Anglican Communion Forest puts down Roots in Cork, Cloyne and Ross

Among the news Bishop Paul Colton brought back to Cork, Cloyne and Ross from the Lambeth Conference 2022 was that of the inauguration at Lambeth Palace, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, of the Anglican Communion Forest. Bishops from around the world were asked to commend this new initiative to their diocese as part of everyone’s implementation of the fifth of the Five Marks of Mission in the Anglican Communion, namely

To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.

Marks of Mission – Anglican Communion

Here in Cork, Cloyne and Ross, as other bishops are doing in many other places around the world, the Communion Forest idea is being planted and practical work is beginning. With the permission of the Communion Forest office in London the artwork has been adapted for use in Cork, Cloyne and Ross.

Communion Forest poster adapted for use in Cork, Cloyne and Ross

The idea of gifting a tree to each person being confirmed took off among bishops at the Lambeth Conference. Spring time and the Easter Season in Ireland, however, when confirmations happen in Cork, Cloyne and Ross, are not the best time for planting trees. So, on behalf of all being confirmed in 2023 in Cork, Cloyne and Ross, Bishop Colton reached out to the Irish voluntary group Reforest Nation. As a result, on behalf of those being confirmed in Cork, Cloyne and Ross in 2023, Bishop Colton has arranged that Reforest Nation will plant an entire forest of 300 trees in their name between now and 2024. Reforest Nation also periodically invites volunteers and supporters to travel to join in the actual planting of the trees.

Each person being confirmed this year will receive an especially created certificate which combines the certificate of Reforest Nation, with the artwork of the Anglican Communion Forest adapted, with permission, for use in Cork, Cloyne and Ross. Confirmands may sign up to the Communion Forest initiative themselves if they wish. Reforest Nation also are delighted with the partnership. They said:

We are thrilled to hear that you are planning to gift trees to those being confirmed this year. It is heartening to see the Church taking an active role in safeguarding the integrity of creation and renewing the life of the earth.

The Archdeacon of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, the Venerable Andrew Orr, who is also chairperson of Eco-Congregation Ireland introduced the young people to the idea of the Anglican Communion Forest at the Confirmation Morning with the Bishop recently. In Cork, Cloyne and Ross, the Archdeacon is keen to emphasise that the Communion Forest is not only about planting trees:

The Communion Forest is such an important initiative, bringing together Anglican environmental action from around the globe. Ireland is the least wooded country in Europe and we are delighted that our confirmation candidates will be doing their part to develop our native woodlands and increase biodiversity across the entire island

Archdeacon Andrew Orr, Chairperson of Eco-Congregation Ireland

So, young people attending the Confirmation Morning with the Bishop were each given a gift, by the Bishop, of a ‘bee bomb.’ Bee Bombs are native Irish wildflower seedballs designed to bring the bees back. At Diocesan Synod in 2019, Bishop Colton had already given these to each parish in the Diocese so that could ensure that there was a wildflower area at each Church property, Now each confirmation candidate in 2023 has one to plant. In addition, the confirmands are each being gifted one of the wooden Communion Forest pin badges given to each bishop at the Lambeth Conference 2022.

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