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CAFOD helps students at St Albans to live simply

Students at St Albans High School in Ipswich are changing the way they get to school, recycle and garden as they work towards CAFOD’s Live Simply award.

The award requires both school and parish communities to come together to complete a total of nine activities, three to show they’re living simply, three to show they’re living sustainably and three to show that they’re living in solidarity with the poor.

As a school, they are using the CAFOD stations of the cross, which offers reflections based on the words of Pope Francis at each station. You can find the resources to hold this in your school on the CAFOD website using the link here.

St Albans are also participating in CAFOD’s Lent campaign, ‘Walk Against Hunger’, contributing to the national aim of reaching 40,000km alongside other schools. In addition, the school is asking staff and students to find a more environmentally friendly way to get to school, this includes ways such as walking, riding a bike, using public transport or lift sharing. Not only will this reduce car emissions in the short term but also make people think about the changes they can make to their lives to be more environmentally conscious.

The school’s Eco Ambassadors also recently ran a competition to see how much single use soft plastic a family uses in a week. Each family was asked to send a photo of all the plastic waste they had collected over the week and send it to the school for a chance to win a prize. The aim of the competition was to show how much plastic we use that cannot be normally reused or recycled and how they can safely dispose of it by taking it to a local Co-Op store to be recycled. The group meet fortnightly to discuss the progress made on the award as well as other environmental issues within the school. They also help to decide the weekly green tip published in the school’s newsletter.

For several years, the chaplain of the school has wanted a prayer garden located on the school site. The school received a grant to develop the garden and have been working with students to continue to improve and maintain it through planting seeds, weeding, and providing seating for people wishing to use it. In the summer months, the garden will be used as a venue to give glory to God’s creation. They have also applied for some free trees donated by the Woodland Trust to rewild part of their site and allow nature to return to their grounds. By having these areas of nature, members of the school community can spend time reflecting on their relationship with God’s creation.

St Albans’ Eco Warriors also plan to meet with Notre Dame High School, who are also working towards the Live Simply award, and their Green Team via Zoom to share ideas.

If you and your school or parish have been inspired by the recent COP26 conference or would like to undertake activities to bring your community together head to the CAFOD Live Simply page to find more information, how to sign up and our brand new resources for schools.

Pictured above are St Alban’s Eco Warriors.