How Green are our Parishes?

“Creation is a wondrous gift that God has placed in our hands, so that we may enter a relationship with him and we may recognise in it the imprint of his loving plan.” 

(Pope Francis Video Message for Laudato Si Week)

In the spirit of Laudato Si Week, we asked some of our Cornish parishes how they are ‘living’ Laudato Si. Here are some extracts from their responses:

In St Ives/Penzance, Fr Philip reports that the Parish and School re-cycle as much as they can through a variety of routes (including jewellery, coins and currency, mobile, camera’s & gadgets, stamps), and use Fairtrade goods wherever possible. On the Care of Creation day before lockdown, everyone at Mass received a 10 point leaflet: “10 tips to help our Common Home NOW”, and Fr Philip is now keen to re-convene the Care for Creation group, which used to meet before Covid, to consider ‘The Journey to 2030’ a booklet produced by the Ecological Conversion Group, a lay group of Catholics. Penzance Council’s “Sustainable Penzance” leaflet is recommended to parishioners.

St Austell has been a Fairtrade parish for several years, and recycles old jewellery, watches, cameras, mobile phones via a company which pays CAFOD from the proceeds. Parishioners also made a point of buying local milk in glass bottles for refreshments after Mass. The Justice and Peace group is being revived imminently, so it is hoped to also revive plans to register for the Live Simply award which were put on hold due to the pandemic.

From Liskeard and Saltash, Fr Gilmour writes that the Chemin Neuf Community at Sclerder Abbey, much inspired by Laudato Si, is considering a project to develop community working on the farm and gardens there. Also at Sclerder, a parishioner was involved in the production of  a publication called “The Slow Path with an associated photographic presentation At Your Own Pace. Books were sold at Mass with donations going to the parish’s Refugee Fund. In Saltash, planting and limited mowing is underway to encourage wildlife.

In Truro, Fr John writes that active consideration is being given to solar panels / a ground source heat pump and battery storage of energy – with cost being one of the main holding factors. Fr John himself drives a hybrid electric car and walks wherever he can. Everything that can be recycled is.

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