Vicariate for Caritas

Environmental Group

Vicariate for Caritas


Bishop Robert has established a Diocesan Environmental Group which has been meeting regularly since February. The group has been formed to support the Diocese in taking concerted action to address the climate and ecological emergency recognising the call by Pope Francis in Laudato Si’ to care for our common home.

The science informs us that we need to take action at all levels of society, including within our own Diocese to avert catastrophic climate change, which threatens the viability of all life on earth. Reducing our carbon footprint, learning to live sustainably in harmony with the whole of creation is an imperative for each and every one of us in our Diocese. We must learn to live our spiritual and physical lives in recognition that the earth is sacred.

It's time to act

The Environmental Group is part of the Vicariate for Caritas and the remit of the group is still being finalised but includes:

  • Drafting a revised Environmental and Social Justice Policy for approval by the Board.
  • Linking with the Guardians of Creation Project in Salford which is aimed at delivering the tools and know how to achieve sustainability within Catholic Dioceses.
  • Advising the Board on implementing sustainability policies and actions at a Diocesan level.
  • Working with schools and parishes to calculate the carbon footprint of our Diocese and assist with developing a plan to achieve carbon neutrality.
  • Establishing and supporting a network of climate champions in our parishes to instigate sustainability projects and actions.
  • Identifying, encouraging and promoting sustainable activities within our schools and parishes, sharing of good practice and examples.
  • Promotion of appropriate resources and information on adopting sustainable life styles.
  • Organising education and liturgical events to promote ecological spirituality and actions.

“The natural world is the larger sacred community to which we belong. To be alienated from this community is to become destitute in all that makes us human. To damage this community is to diminish our own existence.”

Thomas Berry

Our Events

Laudato Si’ Week

Laudato Si’ Week is a global event sponsored by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and supported by the Global Catholic Climate Movement in collaboration with about 150 Catholic organizations.

Pope Francis invites Catholic communities around the world to participate in Laudato Si’ Week 2022.

The weeklong global event will mark the seventh anniversary of Pope Francis’ landmark encyclical on creation care and unite the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics to listen and respond to the cry of God’s creation.

Catholics will rejoice in the progress we have made in bringing Laudato Si’ to life, and intensify our efforts through the Vatican’s new Laudato Si’ Action Platform, which is empowering Catholic institutions, communities, and families to fully implement Laudato Si’.

Comprising nearly one-fifth of the world’s population organized in some 220,000 parishes worldwide, the Catholic Church can play a powerful role in solving the dual challenges of the climate emergency and ecological crisis.

The theme for the week is “Listening and Journeying Together.” The eight-day global event will be guided by the following quote from Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’: “Bringing the human family together to protect our common home” (LS 13).

Read the full statement here.

Laudato Si' week: Greening the Diocese

Across the Diocese many parishes and schools are responding to the call of Pope Francis to take some time to consider how we can respond to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.

The CAFOD Live Simply campaign has many suggestions as to how both parishes and individuals can do this. Some have decided to get their hands dirty and utilise their grounds to become both beautiful and productive. By planting trees that produce fruit both for the natural world to benefit and for human consumption, by introducing plants that provide what our native species need we are beginning to green the Diocese. Read some of their stories, which may inspire you to ask, “What can we do?

Become a Laudato Si’ Animator

Laudato Si’ Animators receive the tools they need to lead their community to care for our common home Learn from world–renowned experts on the root causes of the climate crisis and the core messages of Laudato Si’.

Updates from Laudato Si' Animators

Periodically Laudato Si’ Animators will share some topical articles, they will be made available here.

What’s wrong with the fashion trade?

A close look at the fashion trade gives us an overall view of human business practice in general, because the same problems and harms that are part of the fashion trade are standard for many of our human businesses. A model that has to change.

So, what is wrong with the fashion trade? The answer is that there is so much wrong that the Animators article about it has to encompass 4 sections, which will inform about human exploitation, animal cruelty, environmental harm and alternatives.

Read the full or shortened version of the article by clicking on the button opposite.

Group Committee Members

  • Bishop Robert Byrne CO
  • Fr Chris Hughes (Chair)
  • Claire Hetherington (Primary Schools RE Advisor)
  • Minnie Fraser (Property Surveyor and Environmental Lead)
  • Chris Myers (Justice and Peace Co-ordinating Council)
  • Deacon Richard Mclaughlin
  • Mel Fransicso-Lawless (YMT)
  • Hannah Bartlett (YMT, Secretary)
  • Mark Maughan (CAFOD Community Participation Co-ordinator)

"Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last 200 years."

Pope Francis, Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home

Additional resources

Theology Resources – Bishops’ Conference

Laudato Si’ Animators – Bishops’ Conference

Making your Parish Green – Bishops’ Conference

Saving Energy and Recycling at Home – Bishops’ Conference

Recycling and Saving Energy at Work – Bishops’ Conference

The Journey to 2030

Guardians of Creation Project – Diocese of Salford

I’m Dreaming of a GREEN Christmas

by Isabelle Harding (Laudato Si’ Animators’ Network)