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Other projects | UK Catholic Schools Eco-Newsletters

UK Catholic Schools Eco-Newsletters

Image by St Brendan's student Charlotte Grout

As part of The Sound of Many Waters environmental initiative by Clifton Cathedral in Bristol, many Catholic schools and colleges in the Diocese felt they needed a forum where they could exchange views and share experiences. So ARC established an informal network to enable Catholic schools and colleges to talk about what they are doing to help the natural environment.

Now into their second year, the eco newsletters are guided by the teachers and staff at the schools, enabling them to compare information about ecological issues - sharing successes but also sharing problems and problem-solving. In one school we found an inspiring example of how, last Earth Day, they did a timetable crash with all pupils spending all day learning about nature in different ways, another school shared its special garden technique (beds in the shapes of an octopus so all pupils could reach), a sixth form college told how it had put "thank you for not driving" posters up.

We have now expanded beyond the southwest, and if your school would like to contribute articles, or if you would like to share your experiences or join the list please contact us on

The newsletters are designed for Catholic schools to explore what it is to be Catholic and to work to protect the environment - but many non Catholic schools have also been interested in receiving the newsletters.

Archive of Catholic Schools Eco-Newsletters

No.21 - January 31, 2012: The Assisi Declarations by Faiths on the Environment are on the GCSE RE syllabus; a charming cartoon for primary children on Islam and Water; Solar Panels and Petitions; Ideas for Lent?

No.20 - October 4, 2011: For St Francis Feast Day some inspiring actions from St. Peter's Catholic Primary, West Sussex, which won its Green Flag Award in October 2009 and now involves the whole school in its environmental actions.

No.19 - March 2011: All Hallows, Somerset; The 2011 International year of Chemistry; Holy Family School, Bristol; St. Brendan's Sixth Form College, Bristol, and news of an Eco-Faith Conference in London.

No.18 - February 2011: An overview of ARC's free resource pack available for RE teachers and anyone else who may be interested; St. Augustine's School, Solihull: Eco-twinning with Tanzania; The Ickleveggie eco blog; Chris Packham visits English Catholic Primary School, Worthing, and Every child of God matters everywhere.

No.17 - October 2010: An overview of ARC's free resource pack available for RE teachers and anyone else who may be interested; update on the Water Schools project in the Philippines and how your school can help, and an introduction to the new Faith in Food scheme with details on how to sign up to Food for Life.

No.16 - April 2010: Read our special feature on the first state Hindu eco school in the UK; Cardinal Wiseman launch their very own tea and bags for life; and Mary Colwell takes part in an evening of caring for creation with schools in Bristol.

No.15 - February 2010: Discusses Cardinal Wiseman winning the DCSF Sustainable Schools Award; St Polycarp’s potato-growing competitions and much, much more.

No.14 - January 2010: Would you like to contribute to our newsletter motif for 2010? The Pope has highlighted the importance of the environment in education - can you share your news and experience with us?

No.13 - December 2009: Watch the truetube video of the ARC-UN Windsor Celebration of Faiths and the Environment; link to daily broadcasts from Mark Dowd, the UK Catholic broadcaster and environmental activist at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference; HRH The Prince Philip reads a sermon linking advent and nature; and a short history of the Catholic Schools Eco Newsletters.

No.12 - September 2009: Exciting news about ARC and the UN's celebration with major faiths committing to the living planet. Download the public forum details on 4 November: "Many Heavens, One Earth: Faiths, the Environment and Copenhagen" here. And register here.

No.11 - June 2009: Bishop Declan Lang endorses the Catholic Schools Eco Newsletters, how to study Petrel birds in Portugal and news of a unique Faith in Water Workshop at Salisbury in July 2009.

No.10 - April 2009: How to hold an eco carnival and take part in a new Catholic Campaign for Climate Change.

Would you like to take part in WWF's Earth Hour on 28-29th March 2009? If so, link here.

No.9 - March 2009: Would you like to join Noah's Ark Campaign? And Mary Colwell asks if Christ would weep over four dead ducks.

No.8 - February 2009: Offers inspiration on leading a sustainable school and news of the first state-funded eco-Hindu school in Europe.

No.7 - December 2008: What can a million kids do to help the environment? And how can you put the waiting back in to advent?

No. 6 - November 2008: Hold an eco-awareness week.

No. 5. October 2008 - Participate in the BBC's "World on the Move" initiative, and visit the Nature in Art Museum.

No. 4 - June 2008: How to hold an Earth Day, with activities ranging from making sustainable dens to finding bugs in streams, to cleaning up a woodland, to making prayer flags from natural dyes.

No. 3 - May 2008: Would you like to form an eco-group? And ideas for green assemblies.

No. 2. April 2008: - help students make an inspiring Lenten Calender.

No. 1. March 2008: Ideas for greener lifestyles for staff and students - Thank you for not driving signs, and paper recycling initiatives.

Link here for ARC's leaflet on Catholic Schools and Ecology.

Comments about the Catholic Schools Eco Newsletters

“Thank you very much for all the work that you and ARC are putting into this project”. Alison Spurrell, Eco-Schools Coordinator at St Teresa’s in Bristol.

“I am finding that linking environment work with our faith much more challenging and would particularly appreciate support and ideas in this area” said another Coordinator. “It is a great idea in promoting dialogue“.

"Your newsletter is worth it and it’s good to know that you are an organisation which understands the importance between spirituality and conservation" commented a teacher from Worth School.

"It is something of a rarity to find a newsletter which combines faith and ecology - thank you" said an Environmental Coordinator.

"Its principle value is seeing what other schools/groups are doing and getting ideas on how the environmental and religious themes can be merged into the curriculum. This is an especially important resorce for those starting out on this journey and is to be applauded. Well done." Commented one Environmental Coordinator.

A new reader hoping to pilot the project with another faith group said the newletters were "interesting reading and quite insightful".


Catholic Earthcare website.

Sound of Many Waters website.

BBC news story about Sound of Many Waters.

BBC's "World on the Move".

THE CALL OF CREATION: GOD'S INVITATION AND THE HUMAN RESPONSE first published in 2002 by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, calling for action to protect our earthly home from further destruction.

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Related information

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.
Projects overview
A complete listing of all current ARC projects