'Seeds of hope' from Hiroshima blast tree delivered to diocese

On Thursdaynote-015 Gingko tree seeds were delivered to Dr Emma Gardner, head of environment for Salford Diocese.

However, these are not just any old seeds - they originate from a tree that was in the blast zone of the Hiroshima nuclear bomb. Although the tree was damaged it did start to produce seeds again, along with a few other plants in the blast zone.

The seeds will be nurtured into saplings at Salford’s Laudato Si Centre at Wardley Hall. This is an initiative of the Diocese of Leeds Justice and Peace Commission, for a project that they have recently started. When approached, Emma was delighted to offer the facilities of the centre to develop the seeds into saplings.

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Sir John Battle, Chair of the Leeds Commission commented “These seeds and the saplings that will grow from them act as a sign of environmental hope: that nature can recover from devastation. This hope is something that we all desperately need at this time. These trees will also provide an opportunity to discuss the overall morality of nuclear weapons, in the light of the Church’s recent teaching, which has become only too relevant again because of the war in Ukraine.”

Dr Emma Gardner with Gingko tree seeds from HiroshimaDr Emma Gardner with Gingko tree seeds from Hiroshima
Dr Emma Gardner with Gingko tree seeds from Hiroshima

The Commission hopes to find parishes and schools who would like to take a sapling and use it to promote awareness about both nuclear weapons and the Climate Crisis. They have plenty of time, though, as it takes three years for the saplings to become sturdy enough to be planted out.