Our Responsibility to Our Brothers and Sisters

Sunday 1st March 2020

Bishop John has written to parishes in the Diocese of Salford suggesting they use the Season of Lent to consider how they respond practically and personally to the urgent situation of climate change.

Exactly 12-months after a pastoral letter which challenged all in the diocese to take the lead in ‘caring for our common home’ and to ‘think global, act local’, the Bishop thanked parishes and schools in the diocese for the encouraging response they have shown to this over the last 12-months.

Parishes around the diocese have responded by growing wildflower gardens, holding prayer and study groups and reducing their personal emissions.  Pupils in Catholic schools have responded creatively too: making eco-bricks with waste plastic to build benches in school, forming eco-teams and even creating bug hotels to increase biodiversity in their surroundings.

In a pastoral letter to be read in parishes this weekend, Bishop John asked us all to look beyond our personal lives this Lent, to our responsibility towards all our brothers and sisters on this planet.

He says:

“There are those who remain sceptical about the impending damage of Climate Change and indeed others who say that questions of Environment and the care of our planet have nothing to do with the Christian Faith. However, even a cursory viewing of Scriptures and the teaching of the Church, particularly the statements of popes in the last fifty years, make it very clear that the Environment needs to be a primary concern because it connects us all in a care for creation and is a foundation for our political thinking and our social action. To ignore the well-being of planet earth is to assist the evils of our day; poverty, hunger, economic migration, human trafficking and modern slavery.”

Bishop John goes on to say:

We must, of course, look to our governments and industries to make policy changes and implement them with urgency. But we are all involved. This is a theme which has been much promoted in this last year – particularly in our schools where changes to daily routine now make an impact. We can certainly begin to impact on various industries and their harmful over-production by our own choices.

Pope Francis has reminded us of our common responsibility for our planet and care for our brothers and sisters in his recent Exhortation “Beloved Amazon”. He reminds us again that we really do have a responsibility for each other and every gesture of care for our environment, however small, is of significance. And our prayers for our world and its health are important, too. Perhaps the Season of Lent is the right time to consider again our practical and personal response to this urgent situation.”

As well as the letter being read in parishes, Bishop John has provided some practical suggestions for parishes and individuals. The full Pastoral Letter can be read here and listened to below.



Additional resources are available for parishes, schools and individuals looking to make a difference this Lent. To build on the good work of the last year, we will once again be reflecting on our responsibility to care for our common home.  To help us to do this we have produced a series of resources called Envirolent, adapted for use in both schools and parishes.

We have produced resources that we hope will complement each other encouraging joint working with parishes and schools and offering suggestions of practical actions which you can adopt in your communities.

Each week during Lent we will highlight suggested practical actions by focusing on a different R: reduce, reuse, recycle, rewild and reclaim. Envirolent will close with a call to prayer using an adapted Prayer for our Common Home which has been produced by the diocese. You are welcome and encouraged to use this prayer beyond the Lenten season as we are hoping to adopt it as our diocese’s environmental prayer going forward.

We will place focus on one R each week, sharing reflections and suggestions for practical action here on our website and on social media which you are welcome to share and use locally.

Resources for Parishes

Envirolent Posters for Parishes – Five posters on a weekly theme: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rewild, Reclaim
A Prayer for our Common Home poster – A PDF featuring the Prayer for Our Common Home
A Prayer for our Common Home Word Document – A word document featuring the Prayer for Our Common Home for you to use in your own resources
Prayer for Our Common Home Prayer card – If you would like to order these for your parish, please email communications@dioceseofsalford.org.uk or call 0161 817 2201

Resources for Schools

Envirolent Posters for Schools – Five posters on a weekly theme: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rewild, Reclaim, adapted for use in schools
A Prayer for our Common Home poster – A PDF featuring the Prayer for Our Common Home
Laudato Si Prayer Word Document – A word document featuring the Prayer for Our Common Home for you to use in your own resources



Facebook Twitter

Tagged | Bishop John | Environment | Pastoral Letter

In other news