LiveSimply Tips Archive


The First Sunday of Advent and unbelievably the seasonal pressures are already mounting! The glossy magazines are trying to sell ‘the perfect Christmas’, yet for many we probably don’t really want Christmastide to be about things but about family. And as we know consuming more “stuff” isn’t sustainable for our planet either. Responding to Pope Francis’ teaching that we are called to recognise the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption (Laudato Si’ para 23) here are two suggestions to get more out of Christmas with less waste:

  • Have a “Secret Santa” for the adults in the family, choosing just one present with care instead of several in haste. There is the fun of wondering “who bought for whom”.  To keep it in balance you can agree a general value - £10?
  • Ask for a “CAFOD World Gift” or a donation to a charity. Meeting somebody else’s REAL need is the true spirit of Christmas.

More tips towards a ‘LiveSimply’ Christmas:

-          Think about creating a ‘reverse’ Advent Calendar. Put something aside every day in Advent for someone in greater need. Non-perishable food items can be added to our food bank collection.

-          Look at the Reflective on-line Advent Calendar at

Each day there is a reflection from the day’s Mass readings, prayer and a suggested action towards global justice.

-          Upgrade to LED Christmas tree lights where appropriate, saving energy and running costs.

World Climate Summit

Whilst world leaders have been trying to make progress at the climate summit in Poland thank you to everyone who is doing their bit to care for our common home. It is said that each Christmas a staggering 1 billion Christmas cards are binned, enough wrapping paper is used to stretch to the moon, and up to 40% of festive food is thrown away. Here’s a couple of last-minute tips:

-          Make gift tags from old cards

-          Avoid the shiny metallic wrapping paper which is made from either plastic or metal foil. It cannot go for recycling and causes serious problems at recycling paper mills.

-          Consider giving some of your time (e.g. babysit, gardening, DIY) as a present.

-          Subscriptions to charities (e.g. RSPB, Woodland Trust, National Trust, Friends of the Earth, North Craven Heritage Trust) make gifts that don’t end in landfill.

This is the last LiveSimply note for 2018 - back in the New Year. Have a blessed Christmastide.

Bring out your old rusty tools! One of our new developments is to support Tools for Self-Reliance, a charity based in Southampton that has been working in Africa since 1980. It restores and recycles tools for use by carpenters, engineers, plumbers, mechanics and blacksmiths. Like CAFOD the charity uses partnership working to run vocational training projects that equip people with the skills (both technical and business skills) to establish sustainable trades in their own communities. The tools are of practical help to start-ups. And our connection? Alison Tyas, who lives opposite the church at 2 Tillman Close, is a collection point. So bring any old tools, no matter how much you think they are beyond repair, for her to send on. Call her on 822677 or more info at

We can substantially reduce our carbon footprint by buying less meat, especially from intensive rearing that has required vast amounts of feedstock produced and transported from good arable land. Look for locally grown food whenever possible. 

Climate change has been very much in the news this week: the world’s scientists calling for much speedier action. It will help to let our MPs know they have our support for significant change. It is easy to write at  Tell him what you and St Mary & St Michael are doing and ask the government to plan urgent change to things like heating, transport, and an economy based on increasing consumption. For our sake, our children’s future, and generations across the whole world.Our own pledges become an important part of this global picture. Thank you for the ones you have returned, and keep them coming.

After the launch of our parish Live Simply Award last week-end we plan to highlight one aspect of the work the parish is doing to care for our common home or give tips and suggestions regularly in the news-sheet.
This week-end or next please return the CAFOD Fast Day envelope – badly needed in the light of the latest quake and tsunami in Indonesia – and the pledge sheet from the parish LiveSimply leaflet. The pledges are completely anonymous but help build a picture of the part each of us will play. Individual actions may seem insignificant but together the small steps of many people can have an astonishing impact. 
Thank you for the pledge sheets returned – 16 so far. We will be able to highlight common actions in due course, but following on from the recent bad news about Climate Change it is noticeable that many of us are trying to only buy things we need and can fully use. And having at least one meat-free day a week got a lot of votes too.
(There are spare copies of the pledge sheets in the meeting room)

ST Mary & St Michael's LiveSimply Launch Weekend - Friday 28th September 2018

BEFORE                                                                                            AFTER

Three years ago Pope Francis wrote to everyone in the world his letterLaudato Si’ on Care of our Common Home. He invited us all to “work with generosity and tenderness in protecting this world which God has entrusted to us.” He said this was an important, indeed essential, part of our Christian faith. As part of our response to his call and recognising the effects of climate and environmental change, our parish has applied for a CAFOD LiveSimply Award. 

When the award was first launched in 2011 Bishop Declan Lang, then environment spokesman for the England & Wales Bishops, said: “LiveSimply is a way to free us from powerlessness and enable us to live in hope. We cannot do everything but we can do something. Together we can make a difference to the quality of life for millions of people who are marginalised by poverty. At the same time we can grow in respect for the world of which we are a part and which has been entrusted to us”

Based on the papal letters Laudato Si’ and Populorum Progressio CAFOD has promoted LiveSimply which encourages us to:

     live simply, taking only what we need from the earth and not demanding more and more

     live sustainably with creation, to take account of the impact of our choices on other people and on the earth that nourishes us

     live in solidarity with people in poverty, making a strong and lasting commitment to the common good.

The LiveSimply Award will recognise that we put all three principles into practice. 
We already have a certificate for entering the award after an assessment of all that we currently do.

The LiveSimply award recognises both parish and individual commitment. In response to Pope Francis’ urgent call, this year as individuals we might like to think how we ourselves could live more simply and sustainably. What change could you make in the coming months? As far back as 2002 our English bishops said:

Individual actions may seem insignificant but together the small steps of many people can have an astonishing impact. Each person’s joyful choices can be a visible example to others and give them courage to follow.
(“The Call of Creation” 2002).

It remains true today