Think Global Act Local

Sunday 3rd March 2019

Bishop John has written to all parishes and schools ahead of the Season of Lent to challenge us all to take action on Climate Change and to start to Think Global, Act Local.

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 role within our wider communities and our world.

He says:

“The effects of Climate Change is not a problem that we can just leave to governments to remedy. They must certainly play their part but Pope Francis tells us that we are all required, every one of us, to make changes to our lives and begin to repair the damage before matters become irreversible.

A great deal of difference can be made through a number of small actions in our personal lives.

To name a few: We can shop more carefully, particularly choosing local produce, so saving the expensive transportation costs and use of fuel. We can cut the temperature on our central heating. We can walk more and use less petrol, using public transport more regularly. We can turn lights off in unused rooms, hang washing out to dry rather than using energy-expensive drying machines. We can reduce the waste we make and re-cycle more. 

These may seem almost trivial but they are significant ways where we can make an impact for the good. We show the goodness of our faith by our actions.”

In his letter Bishop John has challenged all parishes and schools in the Diocese of Salford to form a group concerned with educating and making practical responses to deal with climate change. The challenge from the Bishop takes inspiration from Pope Francis landmark encyclical Laudato Si’, which calls on “every person living on this planet” to care for our shared earth.

Our goal is to make the Diocese of Salford a flagship for effective action. Bishop John is responding to his own challenge by beginning a major environmental project in the grounds of Wardley Hall. The Laudato Si Centre will be a place for practical action, learning about our environment and how we can live more simply and listen more attentively to the ‘cry of the earth and the cry of the poor’.

Bishop John goes on to say:

“There is still time but unless we achieve significant progress in the next 12 years, our scientists are certain that our future generations will suffer life-changing consequences with no means of turning the clock back.

Therefore I am asking all schools, parishes and individuals to take action to heal the damage, mend our planet and “care for our common home” for future generations.”

As well as the letter being read in parishes, Bishop John has also written to the 208 schools of the diocese asking them to make a similar pledge of action. You can see what Bishop John has said to schools in this short video:The full Pastoral Letter can be read here (Pastoral Letter Lent 19) and listened to here.

Additional resources are available for parishes, schools and individuals looking to make a difference. This weekend a handout with practical suggestions will be made available at the back of all churches. You can see the handout below or download it here

Additionally Catholic Faith Exploration (CaFE) have produced a programme, which will be free to download from the website or can be purchased on DVD, setting out various ways in which we as individuals, and within our families and communities, may take practical measures to begin to reverse the damage we are doing to our planet.

This latest course, 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. You can watch a trailer of the programme here:

Global Healing draws on interviews with a number of people well able to encourage us. Participants include Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Dr Carmody Grey, Environmental specialist now working with Cafod, Sr Margaret Atkins, author of “Catholics and Our Common Home”, Fr Augusto Zampini, Formerly of Cafod and now working in the Vatican on these matters, Fr Kevin Irwin from the United Sates, Fr Sean McDonagh, and Br Loarne, a Franciscan from Greyfriars, Oxford.

Global Healing is also drawn from the work of Cafod and its experience and understanding of Climate Change in the Global South where the damage is greatest among the poorest people of our planet who have done least to cause it. While the DVD presents a great deal of material, there will also be a Global Healing website full of resources and ideas for deeper, practical application.

Global Healing is ideally designed to be shared over a supper with a parish group, with film clips, prayers and suggestions for discussion. Extra sessions will be available on the website which would be ideal for a short course, perhaps for the Season of advent. Details at


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Tagged | Environment | Pastoral Letter

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