We were recently very pleased to welcome the Mayor of Havant, Councillor Paul Buckley, and his wife Jackie to celebrate with us on gaining a special award.
We started working towards the Live Simply award two years ago as a way of putting our faith into action. It is organised by the Catholic charity for overseas development – Cafod.
To gain the award we had to undertake a variety tasks – spiritual, practical and outreaching – in our church and as individuals in three different areas.
Firstly to try to encourage everyone to think about living simply, wasting less, not worrying so much about stuff and enjoying nature and friendship more.
To do this we have had all sorts of simple suggestions for enjoying time with friends and family, held family activity workshops and international evenings and a photo competition.
Secondly, to live sustainably caring for the earth and its resources, we have solar panels on our church roof, and collections to recycle plastic, stamps and coins for charity.
We also encourage individuals to save water, walk more and get involved in local environmental projects
And finally – live in solidarity with the poor. As well as supporting lots of charities we have helped sponsor young people to visit poorer countries and encouraged everyone to join campaigns protesting against injustice and speak up for a fairer world.
It seems fitting that we received the award the same weekend as the Havant Goes Greener festival where we had a stall to encourage other churches to think about going greener and working towards the Eco Church Award.