In 2009 I was granted a period of study leave from my post as a vicar in Preston, Lancs, and had been intending to while away the time musing about climate change. However, I realised that I needed something that would ground my musings with academic rigour and, at the same time, provide a structure to the study period. I came across reference to the Christian Certificate in Rural and Environmental Studies, and was fortunate to be encouraged by the Director to initially make use of three of the modules to give substance to my studies.
I became increasingly engrossed in the breadth and challenge offered in environmental academic studies, and was able to complete the Certificate, with distinction, within a period of 12 months.The CRES course provided me with an ideal, wide-ranging and stimulating framework for some serious studies exploring Climate Change issues, and became a valuable piece of evidence in assisting the Diocese of Blackburn take the decision to create a short-term post as part-time Rural and Environmental Officer for me. The studies provided me with a foundational ability to reflect on the increasing plethora of articles relating to climate change across the political, scientific and theological spectrum, and where possible and supported, to act to make sure that Christian engagement in word and in deed makes an essential contribution to this issue, which I see as being of supreme global significance.