Together we can bring about change and save the world

CAFOD Southwark volunteer, Angela, shares inspiring insights on how we can all make changes to our lifestyle in order to protect the world and resist ubiquitous consumerism.

“It’s up to us to make a stand against consumerism”

Back in late 2018 as a new enthusiastic CAFOD volunteer, I attended an excellent “Countering Consumerism“ event run by CAFOD colleagues. Superb timing as it was just before Black Friday shopping events!  Among the things we did was a personal Ecological Audit of electronics, diet, transport, and clothes (see enclosure). I found doing this really helpful and resolved to think “need” rather than “want” when going shopping in the future. How did I do? Not bad but during the COVID Pandemic my purchases online did creep up…..

Fast forward to 2021. This is our year of hope that the G7 meeting in Cornwall in June and the COP 26 event in Glasgow in November can secure sufficient Governmental pledges from all Nations to save our precious home and God’s wonderful creation from climate warming and irreversible ecological change. 

As individuals, we really can influence decisions made in the world today. It’s up to us to start and make a stand.  I have re-done my Ecological Audit and am sharing my big decisions here:

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Making COP26 Count

Julie Valentine, CAFOD Parish volunteer in Our Lady Queen of Peace, East Sheen, shares her reflections on attending a recent inspiring ecumenical meeting and invites us all to take action to ensure the opportunities of the G7 meeting and COP26 climate talks this year are not wasted but seized, so that we can Reclaim Our Common Home.

In the lead-up to CAFOD’s campaign Reclaim our Common Home, I attended the online Churches Together South London: Big Gathering on the theme of “Churches Together for the Climate”.   The meeting was brilliantly chaired by Bishop Karowei Dorgu; it included presentations from the YCCN (The Young Christian Climate Network), and from Faith for the Climate, a multifaith organisation that seeks to inspire and equip faith communities in their work on climate change.  It focused on how to ensure that the two forthcoming international summits, the G7 in Cornwall in June and COP26 in Glasgow in November, will make world leaders focus creatively and positively on the climate crisis.

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Don’t stay silent, talk to your MP

Miriam McEneaney, a CAFOD volunteer for about 5 years, is sharing with us her journey with CAFOD. She is also calling us all, in the diocese of Southwark and Westminster, to put our heart and soul into CAFOD’s Reclaim our Common Home Campaign for the sake of future generation.

Miriam with MP Seema Malhotra in 2016

I started as an MP correspondent and then went on to become a roaming speaker at Masses for the Lent and Harvest Fast Day appeals. The next step in my CAFOD journey was when I became a Campaign Volunteer Co-ordinator for parts of the Westminster and West Southwark Diocese. It involves liaising with all the wonderful Campaign Volunteers, keeping them up to date with what’s happening and encouraging them to spread the word in their parishes. I know I always feel motivated after each call and I hope the Campaign Volunteer does too. There is also a sense of freedom because I am asking for time and not money.

I got really inspired by CAFOD’s campaigns

In the past few years, we have had some very inspiring campaigns – Power to Be, Generations Unite, Enough Food for Everyone IF, One Climate One World, Responding to the Refugee Crisis – to name but a few. However, I firmly believe CAFOD’s current campaign Reclaim Our Common Home encompasses them all.

Discover CAFOD’s latest campaigns

“Reclaim our Common home” is a call to action : don’t stay silent!

Reclaim our Common Home is CAFOD new campaign

In 2020, we experienced the worst global health crisis in a century. Everybody’s life was turned upside down. However, some people’s lives were devastated more than others. The pandemic exposed many of the inadequacies of how our world currently operates. As Catholics we are called not to stay silent and not to be passive. Reclaim Our Common Home is a call to action. CAFOD is at the forefront rallying the troops. I want to be a part of this.

With all the climate issues facing us today, it is a problem if we do nothing. Scientific reports spell out disastrous consequences here on Earth of doing nothing to curb CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gasses. Do we simply bury our head in the sand and say its not our problem? When I listen to someone like Greta Thunberg, I cannot sit by and do nothing.

Sign our Petition to your MP

I know I can always depend on the Campaign Volunteer’s support

Last November, CAFOD had a Faith in Action Day which looked at how to build a better world from the Covid crisis. It was really encouraging to see how many people took part. It never ceases to amaze me the efforts some Campaign Volunteers go to. One parish, in particular, are aiming for their Live Simply Award. They had a Care for Creation Month. I know when I call on CAFOD Campaign Volunteers, I can always depend on their support.

Read and understand what you can do

I am speaking up to my MP : join me!

In order to reach net zero emissions, we all need to make positive lifestyle changes to reduce our own Carbon Footprint. One small change, I personally have tried to do this year is to go vegetarian at least twice a week.

Miriam talking to her MP Seema Malhotra in 2017

However, this year, we have the power to go to much greater lengths to achieve our 3 major goals – Tackling the Climate Crisis, Ending Unjust Debts and Holding Business Accountable – by arranging virtual meetings with our MPs and encouraging everyone to sign our petition. As Britain will be hosting the G7 in June and the COP 26 in November, it is vital that we raise our voices and ensures the Government listens. It is our duty to ensure the Government does what is necessary to bring in a more just world. I am taking up the challenge and am waiting to hear back from my MP.

Can you imagine the difference it would make if we all talked to our MP. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity which we cannot let slip away. We are the voices of the most vulnerable communities who have contributed the least to Climate Change. We are also the voices of children and future generations. If we put our heart and soul into CAFOD’s Reclaim our Common Home Campaign, we can be a generation that future generations can be proud of.

Understand our latest Campaign Reclaim our common home