Corpus Christi and Our Lady of Lourdes granted Live Simply Award
Some two years ago, members of the Justice and Peace Group in the parish, inspired by Pope Francis’s Encyclical, Laudato ‘Si, and concerned by the state of the world, the environment, and the indifference being shown to migrants and those in poverty, embarked upon planning for CAFOD’s LiveSimply Award.  This weekend, following a visit by CAFOD assessors Maureen and Stuart Thompson, the Parish heard that it had been granted the award.   In the photo (left), assessor Maureen Thompson is seen giving the award to Maggie Guy who led the initiative on behalf of the parish.
Activities began in July 2018 with a Parish Pilgrimage to express solidarity with migrants forced to flee their native homes.  91 parishioners joined Fr Mervyn in walking around Bury Knowle Park (click here for story) contributing 249 miles to CAFOD’s Share the Journey campaign.
The Live Simply actions included recycling to raise cash for trash, and a focus on giving up plastic for Lent, and parishioners shared ways of living a simpler Christmas in December 2018.  In living sustainably with creation, parishioners gathered to watch the film Global Healing and then in groups discussed questions raised by the film on the gift of creation, the challenge of ecological conversion and how we all might take our individual responsibilities for the planet more seriously.  In July 2019, the Parish gave thanks for Creation at all weekend Masses, with offertory processions which included a giant globe and a plant, reminding us of the importance of protecting the environment.  To celebrate both sustainable and simple living, the Parish produced The Live Simply Book of Recipes and Tips which has received national and even international attention.
For its work on solidarity with the poor, in addition to the Share the Journey project, some parishioners supported the Oxford sleep out and prepared soup for the local shelter and all were engaged in donating clothes and in giving new toys to the Salvation Army Christmas Appeal for distribution to children who otherwise would not receive Christmas presents.  Very significantly, the Parish achieved Fairtrade Status during the year and continues to promote Fairtrade through encouraging parishioners to look for the Fairtrade logo when shopping and by running a monthly Fairtrade stall at Masses in Wheatley and Corpus Christi.
Although the Award has been given to the parish, the task now is to embed the changes that have been made – and to find new ways to encourage everybody to live more simply, sustainably with creation, and in solidarity with those in poverty.