Discussion about Laudato Si’ at 5

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Zoom discussion on 18th June 2020


Martin Davis

Christopher Gardner

Revd Julie and Ernest Nelson

Revd Joe Knight

Revd David Bainbridge

Revd Arthur Champion



We adopted Martin's subheadings as the agenda


We had an excellent discussion for just over an hour.  It would have been good to make an audio recording (apart from occasional glitches such as weird background noises!) but these notes are in the “better than nothing” category…


1.   First, the background

Julie – This was the first time in history that a pope has addressed every person on planet Earth.  


2.    How was Laudato Si’ received?

Arthur – Science has become a new “god” in our generation so how does this fit with Christian teaching?

Martin – LS was inviting a new partnership between the Christian faith and science by drawing a line under Medieval squabbles such as Earth being the centre of all heavenly bodies.  It was warmly received across a wide range of national leaders.  LS is as much a critique of consumerism and irresponsible development, as a call to action to tackle climate change: “The Church does not presume to settle scientific questions. I am concerned to encourage an honest and open debate so that particular interests or ideologies will not prejudice the common good… “


3.    So where do we stand in relation to Laudato Si’ 5 years on?

Arthur – What can the CofE learn from the Roman Catholic action plan? 

Martin – the “Laudato Si’ Animator” programme is training thousands of people by in-depth online training with the aim of inspiring our neighbours to care for creation. Martin has recently completed the course which is open to others



4.   So, what are we asked to do? 

What can be learnt from covid-19 the pandemic? 

David – nature has been recovering and people are more appreciative of birdsong in their gardens

Arthur – the shift from meeting physically to meeting online will be permanent eg. church services and pastoral care using Facetime.  Also, working from home instead of commuting.

Martin – Personally more cycling than driving and no longer able to justify having two cars.

Chris – parish churches support for food banks will be even more essential when the economic hit to the economy arrives in the autumn

Chris – There’s a risk that the rich and powerful will ignore the common good as can be seen by Govt reorganisations


Ernest – Last year the Govt spoke of “following the science” but now SAGE are less often seen at the PM’s daily press conferences so will the same happen with environmental concerns? 

Joe – what kind of a recovery? I’ve found it helpful to read some reflections from Bruderhof. The question for the Church is how do we engage with our local communities?  I think there’s an opportunity to help revive the idea of communal responsibility for our neighbours both human and non-human. 


Martin – Pope Francis delivered an extraordinary blessing on 27th March to am empty St Peter’s Square: “To the City and to the World” in which he prayed for an end to the pandemic.  In his meditation, the Pope reflected on Jesus’ words to His disciples: “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?”



5.   AOB

1.25pm time to close!


6.    Next meeting