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Page last updated at 13:23 GMT, Thursday, 6 January 2011
Archbishop of York launches 'Year of the Environment'
Archbishop of York at Bishopthorpe Palace. Copyright: Kippa Matthews
Dr Sentamu says all Christians have a duty to care for the environment

Every Anglican church and church school in the north of England is getting a special New Year gift.

As part of the Diocese of York's 'Year of the Environment', bird nesting boxes are being sent to every school and church.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, is championing the project and events are planned throughout the year.

Dr Sentamu says all Christians have a responsibility to care for the environment.

The bird boxes have been welcomed by clergy and school teachers across the diocese.

I want every Christian, every church in the Diocese of York, to pledge to make a difference to their environment in 2011.
Dr John Sentamu

The Revd Nigel Strafford is vicar of six churches around Holme and Seaton Ross, near Market Weighton. He said: "We were delighted to receive the bird boxes for our churches, and we're going to put them up to encourage our local wildlife.

"The natural nest sites on which many of our bird species depend such as holes in trees and buildings, are fast disappearing as gardens and woods are 'tidied' and old houses are repaired, so a project like this is great to help our bird populations."

Gill Campbell is Head teacher at Pocklington Church of England Infant School. She thinks the bird box project is a great way to kick of the 'Year of the Environment'.

Mrs Campbell added: "We're looking forward to seeing what birds will nest in our bird box. We have a very strong gardening gang at this school, and we are currently fundraising very hard to enable us to have a sensory garden in the school grounds."

Faith and the environment

There will be events and celebrations throughout 2011, and churches across the Diocese will be studying a Lent Course before Easter, looking at issues of faith and the environment through the story of a loaf of bread.

On Saturday 28th May Archbishop Sentamu will be launching a day of drama, prayer and exhibitions on environmental themes at York Minster.

The Archbishop added: "I want every Christian, every church in the Diocese of York, to pledge to make a difference to their environment in 2011.

"Whether you decide to use a bicycle instead of cars, or put up your bird box in your churchyards to increase biodiversity, everything you do will make a difference to our world and how we care for it."


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