I was drawn to CRES because of my job as digital engagement officer for CPRE Bedfordshire, the countryside charity. It is all to easy to put work in one box and church in another, so I saw it as an opportunity to help me connect my job and my faith. At my church we were just starting to think seriously about Eco Church, which was another good reason to learn more about Christian approaches to environmental issues.

I really enjoyed the flexibility in the course, there’s a wide range of modules, students can shape the questions for the study papers and follow their own interests in the reading and in the reflective work diaries. The dissertation is an excellent opportunity to explore a subject in more depth and hearing about other students’ research was one of the highlights of the course. Having a local tutor on hand to advise, recommend additional reading and generally encourage was also a real plus.

I was able to draw on CPRE work and research on a number of topics including local food, the planning system and access to the countryside. CRES has given me the tools to think much more theologically about some of the areas I work on. I’ve also been able to take things I have learned into my church’s Eco Church and mission planning work. During the time I spent on the course we achieved a Bronze award and are now actively working towards Silver.

The CRES team responded brilliantly to the challenges of Covid-19 and the transition to online study days was smooth, enabling students to stay connected to the wider CRES community and continue to hear from thought provoking speakers.