Response to the Ecological Crisis

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.

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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.”

Key Responses

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 - 1991CAFOD Campaign 'Renewing the Earth – Development and Environment'
2002The Call of Creation
2005NJPN Conference: Stewards of Creation - The Greening of Justice and Peace
2005Launch of NJPN Environment Working Group
2007'The Sound of Many Waters' Clifton's year-long environmental programme
2010NJPN Conference: 'Our daily bread – food security, people and planet'
2011CAFOD Live Simply Awards Launched
2015Laudato Si’ published
2017NJPN Conference: 'A Sabbath for the Earth and the Poor'
2018Environmental Advisory Group starts work at the Bishops' Conference
2018Global Healing launch
2018Middlesbrough Diocese launch environmental policy
2019Pope encourages Season of Creation
2019Guardians of God's Creation
2019Bishop John Arnold’s Laudato Si’ Centre
2019Jesuit Laudato Si Research Institute
2019Jesuits launch ‘Theology, Ecology and Ethics’ MA
2019CAFOD launch ‘Our Common Home’ campaigning focus
2019CAFOD supports ‘The Time is Now’ lobby of parliament
2019Papal Synod on the Amazon
2019Arundel and Brighton launches ‘Journey to 2030’ project
2020Three dioceses to divest from fossil fuels
2020Laudato Si’ week celebrations
2020Vatican's Laudato Si’ anniversary year begins
2021NJPN Conference: 'Action for Life on Earth'

Selected Statements

A selection of statements and news pieces on the environment published in the past few years.

July 2020
Statement on climate change and pandemic economic recovery

May 2020
Bishops statements for Laudato Si’ week

August 2019
World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation

August 2019
Guardians of God’s Creation

May 2019
Plenary Resolution: Stewardship of God’s Creation

May 2019
Statement on ‘net zero’ report

November 2018
Statement on the Paris Agreement

Case Studies

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.

‘LiveSimply’ Award

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

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.