Our Lady Star of the Sea in Lowestoft was bedecked with crib scenes (pictured above) over Christmas, many reflecting the multinational community. Deacon Stephen Pomeroy said: “We have over 42 nationalities represented in our congregation from Poland to the Philippines and even the Seychelles. Several groups of parishioners helped to put up the cribs and they will remain in place, as is the custom in many Catholic countries, throughout the 40 days of the Christmas season, which ends on the Feast day of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple and Purification of Mary on February 2, to remind us of the message of Christ Immanuel.”
To discover practical ways in which we could respond to Pope Francis encyclical on care for our common home ‘Laudato Si’, a group of parishioners from Our Lady and St Peter Aldeburgh with All Saints Leiston recently visited the education centre and Materials Recovery Facility at Great Blakenham in Ipswich reports Chris McElhatton.
Before the facility began operating, household waste all went to landfill. Craig Renton, the Suffolk Council facilitator, explained how to help prevent waste, reuse, recycle and recover energy from the things we throw away.
Prevention: Waste can be prevented in many ways, including purchasing a ‘shopping bag for life’ and a reusable coffee cup, but preferably by not purchasing produce in packaging or selecting products in recyclable packaging like non-waxed paper. Large cardboard packaging may be composted at home. The Suffolk Waste Partnership has a special offer on a Composting Bin for £8.99 at www.getcomposting.com
Reuse: Waste from household recycling bins and kerbside locations is sorted at the Facility and supplied to companies to make new products in metals, plastics, card and paper. The majority of sorted materials from the facility is recycled and the remaining 8% goes to energy recovery. Recycling aluminium for example uses 95% less energy than producing new aluminium. This provides the largest income for the facility.
Recovering energy: 8% of household waste which the Facility cannot recycle is sent to the Energy Recovery Centre. This can then generate enough electricity to power 40,000 homes.
Many of the visiting parishioners have signed the Laudato Si’ pledge ‘to pray for and with creation, live more simply and protect our common home: http://livelaudatosi.org/
The parish is currently researching ways to reduce its carbon footprint with the possibility of solar panels and signing up to a sustainable energy supplier. Find out more practical ways of taking action by following the links at www.greensuffolk.org and www.ourcommonhome.co.uk
During Advent, St Mary’s Church, Thetford, held its first ‘Celebrate Advent’ event, an occasion to bring all its parishioners together, in particular the children of the parish, to celebrate the season and to raise funds to support the church and its various social activities.
Held on the third Sunday of Advent (December 16), aptly named ‘Guadete’ , or Rejoice, Sunday, parishioners gathered in the St Mary’s Church Hall for light food and refreshments, whilst the children received personalised bookmarks celebrating the season and lots of sweets.
A prize raffle draw was held which raised over £1,162 for the parish. The church Parochial Parish Council, which organised the event, expressed their deep gratitude to those who helped in the preparations for the event and to all who made the raffle a success, including the individuals or businesses within the area, which provided prizes and those who bought tickets.