Deep adaptation: Navigating climate breakdown

“Not everything can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced” (James Baldwin, civil rights activist)

Deep adapation is a theme that cuts across all our programme strands and project leaders



St Ethelburga’s approach to deep adaptation offers an opportunity to face the reality of climate breakdown, move beyond denial or fear, and explore how we might become a source of courage and vision for those around us. We offer a model to live differently in this unfolding and unknowable landscape, based on the 4 R’s of reconciliation, relinquishment, resilience and restoration, with a focus on acting from our deepest human values.

We take as our starting-point the climate science that tells us that near-term ecological and societal emergency are now upon us. Across the world, we are already seeing food shortages, flooding, extreme weather, escalating extremism and mass migration caused or exacerbated by climate breakdown. Climate breakdown will likely be the greatest driver of conflict over the coming decades.

How do we adjust to this reality? What is it to stand in solidarity, and how do we approach themes of complicity, responsibility, and reparations? By what values do we want to live individually and collectively?

Our approach to deep adaptation includes:

  • An opportunity to face and internalise the reality of ecological and societal collapse
  • A call to stand in solidarity with others already experiencing the impacts
  • An opportunity to discern and activate the core values that will help to walk courageously into the future
  • A longer term view: imaginings of the future.

Deep adaptation offers the means to make a radical, transformational step and begin to meet the reality of ecological collapse with true leadership, integrity and courage.

We work with leaders of all kinds and all backgrounds, from grassroots activists to corporate CEOs.  We offer this work through:

  • Immersive retreats and workshops for groups or individuals seeking to face the realities of climate breakdown and adapt their leadership and lives
  • Training-the-trainer workshops to enable people to share the material in their own particular communities and contexts
  • A structured approach for faith institutions to explore from a spiritual and practical perspective
  • An opportunity for organisations and business leaders to face facts about climate breakdown and begin to orient their strategy assertively around this new landscape.

We want this work to reach as many people as possible.  If you would like to hear more please get in touch.


This framework has been inspired and informed by the work of Professor Jem Bendell.

Read his paper Deep adaptation:  A map for navigating climate tragedy

Join the Deep Adaptation Forum


Refugee Allies

Refugee Allies promotes community, understanding and connection between local people and displaced people through public events, volunteering and public speaking.


Radical Resilience

A values based model of resilience to equip people to face the truth about climate breakdown and to prepare inwardly and outwardly.


Journey of Hope: reconciling communities

Training up faith leaders to be skilled peacemakers in their communities.


The Fellowship of St Ethelburga

The Fellowship of St Ethelburga welcomes new members. We come together in worship, discussion and prayer. Together, we ask ourselves, what is it be be a Christian in todays world?