Introducing the Revd Julie Nelson, Environmental Ambassador for the Cirencester Deanery
Over the coming months, we’re introducing a new network of Deanery Environmental Ambassadors who are bringing people who care about the environment together. The hope is to develop a network of ‘eco champions’ across the deanery, encouraging churches to grow through the Eco Church programme, and sharing good practice and useful resources.
The Ambassadors each bring different skills and backgrounds to the role. They are very different from one another. They have in common a passion for environmental concerns and commitment to encouraging their local churches in caring for God’s creation.
Julie Nelson is a retired priest now living near Miserden in the Ermin West Benefice. Her last parish post before retirement was in the Diocese of Chelmsford, where she was also the Bishop’s Rural Officer, encouraging and supporting rural churches across Essex, and bringing rural and farming issues to the wider Church.
A growing concern for environmental matters led her to join the diocesan environmental group where she first learned about EcoChurch. Following retirement, Julie lived in Keswick, Cumbria, for three years, and again found herself joining the diocesan environment group (Diocese of Carlisle), with the chance to explore more deeply the science behind climate change and the political, social and economic factors affecting our response. She helped found an EcoChurch group in her local parish church, and set up a blog site sharing green thinking and practical ideas across the diocese.
Always a keen writer, and an experienced editor and teacher, Julie enjoys working to improve the communication of environmental issues and opportunities. Moving to the Diocese of Gloucester in 2018, she quickly established contact with the Gloucestershire Churches Environmental Justice Network (GCEJN) and was then invited to become an Eco Ambassador for Cirencester Deanery, along with her husband Ernest.
She is a member of Green Christian, and the convenor of Stroud Green Christian group. In 2021 she facilitated the online Plenty! course for the local benefice, a six-week programme developed by Green Christian which explores the economic drivers of the climate and environmental emergency. Plenty! will now be offered as a Lent course for the Diocese in 2022.
Julie loves living in a beautiful part of Gloucestershire, and spends as much time as possible growing plants, fruit and vegetables in her garden and allotment, ‘gardening for wildlife’ as well as for the kitchen.