14/15th September 2013
This was a great success with incredible support from so many of our parishioners.  The response for all three Masses was very encouraging as can be seen from a summary of the results below.  Our able bodied parishioners were asked to use any alternative means of transport to using their cars.  The most popular means was by foot, with many children opting for scooters, roller skates/blades.  The bike racks were well used and for 11am Mass were completely packed.  There was genuine enthusiasm and awareness of the event from many as they arrived at church.  It was touching to have apologies from the elderly who had no need to apologise!
Simple survey slips were placed on the pews and each family group was asked to complete these anonymously.  The questions were: your post code, how many travelled in the group, how did the group travel today and what was its normal method of getting to Mass.  83% of the congregation were covered in the replies.  Analysis of the reply slips showed that whereas 196 said they normally walk to Mass, 355 people walked on this occasion.  364 said they normally arrived by car but this weekend only 172 did.  The survey revealed that 140 cars would have been brought to Mass on a normal weekend, but only 63 were this time.  
This was a fantastic response, and the parishioners of St James' can be proud of their efforts.  Special mention should go to the 78 year old gentleman who walked quite a way in both directions, and to the family of six who normally have to use a people carrier but this time arrived by foot, buggy and scooter.  It was remarkable to discover that after 15 minutes of the 9.15am Mass commencing, there were only two cars in the upper car park and even spaces vacant in the main one!  Some photos here.
The liturgy of the Mass had a theme of living sustainably and the bidding prayers reflected this ambition.  This event was one of the Supporting Actions we pledged for our LiveSimply Principle of Live Sustainably.
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