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Norfolk parish praised for work with poor and refugees

The parish of Sacred Heart North Walsham together with St Helen, Hoveton and St John of the Cross, Aylsham, achieved the Catholic international aid charity (CAFOD) LiveSimply award for its work with the poor and refugees.

LiveSimply is an opportunity for Catholic communities – parishes, schools, religious orders and chaplaincies – to respond to Pope Francis‘ invitation in Laudato Si’ to “work with generosity and tenderness in protecting this world which God has entrusted to us”.

It is awarded to communities which can show how they have been living simply, in solidarity with people in poverty and sustainably with creation.

The parish was assessed by CAFOD campaign volunteers Bernard Shaw and Judith Tooth.

Judith said: “I was impressed by the way the LiveSimply team had worked together, drawing on the strengths of each member to encourage engagement and participation across the parish, and how the LiveSimply journey had strengthened the bonds between its three church communities. Particularly heartening was the parish’s generosity in helping refugees and the ongoing commitment by several parishioners to write regularly to their MPs about issues of concern.”

Bernard said: “I like the way they found several ways to support refugees as their main way of “living in solidarity’, having confirmed that providing accommodation locally just wasn’t an option.”

During Lent, the parish collected over 30 bags of clothing, which they donated to Calais-based organisations Seeking Sanctuary and the Refugee Community Kitchen.

Claire Hardie, a member of the LiveSimply planning team, said: “We would strongly encourage other parishes to work towards gaining a Live Simply Award as it has helped the parishioners to work together to be more aware of the huge need to care for creation and to be much more supportive of the needs of the poor.”

The parish is the 37th in the country and the fifth in the Diocese of East Anglia to receive the LiveSimply award. It was awarded on May 14.

If you would like tofind out more about how your parish or school can get involved in Live Simplysee CAFOD’s website or contact Jane Crone at the East Anglia Volunteer Centre. 01223 358552 ‘ 07779 804252.

Pictured above is Bernard Shaw presenting the award to the parish team.