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


2017 Summer Bulletin
By the Revd John Harrison, Diocesan Environment Adviser

CHURCH TIMES - Environmental Awards

I hope some of you managed to submit an application to the Church Times before the July 2nd deadline. There’s certainly plenty going on across the diocese.

Shrinking the Footprint

The Summer 2017 update is available on

Well worth a read.

Fracking – the story moves on

Following the comment in the last Renewing Creation Bulletin Board the debate regarding Fracking has moved on. You may like to read this letter from the Blackburn Diocese which may echo some of your reservations regarding the conclusions reached by the Environment Working Group of the Church of England.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

We welcomed the Church of England’s December 2016 Briefing Paper “Shale gas and fracking”1 pulling together some of the key references on this topic and so stimulating debate within the Church on this controversial process.

Since then, a number of well-referenced papers2 have re-examined the evidence in various publications cited in the Briefing Paper and raised significant concerns about the reliability of the conclusions drawn.

We feel it imperative that the authors of the Briefing Paper seek expert advice on the strength of the evidence given and the conclusions drawn in these new publications and update the Briefing Paper as necessary so that Christian churches and others can participate in informed debate on the care of Creation and social responsibility in respect of shale gas.

We would be grateful for your response to this concern, to the email addresses below.

Blackburn Diocese Environment Group:    Revd Professor John Rodwell (Chair,, Revd Canon Ed Saville (Diocesan Environment Officer,, Dr Stephen Garsed, Derek Estill.                                                                             

1 Mission and Public Affairs Council and the Environment Working Group of the Church of England (2016) Shale Gas & Fracking; 2 Michael Hill (2017) Review of the Church of England Mission & Public Affairs Council and Environment Working Group Briefing Paper on Shale Gas and Fracking; Paul Mobbs (2017) Whitehall’s ‘Fracking’ Science Failure; David K. Smythe (2017) Submission to the Scottish Government consultation in unconventional oil and gas.  

President Trump and Climate Change

If you share my concerns regarding Donald Trump’s views on climatic change, you may be interested to read the following letter which appeared in The Times on June 8th …..

“We are profoundly dismayed by President Trump’s proclaimed intention to withdraw (the USA) from the Paris Climate Agreement which was signed by 195 nations, and supported by the Pope and leaders of all religions.

Our respective faiths unite us in the affirmation that all human life is of infinite value and that caring for our planet is a sacred responsibility. We are answerable to God, each other and our children’s children for the wellbeing of this Earth. We believe President Trump’s reckless declaration will only strengthen the resolve of others to preserve and protect our environment. The response of so many municipal and business leaders across the US is a heartening indication. We trust our own newly elected government will remain faithful to its commitments.

Life is too precious, the Earth too wonderful, and the demand to act for environmental justice too strong for us to remain silent.”

Signatories:  The Rt Rev Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury: Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, Senior Rabbi; Bishop John Arnold, Bishop of Salford; Paul Parker, Recording Clerk Quakers in Britain; Rabbi Jeffrey Newman, Adviser Earth Charter International Secretariat; Shaunaka Rishi Das, Director of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies; Dr Husna Ahmad, Chief Executive of GlobalOne; Andy Atkins, CEO A Rocha UK; Gopal Patel, Director of the Bhumi Project, Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies.

NEWSBITES from UKCIP - United Kingdom Climate Impacts Programme
(Not the political party!)

“The PLACARD project is examining how language is used in the climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction domains where the same terminology is often used to mean different things.

(PLACARD = Platform for Climate Adaptation and Risk Reduction)”

Well worth following up on

Climate affects mental health: A new report from the American Psychological Association has found that in addition to the intensely stressful nature of extreme weather events of natural disasters, the impacts of longer-climate change can also have a detrimental effect on an individual’s mental health as well as at a community level. Helping people to maintain their social networks and encouraging environmentally friendly policies and choices can help limit mental distress.

Scottish Borders Climate Resilient Communities: Disadvantaged people in a community are often the most vulnerable to climate impacts. The Scottish Borders Climate Resilient Communities project funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation worked with three communities to highlight the challenges and opportunities of a more integrated approach to resilience. (University of Dundee).

Climate Change Adaptation: The European Climate Change Adaptation conference in Glasgow this summer highlighted the need to push great ideas and research into practice - the PLACARD project (see elsewhere) will be involved. The conference noted that the Joseph Rowntree Foundation is closing its climate change programmes which is to be regretted as they have made a significant contribution to our understanding of climate change and climate justice issues in the UK.

UK Resilience to Climate Change: The latest report from the Committee on Climate Change highlights that progress on improving the UK’s resilience to climate risks is stalling as a result of a lack of action from Parliament. The Government is urged to strengthen adaptation action, with a focus on flood risks, risks to the natural environment, and risks to human health from increasing temperatures and heatwaves.

Regular UKCIP reports can be received by logging on to their website.

The Transition Pathway Initiative
If you are interested in climate change and related investment issues, you may be interested in chasing up this initiative.
The Transition Pathway Initiative is an asset owner-led initiative, supported by asset managers and owners with over £4/$5.2 trillion assets under management.  The initiative assesses how companies are preparing for the transition to a low-carbon economy. It:
Evaluates and tracks the quality of companies’ management of their greenhouse gas emissions and of risks and opportunities related to the low-carbon transition.
Evaluates how companies’ future carbon performance would compare to the international targets and national pledges made as part of the Paris Agreement.
Publishes the results of this analysis through an online tool.
The funds supporting the Transition Pathway Initiative have committed to use the results in a number of different ways, including informing their investment decision-making, engagement with companies, dialogues with fund managers and with policy makers.

Climate Stewards 

Content of recent Climate Stewards newsletters which may be of interest:

You can subscribe directly via

April Issue:   

  • A Rocha: Peru needs our help (disastrous floods)
  • Talking to your MP
  • Global Divestment Mobilisation (a course of action many of you may be considering)

May Issue:

  • On the 100th day – the People’s Climate Movement in the USA – objection to climate change policies being adopted by President Trump
  • Switch energy with Tearfund
  • Baked Alaska – Riding Lights Theatre Company’s latest offering highlighting some of the key issues that arise from climate change

God’s Green Fingers: an environmental newsletter for dioceses in Yorkshire and the North-East

This contains lots of practical ways in which parishes can engage in caring for God’s Creation. You’ll be encouraged by some of the parish projects and events.

Contact Jemima Parker at

Dates for your church diaries

1st September to 4th October is now CREATIONTIDE – why not plan a small environment campaign which will come to a fitting conclusion during Creationtide.

22nd September is WORLD CAR-FREE DAY – why not organise a walk-to-church Sunday or at least a car-share day.

 Page updated 18.07.17

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