Guardians of Creation

A project to develop a generalisable framework for sustainability transition in the Catholic Church, for use in the Catholic Church of England and Wales and beyond, commenced in December 2020. This project is supported by the Bishops Conference of England and Wales, with Bishop John Arnold the project sponsor.

The strategic goal of the project is to help the Catholic community in the UK make transformational change towards carbon neutrality and a more sustainable future.   The project will develop a generalisable framework for sustainability transition in the Catholic Church and will be implementable at the Diocesan level.  The project team, which includes researchers from St Mary’s University, The Laudato Research Institute, Campion Hall, University of Oxford, and The Tyndall Centre, The University of Manchester are developing this framework over a two-year pilot case study in the Diocese of Salford.  The project team are also collaborating with dioceses across England and Wales.

The project will build on existing good practice and environmental activities and will concentrate on how to conceptualise and measure Diocesan sustainability (e.g., carbon footprint), how to practically implement and create change towards sustainability in a Diocese (e.g., carbon reduction and environmental management), and how to communicate the implications of sustainability in a Diocese to a wider audience.  It will also engage with issues relating to the social and theological aspects of sustainability in the Catholic Church and will look at integrating primary and secondary education into Diocesan sustainability transition.   The lessons from Salford will be translated into a toolkit that any other Diocese and religious order can use.

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