In March, 1967, the encyclical ‘Populorum progressio’ was written by Pope Paul VI on the topic of "the development of peoples" and carried the theme that the economy of the world should serve mankind and not just the few.
Over the years, groups such as CAFOD have tried to incorporate this concept into the everyday life of people. With the increasing frequency of global catastrophes and the widening economic gap between the countries of the world, the need to live our lives in harmony with our environment and also in solidarity with those less fortunate than ourselves has become a regular theme for the church and those sensitive to the inequalities in both our own society and also globally.
Last year (2016) Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ encyclical asked us all to live more sustainably in order to care for our common home. He stated that the starting point is “to aim for a new lifestyle” and he reminded us that our “simple daily gestures” can make a big difference.
The Holy Father believes that we are facing a crisis which is both social and environmental but that “strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature”.
In 2007 CAFOD developed the LiveSimply scheme. This scheme is an excellent way of challenging ourselves to a life in tune with our world.
There is a national livesimply Parish Award, supported by 80 Catholic organisations in the UK. The livesimply award is given to Catholic parishes, schools and communities that have taken significant steps to respond to the Church’s call to live simply so that others may simply live. It is awarded to communities who can show how they have been living:
- in solidarity with people in poverty
- sustainably with creation.
We propose that the Parishes of St Margaret Clitherow and St Edmund Arrowsmith now put in place strategies to work together to achieve this award for the Leigh Deanery and become the first Deanery to do this. Many of the schools have already expressed interest and so we are now looking for people who are prepared to champion this sustainable approach in their church communities. A preliminary meeting was held at St Ambrose Hall on Thursday February 9th 2016 to gauge initial interest in this proposal. Since then various activities and initiatives have taken place throughout the Deanery to realise this goal.