season of creation logoGood Shepherd, Mytholmroyd
Janet Almond writes
This summer, in keeping with the Good Shepherd’s goal to Live Simply by recycling and reusing, two parishioners (John and Bernadette Gibson) have introduced and co-ordinated the Mary’s Meals Backpack project –

– Mary’s Meals ( www.marysmeals.org.uk) is all about offering practical help in tackling poverty, hunger and education in many different countries.
– It costs £13.90 to feed one child for a whole school year and donations help to ensure that they can attend school and be fed.
– The Backpack Project aims to give children (aged between 4 and 12) who are unable to afford the basics for school some of the things they will need.
– Parishioners have donated backpacks and items to put in them, including stationery, toiletries, and items of clothing.
– The backpacks will go to children who may never have had a present in their lives.

Our Lady of Kirkstall, Leeds
Michael Emly writes

As reported earlier in the year, this parish obtained its Live Simply award from CAFOD. However, the Live Simply Group will continue to meet on a regular basis in order to take the work forward.

The Group will look for ways which help all our parishioners to understand the issues involved and will suggest ways in which they may respond. And we will continue to put a special emphasis on working with the children of the parish because they are our future and understand very clearly how important this is for the future of the whole earth. We will therefore keep lines of communication open with our schools and with the uniformed organisations, and look for opportunities for them to participate.
We envisage that the following activities, which seemed particularly successful during the project, will continue on an ongoing basis:

• The Gardening project -trying to create environments which are hospitable to wildlife, particularly pollinating insects
• Working with Cubs and Beavers twice a year to plant the troughs at Holy Name, and perhaps other aspects of the gardens
• Lenten walk in the park
• Walk to church Sunday
• Working with refugees: Christmas collection for St. Vincent Centre and supporting the Homework Club as it moves forward
• Continuing to work on issues around sustainability and climate change, including support for the current CAFOD campaign
• In order to keep parishioners aware of our parish commitment to Live Simply, we will produce a Live Simply bulletin 3 times a year
• New activities will emerge naturally in response to various external events e.g. new campaigns from CAFOD, diocesan or local initiatives, etc. We will also foster and support any actions arising from the workshops on poverty in Leeds which were held earlier this summer.

St John Mary Vianney parish, Leeds
Julie Brownrigg writes
photo of the earth from spaceThe parish held a 3Rs (Renew-Recycle-Re-use) parish music evening in July. It was a great evening, and everyone enjoyed the presentations and the live music. It was both an informative and enjoyable experience. The evening included two speakers: Alexis Percival from Roundhay Environmental Action Project
www.reap-leeds.org.uk and Kirsty Dodds from the Refilling Station in Chapel Allerton www.refillingstation.co.uk .The music was fantastic too!
Thanks are due to Alexis and Kirsty for inspiring us to do more, with so many practical suggestions on opting for sustainable solutions to single use plastics/materials (e.g. not using ‘wet-wipes’) and buying unpackaged products. Hopefully, there will be more such information events with opportunity to find out how we as individuals, families and as a parish can do our bit for the Earth by LivingSimply. Three leaflets have been produced so far by the Parish LiveSimply team, and we are preparing an action plan, with a view to increased activity in Advent. The leaflets have proved necessary because of lack of space in the parish bulletin.