Garforth Parish wins Leeds’ first CAFOD ‘Live Simply’ Award and inspires others

“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.

David working in the parish garden

David Jackson in the parish 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.”


Continue reading about St. Benedict’s Parish winning the ‘Live Simply’ Award


Fr. Gerard and parishioners Trish and David with their award. (3)

St. Benedict’s celebrate winning CAFOD’s ‘Live Simply’ Award

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.”

Find out how your parish can apply 

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. 

Laudato Si’; how the Pope’s encyclical has changed the world

It has been a year since Pope Francis published his encyclical, entitled “Laudato Si’, on Care for our Common Home.” His theological message, written with hope and resolve, brought Catholics together to call to dialogue and look at how the earth is being mistreated. His letter asking us to care for God’s creation has become a crucial dimension of Catholic Social Teaching and has instigated global activity to combat climate change.

His letter’s greatest impact, on the international scene, came at the Paris climate talks in December 2015.  Many Catholics joined other Christians on pilgrimages to Paris ahead of the talks to put pressure on leaders of the nations in attendance.

MarchingCAFOD supporter Georgia White from Leicester travelled to the Paris with 20 other CAFOD supporters and staff. She notes how, “it was important that our delegation attended the conference so that we could pray and campaign for those who are most affected by climate change.  It was also an opportunity to play an active part in witnessing the church’s commitment to social justice.”

She agrees that, “The Papal Encyclical is a worldwide wake-up call that helps humanity to understand the destruction that we are causing to the environment. Above all else, it is a challenge, to believers and non-believers alike, to do something in the face of climate change.”

On a diocesan level, many parishes and schools have undertaken their own encyclical implementation efforts. In the Hexham and Newcastle diocese, parishes have been going greener to respond to Pope Francis’ invitation to “work with generosity and tenderness in protecting this world which God has entrusted to us.”

Find out how your parish can become greener.

CAFOD representative in Hexham and Newcastle, Jeremy Cain, said: “It’s good to know the Pope sees the world the same way that we do. I’m inspired by the way he shows us the links between people and the environment from both a physical and spiritual perspective. We are so grateful for all that parishes and schools are doing to put the Pope’s message into action.”

Continue reading about the Laudato Si’. 

Written by CAFOD’s Katherine Binns