an environmental stall was accepted by the group.

The stall was to bring attention to the needs of the environment.  Contributions were donated from several local garden centres and supermarkets, who themselves seemed very supportive of our intentions.

They generously donated items to help our efforts.  We sold hedgehog houses, bird houses and bird food, also seeds, flowers and herbs to provide pollination for the bees,  gardening tools for adult and children, plus compost and pots.

Posters and leaflets from the RSPB and World Wild Life Fund were displayed and handed out, as were children’s magazines and “spot it” leaflets to get them interested in nature.  We also sold canvas bags and used paper bags as opposed to plastic.

The stall made over £200 for the Parish.

Christine Dixon

May 2, 2018: Laudato Si’ Talk – The Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership

Jayne Ashe of the Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership, a woman with a passion, brought a breath of fresh air to the Old School Rooms on Wednesday, May 2, speaking of the Partnership’s mission to understand, restore and celebrate our iconic hill.

Her talk, illustrated with beautiful landscape pictures, covered the work of the partnership under the headings of Environment, Economy and Enjoyment.  With lottery funding of £1.8 million plus additional funding of nearly another million, there is plenty that can be done over the Partnership’s four year’s duration.  The area covered stretches from Gisburn to Whalley and from Clitheroe to Barrowford and Nelson, and takes in numerous conservation, archaeology, art, and enjoyment projects working with other organisations such as Mid Pennine Arts and Ribble RiversTrust.

On the Environment there are projects to develop the habitat, guided by the wishes of local residents, in the areas around for example, Worsaw Hill, Clarion House and Barley Car Park.  In the last 50 years wildlife has changed with reduced numbers of badgers, hedgehogs and swifts.  Swifts were a particular topic for discussion with Jayne’s wisdom on the demise of these birds which need the specific but declining habitat under the eaves of houses.  The answer is “swift boxes and bricks” and the Partnership has installed 15 of these so far on 5 or 6 farms. Another issues is that the area lacks clough woodland so tree planting is important.

Conversely there is the problem of invasive species – Himalayan Balsam, Japanese Knotwood and Cray Fish species that are threatening our native crayfish population.  Himalayan Balsam not only takes over other plant life but leaves banks bare in the winter increasing erosion.  Volunteers can remove invasive plants giving grassland and natural river bank grasses and herbs the opportunity to re-establish themselves.

Repairing walls and hedges enhances the landscape for walking and encourages diversity in wildlife, for example developing the habitat for stoats and weasels.

On Pendle Hill there are plans to restore the cart track that runs diagonally back to the base on the Barley side and this will ease Mountain Rescue.  Peatland restoration on the top of Pendle is important to give plant cover and prevent excess CO2 entering the atmosphere.  There will be a shelter near the trig point in the shape of a cross to provide a wind break from whatever direction the wind blows.  There is work here for a master craftsman and also artwork around the trig, as well as requiring volunteer involvement.

On Economy there is a need to spread the footfall from the honey pot of Barley to encourage new visitor economies around the Nick of Pendle, Spring Wood and Downham.  There is no footway on the road between Chatburn and Downham which will be remedied by an off-road route alongside the road.

Research is planned, particularly to develop the area with health and well being in mind.    People Enjoying Nature (PEN) is based on the principle that mental health and well being can benefit from eco-therapy and being active in the outdoors. Also planned are links with UCLAN, plus apprenticeships for young people to learn rural skills such as wall and hedge repair.

Our hill is for the Enjoyment of everyone, from just soaking it in to active participation in projects such as archaeology.  Pendle Hill has prehistoric sites, probably Bronze Age, and there are features not listed that probably should be.  Community Archaeology will provide opportunities for training in desk research, geophysical surveys (seeking ancient below ground disturbance) and study of previously uninvestigated sites.   Apart from opportunities for archaeology with the Partnership, the Partnership also has funding for people who want to take on their own projects.

We should celebrate our Pendle Radicals – George Fox of the Quakers, Selina Cooper, hero of the suffrage movement, and the Chartists – and learn about them.

There are a lot of opportunities for volunteering and learning and in 2020 there will be a summer school.

Overall it was very clear that the Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership will offer plenty of opportunity to pursue our Live Simply Award under the heading of Living Sustainably with Creation.  In particular there are opportunities for families and young people to explore, enjoy and learn about the environment and wild life, in the company of others seeking similar pleasures.  This can be at the level of one day observations tasters or active involvement in substantial projects.

January 10 2018: Meeting of Laudato Si Group

John Noonan opened with a prayer

Anthony Brown said a few words about the Live Simply Award and introduced the speakers.

Mark Rotherham introduced us to Laudato Si’ and the message of Pope Francis reminding us of the significance of the name our current Pope has taken.  Man’s existence on Earth continues the evolution of the universe and living matter, from the Big Bang to the emergence of consciousness and compassion.  Yet within the short span of humanity , through our actions, we have upset the fine balance that has kept our planet on its course so that now we threaten not only the whole environment  but ourselves as well.  On land the food chain is under tension as the small creatures die and the bigger ones have less to eat, and in the oceans, plastic waste is forming islands of death for the creatures of the sea.  We must remember that we own nothing in the world,  we are but stewards of what we possess and  we are stewards of the earth: “..a new model of stewardship away from dominion towards a model of kinship with the Franciscan language of the family” (Laudato Si’).  The compassion that Pope Francis speaks of in everything he writes and says is what must drive us to protect the earth, to halt its destruction, to care for all life  within it, and to remember that it is the poor who suffer first and most.  It is our duty individually and collectively to do all in our power to care for our environment and everything in it.

Building on Mark’s introduction, Joe Howson introduced his presentation with a potted history of Lee House, a Mass Centre during penal times,  and how Lee House became a centre for spirituality and education, where people young and old come to reflect and learn.  Joe’s emphasis at Lee House is empathy – empathy for the poor and the marginalised and empathy for the environment. Over the years Lee House has been venue for school  children coming for experiential days,  learning what it feels like to be a refugee or homeless person.   Lee House has a mobile refugee exhibition which goes to schools where pupils pass from one room to another, through simulated environments and audio testimonies.  There is also a mobile trafficking exhibition which uses the same structure but with different pictures and audios.  But mostly school children come to Lee House for experience and role play followed by discussion and learning.  For example there are offerings where pupils play the role of loggers or others moving in or exploiting land occupied by indigenous peoples.  Their counterparts play the role of the indigenous people themselves.   Having experienced one side or the other the case is taken to a simulated court or the United Nations where each side  argues its case.  We need to ‘contextualise’ so our understanding of the world is rooted in reality not theory; helping young people to experience the awe and wonder of nature.  Lee House and its land and outbuildings and structures, developed by Joe and volunteers, is an oasis of environmental care and formative experience.

Mark and Joe had provided for the context for Joseph Cooper from St Wilfred’s Parish, Preston, to present the details of the CAFOD Live Simply Award.  He gave us some details of what his own parish was doing to achieve the award.  There are three prongs to the award: live simply; live sustainably with creation; and live in solidarity with the poor.  Under each of these three headings you have a main action which involves either a significant change or includes a lot of people.  You also have two smaller actions.  The St Wilfred’s group has drawn up their plan which has been submitted and accepted and will be reviewed at the end of the period by a CAFOD assessor who will expect achievement to be evidenced by such things as paper records and invoices, or visual change.  It was clear from what Joseph said that all that was needed was imagination and a modicum of building on what was already being done.  The St Wilfred’s Live Simply Group comprises a group of ten people which is but a small proportion of the parish and Joseph raised the interesting concept of ladders of engagement which aim to deepen commitment gradually from a low base thus engaging more people and achieving more ambitious goals.  Community activities or spiritual events can have an environmental or charitable dimension for example Masses or prayers offered for a particular intention or even injecting a few environmental questions into an Advent quiz.  St Wilfred’s are having a serious of awareness raising events including subjects like human trafficking which is a less obvious candidate for a talk, yet referred to in Laudato Si’.  Stimulated by Joseph and the realisation we could include activities which are already taking place, or which aimed to reach new people, we were encouraged to feel that we are already on the journey.

Following the presentations, Mark Wiggin invited those present to generate ideas which were then presented to the group:

  • Have a launch and a programme of activities published so the whole parish can get involved
  • Book the Old School Rooms every month on a Wednesday to develop and promote our ideas
  • A parish audit of what we are already doing
  • Improve communications internally so that everybody can be aware of what we are doing and how they can contribute
  • Joe’s Invitation to continue our journey at Lee House
  • Spiritual events and a liturgy to reflect what we can do to live more simply e.g. outdoor Masses and a Stations of the Cross walk over Pendle Hill
  • Community activities  – environmentally focused outings, presentations with invited speakers
  • Knitting/craft days
  • Grow vegetables for the foodbank
  • Plant seeds and trees and place Bob Boxes
  • Share our facilities with refugees
  • Work with other churches and faiths in Clitheroe
  • There will be a Spring Happening of fun for all the family in the Parish on May 20th, at St Michael and St John’s Secret Garden and Assembly Hall, to include our Parish, friends, local communities, playgroups, primary and high schools.  There will b stalls, crafts, demonstrations, refreshments and lots more.
  • There will be a Justice and Peace presence at the Eucharistic Congress in Liverpool  in September 2018. Steve Atherton is delighted to invite our northern environment group to get involved in the fringe event called ‘On the Altar of the World’ on Saturday 8th from 10.00 – 18.00 at St Philip Neri, the Catholic chaplaincy to the university.   This is a large venue in the student quarter, very near to the cathedral (near the Philharmonic for those who know Liverpool.) The building can accommodate large numbers as well as smaller, more intimate groups. It has a large open space with versatile seating arrangements and easy access to comfortable rooms and a kitchen. The Northern Diocese Environmental group representing their Diocese J+P organisations will host an environmental event there with the themes yet to be agreed.

Mark Wiggin concluded the evening by applauding three excellent presentations from three very knowledgeable people, all of whom are committed to the gospel of social justice and protection of  the environment. Their knowledge and passion came through with some wonderful examples of how we can understand and respond to Laudato Si. We heard about the importance of seeing ourselves as part of creation, a perception that brings with it the need to recognise the emphasis on stewardship rather than dominion.  The crisis of global warming and climate change is happening now and we are all called to act now. We need to educate young people to see the world and nature as something precious that needs and deserves to be protected and held in awe and wonder.  Finally, we gathered some great examples of how a parish can do practical things to live simply, sustainably and with the poor.

Anthony Brown concluded with the Laudato Si’ prayer at the top of the page:

30 November 2017: Meeting of Laudato Si’ Group

See the Notes of Laudato Si meeting November 30 2017

2 November 2017: First meeting of the Laudato Si’ Group

Mark Wiggin was elected Chairman and Anthony Brown, Secretary.  The meeting agreed to explore the CAFOD Live Simply Award as the means of pursuing Laudato Si’ our parish.

See the Live Simply Award and the Live Simply Action Plan