Laudato Si Project: The Journey We Are OnMonday 7th September 2020
In the Diocese of Salford, responding to Laudato Si and Pope Francis’ call for us all to care for our common home has been an important part of our faith journey. To mark the beginning of Lent over the last two years, Bishop John has written Pastoral Letters calling on schools and parishes in our diocese to take the environmental crisis more seriously and to make small changes in their day to day lives.
The Bishop didn’t just ask others to make changes he has responded to his own challenge by beginning a major environmental project in the grounds of his residence, Wardley Hall.
Our goal is to make the Diocese of Salford a flagship for effective action on climate change and by launching this initiative, Bishop John is putting his words into action on his own doorstep.
The Laudato Si Project at Wardley Hall
Over the last few years progress has been made with the Laudato Si Project and this continues to be the case. Below you can see just some of the things that have gone on in the grounds of Wardley Hall.
Brick by Brick – Building the Walled Garden
As we approach 2021, we are refocussing our efforts on the walled garden and outdoor classroom as we hope to be able to welcome parish and school groups again. This will involve opportunities to visit but also resources that individuals, parishes and schools can use at home to transform some of their green spaces into a sustainable resource.
A Special Blessing
In May 2019, we welcomed Archbishop Edward Adams, the Apostolic Nuncio, to Wardley Hall for a special blessing of the walled garden, attended by CAFOD representatives from around the diocese.
Archbishop Adams ended the mass with a few words including a greeting from the Holy Father. He said: “The Pope reminds us it is our duty to love our neighbours and to share and protect our common home.
“Today by celebrating this new initiative we promise to do our part to love our neighbours and care for the common home. ”
Help from some green-fingered pupils
In February 2020, more than 60 pupils from 10 Catholic primary schools around our diocese put on their gardening gloves and picked up their spades as they planted 20 fruit trees which will grow into an orchard in the years to come. You can find out more about the orchard and the planting day here.
Creating a Buzz!
One year ago two bee-hives were installed in the Walled Garden at the Laudato Si project, and since then it has been a hive of activity! In just six months, 80 jars of honey were produced by the 20,000 Wardley bees – and the honey has since gone on to win awards at the Manchester and District Bee Keepers’ AGM.
Now there are four hives and in July, a honey extractor was bought for the bees at the Laudato Si Centre, funded by Life for a Life.
A Space to Remember
The diocese partnered up with charity Life for a Life to open the Memorial Forest at Wardley Hall, with the hope that it will offer families the space to remember lost loved ones by creating a peaceful space that will flourish for years to come.
Over time, these trees will develop into a beautiful organised forest that everyone, of all faiths and none, can enjoy as well as nourishing the air we breathe for generations to come.
Much has been achieved since the publication of Laudato Si and the launch of our project but there is much more to be done, with urgency, if we are to provide a healthy environment for future generations.
As we refocus our efforts on the walled garden, we hope to be able to invite visitors when it is safe to do so.
We must never under-estimate the importance and power of prayer, asking God to guide us in the right way and for the strength to achieve our goals.