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PRESS RELEASE for St Brendan's eco challenge

October 1, 2007:

Image by St Brendan's Student Charlotte Grout

PRESS RELEASE Not Just Hot Air! St Brendan’s College to Launch Year Long Environmental Campaign for Schools in the Southwest. Other UK Schools are challenged to join in.

On Thursday October 4th, St Brendan’s Sixth Form College in Bristol will be launching a momentous environmental audit that will hopefully see a number of schools in and around the city actively pursuing a greener lifestyle. The audit aims to promote environmental awareness regarding building design, purchasing decisions and curriculum.

It is the second event in the Sound of Many Waters’ year of Catholic environmental activism, the first being a celebratory Mass at Clifton Cathedral this Saturday (29th September). The Sound of Many Waters concept was created by inspirational BBC nature producer Mary Colwell and the Bath based international charity ARC, with the aim of promoting environmental issues through the voice of the Catholic Church. The campaign comes at the end of a major month of environmental statements by the Pope, unprecedented in the history of the Church.

This noteworthy launch will take place in the college auditorium at midday on Thursday where there will be appearances from the presenter of BBC’s television show Coast, Miranda Krestovnikoff, and Bishop Declan Lang of the Clifton Diocese, and the environmental Bishop of England and Wales. There will also be a number of environmental students from St Brendan’s attending the event as well as student and teacher representatives from a number of schools across Bristol and Bath.

Mass at Clifton Cathedral on September 28th to launch Sound of Many Waters
St Brendan’s was an obvious point to launch this process as it is not only a Catholic institution, but it is also a college that regularly promotes environmental messages. This was highlighted by the green credentials of new building work that is currently taking place at the college. Principal Derek Bodey has stated that “the building has been carefully designed with the environment in mind and will utilise the earths natural resources such as sunlight and rainwater. Also incorporated in the design is an intelligent system to minimise carbon emissions…this new facility will meet the needs of students well in to the future”.

Martin Palmer from ARC added: “The legend of St Brendan is that he set off on a journey in the fifth century not knowing where he was going and discovered the Land of Promise, which some have even named as the mainland of America. He also learned many astonishing details about foreign plants and animals. In the spirit of their own Saint the staff and students of St Brendan's are inviting us today to discover new possibilities and to really see - and help - the wonders of nature that lie all about."

The programme for the event on Thursday begins with guests entering the auditorium to environmentally inspired songs composed by students at St Brendan’s. Bishop Declan and a representative from ARC will open by delivering a schools audit, gifted by Bishop Chris Toohey, Australia’s ‘Green Bishop’. There will then be a short film about climate change before a talk about the inspirations behind this crusade. Miranda Krestovnikoff will also show clips from Coast before informing students about the background of making that series.

To conclude proceedings, a representative from each school attending will be invited to sign up to the environmental audit, in doing so actively supporting this important event. Crucially, the audit process will result in a website and audit pack which can be downloaded and used by any school in the country, hopefully making the call for a greener lifestyle heard nationally, not just here in Bristol and Bath.

For more information on the The Sound of Many Waters and all the other environmental events they have scheduled for the coming year, please refer to their website:

“It’s an audacious plan… I don’t know anyone else who’s done this…The fact that it’s going over a year gives it momentum. It gives people a chance to make a positive stance to the natural world part of their own life… It could well be a bit of a beacon on the international scene.” Bishop Chris Toohey from Catholic Earthcare Australia, on Clifton Cathedral's Sound of Many Waters.
Contact: Nick Graves, Marketing Team

Tel: 0117 903 8867


Link here to read Catholic Schools Eco Newsletters.

Link here to download ARC's leaflet focussing on Catholic Schools and the environment.

Link to the Catholic Earthcare website.

Link to the Sound of Many Waters website.

Link here for a BBC news story about The Sound of Many Waters.

Link here for an edited version of: THE CALL OF CREATION: GOD'S INVITATION AND THE HUMAN RESPONSE which was first published in 2002 by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, adding its voice to the many calling for urgent action to protect our earthly home from further destruction.

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UK: Sound of Many Waters, Catholic year of action
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September 21 2007:
Bishops go to Parliament to urge care for the Earth
“People in so-called ‘developed’ countries have missed the plot on the long-term future,” Bishop Chris Toohey of Catholic Earthcare Australia told more than 50 representatives of Christian organisations and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference. His UK visit culminates in the launch of the Sound of Many Waters year of Catholic action assisted by ARC and starting on 29 September at Clifton Cathedral. All welcome.
ARC and the Faiths
Faith communities are working in countless ways to care for the environment. This section outlines the basics of each faith’s history, beliefs and teachings on ecology.