The Bishop of Salford is creating a green oasis in the grounds of his residence in the hope of inspiring visitors to heed the call of Pope Francis to “care for our common home”.
Bishop John Arnold has opened the Laudato Si Centre at Wardley Hall, Manchester, to offer a practical lead on the teachings of Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical on care for the environment.
Bishop Arnold, who is lead Catholic Bishop for the Environment in England and Wales, is overseeing the transformation of vacant buildings, a courtyard, gardens and woodland into a place where people can learn how they might be able to help birds, insects and plant species flourish.
His improvements have so far included the installation of two beehives, each with a colony of 10,000 honey bees, as well as building “bug hotels” to provide environments for other species of insects to thrive.
With the help of CAFOD, the development agency of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, he has also launched a project to build thousands of boxes for use either as nesting sites for birds or as roosts for migrant bats in summer.
The award-winning boxes were designed by Steve Burrowes, a CAFOD employee working at the Laudato Si Centre, and have already been installed at such places as Buckingham Palace, the residence of Queen Elizabeth II; 10 Downing Street, the home of Prime Minister Boris Johnson; and at Windsor Castle.
Picture: The Bishop of Salford, John Arnold, poses for a photo with beehives at the Laudato Si Centre in Manchester on 22nd August 2019. (CNS photo/Simon Caldwell).