Living simply in Laudato Si’ week at Our Lady & St Edmund’s Abingdon

livesimply steering group

livesimply steering group

This week we are celebrating the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’: Care for our Common home. Laudato Si’ asks us to view the world, our common home, in a new way reminding us that “everything is connected”. An encounter with Jesus Christ calls us to an “ecological conversion”, a new relationship with all created things and to care for our common home.

One of the best-known quotes from the document is a call to listen to a twin-cry, ‘the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor’. The global emergencies of the climate crisis and the current pandemic affect the poor and vulnerable most. The cries of the earth and the poor will only cease when we recognise that we are part of creation, connected to the rest of the created world and embrace the challenge to work together for change.

Our Lady & St Edmund parish in Abingdon are one of the five parishes in Portsmouth Diocese who have achieved the livesimply award. This award encourages parishes to respond to Laudato Si’ by looking at ways that they as individuals and a parish can live simply, live sustainably and in solidarity with the poor.

The livesimply group at Our Lady & St Edmund are celebrating Laudato Si’ week by encouraging parishioners to take up the Pope’s invitation and participate in the global day of prayer on Sunday 24th May.

Angela, one of the members of the livesimply group shares her thoughts..

“How about – whilst praying that we look beyond our own preoccupations –  also reflecting that practically for us at home in our everyday lives, lockdown is a Laudato Si moment?! We are being made aware of the interconnectedness of all things and all people. 

We are perforce Living Simply –   More people are cooking from scratch and eking out food resources. More of us are taking to cycling. We are enjoying clean air. We are taking a break from fossil fuel use. Children and adults are being creative with whatever we have in our homes. We are not indulging in unsustainable fast fashion. We are not dashing across the world to find leisure but appreciating our own environment.  

Despite the suffering, fear, anxieties, these are moments to be grateful for.  Could we pray in gratitude for the opportunity to take pause, to appreciate the world more, to care more about each other, to be satisfied with enough. And pray for courage to influence our politicians, both local and national, to change what will be the normal in the future, on the lines of Laudato Si.”

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Abingdon parishioners are “living simply so that others can simply live”

Geoff O' Donoghue presenting the livesimply award

Geoff O’ Donoghue presenting the livesimply award

On Sunday 21st January Geoff O’ Donoghue Director of Operations for CAFOD presented the parish of Our Lady and St Edmund of Abingdon with the livesimply award. In December 2016 we featured the parish on our blog as they set off on their livesimply journey and last month we wrote about how much they had achieved over that year. The livesimply steering group of Anne, Angela, Steve and Jadiza organised a different activity each month ;- recycling, waste reduction, sale of garden produce and fund-raising for various charities ending with raising £1268 for CAFOD World Gifts including water for a family.

Fr Jamie receiving the award


At the presentation at the end of the 10:15 mass Geoff spoke about the variety of different activities the parish had been involved in and how each small act such as going into your local supermarket and choosing to buy a fairtrade product or recycling your waste can change the world. These actions may seem insignificant but multiply them by the  675 parishioners in Abingdon  who continue to live simply, sustainably and in solidarity with the poor and that is an amazing amount. Just imagine if all the parishes in the Portsmouth diocese had achieved the livesimply  award that would be over 35,000 people taking small actions to change the world.

So please consider signing up your parish to take part in the livesimply award and let’s change the world together. 

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Congratulations to Our Lady & St Edmund Abingdon for achieving the livesimply award

livesimply steering group

livesimply steering group

Well done to Our Lady & St Edmund Parish in Abingdon for achieving the livesimply award  and many thanks to Anne Dodd, Steve Stevens, Fr Jamie and other members of the steering group for all your work towards the award.  Last year on the blog we featured the start of the parish journey as the parishioners wrote pledges to live simply, sustainably and in solidarity with the poor. A  year on look at the amazing amount they have achieved.

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