Social Justice

Faith and sustainability

The Church of England has a national 'Shrinking the Footprint' campaign which looks at ways in which the church can address a whole range of climate and environmental issues. The Bishop of Salisbury (the Right Revd Nick Holtam) is the lead bishop for this area of work and many dioceses have an environmental advisor that helps local churches to address green issues. To find the local advisor in your area click here.  

For the latest news from Shrinking the Footprint click here.  

There is also the Ecochurch South West  group which helps churches across the South West to network and share good practice. 


Bristol Cathedral's approach to sustainability 

Our approach to sustainability is deeply rooted in the history and tradition of the Cathedral. An Augustinian Abbey was founded c1140 on this site and the Canons lived by the rule of St Augustine. The Canons would have grown their own food, provided hospitality, cared for the sick and the dispossessed and lived what in modern terms would be called a sustainable life.  We maintain that monastic tradition today as we continue to have services and prayers three times a day, mirroring the monastic practice. We offer hospitality and pastoral care. We seek to act as an ethical organisation, mindful of its carbon footprint. Our approach to improving our practice is summarised below. 

Reduce our energy use

Increase our levels of recycling

Promote local procurement and fairtrade

Green travel

Education work

We seek to promote a better understanding of the environment and green issues within the church context. As part of our education work we provide 'Moving On' days for primary school children who are making the transition to secondary school. The themes explored include 'Earth Matters' which looks at issues around climate change, through an explorer dome. We have also put on a 'My Wild Crafty Cathedral' day with Avon Wildlife Trust.  For more information contact Frances Taylor, or see our education pages.  

We are also working with ARC to develop sacred lands tours of the Cathedral and the city of Bristol. These tours enable people to explore their relationship to their environment - click here for more information. 


Useful links 

We are a member of, and support the Bristol Fairtrade Network, and are a proud member of the Bristol Pound. You can donate to the Cathedral using the Pound and pay for goods in the cafe. In 2015 Bristol was designated as the EU Green Capital - click here for more information.  

EcoChurch South West, Shrinking the Footprint (national Church campaign), Diocese of Bristol. Green Christian. Prayer and Fast for the climate, the John Ray Initiative, A Rocha, and Hope for the Future, Low Carbon South West.

The Lambeth declaration on climate change can be read here