The congregation at all Masses on the weekend of 29/30th September were introduced to the St James’ LiveSimply project. We were delighted to welcome Jim Simmons of the CAFOD Southwark office who talked about how he had witnessed first hand the results of CAFOD’s involvement in countries such as Zambia, South Sudan and China. He thanked the parishioners of St James’ for their magnificent response to the Lent Fast Day appeal when they raised £3,600 (before the government £ for £ matching). It was encouraging to hear that CAFOD is making a real difference to the lives of those living with HIV and AIDS in Africa and how vital it is that they are able to provide themselves with enough food in order that their antiretroviral medication works effectively. The proceeds of the Harvest Fast Day appeal “Room for one more?” will therefore be used to fund programmes which help communities to grow enough food for themselves, and even extra to sell in order to provide for their families.
Jim finished his talk by thanking St James’ for making a commitment to LiveSimply and wishing the parish well for the exciting journey ahead. The parish banner was paraded and displayed prominently by young people and special bidding prayers were read by other young people. At the end of Mass, Jim presented Fr Bryan with the LiveSimply registration certificate and Fr Bryan accepted the challenge on behalf of the parish. Just before the final blessing the congregation joined together in saying the LiveSimply prayer. Harvest Fast Day envelopes and flyers introducing the LiveSimply scheme were handed out after Mass.
At the 6pm Mass, children making their First Holy Communion next year were presented to the congregation which made a delightful addition to the event.
Jim said “I was really grateful for the welcome I received from Father Bryan and the parishioners of St James’. It is really wonderful that the whole Parish has committed itself to ‘LiveSimply so that other may Simply Live’. I was aware of just how much organisation had been put into this by members of St James’ LiveSimply Group”
Article written by Roger Wright (who is a member of the Justice and Peace group of St James the Great Parish)