My dear brother and sisters,
I would like to share our first Diocesan Environmental Policy with you. This was
agreed by the Diocesan Trustees in January 2021. The policy is intended as a source
of guidance and support to parishes and schools in their work to promote a loving
care for “our common home” and to meet the ecological challenges which we all face.
The Catholic Bishop’s Conference invited us to review its own reflection document,
titled the ‘Call of Creation’, to look at our present situation and to promote good
practice for the diocese, our parishes and schools, as well as for families and
individuals. The policy is a response to that invitation and promotes serious
reflection on our relationship with God, with our neighbour and with the earth
through the way we manage our resources as a Church and School community.1
As missionary disciples, we are invited to be part of the redeeming mission of Christ,
and to approach our task with joy and gratitude remembering, “Rather than a
problem to be solved, the world is a joyful mystery to be contemplated with gladness
and praise.” (Laudato Si’ #12). Nevertheless, as individuals and as a community of
faith, we all know that there are serious environmental challenges. As Pope Francis
reminds us, we are not ‘hearing the Cry of the Poor and the Earth’, and we “have
grown indifferent to all kinds of wastefulness” (Fratelli Tutti #18).
Click links below to read Bishop Mark’s Pastoral letter in full and to view the Environmental Policy.