Want to know how the Bishops' Conference is responding to the ecological crisis we are facing in England and Wales and, indeed, globally? We have collated a page of news, projects, information, links and downloads.
In 2019 the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales renewed their commitment to care for creation in the written statement Guardians of God’s Creation, highlighting the urgency of the ecological crisis we are living through.
The statement called for the development of a “Christian spirituality of ecology” which begins in “personal” and “family life”, and committed to engage with this urgent challenge over the next decade.
Outlining the depths of the ecological crisis we are facing and the Catholic response, the bishops invited the Catholic community in England and Wales to take up the challenge to adopt a new lifestyle:
“We the Bishops of England and Wales commit ourselves and invite our people to engage in this urgent challenge, so that together we show leadership by our actions.”
Here’s a table of links and downloads – ordered chronologically – giving you a selection of our key responses to the ecological crisis that we’re facing.
|1989 - 1991||CAFOD Campaign 'Renewing the Earth – Development and Environment'|
|2002||The Call of Creation|
|2005||NJPN Conference: Stewards of Creation - The Greening of Justice and Peace|
|2005||Launch of NJPN Environment Working Group|
|2007||'The Sound of Many Waters' Clifton's year-long environmental programme|
|2010||NJPN Conference: 'Our daily bread – food security, people and planet'|
|2011||CAFOD Live Simply Awards Launched|
|2015||Laudato Si’ published|
|2017||NJPN Conference: 'A Sabbath for the Earth and the Poor'|
|2018||Environmental Advisory Group starts work at the Bishops' Conference|
|2018||Global Healing launch|
|2018||Middlesbrough Diocese launch environmental policy|
|2019||Pope encourages Season of Creation|
|2019||Guardians of God's Creation|
|2019||Bishop John Arnold’s Laudato Si’ Centre|
|2019||Jesuit Laudato Si Research Institute|
|2019||Jesuits launch ‘Theology, Ecology and Ethics’ MA|
|2019||CAFOD launch ‘Our Common Home’ campaigning focus|
|2019||CAFOD supports ‘The Time is Now’ lobby of parliament|
|2019||Papal Synod on the Amazon|
|2019||Arundel and Brighton launches ‘Journey to 2030’ project|
|2020||Three dioceses to divest from fossil fuels|
|2020||Laudato Si’ week celebrations|
|2020||Vatican's Laudato Si’ anniversary year begins|
|2021||NJPN Conference: 'Action for Life on Earth'|
A selection of statements and news pieces on the environment published in the past few years.
World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation
Guardians of God’s Creation
Plenary Resolution: Stewardship of God’s Creation
Statement on ‘net zero’ report
Statement on the Paris Agreement
Green gas and renewable electricity
Green gas and renewable electricity is now supplied to 2,800 churches across dioceses in England and Wales. The contract with British Gas Business also covers care homes, community centres and schools, and is one of the UK’s largest combined green energy contracts, with carbon emission reductions equivalent to taking 21,000 cars off the road.
The Catholic Church’s energy procurement group, Inter-diocesan Fuel Management (IFM), was instrumental in securing the energy deal, having provided renewable electricity for over 25 years to the dioceses that it serves. They were keen to follow Pope Francis’ call to move away from fossil fuels to ‘protect our common home.’
Laudato Si’ Centre
The Bishop for the Environment, John Arnold, has launched a Laudato Si’ Centre in his Diocese of Salford. It aims to be a flagship for effective action on climate change and is set within his home of Wardley Hall.
A walled garden houses vegetable patches, greenhouses and beehives. A Laudato Si’ memorial woodland is being planted, and future phases for the Centre include a wildflower meadow and learning spaces for schoolchildren.
You can read more about the Laudato Si’ centre here.
The ‘LiveSimply Award’ is awarded by CAFOD to Catholic communities which can show how they have been living simply, in solidarity with people in poverty and sustainably with creation.
There are 52 parishes, 10 schools, one university and one Catholic organisation that have received the LiveSimply award. In 2018, 18 awards were given.
You can find out more about the LiveSimply award here.
Stanbrook Abbey in West Yorkshire has placed sustainability at the heart of the design and building of their award-winning new monastery. The building consumes very little energy and incorporates solar panels; a wood chip boiler, rain harvesting, sedum roofs, sustainable building materials and low energy lights. You can read more about the design here.
B.O.B. Box project
The CAFOD Salford B.O.B. Box project has sold over 2,000 boxes, encouraging local biodiversity. B.O.B. stands for dual purpose bird-nesting or bat-roosting box.
75% of the money raised supports CAFOD’s work overseas. B.O.B boxes have been found in Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, 10 Downing Street and Kew Gardens, and even received a thank you letter from Pope Francis.