The Communion Forest was first conceived in late 2019 when the Lambeth Conference Design Group asked for ideas for a lasting legacy of the forthcoming Conference. An Anglican Communion eco group including ‘Eco-Bishops’, the Anglican Communion Environmental Network (ACEN), Christian Aid, the Anglican Communion Office at the United Nations (ACOUN) and the Anglican Alliance suggested a “Lambeth Forest”. This formed the basis for the Communion Forest initiative we have today. The Communion Forest builds on a history of creation care, tree growing in particular, within Anglican Communion around the world.
The Communion Forest will significantly increase Anglican tree growing and landscape protection around the world and deepen care for creation within the life of the Church.
The Communion Forest is a global act of hope which involves a wide range of creation care activities. Together, these projects will form a virtual, global “forest”. Over time, these will be made visible through the sharing of initiatives on this website. The forestation activities will be determined locally (by provinces, dioceses and individual parishes) so that they are geographically, culturally and environmentally appropriate. The “forest” will therefore look very different in different parts of the Communion. Local expressions might be about trees but could equally be about grasslands, wetlands or coastal habitats.
Churches might choose to take up a project that involves:
- Protection – advocating and taking action to stop deforestation or prevent the destruction of other habitats.
- Restoration – restoring a piece of waste land or other degraded environment.
- Creation – starting a forest initiative on church land or support a project in the wider community.
- Growing – protection and restoration should be considered ahead of establishing something new. Where something new is set up, the emphasis should be on growing, not just planting. It is about growing the right kind of tree in the right place.
- Multiplying – helping others get involved. Churches or diocese can be a ‘multiplier’ by setting up a tree or plant nursery to enable wider participation in afforestation.