Caring for Creation: Cathedrals Respond

10th April 2024

Celebrating our fragile Earth through art, mindful walks, environmental awards and a cultural climate symposium, cathedrals demonstrate their ongoing care for creation.

Our Earth: Caring for Creation

Bradford Cathedral will hold a Cultural Climate Symposium this Saturday (13 April) with two theatrical performances, panel discussions and a film.

The two theatre pieces will explore the theme of climate change – Too Much Of Water tells the story of the floods that hit the West Yorkshire town of Shipley on Boxing Day 2015 and is based on personal testimony.  The Past Present is a scratch performance of a new piece by a local writer/actor, Ann Morgan, part of Actors Community Theatre (ACT), about a couple who discover the remains of a village revealed when a drought causes a reservoir to dry up.

There will be a panel discussion about the role of faith communities and cultural representatives on influencing public discourse and the symposium will be followed by a film – A Life on Our Planet part of the cathedral’s monthly eco film club.

Canon Ned Lunn, Canon for Intercultural Mission and the Arts, and the Chair of the Cathedral’s EcoGroup, said:

“At Bradford Cathedral we are committed to supporting and developing local artists and we know that professional artists emerge from a strong and vibrant amateur cultural environment. That is why we are excited to put these two pieces together and to reflect on them as part of the Symposium.”

It is the second year Bradford Cathedral has held such an event and it is a collaboration between the Yorkshire & Humber Climate Commission, the Cathedral, and members of the Bradford cultural sector and is part of Bradford Cathedral’s strategic commitment to the environment.

Other events planned at the Cathedral including the June ‘Tree of Life’ concert with international clarinettist Emma Johnson, performing an orchestral work responding to the climate emergency.

The Cultural Climate Symposium at Bradford Cathedral on Sat April 13- 1:30pm – 4:30pm. Tickets are £7 (+booking fee) and can be bought at Eco Film Club tickets at or by calling the Cathedral office.

Lichfield Cathedral has run a programme of eco-activities for children throughout Lent and Easter which have included nature walks, eco bingo and a sunflower growing challenge that will be judged in August.

Lincoln Cathedral has chosen Our World: God’s Creation as its theme this year with a programme for 2024 that puts environmental and community sustainability and well-being first.

It started the year by announcing it had been awarded a bronze Eco Church award from A Rocha UK, a Christian conservation charity, for embedding environmental considerations into its daily life, work and worship and followed that by hosting artist Luke Jerram’s huge inflatable artwork of planet Earth, Gaia in the nave during February.

Visitors are invited to join the Mindful Mile held on the first Tuesday of every month for a short walk around the outside of the Cathedral to promote well-being and appreciation of the environment.

Caring for creation: cathedrals respond

And the cathedral has just announced it will host the Table for the Nation from April – the 13-metre-long table, made from a gigantic 5000-year-old Fenland Black Oak found during Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee year and named the Jubilee Oak.

It will be on display for a year in Lincoln Cathedral’s Lady Chapel and will be the focal point for several events and activities throughout its year – some run by the Cathedral, and charities, businesses and community groups are encouraged to contact the cathedral if they would like to hire the table to run their own activities.

More here.

Dr Tracy Buckby, Chief Operating Officer and Chapter Clerk at the Cathedral, said that the Bronze Eco award was an important early step in the Cathedral’s sustainability journey and hoped it would inspire all who visited and engaged with the Cathedral to think about their impact on this precious world and take positive action.

She said:

“Our buildings and our traditions have been around for more than 950 years and we want to ensure that our current activities are not compromising the needs of future generations so that they too can enjoy and celebrate our magnificent Cathedral.

“By working with our staff, volunteers, worshipping community, visitors, partners, and suppliers we are embedding eco-friendly activities at the heart of everything we do.

“Not only is this the right thing to do for the good of our planet, but there are additional benefits such as the increased health and well-being of our communities, support to local business through sourcing local products, reducing our utility costs and becoming more resilient to climate change.

An art exhibition that explores the theme of climate change opens inside and outside Salisbury Cathedral from 20 April.

Called Our Earth, it focuses on the domestic impact of climate change and asks us to consider how our day-to-day lives may be impacted and highlight the injustice of climate change by asking how that will be felt differently across the world.

The exhibition brings together both inside and outside beginning with a major interactive outdoor commission by artist, Hilary Jack, which thinks about the homes that have been moved due to coastal erosion and a large-scale banner and animation work by Dryden Goodwin reflecting on the importance of having clean air to breathe.

The cloisters will host another new commission, this time by Rebecca Chesney, where visitors will be able to enjoy birdsong from four continents.

Inside the cathedral there will be powerful paintings by artist, filmmaker and gay rights activist Derek Jarman exploring the joy found in the garden and a multi-panel work by Ethiopian artist, Elias Sime, about the connection between the earth and the digital world.

Caring for Creation: Cathedrals Respond

Image: Dryden Goodwin, drawing from Breathe (2022) © the artist. Courtesy of artist and Invisible Dust.

Admission to this exhibition is included in general admission to the Cathedral.

Stewards of the Earth is the theme for the sermon by Guest Preacher The Venerable Martin Lloyd Williams, Archdeacon of Brighton and Lewis in Chichester Cathedral on Rogation Sunday on May 5.

Rogation is an ancient church festival to seek blessing for a community and asks for God’s protection of the agriculture industry, livestock, and crops.