May 26. Reflect, share and act.  CAFOD WITNESS. Travelling the livesimply journey.   Brenda Underwood is livesimply co-ordinator at the Brentwood Cathedral parish of St Mary and St Helen’s. The parish was the first Cathedral in the UK to win this national award for living simply, sustainably, and in solidarity with people in poverty. Brenda tells us her story: 

To be honest, the idea of becoming a livesimply parish was a little daunting at first. But nevertheless we took up the challenge and started to ponder about where this journey might take us. Engaging the parish community has to be the foundation of livesimply. Recognising this, we used the parish newsletter to inform everyone about the exciting possibility of becoming a livesimply parish. We invited parishioners to share their ideas.

Lots has happened since then. We now hold an annual ‘livesimply week’ where we take up a different challenge each day. This year included a walk, Mass and picnic, a prayer vigil, and a food bank collection.

The challenges people set themselves range from walking to church, to just making someone smile! We also did an environmental audit of the parish buildings and changed hundreds of light bulbs to low energy alternatives. We are applying to become a Fairtrade parish. Livesimply provides a real opportunity to pause for thought and to consider the impact of our actions and inactions.

We were delighted to be told that after months of hard work we had won the award! However, we know that the award is but a step along the way. They say that travel broadens the mind – certainly the livesimply journey has opened our eyes to the endless opportunities available for us all to make a difference.

Reflect, share, act. Scripture.  Paul found a Jew named Aquila and his wife Priscilla and he stayed with them and they worked for by trade they were tentmakers. And he argued in the synagogue every sabbath. When Silas and Timothy opposed him Paul said, ‘from now on I will go to the Gentiles.” Acts 18:1-8   Pope Francis: We need to strengthen the conviction that we are one single human family. There are no frontiers or barriers, political or social, behind which we can hide, still less is there room for the globalisation of indifference. LS52 Pray the daily Laudato Si’ prayer.