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Diss parishioners strive to ‘live simply’ in solidarity with refugees

Parishioners marched a ten-mile pilgrimage from Quidenham to Diss, in solidarity with refugees.
Parishioners marched a ten-mile pilgrimage from Quidenham to Diss, in solidarity with refugees.

Churchgoers in Diss are seeking a special status for their parish, as they launch a new programme of local activities, supporting refugees and impoverished people.

Parishioners of the St Henry Morse Catholic Church held their first ‘Livesimply’ week, inspired by a new status which is awarded to parishes which champion principles of living simply, so that less fortunate people may simply live.

The week started with a ten-mile refugee solidarity pilgrimage from the Carmel in Quidenham to Diss, in conjunction with the Catholic aid agency CAFOD.

The group subsequently visited a local foodbank, and beehives run by parishioner Mike Grant, all to learn about the importance of promoting sustainability.

Judith Tooth, a CAFOD volunteer and Diss resident, said: “Last year we held an open meeting to look at becoming a livesimply parish – and there was a lot of interest.

“We then explored what we were already doing and what else we could do to work towards the award.

“We wanted, and needed, to involve as many people in our parish community as possible, and came up with a livesimply week.

“It was a really successful week, engaging and inspiring many parishioners.

“The next task is to put together our Livesimply application, ensuring we can sustain our commitment to live simply, in solidarity with people in poverty and sustainably with creation.”

During the week, many of the Diss parishioners also wrote pledges to reduce their carbon footprint, through measures such as changing to a renewable energy provider, eating less meat and contacting their local MPs to call for action on climate change.

Additionally, they welcomed Gillian Spatcher and Karen Thomas from The Medaille Trust, who discussed their work providing safe housing, rehabilitation and protection to victims of human trafficking.

For further information about the ‘Livesimply’ initiative, please go to www.cafod.org.uk/livesimply

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