This Friday 22nd March 2019 is World water Day with a theme of “Leaving no one behind – Whoever you are, wherever you are, water is your human right” The UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 is crystal clear: water for all by 2030. By definition, this means leaving no one behind. But today, billions of people are still living without safe water – their households, schools, workplaces, farms and factories struggling to survive and thrive. To read more about it, see: https://www.worldwaterday.org/
Click here for a fact sheet WWD2019_factsheet_22Mar2019
So what can we do?
1) With St. Francis let us remember to pray in thanksgiving for “Sister Water” with a Prayer for the Precious Gift of Water since without water, we would die. Water is essential for life on earth, not just human life but all life. Water is needed for drinking, cleaning, washing, and making crops grow. There is no substitute for this precious resource, and yet we waste it, we pollute it, and we even commodify it! Let’s start anew, and begin by thanking the Lord for the gift of water …
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water who is so useful, humble, precious, and pure.
Prayer for Sister Water: We praise and thank You, Lord, for the gift of living water.
Guide us to use it wisely, learn from its humility, consume it sparingly,
and protect its purity, so that with St. Francis, we may truly enjoy water. Amen. – by Br. Cathal Duddy ofm
2) Appreciate that fresh water clean is a finite resource and if it is of a drinking quality, in our polluted world, it has had to be cleaned to varying degrees and as such it has required an energy investment and CO2 footprint, which has added to Climate Change already. Use it sparingly and re-use it as much as possible before discarding it. Water is our human right, but wasting water is not anyone’s right. Ways to use water wisely: https://wateruseitwisely.com/
3) Become informed about the findings of research studies done that are published and can inform us about the real present situation locally and globally, and help us become a responsible global citizen where ever we are, especially when travelling to areas of the globe that have in the past or are at present experiencing water shortages for what ever combination of reasons.
We can’t assume our water is safe to drink. But we can fix it. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2019/03/drinking-water-safety-in-united-sates-can-be-fixed/
Plastic particles found in bottled water https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-43388870 or https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-43389031
Britain’s iconic lakes and rivers polluted with plastic, study reveals https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/plastic-pollution-uk-lakes-rivers-microplastics-friends-of-the-earth-a8810831.html
How drugs are entering UK water systems through urine https://www.bbc.com/news/health-29108330
Coal Ash Pollution Contaminates Ground Water At Hundreds Of Locations https://cleantechnica.com/2019/03/04/coal-ash-pollution-contaminates-ground-water-at-hundreds-of-locations/
Green Infrastructure Turns Rain Into A Resource, Not A Pollution Source https://cleantechnica.com/2013/02/10/green-infrastructure-turns-rain-into-a-resource-not-a-pollution-source/
4) Sign the various petitions on the topic, requiring our present politicians to take urgent informed actions to rescue our present situation and plan for a safer water access future. Like the following petitions:
There’s plastic in the water from Greenpeace : https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/page/s/plastic-rivers?
How drugs are entering water systems through urine https://www.focusforhealth.org/drinking-prescription-drugs-tap-water/
5) When the coming and future elections come along, may we be intelligent enough to vote for political candidates and parties that will prioritise ecological and environmental resources safety and accessibility, instead of a mythical economical growth at all cost including the veiled destruction of all life support systems that we depend upon.
January 16th 2019
January 8th 2019
Westminster Justice and Peace Commission observation on the current Migrant Situation
The recent attempts by migrants to cross the English Channel have highlighted the current situation once again. The English Government’s response to those migrants who seek refuge from war, violence and lack of security is very telling,
The statement from the Home Secretary, Mr Javid, clearly shows a totally anti-migrant stance when he said to reporters at Dover on Wednesday 2nd January, appearing to address those who tried to make the treacherous journey across the Channel, “if you do somehow make it to the UK, we (the Government) will do everything we can to make sure that you are often not successful (in your asylum claim)”.
Such words indicate that the Government policy is pre-judging any individuals’ claim for sanctuary. Yet every individual has a legal right at least to be heard without prejudice or favour. We need to keep in mind that those migrants or refugees are our fellow human beings, and as such, demand some respect.
There is in this present climate, a tendency for politicians, the Home Office, Border Control and security personnel to treat all migrants with suspicion. This tendency is crystallised into the policy of the ‘hostile environment’. The plan is to create fear in the minds of ordinary citizens that we are going to be over-run by migrants. There is a rhetoric that fuels fear and trepidation in ordinary people so that they view migrants with suspicion and try to secure barriers, either physical or psychological.
Justice and Peace has long been asking for due process for asylum claims to the UK, to be accessed in Northern France. This would alleviate the desperation that leads these dangerous cross-Channel journeys facilitated by smugglers.
Yes, there are those taking advantage of the human hand of friendship and that aspect has to be taken into account too. But all men, women and child migrants need to be treated fairly and with human respect.
Fr Joe Ryan, Chair Westminster Justice and Peace Commission
Message of the Holy Father Francis for the celebration of the 52nd World Day of Peace (1 January 2019), issued on 18.12.2018
The following is the text of the Message of the Holy Father Francis for the celebration of the 52nd World Day of Peace, to be held on 1 January 2019 on the theme: Good politics at the service of peace.
Message of the Holy Father
Good politics at the service of peace
- “Peace be to this house!”
In sending his disciples forth on mission, Jesus told them: “Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you” (Lk 10:5-6).
Bringing peace is central to the mission of Christ’s disciples. That peace is offered to all those men and women who long for peace amid the tragedies and violence that mark human history. The “house” of which Jesus speaks is every family, community, country and continent, in all their diversity and history. It is first and foremost each individual person, without distinction or discrimination. But it is also our “common home”: the world in which God has placed us and which we are called to care for and cultivate.
So let this be my greeting at the beginning of the New Year: “Peace be to this house!”
- The challenge of good politics
Peace is like the hope which the poet Charles Péguy celebrated. It is like a delicate flower struggling to blossom on the stony ground of violence. We know that the thirst for power at any price leads to abuses and injustice. Politics is an essential means of building human community and institutions, but when political life is not seen as a form of service to society as a whole, it can become a means of oppression, marginalization and even destruction.
Jesus tells us that, “if anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all” (Mk 9:35). In the words of Pope Paul VI, “to take politics seriously at its different levels – local, regional, national and worldwide – is to affirm the duty of each individual to acknowledge the reality and value of the freedom offered him to work at one and the same time for the good of the city, the nation and all mankind”.
Political office and political responsibility thus constantly challenge those called to the service of their country to make every effort to protect those who live there and to create the conditions for a worthy and just future. If exercised with basic respect for the life, freedom and dignity of persons, political life can indeed become an outstanding form of charity.
- Charity and human virtues: the basis of politics at the service of human rights and peace
Pope Benedict XVI noted that “every Christian is called to practise charity in a manner corresponding to his vocation and according to the degree of influence he wields in the pólis… When animated by charity, commitment to the common good has greater worth than a merely secular and political stand would have… Man’s earthly activity, when inspired and sustained by charity, contributes to the building of the universal city of God, which is the goal of the history of the human family”. This is a programme on which all politicians, whatever their culture or religion, can agree, if they wish to work together for the good of the human family and to practise those human virtues that sustain all sound political activity: justice, equality, mutual respect, sincerity, honesty, fidelity.
In this regard, it may be helpful to recall the “Beatitudes of the Politician”, proposed by Vietnamese Cardinal François-Xavier Nguyễn Vãn Thuận, a faithful witness to the Gospel who died in 2002:
- Blessed be the politician with a lofty sense and deep understanding of his role.
- Blessed be the politician who personally exemplifies credibility.
- Blessed be the politician who works for the common good and not his or her own interest.
- Blessed be the politician who remains consistent.
- Blessed be the politician who works for unity.
- Blessed be the politician who works to accomplish radical change.
- Blessed be the politician who is capable of listening.
- Blessed be the politician who is without fear.
Every election and re-election, and every stage of public life, is an opportunity to return to the original points of reference that inspire justice and law. One thing is certain: good politics is at the service of peace. It respects and promotes fundamental human rights, which are at the same time mutual obligations, enabling a bond of trust and gratitude to be forged between present and future generations.
- Political vices
Sadly, together with its virtues, politics also has its share of vices, whether due to personal incompetence or to flaws in the system and its institutions. Clearly, these vices detract from the credibility of political life overall, as well as the authority, decisions and actions of those engaged in it. These vices, which undermine the ideal of an authentic democracy, bring disgrace to public life and threaten social harmony. We think of corruption in its varied forms: the misappropriation of public resources, the exploitation of individuals, the denial of rights, the flouting of community rules, dishonest gain, the justification of power by force or the arbitrary appeal to raison d’état and the refusal to relinquish power. To which we can add xenophobia, racism, lack of concern for the natural environment, the plundering of natural resources for the sake of quick profit and contempt for those forced into exile.
- Good politics promotes the participation of the young and trust in others
When the exercise of political power aims only at protecting the interests of a few privileged individuals, the future is compromised and young people can be tempted to lose confidence, since they are relegated to the margins of society without the possibility of helping to build the future. But when politics concretely fosters the talents of young people and their aspirations, peace grows in their outlook and on their faces. It becomes a confident assurance that says, “I trust you and with you I believe” that we can all work together for the common good. Politics is at the service of peace if it finds expression in the recognition of the gifts and abilities of each individual. “What could be more beautiful than an outstretched hand? It was meant by God to offer and to receive. God did not want it to kill (cf. Gen 4:1ff) or to inflict suffering, but to offer care and help in life. Together with our heart and our intelligence, our hands too can become a means of dialogue”.
Everyone can contribute his or her stone to help build the common home. Authentic political life, grounded in law and in frank and fair relations between individuals, experiences renewal whenever we are convinced that every woman, man and generation brings the promise of new relational, intellectual, cultural and spiritual energies. That kind of trust is never easy to achieve, because human relations are complex, especially in our own times, marked by a climate of mistrust rooted in the fear of others or of strangers, or anxiety about one’s personal security. Sadly, it is also seen at the political level, in attitudes of rejection or forms of nationalism that call into question the fraternity of which our globalized world has such great need. Today more than ever, our societies need “artisans of peace” who can be messengers and authentic witnesses of God the Father, who wills the good and the happiness of the human family.
- No to war and to the strategy of fear
A hundred years after the end of the First World War, as we remember the young people killed in those battles and the civilian populations torn apart, we are more conscious than ever of the terrible lesson taught by fratricidal wars: peace can never be reduced solely to a balance between power and fear. To threaten others is to lower them to the status of objects and to deny their dignity. This is why we state once more that an escalation of intimidation, and the uncontrolled proliferation of arms, is contrary to morality and the search for true peace. Terror exerted over those who are most vulnerable contributes to the exile of entire populations who seek a place of peace. Political addresses that tend to blame every evil on migrants and to deprive the poor of hope are unacceptable. Rather, there is a need to reaffirm that peace is based on respect for each person, whatever his or her background, on respect for the law and the common good, on respect for the environment entrusted to our care and for the richness of the moral tradition inherited from past generations.
Our thoughts turn in a particular way to all those children currently living in areas of conflict, and to all those who work to protect their lives and defend their rights. One out of every six children in our world is affected by the violence of war or its effects, even when they are not enrolled as child soldiers or held hostage by armed groups. The witness given by those who work to defend them and their dignity is most precious for the future of humanity.
- A great project of peace
In these days, we celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in the wake of the Second World War. In this context, let us also remember the observation of Pope John XXIII: “Man’s awareness of his rights must inevitably lead him to the recognition of his duties. The possession of rights involves the duty of implementing those rights, for they are the expression of a man’s personal dignity. And the possession of rights also involves their recognition and respect by others”.[
Peace, in effect, is the fruit of a great political project grounded in the mutual responsibility and interdependence of human beings. But it is also a challenge that demands to be taken up ever anew. It entails a conversion of heart and soul; it is both interior and communal; and it has three inseparable aspects:
– peace with oneself, rejecting inflexibility, anger and impatience; in the words of Saint Francis de Sales, showing “a bit of sweetness towards oneself” in order to offer “a bit of sweetness to others”;
– peace with others: family members, friends, strangers, the poor and the suffering, being unafraid to encounter them and listen to what they have to say;
– peace with all creation, rediscovering the grandeur of God’s gift and our individual and shared responsibility as inhabitants of this world, citizens and builders of the future.
The politics of peace, conscious of and deeply concerned for every situation of human vulnerability, can always draw inspiration from the Magnificat, the hymn that Mary, the Mother of Christ the Saviour and Queen of Peace, sang in the name of all mankind: “He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm; he has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly; …for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever” (Lk 1:50-55).
From the Vatican, 8 December 2018
The following are the interventions on 08/12/2018:
Intervention of Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson
“Peace to this house”, is the prayerful wish with which the Holy Father greets and welcomes the world and all of us into the New year, 2019!
This wish of Pope Francis for the human family at the beginning of this new year, according to his Peace message, derives from the commissioning words of Jesus to his disciples when he sent them out to preach the Gospel: Jesus said to them: “Into whatever house you enter, first say: ‘Peace to this house! If there is a son of peace, your peace will descend upon him; otherwise it will return to you” (Lk.10:5-6).
This greeting of peace with which Jesus sent his disciples into the world echo, in its turn, the greeting of peace with which God sent His Son into the world. The echo is of the message of peace with which the angels announced the birth of Jesus in the world. There the angels said to the shepherds keeping watch over their sheep: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those whom God favours” (Lk 2:14).
The good news of Jesus, whether of his birth and of his own coming into the world, or when his disciples travel the world to proclaim him, is always accompanied by peace, and it brings peace. This is what Pope Francis, with his New Year greeting of peace, reminds us all about: Jesus is God’s /Father’s gift of peace, and he is offered wherever the Gospel is preached!
Entrusted to the disciples of Jesus, as they are sent forth to proclaim Jesus, peace is a gift that is freely offered to every household and the people within it, who must only dispose themselves for it and cooperate with it, as sons of peace! In this Message of Peace, Pope Francis identifies “the household” that is offered the peace of Christ with our homes, our families, our communities, our countries and all the people within them, as well as the earth/world, our common home! It is easily understandable then, that to dispose ourselves for peace and to cooperate with it, as sons of peace, means that we should make peace happen: we should serve peace in all the instances of household mentioned.
We do have an idea of peace, this yearning of the human heart: We know what it is, what characterizes its presence, and what put it to flight. This message mentions some of them under the “vices of politics”: corruption, denial of rights, violence, be they active wars or cold wars, (from) no(?) disregard and abuse of rights of people (poor) to healthcare, jobs (job security), housing, education and communication, food and water; not forced to emigrate or seek peace as a refugee; xenophobia and racism, abuse of the environment and natural disasters. And serving peace in the household (that is/may be afflicted with these ills) is what Pope Francis ascribes to Politics, as its true function and attribute in his Peace Message for 2019.
Let me now briefly illustrate why it belongs to Politics, as its function and attribute, to serve peace in the household, in all its different forms presented by the Message. Every house has its resources that need to be managed and administered for the wellbeing of all dwellers in the house. Some of these resources already exist in the household (natural resources). Others are deemed necessary and useful for living in the household, and are aspired after and worked for, such as peace, justice, harmony etc. If, following the Greeks, we call the household oikos, then the management and administration of all its resources for the wellbeing and happiness of its dwellers or citizens is oikonomos = oikonomics = economics; and the dwellers or citizens of the household who either collectively or through their representatives exercise this role are, again following the Greeks, called politēs. The citizens’ (politēs) system or art of overseeing and safeguarding, through policy formulations the management of their resources for their mutual wellbeing is politics.
Pope Francis’ wish and prayer for peace in 2019, then, is that politics: this oversight, through policies and laws, of resources of the domestic, the national and the global households may bring peace to all the citizens of the households, especially its youth, who may not be robbed of their hope in the future, because politics is so badly done that it deprives them of peace.
Thanks for your attention, and a very merry Christmas to you all!
Intervention of Rev. Msgr. Bruno Marie Duffé
Presenting politics as a service of peace means giving to this collective responsibility a dignity and a vision, in a global and local context, where politics seems more or less disqualified, at times despised.
In the Message the Holy Father speaks first of all of a mission that finds its inspiration in the mandate the Apostles received when Jesus said to them: “Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’” (Lk 10: 5).
There is a peace to be offered to all those who suffer from violence, pain, and the abuses of power. A peace that we must build together, with the word, dialogue and the safeguarding of law. A peace we must live as a relationship of respect towards our neighbour, towards the poor, and towards Creation, which is our common home. “Peace be to this house”.
How is it possible, however, to develop and translate into action the service of peace, and how can politics be peaceful? There is a need for ongoing discernment to find what contributes to the construction of the common good and to refuse that which hinders solidarity… This is the political mission, a daily journey of encounter, dialogue, conciliation and mutual reconciliation.
This discernment is necessary to understand what the Holy Father says when he speaks about good politics. Because this politics that wants and promotes the common good and social peace breaks with the mere search for power, or personal or group interest – which excludes others or does not wish to construct society in a common way. When politics becomes a service, listens to people, all people, welcomes the talents and aspirations of all, with a special attention for the poor and those in need. Good politics does not oppose itself to groups or the community – social, ethnic or religious. It instead promotes many initiatives to nurture the relationships between citizens. To encounter, to listen, to propose and finally to decide for the future of the community: this is a great and noble mission!
We know that peace is as fragile as a flower. There cannot be peace without mutual respect, mutual hospitality and the keeping of promises. Politics is a word that calls for fidelity. And peace cannot be reduced to a relationship of force. It is not a market. It is, rather, a commitment for the present and future generations. But we also know that the future begins today. As a service of peace, politics is care for relations, within a society as well as in the cooperation between states and nations, with the diversity of cultures and histories.
Peace requires first of all the respect for law and human rights. We have celebrated the seventieth anniversary of the approval of the Universal Declaration of human rights, the reference to which highlights the dignity of the human person and fundamental rights (education, health, culture, and also freedom of expression and religion) as conditions for peace.
As Pope John XXIII stated in his Encyclical Pacem in Terris (1963), human rights are at the same time human duties. The reciprocity of rights and duties is a condition for a peaceful society, with the reference – in the Christian faith – to a God of love and forgiveness.
The Holy Father’s Message does not seek to deny the tendencies and vices that lead to the death of politics and of peace: corruption, which is an evil in all countries; the power of money, the relativization of law; xenophobia; racism; the ideology that presents migrants as enemies; and all those discourses that are incompatible with a politics of peace.
The responsibility of peace begins in the heart of the person and in the heart of every family. We pass from the human family to the family of nations. Peace, however, is born in every person. We are members of a single body – says Saint Paul – we have a sole Father Who gives His peace to all.
The Word of God, that Jesus gives to His disciples, makes them “agents of peace”. “Blessed are the peacemakers”! This peace is always peace with others: social peace, but also peace with nature and peace with our conscience.
“Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’” (Lk 10: 5).
For latest Justice and Peace bulletin click here Ebulletin_Westminster_JP_October 2018
The Cathedral night shelter for the homeless needs help on Wednesday evenings and Thursday mornings.They are looking for help with volunteering and also to cover the provision of the evening meal for 15 guests and volunteers.
The project runs till the end of January. This is to gauge initial interest and see if you would be interested in any of the above.
We managed to get off to a good start last week, with just a few teething problems, well handled by the regular volunteers.
Big thanks to Peter G as always for all the work done and also to Kirsty and Joseph who stepped in to do the cooking at the last minute.
It would be good to look ahead though and see how people are put up and what gaps we have on the rota.
We need help with —
(2) Volunteering : setting up, clearing up, eating with guests
(3) Sleep over
There are a couple of weeks where it will not be at the Cathedral hall itself, but the changes to the schedule should be minimal otherwise.
If you’re interested, please sign up using the poll below – there are separate for each volunteering activity; it’s very straightforward, please click on the link if you’re interested!
With regards Cooking:
There are about 15 guests each week and a few volunteers.
The sisters at the Cathedral make a soup to start and there is a vegetarian option which is already covered.
This is for the main meal – it will be for about 15 people and does not have to be very elaborately done; it should not cause you several hours of work!
Please sign up on this poll please – https://doodle.com/poll/p8zyewd7tqh4fczc
Evening and Morning volunteering:
This would involve coming around 5:30 in the evening and setting up the hall and the food, setting up tables and clearing up after, about 9:30 PM.
Most importantly, we need people to eat with the guests and to make them feel welcome.
If you’re able to do only part of the evening, that is fine, but please do indicate what you are able to do. If you are unable to do any physical work as such,
but can provide company at table, that would be equally welcome!
Please note that the dates on this keep alternating between evening and morning dates.
If interested, sign up here please – https://doodle.com/poll/mmdhpfw28eqsr6zm
This should not involve much more than turning up about 9:30 or so and then going to bed soon after. In previous years there hasn’t been any problems whatsoever. In case of any incidents, you’ll be able to contact one of us.
If interested, sign up here please – https://doodle.com/poll/vhafmmh9imwz6wf4
Sunday 11th November, 1pm – 2pm in London: Tavistock Square – Ceremony of Remembrance and Peace – 100 years after the First World War, with readings by actor Michael Mears, music by Maya Youssef, Syrian singer, poetry reading and symbolic actions. Event organised by the FIRST WORLD WAR PEACE FORUM a national coalition of peace organisations. For more information see www.paxchristi.org.uk/events
Bishops’ statement on climate – The heads of six continental bishops’ conferences have signed a rare joint statement urging political leaders to solve climate change. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM5j500rp9I The bishops’ call is clear: “We call for ambitious and immediate action to be taken in order to tackle and overcome the devastating effects of the climate crisis. These actions need to be taken by the international community at all levels: by persons, communities, cities, regions, nations.” The bishops’ statement is aimed at world leaders who are preparing for a UN climate summit in Poland this December. The bishops say that “there is no time to waste.” We pray thanks for the bishops’ leadership. Now, it’s our turn to respond. To read the full Bishop’s statement go to: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1RNyH9cDBuEvt54Yi1PnUADDE8InOdUSm/view
“Global Healing” -a free download film for the whole parish and individuals, a CaFE Production, sponsored by the Bishop’s Conference and responding to Laudato Si’ together. To see it go to: https://www.ourcommonhome.co.uk/
Saturday 1st December (10am‐ 4pm) CAFOD Retreat focusing on “Countering Consumerism: Lessons from Gaudete et Exsultate” Have you ever felt a conflict between putting your faith into practice and the demands of leading a busy, modern life? Have you ever thought about what it would mean to live more simply and meditatively: to live in ways which approach closer to holiness? Pope Francis offers some ideas in his new exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad). He encourages us to open our eyes, ears, and hearts and to be unsettled by the words of the Gospel. This Autumn CAFOD is inviting you in company with other CAFOD supporters to take time out of your routine to think about CAFOD’s campaigning and work overseas, to explore together Scripture and Church teaching, and to draw mutual inspiration from them. At CAFOD Westminster Volunteer Centre, First floor, Christ the King, 29 Bramley Road, Oakwood, London, N14 4HE. To attend this retreat please register through Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/countering-consumerism-lessons-from-gaudete-et-exsultate-registration-47461730313
Tuesday 11th December – Pax Christi popular Advent Service will be held at St. Aloysius Church, Euston, London and followed by our alternative Christmas market. Don’t miss this wonderful start to the Christmas season. For information see: www.paxchristi.org.uk/events
“This Halloween, Britain Will Waste Enough Pumpkins to Feed the Whole Country” – Want to hear something scary? The UK will bin 8 million pumpkins this Halloween. https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/pumpkin-halloween-food-waste-bin-hubbub-pie/
UK expected to waste terrifying number of Halloween pumpkins – https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/oct/25/uk-expected-to-waste-terrifying-number-of-halloween-pumpkins
In a year of falling yields of key UK crops due to poor rainfall or drought in areas that could raise food prices and leave farmers struggling, pumpkins like many other crop sizes are smaller this year after the summer heatwave stunted crop growth.
It would be good to help reduce the food wastage planned for this time of the year.
Bags, bottles and beads – together we’re beating plastic!
The last week has revealed some fantastic news for our seas and marine life, and it’s thanks to YOU for taking part in our plastic campaigns!
What’s been happening?
Firstly, the seven main retailers in England – Asda, The Co-operative Group, Marks & Spencer, Morrison’s, Sainsbury’s, Tesco & Waitrose – say they’ve issued 83% fewer bags in 2016-2017 compared to the calendar year 2014. This is similar to the huge reductions in plastic bags issued by retailers in Scotland and Wales. Who said a 5p charge wouldn’t work?
Secondly, Environment Secretary Michael Gove has publicly called for a deposit return system to be put in place in England as soon as possible to tackle the bottle waste issue. We’ll work hard to make sure this actually happens.
And thirdly, the Government is to go ahead with a ban on “rinse-off” plastic microbeadsin cosmetics and personal care products following a public consultation. It’s a great start, but we want to see microbeads banned from any product that’s likely to go “down the drain.”
A HUGE thank you for supporting our campaigns on microbeads, deposit return systems, or, of course, support for the 5p carrier bag charge in all the home nations.
Ransom’s Rec and the River Hiz Litter Clean Up
On Saturday 22nd of April, Earth Day, the livesimply team organised a prayful time of refelection and discussion in answer to Pope Francis’ call to care for our common home. Parishioners gathered in the Lower Committee Room to watch videos, pray, silently reflect and participate in lively discussions on how we can best answer the Pope’s call.
Then on Sunday 23rd April, Mercy Sunday, the team organised parishioners including Fr Euloge to show mercy to our home by linking up with the local Triangle Garden Group to clean up litter around Ransom’s Rec and the River Hiz. We were blessed with a beautiful, sunny day and both young and old turned out to help. The children were delighted with their ‘high-viz’ jackets and went about their task with glee. Life was breathed back into a stretch of the river as the men waded in to relieve it of its burden of discarded rubbish (including a bicycle) thus allowing it to flow more freely. An assortment of can, plastic bottles and other refuse was gathered from the park and we say thanks to Deolinda & Mike Eltringham for supplying us with gloves and litter-picker sticks. What was an added bonus to this act of witness was that a young couple, having cycled past, turned back to ask what group we were part of and if they could volunteer on another occasion. They were full of praise for our community-based actions and we told them we were from Our Lady’s Church and that they could find out about volunteering opportunities from the local Triangle Garden Group.
All in all a very satisfying day where the exhortions of Christ to love our neighbour were put into action by showing love for our common home.
I don’t know what it is either
Fr Euloge pitches in
Some of the rubbish pulled out of the river
Younger members of the team
Another younger member
and we’re still smiling after all that hard work.
Recycling projects in the parish
Information about the recycling projects has been moved to the Recycling in the parish page.
We marked the anniversary of the publication of Pope Francis’ great letter to all of us (Laudato Si) about our world. In it he shows us how we are connected both with each other and with our environment. We offer a meditation consisting of images, music and prayer – both spoken and silent reflection. We are grateful to Ann Milner for preparing this for us.
You can access a copy of this meditation for your own use by clicking on the link below:
Below are prayers for your use
Good fish guide app launched
Care for Creation
A big thank you to the One World Group
CAFOD Energy Audit Competition Winner Announced
St Thomas More Parish in Coventry was announced as the winner of the CAFOD energy competition and will receive free energy make over. Although we did not manage to take the top award we were named as runners-up alongside Our Lady Queen of Apostles in Welwyn Garden City, St Mary Magdalene in Maltby, Our Lady of the Portal and St Piran in Truro and St John the Evangelist in Bath and as a result will each receive an energy monitor.
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Bike racks installed in Our Lady Immaculate and St Andrews car park
In August 2013, Live Simply helped us to install new bike racks outside the building. Many more people were beginning to use bicycles instead of cars to travel here, but had nowhere to place their bicycles to know they were secure. With the help of fundraising organised by Live Simply, with events such as coffee mornings, we raised enough money to be able to install the bicycle racks. In order to commemorate our efforts, we also created a plaque to place on the racks. We hope they will help those that already travel by bicycle, but also encourage more people to replace cars with bicycles.
The plaque reads ‘Our Lady Immaculate and St Andrew Live Simply group’, and was made to attach to the bike racks to commemorate our efforts.
Metal was fastened to the plaque so that it could be attached to the bike racks. Philippe James shows the finished plaque installed on the bike racks.
The Bike racks
Donated by the Live Simply team, the bike racks are available for use to the left of the entrance to the Church.
Philippe James unwrapping the bike racks.
We hope you will continue to use them, and that you will be encouraged to replace your car journeys with bicycles!
Deolinda Eltringham has a set of 4CDs with the main talks given at this 2016’s annual National Justice & Peace Network (NJPN) conference in July 2016. These are available to parishioners that would like to hear them. The theme of the conference was:
Jon Cruddas MP – who spoke on “A Politics of Virtue” is the Labour member for Dagenham and Rainham, having first been elected for Dagenham in 2001. From 2012 to 2015 he was in the Shadow Cabinet as Policy Co-ordinator for the Labour Party. Influenced by Catholic Social Teaching, he is developing a virtue-based model of politics.
Jenny Sinclair – who spoke on “Building the Common Good: Our Responsability” is the daughter of the late Bishop David Sheppard, who had a celebrated working partnership in Liverpool with Archbishop Derek Worlock and Free Church leaders. Four years ago she felt moved by the Spirit and founded a project, Together for the Common Good to help establish a dialogue with all people of good will aimed at change. See togetherforthecommongood.co.uk
Takura Gwatinyanya – who spoke on “Developing Democracy and Participation from a Faith Perpective in a Developing Country” is the Program Manager of Caritas Harare. His special interest is in the implementation of sustainable development projects that promote engagement of civil society through public and private partnerships.
Polly Jones – who spoke on International Trade and Democracy, head policy and campaigns at Global justice Now. Current priorities include campaigning against TTIP and other damaging trade treaties, and for food sovereignty, and the Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). Polly believes in the power of faith organisations and that faith groups need to use their strengths to exert influence across the political spectrum.
CONFERENCE CHAIR: Christine Allen, Director, Policy and Public Affairs at Christian Aid. Christine was Executive Director of Progressio for 10 years and was part of the LiveSimply Executive.
Plus Panel Discussion: Chair: Simon Barrow, Writer, commentator, theologian, journalist; Co-Director of the Christian think-tank, Ekklesia
If you wish to borrow these please contact Deolinda on email@example.com