Wexford Parish Care For The Earth group was formed on 19th of January 2021 by Bishop Ger Nash and V.Rev Billy Swan Parish Administrator.
An invitation was sent out from the altar and weekly newsletter to the people of Wexford Parish to come forward and begin a conversation on how we as a faith community can be more responsible stewards of God's creation at a time when we are aware of the negative effects of climate change. Inspired and intrigued a group of eleven people responded and gathered around the table in the Presbytery. A discussion about the current climate emergency and what could be done on a local level to mitigate climate change sparked much interest and ideas from everyone. Following much reflection, the group agreed a mission statement highlighting awareness of our moral obligation to care for our environment, the protection and safeguarding of biodiversity at a local level.
The group strives to respond to the question found at the heart of Laudato Si' “ What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up? … Leaving a habitable planet to future generations is first and foremost, up to us.”
The group hosted the first-ever ecumenical Climate Action conference in County Wexford on 6th October 2022, held in Whites Hotel with influential speakers, Diocesan Bishop Ger Nash, Meteorologist Gerald Fleming, and Rev. Trevor Sargent ( Former Leader of the Green Party). Also in attendance was the Wexford Musical Group Credo who added a dimension of joyfulness to the evening. Over 200 people attended the conference which was a great success in highlighting what the parish and wider community can do to mitigate climate change and live more sustainable lives. From its inception, the Care for the Earth Group has provided a home for more than 1000 trees in the Church of the Assumption Bride Street grounds, collaborating with the 100 million trees project and tree donations from Wexford County Council.
The Church of the Immaculate Conception Rowe Street Church grounds proved more of a challenge for tree planting with limited green space and neighbouring buildings close proximity. Considerable research went into selecting suitable species of trees that would not encroach on surrounding buildings when the trees mature, thus allowing maximum carbon sequestration. As with all initiatives, expert advice was sought to avoid any unintended consequences.
The Church of the Assumption Bride Street and St. Iberius Church hosted and celebrated the Climate Justice Candle, an initiative set up by Eco-Congregation Ireland to mark the climate challenge to parishioners.
To learn more about each initiative click on the links below.
The Climate justice candle is travelling around Ireland and was hosted and celebrated in Bride street Church and St Iberius Church in March 2023.
Care for the Earth group allocated two large plots of land in Bride Street Church grounds for tree planting initiative.
A major clean up of Rowe Street church grounds was carried out. Several trees were planted and Bicycle racks were installed.
Broadcaster Mary Ellen Hawkey explains Laudato Si and what it means.Includes interviews with special guests.
In an effort to promote cycling. Bicycle racks have been installed in Rowe Street and Bride Street Churches.
Rowe Street and Bride Street Church External Bulk head light fittings were changed to long life Light Emitting Diodes ( LED's) to conserve energy.