Diocesan Environment Officer role to be job shared by two Manchester curates

First published on: 11th January 2021

The Diocese of Manchester has appointed two curates to help stimulate creative responses to environmental issues and work towards the goal of becoming ‘net carbon zero’ by 2030. The pair will carry out the role as a job share while they complete their ministerial training at churches in Manchester and Salford.

The Revd Grace Thomas (curate at Moss Side, St James with St Clement, and Whalley Range, St Edmund) and The Revd Clive Hamilton (curate at All Saints Benefice in Salford) have been appointed to take up the role of Diocesan Environment Officer (DEO) as a job share.

Both Grace and Clive have a passion for the environment, providing inspiration and leadership in their parishes and helping their church communities work towards and achieve Eco Church awards.

The Diocese of Manchester has recently received a Bronze Eco Diocese award from the national environmental charity A Rocha in recognition of its work to embed environmental issues into the life of the diocese. The DEOs will further develop this work as the diocese aims next for a Silver Eco Diocese award.

In working towards this goal, Grace and Clive will lead the strategic response of the diocese to the challenge of becoming ‘net zero carbon’ by 2030. They will also build a team to promote Eco Church and Eco School as means of making further progress on environmental issues.

Grace Thomas, who has helped Moss Side, St James and Whalley Range, St Edmund, achieve Silver Eco Church awards and has worked with the local schools to create an eco brick wall, said, “I am excited about working with, and supporting, local churches to build upon some of the great work that is already happening within the diocese as we move towards the very important net zero carbon target”.

Clive Hamilton, who as well as acting as Eco Church champion in the All Saints Benefice is currently developing Wild Christian and Forest Church expressions in their Team Ministry, said, “I really look forward to sharing my heart for creation with others, especially in helping address the significant environment challenges we face.”

The Bishop of Bolton, Mark Ashcroft, who leads on environmental issues for the diocese, said, “I am delighted that Grace and Clive have agreed to take on this role as a team. They bring complementary gifts to the role but have the same passion to address the Climate emergency that we face. I look forward to all that we can achieve together.”

Grace and Clive will be building on the work of The Revd John Hughes, from St John the Evangelist, Old Trafford, who was Diocesan Environment Officer for many years and laid the groundwork for much of the diocese’s work on environmental issues. He has inspired action through initiatives such as the Old Trafford community garden, ‘no-waste’ harvest suppers, the Eco Lent challenge and installing solar panels on the church roof!

Both Grace and Clive hope to inspire a network of people to better recognise and include ecological concerns in the life body of the Church. In their collaboration, Clive is expected to lead on building diocesan networks and Grace on developing links with external partners. Both are tutors on the Authorised Lay Ministry Ecology and Creation elective. To contact the DEO about environmental issues, please use the email environment@manchester.anglican.org

A Motion on the environment will be debated by Manchester Diocesan Synod in March 2021 as the diocese continues to take this work forward in the coming years.

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