Season of Creation: Bishop John’s LetterSunday 8th September 2019
Six months ago, as we began the Season of Lent, I wrote to all the parishes and schools of the Diocese with a call for action. The call was simple; we all needed to take the issue of climate change more seriously.
Over the last few months I have been encouraged by the way in which those words have been taken to heart and for the enthusiasm with which the call for action has been received across the Diocese. Thank you.
As I have travelled around the Diocese, I have been pleased to see so much activity concerning the Environment and it is always with the direct Faith connection of our response to God’s gift to us of creation. I am fortunate to visit schools across the Diocese and in every visit there is a very strong demonstration of concern about the Environment, coupled with education, plans and projects producing a practical response. These have included energy saving, the development of gardens and woodlands, water conservation, collection of litter and re-cycling. The young people of our Diocese have the energy and the determination to recognise the Climate Change crisis and they are doing something to show care for our planet and our brothers and sisters.
Here at Wardley Hall our plans for the Laudato Si Centre are moving forward. Our goal is to make the Diocese of Salford a flagship for effective action on Climate Change. The Centre will be a place for practical action, learning about our environment and how we can live more simply. We plan to open the first phase to the public soon and we hope that it will encourage the local community, schools and parishes to transfer some of the ideas on display into their own communities. There is also plenty that parishes can learn from each other in the initiatives that they already have in place and we will be facilitating the sharing of these ideas.
The Season of Creation allows us some time to reflect on the reasons behind our need to act. Without immediate and sustained action on climate change, we will inflict irreparable damage on our planet which will adversely affect the lives of our children and future generations.
We have been fortunate, so far, in experiencing only relatively minor evidence of Climate Change in the United Kingdom, but incidents of freak weather conditions and unprecedented floods will only become more common as we wait for others to take action. Elsewhere in our world severe and long term droughts, floods, rising sea-levels and extreme record-breaking temperatures are clear evidence of the damage that our actions and our way of life are inflicting on our world. These have affected millions of people, most often in the poorest countries of the world and people who have done least to damage our environment.
We must all play our part. We must take personal steps and we must also place pressure on governments to be bolder both in their policies and their actions.
I want to thank you again for all that is already happening in the Diocese but we cannot stop or become complacent and I urge you to build on the good work that has begun. And in all these endeavours, we ask the Lord to stay with us on our journey.