Eco Comment – “The more I learn, the more I realise how much I don’t know.”

12 January 2024


A reminder that the Big Garden Birdwatch is next weekend 26-28th January 2024.

It’s not too late to join the 251,336 people who have signed up so far. You can sign up for your free digital guide on the RSPB website; stock up on some bird food and spend an hour watching and recording the birds that land. That might involve many different birds or hardly any. You submit your results either online or in the post and the RSPB can then get a snapshot of the health of our garden bird life.

Every bird watch counts and last year 9.1 million birds were recorded. Sadly the numbers appear to be falling every year but in order to find out more volunteers are needed. Your back garden counts. Join the twitchers!

Thank you.


This quote is attributed to Albert Einstein, but is fairly similar to one by Aristotle: ‘The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.’ I am definitely in this situation. In a meeting yesterday I had the thought that I was, to use common parlance ‘not up to speed’ on technical terms and understanding of all things ‘Eco’. Yes, I’ve learnt an enormous amount since joining the Eco Group and writing this comment every week. Fortunately I enjoy researching things but it’s not enough. I’ve got to ‘up my skill set’ and ‘get my head round’ a few things scientific!

But do I? Maybe what I’ve got to do is ask more questions and find the people who have the answers. Someone will have the know-how and, if asked nicely, will no doubt share that information in such a way as a lay person can understand. Communication is the key. We can’t expect to know everything, but by asking for help we can invariably find people who do know what we’re needing.

The Eco Group is in this situation. As you know, we are the proud holders of an A Rocha Bronze Award, but are now looking to progress up to the Silver level. The questionnaire is quite comprehensive. For some of the criteria we are already on Gold, but for others we need to prove that we have the capacity to improve or quantify what we already do. The areas of information seeking that we can address relatively easily come under the headings of ‘Community and Global Engagement’ and ‘Lifestyle’. As a group we would like to involve the congregation in our responses. After all, we are a collective of people. We all have a say and can offer suggestions/concerns through various groups and committees.  We do things together, but possibly don’t know our neighbours. We exchange the peace with familiar faces, but don’t always know names. This comment is really asking for suggestions as to how we might address the issues of communication with each other. Granted, some find it easy to ask questions and chat to unfamiliar people, but others are quite reticent, if not to say ‘shy’. So, where do we start?

As a prospective visitor or regular member of the congregation, there are several ways to seek information about the cathedral as a whole and forthcoming events:

  • If you want to come in person there are always welcomers ready to help visitors whenever the cathedral is open. Cathedral staff are always helpful and respond to queries from the public.
  • There’s a website – but how many people use it? It’s regularly updated and is a fund of information.
  • There’s a Facebook page and group – but how many people look at it regularly? There are 121 members, but would that be a good way of disseminating information? It presupposes that everyone has access to a computer and feels happy using it.
  • The weekly sheet has information on it, but how many people take their copy home with them to transfer information into diaries/calendars and then recycle? What happens when people don’t make it to the services? I’d like to think that friends ask questions as to where that missing person might be and, if possible, check that they’re OK.

As a group we would appreciate some feedback from you, our readers. How can we communicate more effectively with each other? What’s the best way for you to respond to our questions? Emails? Questionnaire in the weekly sheet?  Pigeon holes? Events? Social get togethers? Meetings?

We would really appreciate some answers in order to take our next steps. Click here to let us know what you think.

Thank you in anticipation.


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Wakefield Cathedral

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