Renewing Creation: Bulletin Board

Go to Environment home pageMany in Newcastle Diocese will have been familiar with the regular RENEWING CREATION newsletter produced by the Diocesan Environment Task Group and which ceased publication in 2012.

This Bulletin Board is now its successor.

News of new environmental initiatives, conferences, publications etc will now be posted here.

If your church or local group has something you would like to share across the Diocese do please send a short report/notice to John Harrison at


2018 Spring Bulletin

By the Revd John Harrison, Diocesan Environment Adviser

Following are extracts from websites


The plan was unveiled recently by the Prime Minister. The Government is to introduce a raft of proposals designed to eliminate all avoidable plastic by 2042.

Speaking at the launch of the Government’s new 25-year environmental plan, the Prime Minister announced a war on plastic waste, calling it “one of the great environmental scourges of our time. . . In years to come, I think people will be shocked at how today we allow so much plastic to be produced needlessly.”

“The ambition behind the Government’s new environmental plans is terrific, and shows it to be caring for God’s creation”, the Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nick Holtam, has said. Bishop Holtam, the Church’s lead bishop on environmental issues, said last week that it was good news that the environment had become a priority, and that there was “a recognition of the state we are in”.

Mrs May pledged that the Government would “take action at every stage of the production and consumption of plastic”, starting by banning consumer single-use plastic in central-government offices.

The Scottish Parliament plans to introduce a deposit return scheme for bottles and cans in which shoppers would get cash back for returning them to the store. The scheme, designed to end single-use plastic waste, will apply to plastic and glass bottles as well as aluminium cans. A detailed study into a deposit return scheme (DRS) has already been commissioned by the Scottish Government. Catherine Gemmell, of the Marine Conservation Society, described plans for a DRS as an “absolutely fantastic idea”.

If you or your parish fancy following a programme of measures to engage with the problem of plastic waste, you may like to try the programme below which was designed by the Church of England for Lent but could be used at any time


To mark the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation on September 1 2018, the Pope has said that he and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople had prepared a message together. Pope Francis has said that the message would be an invitation to all people “to adopt a respectful and responsible approach toward creation.” The annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, Pope Francis said when he instituted it, is to be a time for individuals and communities to “reaffirm their personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live.”

“If Christians are to make their special contribution to safeguarding creation, they must rediscover the spiritual foundations of their approach to what exists on earth, beginning with an acknowledgment that the life of the spirit is not dissociated from the body or from nature, but lived in communion with all worldly realities”, he had said.

FROM A ROCHA - extracts

New support programme from A Rocha – a call for assistance

A Rocha is launching a new programme which has been designed to help individuals and families to engage with nature. We are promised that it will be packed full of ideas for people to get stuck into – from what to put in your bird feeder in December to when to plant your tomatoes in the spring, to stomping in the autumn leaves. But they want your help!

The questions they are asking are …. What has helped you and your family to enjoy nature throughout the year? Which verses of Scripture do you read when you’re feeling ‘green’? Where do you go to find God’s glory reflected in creation? They will be sending a monthly email out to subscribers, with a reflection on how nature at that time of year relates back to our faith, ideas and tips for practical things people can do and ways to get involved in the national debate around protecting nature and the environment.

It is suggested that more and more people are becoming disconnected from nature. This is a tragedy, particularly for Christians who are missing out on a wonderful way of engaging with God. Your ideas can help a family to join together in rediscovering the wonder and beauty of the natural world, so please don’t hold back — better to send in the same idea as someone else than to leave it unsaid! A Rocha will be presenting the ideas every month throughout the year, so it would be really helpful if you could say which month your idea would be most appropriate. They are particularly keen to hear of ideas that work between April and September, as these will be the first emails that are created.

Please send your ideas to Rich Bee, Engagement Director at The project will be announced on the A Rocha website and across our social media channels.


One of the Church of England’s flagship projects, Eco Church enables churches to complete a unique online Eco Survey about how they are caring for God’s earth in different areas of their life and work.The answers a church provides will collect points towards an Eco Church Award – the more a church does, the more points they get. The survey takes participants through key areas of church life.

A free suite of online resources offers plenty of support and advice about how to make the changes each church needs to become an Eco Church. There are three levels – Bronze, Silver and Gold. For more information, contact Helen Stephens (email tel 02085745935).


 Released in June 2017

When we buy produce, we hope that the price shown reflects the costs involved in producing it. This logic leads us to believe that intensively farmed and low-welfare food items are cheaper to put on the shelf. However, new research from organic trading company EostaSoil & More, and financial consultants EY and, co-sponsored by Triodos Bank, reveals that the social and environmental implications of production make the ‘true cost’ of food much higher than you may think.

The study, titled ‘True Cost Accounting in Farming and Finance’ and released in June 2017, considered the impact on health and society, as well as the detriments and negative impacts on our climate, biodiversity, water use and soils. By considering these six elements, the researchers were able to build a broader picture of how food systems operate in the wider context of production.  ( Triodos Bank  NL)


From the United Kingdom Climate impacts Programme

A new analysis of extreme weather events suggests that 63% of those studied were made more likely or more severe as a result of human-induced climate change. The Carbon Brief map displays a wealth of information about the global spread of the events and human influence on them. While the research can’t say whether a particular event is caused by climate change, it can assess the contribution it made.

Shrinking the Footprint

Shrinking the Footprint will be changing it's name to the Church of England Environment Programme this year and moving to the main C of E website as part of efforts to integrate into the processes of the organisation.
However under the main programme there is a plan to establish a Shrinking the Footprint Network  - this would be composed of churches who are taking action in some way and would allow better sharing of information and ideas across the country and enable knowledge sharing site visits. Working with Eco Church and the National Trust's Fit for the Future network this would help promote good practice and link those looking for support with other churches and external expertise. What do you think? Would this be helpful in your diocese? Would you like to be involved in setting this up as part of a working group? Reply to

 Page updated 21.03.18

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