Our Lady of Kirkstall Parish, Leeds

This parish is now well into carrying out the plan developed and presented to the Parish Council in the middle of last year.
Michael Emly writes:
Since January, steady progress has been maintained in implementing our Action Plan. Our planning group continues to meet at approximately 2 monthly intervals and members remain enthusiastic. Their contribution to the project has been amazing.

Living Simply
Every month we produce a “Live Simply” bulletin on a specific theme. For example, the April edition provided a “crib sheet” of key themes in Laudato Si’ in order to make the encyclical’s contents more familiar to our parishioners. Each bulletin also suggests 3 small practical actions that people could do – these seem to have been very well received and acted upon.

Living Sustainably
Live Simply newsletter coverA lot of effort has been put into the “Gardening Project”:
• We have successfully liaised with Urban Buzz, submitted a plan of work to them, and have in consequence already received both bulbs and wildflower seed, free of charge.
• The March edition of our Live Simply Parish Bulletin focussed on the project and shared our plans for each site. A request for volunteers attracted a good response and we have been working together regularly on a monthly basis in order to tidy up the grounds of each of our 3 churches in turn.
• The Uniformed Organisations have also been active and the troughs they planted with bulbs to enhance the entrance to Holy Name Church at Easter have now been replanted with summer flowers.
An audit has also been conducted about the use of disposable crockery and cutlery and this is being followed up in more detail.
Living in solidarity
The parish has continued to support a number of charities including the Sylvia Wright Trust, the Peter Trust and CAFOD as well as the collection of foodstuffs for the SVP and a local foodbank. Lenten Alms this year were dedicated to the Medaille Trust; in May a speaker visited the parish and told us about the work of the Trust at every Sunday Mass. Clothes and other items were collected to send to Malawi with Fr. Emmanuel. Our parish initiative of providing a homework club for refugee children has attracted volunteers and is running weekly in school term-time.
Celebrating Live Simply

To celebrate all that has been achieved, a special colour bulletin was produced for the first weekend in July, providing a retrospective in pictures of the past year.

Good Shepherd Church Community, Mytholmroyd

The community at Good Shepherd Church are just getting going. They met on 2nd July and Janet Almond outlines their plans as follows: –

Six of us attended our planning meeting and together we completed the template provided by CAFOD with an Action Plan based upon discussions at previous meetings, summarised as follows:
To Live Simply: the organ and flower festival, inspired by the Beatitudes, has provided a spiritual and reflective beginning to our Live Simply journey. It involved nearly 50% of the
regular Sunday congregation and participants tested unknown skills out with their comfort zones. Visitors came from near and far, from many faiths and none.

To Live Sustainably with Creation: our main action will be to reduce waste, as a community and as individuals, raising awareness in users of the Parish Centre and in parishioners. Progress will be measured by questionnaire and by the children reporting on personal and family activities by way of stickers that with time it is hoped will fill a heart shaped poster.

To Live in Solidarity with the Poor: we will involve the parish community, young and not so young, in ongoing support of local charities and initiatives for the homeless, poor and hungry and of global causes including the CAFOD virtual village and the Hope Community Village.
Our journey will include a Liturgical celebration, involving as many of the community, our parish and our neighbours in the Deanery and Hebden Royd as possible.

There will in addition be ongoing initiatives, under all three of the main headings, including supporting and raising awareness of Fairtrade and regular bulletin suggestions and recommendations drawn from the many suggested by parishioners.