Gloucester Cathedral celebrates Earth Day!


Gloucester Cathedral celebrates Earth Day!

Find out how we are taking steps to build a greener future to protect God's creation

Earth Day is celebrated around the world on 22 April, a day which encourages us to give thanks for the world around us and to reflect on our shared responsibility to care for it. The organisers call on participants for transformational change, urging us to confront the ongoing environmental climate crisis while also calling for bold, creative and innovative solutions.

Inspired by our Christian faith and the Bible’s vision of a renewed earth, we are taking steps to build a greener future here at Gloucester Cathedral. In 2016, we became the first ancient Cathedral to install solar panels; we are proud to have 150 of them on the south side of the Nave roof. They generate c. 29,000 kW of energy each year, which is enough to power seven semi-detached houses and make 250,000 cups of tea…or in other words, they provide more than a quarter of the Cathedral’s electricity!

As one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, welcoming over 400,000 visitors each year, we are conscious that over half of our carbon footprint comes from visitor journeys. This is a real challenge for us, and despite the fact that National Cycle Route 41 runs through the grounds of the Cathedral, we need to do more in this area. The transformation of the car park has created a wonderful, welcoming green space, and the planting by New Leaf Studio contributes to habitats and biodiversity. We are also so excited about the development of the Cathedrals Cycle Route, which will link all 42 Church of England Cathedrals. Read more about this route, which is thanks to a unique partnership between Sustrans, Cycling UK, the British Pilgrimage Trust and the Association of English Cathedrals, here.

We’ve worked hard to achieve awards in the EcoChurch and Green Tourism Award schemes, and try to make positive changes towards sustainability wherever we can; our Gift Shop often stocks local, handmade products, the Monk’s Kitchen stocks Fairtrade accredited chocolate bars and works with various local providers, and we are committed to recycling in the Cathedral and in our offices. Our wonderful stonemason team work stone by hand wherever possible, using traditional techniques passed down from medieval masons. We are also members of Fit for the Future, a network of heritage and cultural organisations committed to environmental sustainability.

However, we know we still have some way to go in order to be in compliance with the Church of England’s recent commitment to achieve NetZero by 2030. This commitment recognises the climate emergency we are living in. One of our strategic priorities is to use our assets and partnerships to make a positive contribution to our local community, and working towards environmental sustainability and caring for God’s creation is a key part of that.

In Autumn 2020, we hosted Luke Jerram’s GAIA, a spectacular artwork which provided an extraordinary opportunity to appreciate the beauty of our world. We are delighted to share this powerful short film which takes its inspiration from Gaia: ‘Tomorrow’ uses images, movement, spoken word and fragments of song created in response to climate change and its impact on the planet. Tomorrow aims to raise awareness of climate change and inspire action to stop the climate crisis. The piece was co-created and performed by University of Gloucestershire Drama and Performing Arts students and Directed by Gillian Yates. Tomorrow incorporates a commissioned film by local Video Artist -  Katherine Glynne-Jones which you can watch here. Thomas Newton was Videographer and editor.

We hope you enjoy it!


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Visit England logo Green-Tourism logo logo trip advisor link Arocha Eco Church logo Year of Cathedrals Church of England Diocese of Gloucester GLA Winner