A parish Laudato Si’ project is winning praise from horticultural experts after bagging another prestigious prize.
The Bee Together Community Centre and Garden, based at The Parish of the Nativity in Failsworth and Limeside, has just been awarded the Level 5 Outstanding Garden Award as part of the RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood initiative.
This recent award comes on the back of last year’s success, when the team were awarded the Level 4 Thriving Garden award on the back of three years’ hard graft to transform the once overgrown, disused space into a vibrant, colourful hub for the whole community.
One year later, the parish team is picking up prizes once again in recognition of its fantastic work to promote sustainability and biodiversity.
Pauline Riley, parishioner and parish coordinator, explained: “At the Bee Together Community Centre and Garden, we try to protect and encourage biodiversity by striving to maintain a natural balance. We grow organically and our hard working bees, under the supervision of Catherine Charnock, help to pollinate the crops.
“We have also been looking at ways to reduce waste, to increase recycling and composting, we reuse rainwater, and have dedicated a corner of our garden to rewilding.”
The project began life in 2019 after parish priest Canon Michael Job approached Pauline about the possibility of taking a practical response to Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical Laudato Si’.
Pauline got to work recruiting dedicated volunteers and – despite the limitation of the pandemic – the team created a beautiful space for the whole community to enjoy and learn more about the call to care for our common home.
Now, Pope Francis has renewed his call for environmental action in his latest document, Laudate Deum, and Bishop John recently asked all parishes to make a priority of creating environment groups to respond the needs of our planet and people across the world.
Canon Michael said: “Pope Francis is once again clear on the importance of responding to the needs of our environment.
“Since Laudato Si’ was first published in 2015, we’ve seen the effect of our ecological crisis here on our doorstep, as well as in devastating reports of wild fires, floods, and droughts from across the world.
“But despite the stark news reports, Pope Francis also talks of hope – time and again reminding us of the overall impact of small actions that are taken together; the actions that get people talking about the environment and taking action in their own lives.
“I’m very proud and very grateful for all that the fantastic volunteers have achieved, and I pray the Lord continues to inspire us and guide us as we continue our work here and across the diocese.”