For the Beauty of the EarthWednesday 29th September 2021
2021 provides us with a unique and vital moment in the fight for our common home. Weekly we are seeing more and more evidence of the irreversible damage that the climate crisis is having. In the last few weeks alone, we have seen Madagascar experience the world’s first climate change famine, forest fires, floods and deadly hurricanes devastate different parts of the world.
Now, with the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change declaring a “code red” alert for humanity ahead November’s COP 26 conference, it is our turn to respond to the “cry of the earth and the cry of the poor”
That is why we are proud that the Laudato Si’ Centre will help the Diocese of Salford lead the way in educating, informing and inspiring people on ways they can heal and care for our common home. But for us as a diocese our work to respond to the cry of the earth and cry of the poor is more than this ambitious project. We want you to embark with us on our Environmental Journey. To assist us, to work together, we have developed a new environmental programme.
For the Beauty of the Earth is a diocesan year-one programme, that has been developed to support us as we put our faith in action to heal and care for our common home, as an expression of our commitment to love God through loving and caring for creation and one another.
It has been informed by the good work already happening across the Diocese and several engagement activities carried out during 2021 via meetings and surveys.
This introductory document helpfully presents our plan, in the Diocese of Salford, to put our Christian faith into action in protecting the environment. It will help us on our journey as we respond to the climate crisis and begin to renew the beauty of the environment, safeguarding it for future generations. It guides us as individuals, in groups and in communities.
This programme will support us as we work to protect the beauty of God’s gift of creation and help us on our journey of conversion as we see that everything is connected.
The programme is being spearheaded by our Director of Environment, Emma Gardner, who said:
The work that we have already done across the diocese, in our parishes and our schools puts us in a strong position to build a diocese ready to respond to the challenge we face as a world. It is vital that we achieve this together. This document and programme are for everyone.
We will use our understanding and voice to influence through Diocese-wide activities and communications, curial policies, activities at the Laudato Si’ Centre, parishes and schools
Working together we can make a difference in our own lives, our communities, and the wider world.
Throughout 2021/2022 there will be further engagement and opportunities to respond and feed into the September 2022 ‘For the Beauty of the Earth’ update, which will include a 2030 vision supported by a three-year action plan.
St. John Paul II first used ‘ecological conversion’ in 2001, highlighting how “humanity has disappointed God’s expectations” by the destruction of the Earth’s habitat. In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis identified the environmental crisis as a “summons to profound interior conversion”, calling for an “‘ecological conversion,’ whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them” (LS 217).