Category Archives: CAFOD Westminster

One Climate, One World: Tackle climate change in church, home and garden

Home grown garden produce

Growing your own is one way to become more eco-friendly.

This blog – by John in the Westminster diocese – is the fourth of a weekly series to launch our One Climate, One World campaign. We can all take small steps to better love our neighbours and care for creation – but it’s hard to know where to start! These blogs show how CAFOD supporters and parishes are playing their part – we’d love to hear what you’re doing too in the comments below.

It’s a real challenge to want less in a consumer society where the emphasis is on having more. Climate change is partly a product of spiralling consumption and we need to remember that some of the most valuable things in life are free: loving each other and being loved, enjoying nature and creation in all its glory, being able to weep at the injustices in the world.

Climate change is one such injustice. Some parishioners in our multi-ethnic church, St John Vianney, have first-hand experience of its effects because they come from – or have family in – countries that are feeling its impact, including Bangladesh, Malaysia, the Philippines, Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Ethiopia, Congo and Kenya. Some are from central and south America.

Tackling climate change at home

As a Livesimply parish, living sustainably is our contribution to tackling this. It includes getting parishioners to recycle more, use low-energy bulbs, turn down the thermostat, support charity shops, use leftovers, consume less and walk more!

More ideas on how you can play your part, save energy and care for creation >>

It can be tricky to see where you need to make changes, so we used online calculators from WWF and the government to measure parishioners’ carbon footprints and figure out how we could shrink them.

The calculator highlights areas such as using low energy light bulbs and loft insulation, and loading the dishwasher when it has a full load and not after every meal. It also prompts you to choose an energy efficient A-rated product when buying a new kitchen appliance. Continue reading

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Filed under CAFOD, CAFOD Westminster, Campaigning, Climate Change, Fairtrade, UK

One Climate, One World: Eco-warrior. Who, me?

 

Wind turbine in Norfolk

The Norfolk landscape from the Green Britain Centre wind turbine at Swaffham.

This blog – by Anne in north London – is the first of a weekly series to launch our One Climate, One World campaign. We can all take small steps to better love our neighbours and care for creation – but it’s hard to know where to start! These blogs show how CAFOD supporters are playing their part – we’d love to hear what you’re doing too in the comments below.

The starting point wasn’t so much a commitment to becoming an eco-warrior but more being forced to think about whether I could afford to keep my old Nissan Micra.

It was falling apart, cost a fortune to run and the insurance bore no relation to its value – banger-owners will know the story! But as petrol prices topped £1 per litre, the decision was made: she had to go. She was taken away, with her £75 value donated to Shelter. I now have no car.

Cool those overheating bills

The next unwitting step to becoming an eco-warrior was to do with my doors and windows. My old Victorian terrace was as draughty as the next, and (uncomfortably chilled a few winters back) I made the decision to double glaze my home – mainly for comfort but also to cut bills. I can’t deny the initial outlay was high, but both my aims have been happily achieved. It’s difficult to be precise about money saved as energy prices have rocketed recently, but I know my home is retaining heat better and that I’m turning on the heater later in the year and for less time.

Having taken this bold step, I realised that my old back boiler was not as efficient as a combi-boiler, so I started saving up. My old system could only heat water alongside heating the house, but the combi just lets me heat the water I need, saving energy and costs. It all adds up.

More ideas on how you can play your part to save energy and care for creation >>

Measure – and shrink – your carbon footprint

Parishioners at St John Vianney’s Church were challenged to measure their energy use by doing an online assessment in the church hall one Sunday after mass (accompanied by tea and coffee). I picked up the gauntlet. To my surprise I found that some very small changes could cut my bills and use less energy.

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Filed under CAFOD, CAFOD Westminster, Campaigning, Climate Change, UK, Water

Did you know Romero House is green?

Bethany taste-testing CAFOD's Fairtrade tea.

Bethany taste-testing CAFOD’s Fairtrade tea.

My name is Bethany, and I am currently attending sixth form. As a seventeen year old girl, who has recently been made aware of many climate change issues emerging in our modernised society, I took the decision to volunteer for a week at the CAFOD headquarters at Romero House. Through my environmental ethics lessons at school in the last year, I have seen how climate change can affect every part of our lives, and the damaging effect it is having to many people around the world. I hope others, like me, can be inspired to start campaigning and take a stand against climate change. Continue reading

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Filed under CAFOD, CAFOD Westminster, Campaigning, Climate Change, UK, youth action

My First CAFOD School and Youth Visits

The CAFOD Youth team loved reading about some global justice youthwork in action in Westminster! Fantastic tips and insights, thanks Stephen.

CAFOD Westminster Blog

Schools Volunteer Stephen Bone representing CAFOD at a recent event Schools Volunteer Stephen Bone representing CAFOD at a recent event

Two weeks after my first training session I was provided with the opportunity to shadow two CAFOD staff members, Jon and Tania, who were talking to a confirmation group at St Hugh of Lincoln in Letchworth.

Upon arrival we met the catechists and the confirmation group, both of whom were very welcoming. The presentation began with a well-crafted activity and presentation from Jon. A game of Pictionary was used to illustrate that a church, which had been portrayed by most of the participants as a building with a steeple and cross, was more than a simple structure, it is a community. It was then explained how we have a duty as Catholics to others who live in poverty within this community and indeed the rest of the world.

A series of group discussions then commenced in which the young Catholics…

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Stephen gears up to fight poverty!

Stephen, CAFOD volunteer.

Stephen, CAFOD volunteer.

Stephen Bone has recently graduated in History and Politics. He’s volunteering in the CAFOD Westminster Diocese Office manning the phones, organising events and trading cycling puns with the CAFOD staff!

CAFOD’s work first caught my attention when I was in university studying International Development within the International Political Economy (interesting stuff, right?). The influential and effective work that the organisation carried out, combined with my faith, inspired me to volunteer in an events organisation role.

One such event was Pedal Against Poverty. Along with over 150 other cyclists, my team and I retrieved our rusty bikes from our sheds and headed to the Lea Valley to ride a 19 mile track. We were greeted by a beautiful, clear blue sky and smiles from volunteers and riders alike. The atmosphere was one of joy and unity as I saddled up and prepared for the most exercise I had probably done since I headed to university.

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Filed under CAFOD Westminster, fundraising, greatgeneration, Local CAFOD event, UK, Volunteering, youth action