As Volunteers’ Week gets under way, Matt Carson in the Diocese of Manchester talks about his passion for environmental work, reports

Matt Carson, an IT project manager and a church goer in the Diocese of Manchester, is passionate about his volunteer work as an environmental champion.

For the past six years he has overseen and supported a series of environmentally-friendly projects at Christ Church, Friezland, as well as helping advise and provide information to churches in the Saddleworth area and across the Diocese on reducing their carbon emissions.

He has supported work to replace fluorescent lightbulbs and install insulation in his church hall and runs a cooperative service providing items such as environmentally friendly cleaning products for the church and congregation members.

He set up a candle recycling collection at the end of last year that has already saved around 40 kilos of candles from landfill – ranging from tealights to giant Paschal candles – by sending them for recycling.
Other work has included a talk from a local RSPB officer to the younger members of the congregation and a planned trip to plant wildflowers.

He and his wife Yvonne also support the team of nine churches in the Saddleworth benefice by running prayer services with an ecological theme throughout the year.

“I have become very passionate about this work, starting at parish level but extending now to encouragement and practical support for churches across the Diocese,” he said.

“Through the prayer services we make it clear that this is not just about a social message but a spiritual imperative as well.”

(Pictures: Niamh Carson)