LiveSimply Tips Archive


We have all been somewhat forced to ‘live simply’ by the current pandemic haven’t we? On a day to day level we have only shopped locally for essentials. Leisure activities and socialising have become virtual, and holidays have all been cancelled. As we begin to move forward, and opportunities to do things open up again, it feels like the right time to think carefully about how we can apply our Live Simply values in our lives. Where and how will you shop? What will you buy? Will you pick up previous activities or take up new ones? How can we continue to help those in need in our community? What have we learned about what is important in our lives and what are really the essentials? Lots of questions but we have all been given time to think about them. Take care and stay safe.


Two years ago when we began the CAFOD LiveSimply Award we could never have imagined most of the world today would be living simply in enforced lockdown. But this impoverished way of life is no more sustainable than the previous profligate ways. Commentators say things will never be the same again, but for world leaders there is the irresistible lure to claw our way back to the ‘stability’ of past times. Just like we did after the last financial crash, and the one before that.

May 24th marks the 5th anniversary of the Pope’s ground-breaking letter to the whole world Laudato Si’. What better time to re-read it and ask: do we want to build a new economy that values carers (the people we all applaud every Thursday) ahead of global wealth creation? That lives within the resources of the planet? If that’s what you think, now is the time to be telling people while they have time to listen. Info & resources including an invitation from Pope Francis to participate in Laudato Si’ week, which begins Friday, at


As spring flowers valiantly return despite all the gales and wind we’ve had recently, remember that even humble vegetables can easily be planted for decoration as well as just for eating. The world can be beautiful and practical at the same time. Try a few decorative rows of lettuces or even simple, but colourful cabbages in beds, borders, pots or tubs. Let your inner artist inspire your imagination and eat healthily too! More suggestions here:

Peter Hampson


At times it isn’t simple to Live Simply is it? In our house, one of the simple pleasures of life is a nice cup of tea. It keeps the day-to-day going well and helps us deal with most of life’s problems. Like most people we use tea bags, but now we have found out that the bags contain plastic. Do we carry on using them, but then feel guilty? Looks like we need a plan B, so it is going to be a teapot with strainer once we have used our (not insubstantial) teabag stocks. What happens in your house? A. Beesley


CONGRATULATIONS to everyone last weekend when the parish was presented with the CAFOD LiveSimply award: recognition of the ways the parish and individuals are trying to live more simply, more sustainably, and in solidarity with the whole of creation (people and nature alike). The plaque will be a reminder that every small step is a step towards the ‘eco-conversion’ that Pope Francis calls on everyone to change. We have made a good start.


It is said that most of us are addicted to something… “even” if it’s only chocolate, Strictly, your phone - or having the last word! But these don’t do too much harm as long as we are not putting our needs before others. My resolve to buy “no new clothes for three months” is always hard to keep but recently I was horrified to read that the British Fashion Industry creates more emissions than British aviation and shipping combined. It hardly seems believable. The most environmentally friendly clothes we have are the ones we are wearing, along with those in our wardrobe. So I must try not to succumb when the spring catalogues arrive – even if the clothes are made from recycled linen and cotton, they are still harming the environment. Oh dear!


“Jesus worked with his hands, in daily contact with the matter created by God, to which he gave form by his craftsmanship. It is striking that most of his life was dedicated to this task in a simple life which awakened no admiration at all: “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary?” (Mk 6:3). In this way he sanctified human labour and endowed it with a special significance for our development.” (Laudato Sí, § 98).

All honest work, no matter how simple or unappreciated in the eyes of the world, is a work of co-creation, glorifying God.


“LiveSimply thought for Peace Sunday

In 2020: may our politics be kinder, our nation more united, our concern for the vulnerable deeper, our questioning of why the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer more searching, our fear of climate-change more powerful ... and may our trust in each other, our hope to build a better future together, our love of the life which we share with all other creatures and our capacity for joy grow day by day.

From Fr Rob Esdaile, Parish Priest of Our Lady of Lourdes, Thames Ditton, Surrey”


Some people around the world risk everything to defend our brothers and sisters and our common home. This Christmastide it is possible and easy to show solidarity by sending a personal message of support. To people like Albert Lokoru Kiyonga in Uganda who as a local MP defends the land and labour rights of indigenous people, many of whom are miners. He has been openly intimidated by the local cement company and his life threatened.

Between now and Wednesday go to to send a short personalised e-mail directly to Albert or any one of several others highlighted on the CAFOD page. It can mean so much to know you are not alone in the struggle for justice.

The LiveSimply team wishes many blessings to everyone for the New Year.


Unsustainable palm oil is having a devastating effect on the environment such as large-scale deforestation. As shoppers it is hard to make sure we’re buying products with only sustainable palm oil, AND palm oil is in almost half of all packaged products in supermarkets, it is a real challenge!

But there are a number of apps that can be downloaded to your mobile that can read the bar code of products and tell you both whether there is palm oil in the product and if it is whether this is from 100% sustainable source. If the palm oil is not from a sustainable plantation it gives you the opportunity to write to the manufacture and ask why not, also suggestions of alternative products.

Down load app to phone at:

Maggie McSherry


In a week when Turkey has launched military operations in north-eastern Syria we can only guess the thoughts and fears of refugees near the border in Turkey. Meanwhile in London members of the Refugee ReSETTLEment Group attended a ceremony in which Settle was shortlisted for an award at an event to celebrate Community Sponsorship across Britain. Begun in this parish as part of LiveSimply there are now over 35 volunteers from across the whole community encouraging and supporting one family to build a new life here. One drop in an ocean made of many drops, but perhaps a lifesaving one? St Mary & St Michael living in solidarity with the poor. Pray and work for all people jeopardised by human conflict that they find sanctuary and welcome.

Paul Kelly


In 2015 Pope Francis instituted September 1st to be a special day of prayer for creation. It marks the beginning of Creation Time that runs through to October 4th, the feast of St Francis of Assisi, patron of the environment. In Laudato Si’, the encyclical letter that he addressed to the whole world, Pope Francis says: “Let ours be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the quickening of the struggle for justice and peace, and the joyful celebration of life” (para 207). But he also challenges each one of us, saying: “Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience. All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation”.

This year the day of prayer for creation is on a Sunday and we have an opportunity to reflect on Live Simply in the parish.

M McSherry


8 simple ways that you can help the planet…

Change your commute: Stop driving everywhere. Rent a bike, use public transport, or carpool if necessary, but try and stop using your car as much as you do.

Waste: Understand what can or can’t be recycled in your home.

Eat less meat: the truth of the matter is that by eating less meat, we can help to reduce the amount green-house gas emissions.

Wash your clothes at a cooler temperature

Unplug: Turn off your appliances at the plug and avoid leaving items plugged in over night.

Shop local: The less miles your food travels, the less impact it has on the world.

Consume less plastic: Avoid it in the supermarket & tell the bartender that you don’t need a straw!

Consume less in general: If we all took a step back, took stock of what we have and what we do and don’t need, we’d probably all consume a lot less.

(Taken from the internet.)


Last Wednesday thousands of people gathered in London to lobby our MPs to lead our country into sustainable ways of living. Parliament has declared an Environment and Climate Emergency but our leaders need to know they are supported if they are to have the courage to introduce significant changes to the way we travel, buy and use things, and heat our homes. This week, why not write to Julian Smith to tell him about LiveSimply, your concerns for the future and that you support strong action:


“Saint Francis…invites us to see nature as a magnificent book in which God speaks to us and grants us a glimpse of his infinite beauty and goodness…For this reason, Francis asked that part of the friary garden always be left untouched, so that wild flowers and herbs could grow there, and those who saw them could raise their minds to God, the Creator of such beauty”. (Laudato Sí; §12).

Maybe give the weeding and lawn mower a rest for a couple of weeks?


In Laudato Si’ Pope Francis says: There is a nobility in the duty to care for creation through little daily actions… Education in environmental responsibility can encourage ways of acting which directly and significantly affect the world around us, such as avoiding the use of plastic and paper, reducing water consumption, [etc]. These reflect a generous and worthy creativity which brings out the best in human beings. (#211)

Tip of the week: a modern full dishwasher uses much less water than washing by hand. Scrape the scraps off dishes rather than under running water.


Last week the Bishops of England & Wales issued a statement recognising “that humanity is in an unprecedented ecological crisis. There is a moral duty to act with urgency and enable the faithful to make informed decisions that care for creation and will assist in repairing the damage.” They said “We therefore urge the Church at all levels to continue to develop initiatives that care for our common home, and to identify individuals and groups to be advocates for this journey.”

Our parish journey continues.


This week the UN scientists published their daunting report on all the evidence about world species extinction. Adding to the growing clamour for urgent action the UN calls on wealthy governments to “steer away from the current limited paradigm of economic growth” and “ever-increasing material consumption.” Pope Francis prophetically said the same 3 years ago in Laudato Si’.

The biggest of 5 main threats to wildlife is deforestation for farming. Look at how many items now contain palm oil. Can we find and use ones that do not?


Churches Together Justice and Peace Group meet on Wednesday May 8th: 7 for 7.30pm in the Quaker Meeting House on Kirkgate. Paul Kelly will be sharing information about LiveSimply and the similar schemes used in other local churches. Please go along and support.

Tip of the week: It is now possible to recycle soft contact lenses and cases. Drop them off at Boots Opticians or get a free postage label from (you don’t have to be a customer of any particular brand).


Please support the annual Churches Together Barn Dance on Fri May 10th (7pm in the Church Hall) – profits and raffle are being donated to the Refugee ReSETTLEment funds. £7.50 (£1 child) including supper with veggie option, and soft drinks. BYO alternatives. Booking is essential for the catering – contact Sally Waterson on 01729 822311

We need raffle prizes and cakes for desert please.


Happy Easter! Alleluia!

During the Vigil Mass the readings took us through the wonders God has done for His people from the beginning to the moment of re-birth. We simply join the prayer of Pope Francis in Laudato Si’:

Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,

to be filled with awe and contemplation,

to recognise that we are profoundly united

with every creature

as we journey towards your infinite light.

(A Prayer for Our Earth)


In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis reminds us of the importance of spending time with people and being truly present to them in the moment: “We are speaking of an attitude of the heart, one which approaches life with serene attentiveness, which is capable of being fully present to someone without thinking of what comes next, which accepts each moment as a gift from God to be lived to the full (LS221). This Good Friday why not consider fasting from technology as well as the traditional fast and abstinence?


This weekend marks 6 months since we started publishing regular LiveSimply information in the parish bulletin. Like Lent itself, time to take stock. How are we doing on our main actions? We said we would hold a reflective service and run parish Laudato Si workshops, involving other Churches Together participants. Last week was the second time we did so. We said we would continue with environmentally friendly refurbishment; the evidence is all around us right now. Providing nesting boxes – available in the meeting room. We said we would take a significant role and administrative lead in the Community Sponsorship Scheme for a Syrian Refugee family into Settle. The application went to the Home Office last week and the family’s new home will be leased from tomorrow.

Congratulations on all the progress. Soon we will be ready to be assessed against our promises. Meanwhile this corner is going to a cut-down version over the coming weeks to leave more space for other items.


Lent Fast Day envelopes – please return as soon as you can. Thank you for your generosity. Did you know? … CAFOD is part of the global Catholic network, Caritas Internationalis. With a local presence in 165 countries and territories Caritas makes up the second most extensive aid network in the world. (In case you are wondering, the largest is the Red Cross).

With the LiveSimply Award CAFOD is encouraging us to take seriously the Pope’s urgent appeal to care for our common home. Climate change badly affects and ruins the work they do to fight poverty and to enable people to lead better lives. Take a look at their new resources: Fifty-two parishes & schools now have the award, and another 40 are working towards it like SS Mary & Michael. The Care for Creation service and talk on Laudato Si’ is all part of our activity: Wed March 27th 7pm


Friday is Lent Family Fast Day organised by CAFOD, the Catholic charity that helps the poorest, most hard-to-reach people around the world. People who are facing drought, conflict, disease, injustice. As well as disaster relief CAFOD works mainly through local partners, in contact with real needs and ensuring our donations are spent wisely to equip and skill people to become self-sufficient. Sadly the reality is they turn away one in three requests simply because there isn’t enough money to go around.Please take a Fast Day envelope and with our usual amazing Settle generosity return them next week please.

For your diary: Wednesday March 27th at 7pm in church a short ecumenical service of reflection on Laudato Si has been organised by Paul Berry of our LiveSimply group. Followed by refreshments and a talk by Prof Peter Hampson on the Pope’s encyclical letter which he subtitled ‘On Care of our Common Home’.


As Lent begins can we respond to Pope Francis’ call to have a real sense of communion with each other and with all creation, reminded by Jesus that we have a common Father in God.


Take time to count your blessings even

the smallest of these.

There are so many and so much we take

for granted.

Reflect at the end of each day on the good

you have encountered.

In giving thanks think about how you might

pray more often in Lent at home, alone

or together as a family. (Take a risk!)

Could you attend church more often?


Think about your carbon footprint this week.

How much you are going to drive,

could you plan your travelling in a better way?

What holiday are you planning that

involves flying?

Could you change your life to lessen your

carbon footprint?


Is there someone that you know of,

someone in your street, that you could help or

perhaps you know someone who lives on their

own and you have yet to meet.

Have you met your neighbours?


Monday is the beginning of Fairtrade Fortnight which this year focusses on cocoa, women and living income. Cocoa prices have dipped to crisis levels over the last few years. £1.86 per day is the amount a cocoa farmer in West Africa needs to achieve a living income. Currently, a typical cocoa farmer in Cote d’Ivoire lives on around 74p a day. Many can’t earn enough for the basics most of us would take for granted such as education, housing and food. Almost all cocoa farmers in West Africa live in poverty.

Fairtrade can’t solve everything, but something needs to be done to fight the injustice at the heart of the multi-billion pound chocolate industry. Buying Fairtrade chocolate keeps up demand and Fairtrade terms increase farmers’ income. A petition opens Monday calling on the UK Government to make sure that our trade with developing countries puts poverty reduction first:


Did you celebrate Valentine’s Day this week? Maybe you heard the old Beatles favourite being played: “All you need is love”. Love (and fear) are said to be the emotions most likely to cause us to change course. Where is this going you ask? Well CAFOD is encouraging us to take part in a campaign by the Climate Coalition called Show the Love. Climate change impacts many of the people and things we love – from our back gardens to local woodland, football pitches to beaches, farms to fields. We are starting to notice the changes right here on our doorsteps.

Take a stick-on green heart from the porch and use it to start a conversation this week about protecting what you love. Join others in making a heart to send to our MP asking him to take serious urgent action about climate change. More info and ideas at


What does a bit of recycling or extra insulation in Settle really do to change things? Do our local actions have any wider effects? Last weekend I participated in a day conference in Keswick organised by the Cumbria Theological Society, Churches Together in Cumbria Environment Group, and St John’s Church, Keswick. Around 150 people gathered to hear talks, take part in workshops, and renew their commitment in faith contexts to ‘Caring for our Common Home’ While introducing Laudato Sí, I also shared the many good things we have already done here in St Mary and St Michael’s. People elsewhere are now using your ideas and thinking how to put them into practice in their own situations. Act local, think global, and, whenever possible, act together. Oceans, after all, are made from countless drops of water.

(Peter Hampson, 10/2/19)

‘The cry of the earth and the cry of the poor’

An introduction to Pope Francis’s encyclical,

Laudato Sí’

In a recent riveting talk Peter Hampson explained how Laudato Si’ draws on Catholic teaching and theology to understand the crises in ecology, society and finance. Pope Francis raises some big challenges for us as nations, as churches, and as individuals. We will ask for the talk to be repeated in Spring – really not to be missed, especially as the encyclical is the basis for the LiveSimply award.

Peter focussed on the Pope’s words about climate change and pollution, water, biodiversity, the quality of life, social breakdown and global inequality. Many issues must be addressed by politicians but we each play our own part. From the pledges after our launch week-end 14 parishioners will only buy things they need and avoid special offers that lead to waste, 15 plan meals carefully to only buy the food we need, and 13 parishioners have promised to not ‘shop until you drop’. So much for Black Friday!

Here is a transcript of the talk ‘The cry of the earth and the cry of the poor


How are the New Year intentions going? In the pledges made following the parish launch of LiveSimply three-quarters of us ticked we would only buy what we need and plan meals to reduce food waste. If we want to do more sustainable shopping there are also some other things worth considering:

When we buy goods, we validate the practices of the producer. Living simply means supporting those that produce sustainably instead of those that exploit labour and/or the environment. We also know that importing and exporting has a significant impact on environments, communities, and economies. So could we support more local producers and retailers, keeping money within the local economy, protecting local jobs and building pride in local culture?

We are blessed in Settle and district to have a market and local food producers including fruit & veg, meat and dairy, and cheese makers. How well do we support them?

Food for thought!


Recently we’ve experienced some much colder weather. Nothing yet like last year’s ‘beast from the east’ but perhaps a reminder of how much energy we have to use to keep our homes warm at this time of year. Whilst the UK is doing better at reducing the carbon impact of generating electricity (between renewables and nuclear about 50% is now low carbon, and coal is being phased out) the vast majority of home heating comes from gas. LiveSimply very much recommends looking at how we can all increase insulation and draught-proofing so that we waste less energy. As an example the church hall has now been insulated to a much higher standard, and the new porch will minimise heat loss. At the J&P talk on fracking 10 days ago it was pointed out we would need far less gas if the nation invested in insulation. It pays for itself!


Last week we mentioned the three main parish actions for the LiveSimply award. This week’s focus is on one of our ‘minor’, but no less important, actions: support of the Gianna project.

Run by Catholic Care in Leeds the project supports mums and their babies during and after pregnancy. In 2018 they had 72 referrals including an increasing number for refugee women and families seeking asylum. Referrals come through various agencies including the British Red Cross, PAFRAS, Refugee Action, Health Visitors & Midwives.

Asylum seekers have no recourse to public funds and very little to help them to prepare for the birth of their baby. Thanks to the generosity of supporters like our parish Gianna are able to pass on a wide selection of good quality baby goods including clothes, Moses baskets, cots, toys, prams, knitwear & baby toiletries.

Items can be left in the Moses basket in church. Thank you.


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


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

Launch Weekend Leaflet

Energy Savings from Hall Refurbishment