100th sustainability award goes to Suffolk parish

Parishioners of St Edmund's, Bungay, with Fr Charles and, far right, Mary Kirk.

A group of volunteers in Bungay has become the 100th recipient of the livesimply award for its commitment to living sustainably.

And 80-year-old parish priest, Father Charles Fitzgerald-Lombard, has been one of the driving forces behind the scheme.

He said: “As the parish priest I have tried to encourage these ideas in some of my homilies and also introducing others to the idea of sustainable living.”

And St Edmund’s parishioners certainly rose to the challenge.

They installed 20 photo-voltaic panels on the roof of the parish and school hall, reduced paper by switching to online newsletters, share surplus food produce after Mass, and have swapped standard lightbulbs for LED lights.

Fr Charles, who retired recently, said: “I hope that the parish will continue to embrace this concept and the practice of living more simply and treading more lightly on the earth.”

Mary Kirk, a parishioner and CAFOD volunteer, believes the parish should play it’s part in protecting the planet. And she is calling on the Government to do the same at the COP26 climate conference.

She said: “If we as a parish can create lasting change, so our leadership must change priorities and put money into reducing carbon output, and not into armaments, road building, and increased air traffic potential.”

Jane Crone, CAFOD’s representative for the area said: “We are delighted to see St. Edmund's receive this award, after 4 years of hard work, they have made their plans a reality, and have started the important journey of living more sustainably in their parish.”

• Launched ten years ago by the UK aid agency CAFOD, the livesimply award is a rallying call for community groups, parishes, or schools, to launch eco-initiatives.

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