“Last month St Benedict’s parish in Garforth has become the first in Leeds to win CAFOD’s prestigious Live Simply award for their fantastic efforts in creating a greener Parish. With donations from the surrounding community and resources sentimentally used from the old St Benedict’s church building they have created a beautiful sustainable vegetable garden. Parishioner David Jackson frequently tends to the church’s vegetable garden.
He said: “Our installations of the cross are made with pieces of the old church to emphasise not only Jesus’ renewal through the passion, but also the renewal of our Parish. Everything we grow here in the garden we also pass on to parishioners at the end of Mass. There are those in our community who can’t afford locally grown produce so being able to lend a helping hand is the greatest reward.”
The esteemed award; only granted to 20 other parishes nationwide has inspired an Elmet parish to apply for the Live Simply award. St Joseph the Worker parish have begun their green journey by dedicating an evening discussing ways in which they as a community can work towards sustainable living. Parishioner Fran Bostyn organised the event and led by Fr. McCarthy and is extremely enthusiastic about the future of the parish.
Fran said: “I first thought of the idea after attending a Call to Action meeting. I realised that for a long time, the church and Pope Francis have both worried about climate change, particularly in his recent encyclical. Now CAFOD has given us a way, through the “Live Simply” Award, to act on these issues locally.
“The first step that we have agreed on vocally is to become a low-carbon parish and to look into double-glazed windows. We have also discussed exciting ideas such as using the community supermarket tokens in our parish so parishioners can vote for their favourite green idea.”
The Live Simply award is a great way to encourage sustainability across the Diocese, St Benedict’s have set a fantastic example and we wish St Joseph the Worker all the best in their journey towards Living Simply and a greener future.”
Communications volunteer Clare McKenzie reporting on the ‘Live Simply’ Award in Leeds.