CAFOD Volunteer and Sudbury Parishioner heads to Poland to call for action on climate change

A Parishioner from St George’s Parish in Sudbury and CAFOD campaigner volunteer is heading to Poland in December to join thousands of people calling for world leaders to take action on climate change at a major UN conference.

Keith Routledge, who is a volunteer for the Catholic development charity CAFOD, will travel to Katowice, Poland, from the 5-11 December for the 24th Conference of the Parties – known as COP24.

CAFOD Campaign World Hunger COP24
CAFOD Campaign Volunteer Keith during previous CAFOD Campaign combating World Hunger

Passionate about tackling climate change, Keith is making the trip to call on 200 UN member states to ensure the full implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement.  Campaigners are hoping that member governments will show greater ambition in restricting global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees and take action to have net zero emissions by 2050.

Keith will join campaigners from across Europe to share ideas for bringing about action back home in London to live more simply and sustainably. 

Keith, who supports renewable projects through his background as an engineer, said: “Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing humanity.  Unfettered anthropogenic climate change is already beginning to take effect. If we do not act decisively now, we are facing human suffering on a global scale.”

CAFOD’s Head of Advocacy, Neil Thorns, said: “It is great that Keith is able to travel to COP24 in Katowice to represent Catholics in the Westminster diocese.  COP24 represents an opportunity for CAFOD alongside its partners and sister organisations to ramp up the pressure on national governments to follow through on the commitments they made as part of Paris Agreement in 2015.

“The historic agreement that so many of CAFOD’s supporters, like Keith, pressed to be signed has now been ratified by 183 of the 197 Parties to the Convention.  However, as the recent IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels so clearly illustrates, the current global ambitions are not going to prevent this global temperature rise. 

Keith with CAFOD group with Cardinal Vincent during the CAFOD World Hunger campaign

“This is why CAFOD will push for greater ambitions to be set and an agreed framework that ensures immediate and effective action on climate change at the national level at the upcoming COP, highlighting the need to keep to 1.5, particularly for the poorest and most marginalised people.”

Catholics in England and Wales have shown a widespread response to Pope Francis’s letter, Laudato Si’, which calls on us to care for our common home by pledging to live more simply, sustainably and in solidarity with poor communities.

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Livesimply Award plaque presented to New Barnet Parish!

Well done to the Catholic Church of Mary Immaculate and St Peter’s in New Barnet!

Stephen Shiela and Fr James and Tony Sheen

Stephen Shiela and Fr James and Tony Sheen

“Congratulations to all of you for your commitment to live simply, sustainably and in solidarity with the poor” said Tony Sheen of CAFOD Westminster as he presented a Livesimply Award plaque to the Catholic Church of Mary Immaculate and St Peter’s in New Barnet, Westminster Diocese. The parish in North London is run by the Spiritans. He told more than 150 parishioners, holding a special celebration for Pentecost Sunday in the parish hall, that the plaques are made from recycled church pews. Their parish plaque will now be put on public display. Continue reading

New Barnet parish to become 36th to receive Livesimply award!

By: Ellen Teague, of Columban JPIC

The Catholic church of Mary Immaculate and St Peter’s in New Barnet, Westminster Diocese, is to become the 36th parish in the country and the fifth in Westminster Diocese to receive the Livesimply award.

Peace Garden Live Simply Fr with Stephen and Sheila

Peace Garden Live Simply, Father James with Stephen and Sheila

Barbara Kentish of Westminster J&P and Ellen Teague of Columban JPIC assessed the North London parish for the award on 16 March. The parish lead contacts were Stephen Hill and Sheila Gallagher, and parish priest Fr James Fasakin joined them in showing
the assessors around the Spiritan parish with a congregation of around 300.

The New Barnet parish explained their Livesimply work over the past four years, starting with securing Livesimply pledges from more than 80 parishioners in 2014 and keeping in regular contact with them by text messaging and e-mail. They have been active in CAFOD campaigns, collecting goods for refugees in Calais, and a ‘friendship’ project which reaches out to vulnerable and housebound people. Continue reading