Dr Emma Gardner holding the packet of Gingko Tree seeds from Hiroshima.

On Thursday 6th of June 15 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 & Peace Commission for a project that they have recently started. 

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.”

Sean Morris, part of the Commission’s peace and nonviolence action group added “We are looking for church and school settings in the Leeds Diocese that would be interested in taking up the offer of planting one of the saplings when they have developed sufficiently. This usually takes around 3 years. They will need some care and attention during the first 3 years – which is why we asked the Laudato Si centre at Wardley Hall, with their horticultural expertise, to take on this role. We were delighted when Emma readily agreed to take on this task.

Anyone interested in having one of the saplings when they are ready is asked to contact the J&P office by emailing jandp@dioceseofleeds.org.uk