“Enough is Enough” was the title of a day conference organised by the Commission on 9th April 2011. The Day explored in approachable ways the most vital of questions: how can we all flourish fairly on a finite planet?
The event was well attended and covered a lot of ground, but was just one stage on a continuing journey to learn more of the Christian challenge to our current lifestyles, and to help shape our practical responses to that challenge.
Follow these links to: an overall account of the 9th April proceedings; the talk by Linda Jones; and the 20-minute film “Story of Stuff” shown at the start of the conference:
The Commission held a follow-up event on 15th October 2011, “Enough to Live Simply”.
The day opened with an inspiring contribution from the choir of St Mary’s Primary School launching 100 Days of Peace, especially written for the Christian peace initiative which will accompany the 2012 Olympics.
Forty-eight people attended this follow-up to the event held last April. At that event people had been encouraged to write “Mandates for Change” and these were recalled together with themes from Tim Jackson’s book Prosperity without Growth, the cartoon The Story of Stuff and extracts from scripture and Catholic social teaching – a rich mix. It’s all too easy to feel overwhelmed by the scope of the challenge: so it was particularly useful to hear from Shrewsbury CAFOD Manager Sue Bownas of the Live Simply Award, which offers resources to help parishes grapple with the knotty issues of sustainability and solidarity in our present context.
Participants were able to choose from three workshops:
CAFOD Head of Campaigns, Kevin McLoughlin led Workshop 1. It studied the Live Simply Award in some detail inspiring many folk to decide this was something worth taking further – see www.livesimplyaward.org.uk This initiative has been developed by CAFOD in association with the ecumenical group Eco-Congregation.
Ged Edwards, Chief Executive of Sustainable Blacon Ltd. led Workshop 2. He described how the inhabitants of Blacon, near Chester, had been encouraged to ask: How do you measure a sustainable life? What makes life worth living? And to make changes which contribute to the quality of life for the whole community in the four areas of green spaces, transport, energy, and social enterprises. See www.sustainableblacon.org.uk
In Workshop 3 Dr Chris Mulhearn, Reader in Economics at Liverpool John Moores University gave a challenging talk on Rethinking Economic Growth for Rich and Poor Countries in an Uncertain World.
After lunch participants were given the opportunity to share insights from their morning workshops and then to identify suggestions for action and finally to identify a specific, personal ‘next step’ which they were asked to write on a footprint shape. The footprint was that of a three-year-old grandchild of one of the organisers: a reminder of our responsibility to future generations.
“Individual actions may seem insignificant but together the small steps of many people can have an astonishing impact” Catholic Bishops of England & Wales: Call of Creation, 2002
Could you be a live simply parish?
As mentioned above, this initiative by CAFOD and Eco-Congregation aims to give national recognition to Catholic parishes who are making a difference to their communities – and the world. To qualify for the livesimply award your parish must carry out a simple parish self-assessment and action plan to demonstrate how you will bring the livesimply principles to life. For more details visit www.livesimplyaward.org.uk . For help and encouragement contact the J&P Coordinator or CAFOD Shrewsbury.