Season of Creation: What are our next steps?Saturday 2nd October 2021
As the Season of Creation draws to a close, our planet’s fight for recovery and revival continues and people across the diocese are called to play their part in ecological conversion.
Over the past few weeks, Christians around the world have united in prayer, reflection, and action in response to a crisis that is damaging our communities and common home almost beyond repair.
With political powers from around the world convening in Glasgow in just a few weeks’ time, the ‘environment’ is set to be the buzzword of the season, but Pope Francis warns that this cannot just be a fad, and concrete action must be taken.
Speaking on Earth Day in April 2021, he said: “Both the global catastrophes, Covid and climate change, prove that we do not have time to wait.
“Time urges us, and as Covid-19 demonstrated, we do have the tools to face the loss. We have the instruments. This is the moment to act. We are at the edge.”
Although there is a lot of work to do, we are confident that together we can build a better future. Together we can answer the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.
Join us on our journey
We will be providing support as we journey together from the Season of Creation to care for creation, with resources for schools and our parish communities shared on our new Laudato Si Centre website.
There is a lot of amazing work happening across our schools, which we hope to share over the next few months, so please follow us on social media and check our website for updated resources. We will also be launching a schools Laudato Si Programme as part of the diocese’s work on the Guardians of Creation Project.
- For our parishes, there are resources on ‘The Journey to 2030’ website that will act as a hub for the UK Catholic Church. This includes a ‘Parish Guide to Laudato Si’, blogs, updates and focus areas, such as ‘Appreciating Nature, Encouraging Wildlife and Organic Gardening’, ‘Encouraging Sharing and Healthier Travel In and Around your Parish’ and ‘How to Reduce Energy Use and Why it is so Important’.
- The diocese has launched its one year programme, For the Beauty of the Earth, which has been informed by the good work already happening across the diocese and several engagement activities carried out during 2021. Watch out for some of our planned activities, such as our zero-carbon work, tree planting, wildlife programme, and events and exhibitions.
- Throughout 2021/2022 there will be further engagement and opportunities to respond and feed into the September 2022 update, which will include a 2030 vision supported by a three-year action plan. We would really value your input, so please keep a look out for future engagement events.
- Finally, we will also be providing updates in the run-up and during United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), which the UK will host in Glasgow on 31 October – 12 November 2021. It is hoped that the COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards climate change. For further information see CAFOD’s COP26 Campaign for the Climate, the ‘COP26 Explained’ and the ‘Together for our Planet Toolkit’ for Faith, Religion and Belief Groups. Let us pray for a successful COP26.
Environment representatives offer hope for the future
If you’re looking for a more active way to get involved, becoming an environmental representative is a fantastic way to make a big impact in your parish community.
To find out more, here is the story of one of our environment representatives, Christina Isherwood:
Christina began working as an environment representative earlier this year as a way of putting her faith and passion for the environment into action.
“I grew up knowing not to waste resources. For example, my family would never leave the tap running whilst brushing our teeth, food was eaten up at each meal as you knew you would have to wait until your next meal to eat, if clothes were threadbare then you simply darned over it. It was only if you grew out of a particular size of clothing or shoes that you would get new items.
“Today, my environmental awareness certainly encompasses recycling practically everything that can be recycled by the local council, as well as by other organisations. For example, I am pleased that this summer the Co-operative has made it possible to recycle soft plastic such as plastic covering on greeting cards, plastic wrappers on food items, crisp packets, cling film. We always ensure we wash used food cans, bottles in the dish water, with tops removed as this clogs up the recycling machinery.”
Parish representatives will work closely with our environment staff at the Laudato Si’ Centre, parish priests, and school staff to develop environmental projects in their own communities, whether that is introducing sustainability schemes, transforming outdoor spaces into beautiful community gardens, or finding new ways to use nature as a way of connecting with our brothers and sisters in our communities and around the world.
These exciting roles will play a pivotal part in our process of realising the vision of Laudato Si’ and responding to Pope Francis’ call on a local level.
To find out more about becoming an environment representative, please email our Head of Environment Emma Gardner on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christina said: “Becoming a parish representative is quite a recent move for me but I am looking forward to being as proactive as I can be.
“I think with the widespread message of the needs of the environment and the many different organisations – as well as the Church – propelling this forward, there isn’t an excuse for us not to do all we can.”
The passion and enthusiasm of volunteers like Christina offers the Church a powerful tool as it works together to rebuild our common home: hope.
Writing in Laudato Si’, Pope Francis highlights the true value of hope in helping us find the path to a better future.
He said: “Hope would have us recognise that there is always a way out, that we can always redirect our steps, that we can always do something to solve our problems.”