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Guardians of Creation is an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional research programme investigating the technical, sociological, organisational and theological paths to sustainable and ecologically sensitive change in the Catholic Church.

St Mary’s University has partnered with Salford Diocese and the Laudato Si’ Research Institute, Campion Hall, Oxford University to develop a comprehensive program of research. The consortium is also being supported by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Manchester, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, the Global Catholic Climate Movement, CAFOD, and several other institutions. Together we are producing a systematic framework for decarbonising the Catholic Church in the UK.

In 2019, the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales set out their commitment to respond to the ecological crisis in their statement Guardians of God’s Creation. In the document, they pledged to avoid the worst consequences of ecological crisis by engaging now and over the next decade on what they described as the ‘long path to renewal.’

This research project, Guardians of Creation, is helping to turn the Bishops’ objectives into concrete action. We are developing a body of guidance that can be implemented by any, and every diocese in the UK. We support dioceses by helping them make decisions about:  

  • Formulating and implementing organisational strategy for integral ecology
  • Adopting sustainable technologies
  • Investing in the built environment
  • Implementing carbon accounting processes
  • Financing sustainable projects
  • Communicating integral ecology to different audiences

“We are looking to deepen our understanding of how to put a Catholic diocese on the path to net zero, and this collaborative research will tell us what needs to be done and what structures must be put in place to support this. I hope that the findings will assist organisations and institutions beyond the Church both here and abroad.”
The Right Reverend John Arnold, Bishop of Salford

For more information please contact Dr Roland Daw:

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