One of the key themes of Catholic Social teaching is Care of Creation. Here guest blogger, Della Rozycka, shares her passion for recycling, and the parish project she is involved in. Donating instead of binning clothing and other items, always has a double benefit – reducing the rate we use the earth’s resources, and providing a cost efficient and sustainable alternative to buying new.
I have always been brought up with the mantra “Waste Not, Want Not”, as was often the way with pre and post War generations. Now, in the light of “Laudato Si” it is even more important that each of our families realise that it is not just about affording things, but that we need to live in a new way, looking after our planet and all that is in it. This of course means not wasting resources, and to do our best not to pollute the earth.
Recycling projects are not a new idea to our parish, and many years ago some parishioners were inspired to raise money through car boot sales for a project in Tanzania. All the goods and clothes were donated by parishioners of Our Lady of Fatima, White City as they no longer wanted them, or replaced them.
For the last few years I have been a regular presence alongside Wendy Pim (from the original group) on a Friday morning, selling and sorting outside Fr Richard’s blue garage door. Everything for recycling is squeezed into the garage space and as the project has grown, Fr Richard has kindly installed shelves along each wall – and found a new place to store his bike!
We have several members of the parish we can call on who also help us set up and sell at Parish Centre sales, car boot sales and help with sorting things out in the garage – a continual challenge!! Another parishioner regularly helps freshen clothes up with her personal laundry service so we can realise good money on the items. All this work is supported with many cups of tea and coffee, all generously provided. We’ve also had a go at selling our pre-loved goods online, and would love to expand this part of our fundraising.
With such a great band of good-hearted folk the Lord has blessed this work. We have a constant stream of donated goods from parishioners, and now the local community, as they know their pre-loved treasures will hopefully find new homes, plus raising funds to serve those less fortunate than themselves. We are still working with Fr Elias in Tanzania, as well as currently supporting Mary’s Meals, partnering alongside our local primary school St John XXIII to support a school in Malawi.
Deep in my heart I feel this is a wonderful recycling project that has evolved out of our parish garage, focusing on reducing our carbon footprint, supporting our local communities through selling fantastic selections of clothes and bric-a-brac at bargain prices, as well as monies raised for truly deserving causes. It so aptly fits into the Care for Creation call that each Christian is asked to live out – not only for this month of the year but for the whole of their lives.
I have been in this wonderful parish for over thirty years, and have loved being part of our recycling projects. I wish that every parish could do something like this – there is a wonderful community feel, uniting all of us involved in this initiative.
Della Rozycka is a parishioner at Our Lady of Fatima, White City. In addition to her regular commitment to recycling and selling preloved clothes and other items, she is one of the main organisers of the parish’s Care for Creation activities throughout the Season of Creation.
Love in Action Care of Creation poster
In 2022 the parishioners at White City followed Caritas Westminster’s Love In Action programme, deepening their understanding of Catholic Social Teaching and inspiring them to put their faith into practice.
White City Parish have also achieved a Live Simply Award – a CAFOD programme encouraging parishes to take practical action to care for creation.