Pioneer Parishes

St Mary's Derby

Caritas in the Diocese of Nottingham is launching Pioneer Parishes. To find out what it is and how you can help your parish move forwards on this journey, click here

Becoming a Pioneer Parish is a commitment to engage the whole parish community in caring for creation. We follow Pope Francis’ call in the Encyclical Laudato Si’ to take practical steps to adopt simpler lifestyles, hear and respond to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor, promote ecological economics, education and spirituality and, perhaps most fittingly for a parish community, promote community engagement and participatory action.

So how do we start?

Form a team. Read and think about what is written in the Encyclical. Sign up to become an Animator with the Laudato Si’ Movement. Kick-off the process with an Action Plan – that is why registering for the CAFOD LiveSimply Award is a great starting point.

How can we keep the momentum?

You may find it useful to benchmark your parish against a checklist. Every year or half year, repeat the check to see that you are moving forward and remind yourself of areas you can still grow into. Engage the skills of parishioners in the parish. People will come and go throughout the time and even if they can only help for a short time, it will always be incredibly useful in ways we often wouldn’t expect. Keep learning and working together.

An Example Checklist adapted from EcoChurch and the Laudato Si’ Movement (formerly GCCM). If you want a blank copy of this send us a request in the Contact Us section

What can we do?

There are plenty of things to do. The checklist above helps. You can also look at the Resources tab of this website. Take a look at our Parish Zone to see how our active Projects are progressing. If there is a project that inspires you then get involved or copy the project in your parish or community!

Pioneering can be very powerful

It might be easy to see the checklist as a race. But it is not a race. It is a journey. For the whole community. So an effective Pioneer Parish uses every opportunity to learn, to motivate and educate. In St Mary’s we have the drop in Sessions almost every Sunday and we take things a little slower to bring more of the community with us, whether that be involving the children in presentations and learning or even STEM events.

Above all, pioneering is a journey of hope! Join us in this journey as we try to live inspired by the Encyclical Laudato Si’.