Children and staff at Barlborough Hall School and Nursery, near Chesterfield, have responded in a practical way to the message from Pope Francis entitled Laudato Si (Care for our Common Home). In it, the pontiff calls on the world’s population to acknowledge the fragile state of the earth and to unite to protect it.

A letter was delivered to the pupils in assembly which read:Waste not want not s

Dear Children

I would like you to help me with a difficult problem.  Our

beautiful world is not looking very well.  Please watch this

short film and think about what you can do to help.

Your loving father in God

pp Francesco,

Pontifex Maximus

The whole school, housed in the 16th century Barlborough Hall, then watched the brilliant CAFOD animation which explains Laudato Si in child-friendly terms.

Anne Prior, CAFOD representative for Sheffield, said, “We are delighted that Barlborough Hall students are putting their faith into action in response to the Pope’s message. The earth is our common home and simple activities like weighing lunch leftovers will inspire children to make a difference and protect it.”

Led by Mrs Maria Neal, class teacher and assistant school chaplain, the pupils launched ‘Save the World Week’. Lessons have been themed to cover topics including why water is precious, how energy is generated, the importance of recycling and equity in farming and trade.

There have been guest speakers from CAFOD and Fairtrade, and all children, from Nursery to Year 6, tucked into a Fairtrade breakfast.

All food left over on two consecutive lunchtimes has been weighed to show the children how much is wasted. They have been challenged to cut down on needless waste as one of the ways they can make a positive difference to the future of the planet and its population.

Mrs Neal said, “The message from Pope Francis is so important that it is vital we sit up and take note today. Whatever action we can take, wherever in the world we live, we must take.

“The pupils have really embraced our Save the World Week and, while it might sound ambitious, the point is that every single action by every person adds up and collectively we can and will make a difference.”