By Tony O’Brian, St John Mary Vianney Parish, Leeds

About 25 members of the parish of St John Vianney in north Leeds met on 20 June 2023 to take forward our action planning for our LiveSimply parish award application. Information leaflets on LiveSimply and Laudato si’ had been distributed at Sunday masses each week during Lent and followed up by two further weekly leaflets in June, so that the purpose of the award, the message of Pope Francis and the three Live Simply ambitions could become widely known and understood across the parish.

Using many of CAFOD’s suggestions, parishioners were asked to think about actions they could take to support living simply, living sustainably with creation, and living in solidarity with the poor.

Those present at the meeting on 20 June gathered successively around three tables, to discuss each of the three themes and to pool thoughts about actions that could be taken by the parish, including its two churches, three schools and various parish groups. Actions that “we are doing now” were noted on post-its, along with actions that “we can do better or start to do”. Including several suggestions put forward in advance and submitted via the offertory collection on the previous Sunday, a total of 67 positive actions were put forward and the group then began to prioritise those which can form the basis of our LiveSimply Action Plan. The next step is for the parish’s LiveSimply steering group to draft a plan for future actions which can be endorsed by the parish.

The intention is to finalise and submit the Action Plan to CAFOD by this September and be in a position to apply for the award in late summer/early autumn 2024.