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LSRI joins “Guardians of Creation” ecological project with Diocese of Salford

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News
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Biodiversity
Guardians of Creation Project
Climate Change
Energy

 

The Diocese of Salford has launched a new research project to spearhead the efforts of the Catholic community in England and Wales to tackle the current ecological crisis by paving the way to a sustainable, carbon neutral future. The research team will collaborate with other dioceses, parish communities, industry experts, theologians and other groups to develop carbon accounting and environmental management tools that will lead to an implementation framework for use in other dioceses.

The project is carried out in collaboration with the Laudato Si’ Research Institute and St Mary’s University, Twickenham, and is supported by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference. Other partners including the Tyndall Centre at the University of Manchester will be involved as the project progresses.

Director of the Laudato Si' Research Institute Celia Deane-Drummond said: “This is an exciting project that has the potential to pave the way for a systematic transition to more environmentally sustainable practices in the Catholic Church. The Laudato Si’ Research Institute is delighted to have the opportunity to support this pilot study as a partner, and to work collaboratively to address one of the most pressing ecological issues of our time.”

The two-year pilot project aims to involve over 100 parishes and over 200 schools, alongside religious communities and other parts of the diocese. The study is part of the church’s response to what Pope Francis has described as the ‘cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.' It will reduce the diocese’s carbon footprint, improve energy efficiency and generation, and facilitate greater involvement from parishioners and local communities.

The Vatican has been promoting awareness of the Pope’s ecological message contained in his encyclical Laudato Si’ and has called for communities around the world to become environmentally sustainable. Pope Francis has called for an ‘ecological conversion,’ whereby the “effects of encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in our relationship with the world around us.”

The project will take an ‘integral ecology’ approach at all levels, meaning that it will not just be limited to questions of carbon, but will consider wider social and environmental sustainability objectives. Integral ecology is a way of looking at the world that connects at depth our human life with God, each other and the natural world. By doing so it affirms human dignity and the special worth of each and every creature that God has made. It therefore informs our action at different levels, the individual, the family and society.

The Laudato Si' Research Institute will help develop this understanding of integral ecology as applied to sustainability and carbon neutrality.

For more information, please contact Edward de Quay (decarbonisation@dioceseofsalford.org.uk)