Taking Action This Lent

Tuesday 16th April 2019

This Lent the parishes and schools of the diocese were challenged by Bishop John to look beyond their personal lives, to their role within our wider communities and our world and to take action on climate change and to start to Think Global, Act Local.

The response from parishes and schools around the diocese has been amazing. We have gathered just a few examples of the very varied responses so far, which may give you a few ideas for your own parishes and schools.

If you would like to get in touch and tell us what is happening in your parish or school community email it to communications@dioceseofsalford.org.uk

St Joseph Primary and Parish, Calderdale

This is a great example of how parishes and schools can come together to take practical action to tackle the environmental crisis.

St Joseph Calderdale parish and primary school have come together to sell Bob boxes

Members of the primary school council attended Mass and spoke about the BOB Box and took orders from the parish. The school were only able to build the boxes because of the help they received from Blessed Trinity Secondary school who lent them the required tools.

Guardian Angels Parish, Bury

Younger parishioners in the Impact group have made a bug hotel. Building a bug hotel can help children learn about the natural world around them. The parish were ahead of the Lenten pledge and undertook this activity last autumn. They said:

“During our meetings we came up with an array of ideas of what we could do to help protect our environment from further deterioration. One idea was to build our own ‘bug hotel’ at Guardian Angels. This will attract many types of insects and so encourage and protect other local wildlife. “

You can read more about the parish bug hotel here.

Salford Primary Schools

The cluster of 18 primary schools in Salford have come together to work on plans for an Environment Summit. Each Primary School will be able to send pupil delegates to attend the summit. The summit will then draw up actions and environmental pledges for each school to get involved with.

St Marys Parish, Bamber Bridge and St Gerard’s, Lostock Hall

Parishioners from St Mary’s Bamber Bridge and St Gerard’s Lostock Hall have enthusiastically embraced the producing of eco bricks. We will use the bricks they have donated to build raised beds and our outdoor classroom at Wardley Hall.  They have now dropped off over 500! (In the main picture you can see parishioners, Linda and Philip Swarsbrick, Mary Sergeant and David Dearden dropping off the latest bricks).

You can produce your own eco bricks for use in your parishes and schools.

At St Mary’s and St Gerard’s they distribute empty 2L milk bottles at the end of Mass and when they are full  of compressed single-use plastic the parishioners return them. There are over 100 parishioners from both parishes involved.

The bricks are filled with crisp bags, cling film, food wrappers – anything that would have otherwise gone into a landfill. The aim should be for each brick to weigh roughly 15oz.

St Charles Primary School, Swinton

Year 3 Students of St Charles Primary, Swinton have been taking part in the #trashtagchallenge and litter collecting in the local area.

This is a great way to teach our young people of the damage that litter can do to our environment and make a difference to the community around us.


Holy Cross and St Helen Parish, Ashton

There was a huge turnout for a screening of Global Healing after the Deanery station mass. This is a great example of how you can come together after Mass to talk and learn from one another.

Global Healing is free. It has been commissioned by the Bishops of England and Wales and is specifically designed to help people engage creatively with the vital spirituality of an “ecological conversion” highlighted in chapter 6 of Laudato Si. Watch the trailer here:

The parish and school have also formed an eco team to make an action plan.

Well done to all those who have already taken part in the Lenten challenge, we know this is only a few examples of the great work going on. But remember this isn’t just about taking action in Lent. The damage caused by Climate Change to our planet cannot and must not be under-estimated. This is now urgent. We cannot look just to governments. Real and effective change must come from all of us acting together.

We must be learning from each other’s examples about how to put our faith in action to heal our planet and “care for our common home”.

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