Climate Walk Reflections

Sunday 10th October 2021

Climate campaigners put their best foot forward this weekend in a diocesan walk organised out of concern for our common home.

The Climate Walk took place on Sunday 10 October and welcomed community groups and people of all ages from across our diocese to share in a period of prayer, reflection, and appreciation for our beautiful planet.

We were delighted to see so many people joining us on our walk from Salford Cathedral to the Laudato Si’ Centre, based at Wardley Hall, as well as welcoming people along the way.

The 8.6-mile route included a number of stops at nearby parishes, enabling us to take a little time for periods of prayer and reflection.

Reflections from the walk can still be accessed by downloading a PDF here, or taking a look below.

Opening Liturgy – Salford Cathedral

Introduction and Welcome (Fr Mark)

Words from Pope Francis:

As we begin our walk, let us allow these words from Pope Francis to raise our spirits in hope:

I invite everyone to renewed hope, for hope speaks to us of something deeply rooted in every human heart, independently of our circumstances and historical conditioning. Hope speaks to us of a thirst, an aspiration, a longing for a life of fulfilment, a desire to achieve great things, things that fill our heart and lift our spirit to lofty realities like truth, goodness and beauty, justice and love… Hope is bold; it can look beyond personal convenience, the petty securities and compensations which limit our horizon, and it can open us up to grand ideals that make life more beautiful and worthwhile”. Let us continue, then, to advance along the paths of hope.” (Fratelli Tutti, 55)

Psalm 104 (1-9):

Bless the Lord, O my soul.
O Lord my God, you are very great.
You are clothed with honour and majesty,
wrapped in light as with a garment.

Response: Send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the Earth

You stretch out the heavens like a tent,
you set the beams of your chambers on the waters,
you make the clouds your chariot,
you ride on the wings of the wind,
you make the winds your messengers,
fire and flame your ministers.

Response: Send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the Earth

You set the earth on its foundations,
so that it shall never be shaken.
You cover it with the deep as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.

At your rebuke they flee;
at the sound of your thunder they take to flight.

Response: Send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the Earth

They rose up to the mountains, ran down to the valleys
to the place that you appointed for them.

You set a boundary that they may not pass,
so that they might not again cover the earth.

Response: Send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the Earth

Opening Prayer:

Lord our God

Fill our hearts and our minds as we walk this day. Help us to see anew the beauty of the world that you give us, the damage that our actions and lifestyles have done to it, the impact those actions have had on the poorest of the world. Renew in us the determination to change our lives and strengthen in us the will to make individual sacrifices to bring about communal change. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ your son, whose sacrifice unites us to you and gives us the example of love to follow, in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Stay with us Lord on our journey.


Reflection One – St James and All Souls, Pendleton

In this first reflection we focus on the cry of the earth remembering the gift that God has given us in the world around us, the beauty that is before us every day, if only we had the eyes to see.

Pope Francis helps us to see that what is at stake in the environmental crisis has to do with how we understand ourselves, God, and His creation. The response, therefore, has to be more than simply better technology and one off initiatives. As he teaches us in Laudato Si’:

When we ask ourselves what kind of world we want to leave behind, we think in the first place of its general direction, its meaning and its values. Unless we struggle with these deeper issues, I do not believe that our concern for ecology will produce significant results. But if these issues are courageously faced, we are led inexorably to ask other pointed questions: What is the purpose of our life in this world? Why are we here? What is the goal of our work and all our efforts? What need does the earth have of us? It is no longer enough, then, simply to state that we should be concerned for future generations. We need to see that what is at stake is our own dignity. Leaving an inhabitable planet to future generations is, first and foremost, up to us. The issue is one which dramatically affects us, for it has to do with the ultimate meaning of our earthly sojourn.” (Laudato Si’ 160)


How much time do I spend each day noticing beauty in the world around me?

In what ways is my life dominated by “what is most convenient” rather than “what is right”?


Psalm 104 (10-15)

You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
they flow between the hills,

giving drink to every wild animal;
the wild asses quench their thirst.

Response: Send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the Earth

By the streams the birds of the air have their habitation;
they sing among the branches.

From your lofty abode you water the mountains;
the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.

Response: Send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the Earth

You cause the grass to grow for the cattle,
and plants for people to use,
to bring forth food from the earth,

and wine to gladden the human heart,
oil to make the face shine,
and bread to strengthen the human heart.

Response: Send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the Earth

Closing Prayer

Loving God,
We praise your name with all you have created.

You are present in the whole universe,
and in the smallest of creatures.

We acknowledge the responsibilities you have placed upon us
as stewards of your creation.

May the Holy Spirit inspire all political leaders at COP26 as they
seek to embrace the changes needed to foster a more sustainable society.

Instil in them the courage and gentleness to implement fairer solutions
for the poorest and most vulnerable,
and commit their nations to the care of Our Common Home.

We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ your Son.


As we continue our journey, let us open our eyes to the beauty around and reflect on our own commitment to the care of our Common Home.


Reflection Two – St Peter and St Paul, Salford

In this second reflection, we focus on the cry of the poor remembering and praying for our brothers and sisters who are struggling to find food and shelter.

In his letter for the World Day of Poor for this year, Pope Francis reminds us that the poor are not people “outside” our communities, but brothers and sisters whose sufferings we should share, in an effort to alleviate their difficulties and marginalization, restore their lost dignity and ensure their necessary social inclusion.

In everything, Jesus teaches that poverty is not the result of fate, but a concrete sign pointing to his presence among us. We do not find him when and where we want, but see him in the lives of the poor, in their sufferings and needs, in the often inhuman conditions in which they are forced to live. As I never tire of repeating, the poor are true evangelizers, for they were the first to be evangelized and called to share in the Lord’s joy and his kingdom (cf. Mt 5:3).

The poor, always and everywhere, evangelize us, because they enable us to discover in new ways the true face of the Father. “They have much to teach us.


How do my choices affect the lives of other people?

Am I concerned about the poor who live nearby? The poor who live far away?  What am I willing to change in my life to make a difference to the lives of others?

Psalm 104 (16-23) 

The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.

In them the birds build their nests;
the stork has its home in the fir trees.

Response: Send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the Earth

The high mountains are for the wild goats;
the rocks are a refuge for the coneys.

You have made the moon to mark the seasons;
the sun knows its time for setting.

Response: Send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the Earth

You make darkness, and it is night,
when all the animals of the forest come creeping out.

The young lions roar for their prey,
seeking their food from God.

Response: Send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the Earth

When the sun rises, they withdraw
and lie down in their dens.

People go out to their work
and to their labor until the evening.

Response: Send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the Earth

Closing Prayer

Loving God,

Creator of Heaven, Earth, and all therein contained.

Open our minds and touch our hearts,

so that we can be part of Creation, your gift.

Be present to those in need in these difficult times,

especially the poorest and most vulnerable.

Help us to show creative solidarity

as we confront the consequences of the global pandemic.

Make us courageous in embracing the changes

required to seek the common good.

Now more than ever, may we all feel interconnected and interdependent.

Enable us to succeed in listening and responding

to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor.

May their current sufferings become the birth-pangs

of a more fraternal and sustainable world.

We pray through Christ our Lord,

under the loving gaze of Mary

Help of Christians,


Pope Francis – Common Prayer for Earth and Humanity

As we continue on our journey, we pray for those people whose home is on the streets and who do not know where they will sleep tonight, whether due to poverty, family break-down, mental health, addiction problems or other complex reasons.


Reflection Three – St Charles, Swinton


In this third reflection we focus on the need to respond to the various crises in our world in a way that is coherent and integrated. How we respond both to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor must be inspired by our encounter with Jesus Christ who comes to save us.


As Pope Francis reminds us in Laudato Si’ ‘The external deserts in the world are growing, because the internal deserts have become so vast’. For this reason, the ecological crisis is also a summons to profound interior conversion. It must be said that some committed and prayerful Christians, with the excuse of realism and pragmatism, tend to ridicule expressions of concern for the environment. Others are passive; they choose not to change their habits and thus become inconsistent. So what they all need is an “ecological conversion”, whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them. Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.” (Laudato Si’, 217)


Do I live an integrated life as a Christian?

In what areas of my life do I most need conversion?

Psalm 104 (24-35)

O Lord, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom you have made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.

Yonder is the sea, great and wide,
creeping things innumerable are there,
living things both small and great.

Response: Send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the Earth

There go the ships,
and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.

These all look to you
to give them their food in due season;

When you give to them, they gather it up;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.

Response: Send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the Earth

When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
when you take away their breath, they die
and return to their dust.

When you send forth your spirit, they are created;
and you renew the face of the ground.

Response: Send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the Earth

May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in his works—

who looks on the earth and it trembles,
who touches the mountains and they smoke.

I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.

Response: Send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the Earth

May my meditation be pleasing to him,
for I rejoice in the Lord.

Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
and let the wicked be no more.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.
Praise the Lord!

Response: Send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the Earth

Closing Prayer

Christ has no body but yours,

No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which He looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which He walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which He blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are His body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

— St. Teresa of Ávila


Closing Reflection and Blessing – Laudato Si Centre

Welcome to Laudato Si

Words from Bishop John

Diocesan Prayer for Our Common Home:

All powerful God,
you created all things, and you are present throughout the universe
and in every creature,
You embrace with your tender love all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
so that we may have the strength and courage

to protect all life and the beauty of our world,

preserving it from pollution and destruction.

Fill us with your peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one,

And caring for the Earth, our common home.

Teach us to discover the worth of every creature on this earth,

Let us protect those at risk and in danger,
Encourage us as we seek justice, love and peace.

Stay with us each day, with the power of your grace.

Through Christ our Lord


Final Blessing



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