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Bishop Tim receiving a passport from Dan Perlaki, FXU Plus Carbon and Sustainability Intern on behalf of the newest country on Earth, the Interdependent State, a project set up by students at the Penryn campus

Renewable energy, sustainable product design and the secret lives of bees were all discussed during a visit by the Bishop of Truro, the Rt Revd Tim Thornton to Penryn Campus, home to Falmouth University and the University of Exeter.

Bishop Tim and Simon Cade, the Diocesan Director of Education and Discipleship, met students and staff at both Exeter and Falmouth universities as well as spending time in the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) and Student Union before heading out to meet students from the Allotment Society and Eco Society.

The Bishop’s visit is one in a series of events planned throughout 2016 as the Diocese of Truro focusses on Journeying Out, part of its Way of Life Discipleship programme.

In 2016, there will be particular focus on sharing faith and caring for creation and the visit to the Penryn campus provided the opportunity for Bishop Tim to learn more about the unique and often ground breaking work being undertaken in Cornwall on the environment.

As well as enjoying a tour of the University of Exeter’s ESI with its Director Professor Kevin Gaston, there were opportunities to hear about work on health, wellbeing and the environment and Grace Twiston-Davies, a Landscape Environmentalist, who spoke about her work with bees.DSC04000

Professor Gaston said: “It was a pleasure for members of the Environment and Sustainability Institute to be able to share with the Bishop a sample of the research that we are doing, and to discuss the importance of addressing issues of environmental sustainability in Cornwall.”

Associate Professor in Ocean Energy Lars Johanning, part of the Renewable Energy Group, then explained the research being undertaken using its renewable energy flume and the work taking place in Cornwall and Bishop Tim was able to see live data coming in from test sites in the sea off Falmouth.DSC04009

It was then off to Falmouth University’s Design Centre where Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Alan Murray explained the courses available before they met Drummond Masterton, Head of Sustainable Product Design. Drummond explained how students are encouraged to think creatively while also considering the environmental and human needs with the aim of ethical and profitable outcomes.

After a quick stop in the Falmouth and Exeter Students Union (FXU) office, where Bishop Tim met two of this year’s Presidents Amanda Chetwynd-Cowieson and Alexa Webster, it was then over to the student allotments to meet Dan Perlaki, the FXU Plus Carbon and Sustainability Intern who explained the work being done by the Allotment Society and the Eco Society.

The trip ended with refreshments in the campus’ chaplaincy building and meeting with members of the Christian Union.DSC04035

Bishop Tim said: “It was interesting to see and hear of the innovative and exciting work which is being undertaken here in Cornwall. While many of us grapple with making ourselves more environmentally friendly, it is heartening to see that there is such demand among the next generation to care for the Earth and through their creativity, to help us all. I am encouraged by the prospect of our diocese being able to work more closely with the universities and students at both universities as we seek to care for creation.”