What is the ‘Laudato Si’ Centre?

The ‘Laudato Si’ Centre’ at Wardley Hall, Worsley, is our ambitious response to the international call by Pope Francis to people of all faiths in his letter ‘Laudato Si’ – Care for Our Common Home’.

In defining the vision for the Centre, we wanted to create a place of education and outreach mission that generates environmental hope in those that visit or access our resources. This vision and operating model are rooted in the belief that we can all make a difference through the actions we take.

Our mission is to provide the tools and learning needed to enable all to hear and respond in hope to the cry of the earth and cry of the people.

The Centre is named after The Laudato Si’ document from Pope Francis, the document was an appeal addressed to “every person living on this planet” for an inclusive dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. Pope Francis calls the Church and the world to acknowledge the urgency of our environmental challenges and to join him in embarking on a new path.

To visit our Laudato Si’ Centre website, please visit https://laudatosicentre.org.uk/

What are we trying to achieve?

The ‘Laudato Si’ Centre’ engages with people of all faiths and none. Since our inception in 2019 we have welcomed over 3,000 visitors including school groups, parishes, community groups and individuals wanting to learn and change for the benefit of our common home.

Our unique spaces provide opportunities for learning and inspiration for our schools, parishes, and the wider community. They are vital hub for local community groups and schools to fall in love with nature, to experience its beauty first hand (a lot of pupils from urban areas would struggle otherwise), and to inspire the next generation of guardians of creation.

Young boy takes part in educational activity at the Laudato Si' Centre to learn more about how the ecological crisis affects our brothers and sisters around the world

We are currently using the land and woodland on the estate of Wardley Hall. The site gives us an opportunity to repurpose redundant space to help people to learn how they can take practical action to tackle climate change and work towards a sustainable world.

The site gives us a rare opportunity to adapt and change to our needs as we develop. To help us grow to our full potential, we plan to use the unused buildings within the estate to create a bold focal point to our flagship environmental centre that will create an additional space for a range of seminars and events.

Why in Salford and why Bishop John?

We understand the need for the Church to use its voice, its people, and its resources to create a different legacy for the next generation. A legacy built on joy, hope and renewal as we strive for a better way to live together in harmony with our common home.

That is why we are immensely proud of the creation of the Laudato Si’ Centre in the grounds of the Bishop of Salford’s residence.  Bishop John Arnold, the Bishop of Salford, is also the spokesperson for the Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales on the Environment.  He has proactively challenged his diocese to take the lead in responding to Pope Francis’ exhortation and to make the Diocese of Salford a flagship for ways to heal and care for our common home.

Our Journey So Far

Since March 2019 a lot of hard work and dedication by a small team of dedicated staff and volunteers means that at the Laudato Si’ Centre has established educational and wellbeing spaces in the walled gardens, greenhouses, orchard, outdoor classroom and more recently in the adjoining woodland. As well as a partnership to create a memorial woodland. Programmes and activities have been developed and delivered in nature under three key themes: Learning – Wellbeing – Spirituality.

One of our main aims of the Centre is to reach out to groups that are often excluded from society.  We have been able to offer programmes for people with mental health problems, refugee and asylum seekers and horticulture therapy for all ages, as well as learning new skills such as learning to save seeds, survey wildlife and gardening for wildlife.

Since the expansion into the woodland we have been able to offer an even more varied programme of retreats, courses and opportunities for children to explore nature through play.

Bees are thriving across the hives in the walled garden producing award winning honey, which we sell. Our polytunnels and greenhouse are producing vegetables and herbs, which we share with visiting groups and individuals, the extra produce is donated to a local food pantry. Fruit trees have been planted throughout the outside space and are flourishing year on year.

The Laudato Si' Centre is our flagship project to inspire good environmental practice across the diocese

What Next! 

This is all just the beginning for the Centre. We continue to grow using our staff’s varied skills to live out our mission to provide the tools and learning needed to enable all to hear and respond to the cry of the earth and cry of the people.

We continue to seek funding and partnerships that enable us to move to the next stage of construction on the old stable block.

Driven by our vision that The Centre will be a place of practical action, inspired by our faith, rooted in prayer but welcoming and accessible to people of all faiths and none. We believe we can make a difference to the lives of many people and the surrounding communities, enabling action and being a source of hope.

Find out more and support our project

If you would like to discover out more about the Laudato Si’ Centre, find out how you can visit or get involved, hear our latest news or access resources, please visit our website at https://laudatosicentre.org.uk/. You can also keep up to date by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Our vision is to make the Laudato Si’ Centre a flagship for good environmental practice across our diocese and beyond, and to inspire a future of healing and responsible stewardship of God’s creation. However, we can’t do this alone and any support you’re able to give will make a significant impact as we work towards our vision. Please click here to find out more about making a donation. Thank you.