About Me

Environmentalist and theologian, social activist and author.

I live in Chichester with my husband, fairtrade jeweler Greg Valerio, and two teenage daughters. We live on a social housing estate and a lot of my adult life has been spent investing into that community, chairing the Community Association and being part of a group of residents who together have transformed the area into a lovely place in which to live.

My Christian faith and spirituality are central to my life, and from this bedrock comes a deep desire to work for social justice, equality and ecological flourishing.

I am Global Advocacy and Influencing Director for Tearfund and carry a vision to inspire and equip Christians to a whole-life response to poverty, helping build a movement that brings about lasting change on the issues that impact the poorest and most vulnerable.

I have a particular interest in environmental issues and long to see the culture of the Church change so that caring for God’s earth becomes an integral part of church life, rather than an optional extra. To that end, before Tearfund, I was Churches and Theology Director for A Rocha UK, a Christian charity that works for the protection and restoration of the natural world, and I spearheaded Eco Church, which helps churches do just that.

Academically, I have a theology degree from Cambridge and an MA from the London School of Theology. My doctoral studies were undertaken at Kings College London, and they gave me the opportunity to look at simplicity and consumerism and particularly at the relationship between Thomas Aquinas’ virtues of temperance and justice.

I have written extensively on justice, environment and lifestyle issues, as well as writing Bible study guides for Scripture Union and CWR. See the Publications pages for more information.

I do my best to practice what I preach, and over the years we have had a lot of fun as a family experimenting with ways of living as lightly as possible: producing our own meat through a pig cooperative; growing our own veg and supporting a local organic veg grower; installing solar panels; thinking through how we holiday, and reducing our car usage and driving an electric car, to name just some of the things we have done. The Green Living pages come out of what we have learnt.


  • Reply Neil October 10, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Hi Ruth I found your blog at last… I see you found ours. I’ve put a link to yours on ours as well as your kind review.

    • Reply ruthvalerio October 10, 2012 at 4:55 pm

      Great! Nice to see you here, ATB.

  • Reply Peter Scholtens November 3, 2012 at 1:55 am

    Hi Ruth,

    Great to see another A Rocha contact with a blog. Keep up the good work!


    • Reply ruthvalerio November 4, 2012 at 10:04 pm

      Thanks Peter, good to meet you here. Glad you like the blog – do spread the word about it, that’d be really nice for me. ATB, Ruth

  • Reply Just What is Repentence? By Ruth Valario | Breathe March 4, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    […] This blog originally appeared on Ruth’s own blog. Ruth describes herself as: A Community activist, Christian, academic, eco-warrior, mum, author, veg grower, wife and pig keeper rolled into one. Click here for her full profile. […]

  • Reply Saving Salvation: Just what do we really mean? | Breathe March 22, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    […] blog post is coming out of thinking Ruth is doing for the Spring Harvest 2013 event: ‘The Source: Encountering Jesus Today’, at which […]

  • Reply Jesus and the Peaceable Kingdom – By Ruth Valario | Breathe March 25, 2013 at 11:59 am

    […] post originally appeared on Ruth Valario’s blog. We are very Grateful to Ruth for these excellent pieces of thought and action provoking […]

  • Reply Philippa Sewell October 24, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Really looking forward to you visiting Heacham, land of Lavender, and having you at Heacham Green Team’s Living Lightly event (wonder where we got that event title from) on 2 November.

    • Reply ruthvalerio October 25, 2013 at 9:38 am

      thanks Philippa, it’ll be nice to meet you

  • Reply Philippa Sewell November 4, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Thank you for attending our event in Norfolk, best way to sum up your talk is “inspirational common sense”

    • Reply ruthvalerio November 6, 2013 at 5:31 pm

      Thanks so much, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  • Reply parsnips and peak oil | Joanna Dobson December 4, 2013 at 9:12 am

    […] of my top must-read bloggers is Ruth Valerio. I don’t imagine there are many highly qualified theologians who also run pig-keeping […]

    • Reply Martin Horton April 24, 2019 at 12:14 pm

      What a cracking title for a blog. Certainly caught my attention 🙂

  • Reply Martin "Pod" Podmore January 2, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Hi Ruth! Friends of mine from Christ Church in St Albans have spoken very highly of you and I wondered if there might be any mileage in us connecting. I am a very new Eden team leader (part of the Eden Network and The Message Trust, if you know it?) in Wheatley, Doncaster and seeking the Lord for ways to bring hope, blessing, transformation, healing and salvation to this very small estate. It is pretty run-down and overall not very middle class (sorry for using such a crude description but I hope you know what I mean). A friend said you have seen significant transformation where you are, so praise Jesus for that/you! I am particularly keen to use loads of different “servant evangelism” to reach out to the locals in practical ways. Do you think we might be able to benefit from a little contact with each other? God bless you in all you do, and may the Lord lift you up today and always (Zephaniah 3:17). Cheers, Pod (Martin Podmore) x

  • Reply ruthvalerio January 4, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Hi Pod, nice to hear from you. Send me an email (ruth@ruthvalerio.net) and then I’ll give you my phone number and we can have a chat at some point. Would be great to connect. All the best, Ruth

  • Reply Revive Day Away: our contributors | revive leeds January 23, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    […] everyone!Have a look at these linkshttps://ruthvalerio.net/about-me/http://blog.gregvalerio.com/the-fair-trade-jeweller/This should tell you a little bit about Greg and […]

  • Reply just Gai January 28, 2014 at 12:40 am

    Your talks were the highlight of the Global Awareness Conference in Bristol last weekend and have spurred me on to reconsider my food habits. I look forward to further inspiration from following your blog.

  • Reply ruthvalerio January 28, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Oh, thank you, that’s ever so kind of you to be in touch and let me know that. I hope the inspiration continues! All the best.

  • Reply Kitchen-Counter-Culture February 7, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Go Girl!

  • Reply James Woodcock June 7, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Hi Ruth
    I was really interested to read about your PhD thesis. Is it available on line?
    Many thanks, James

    • Reply ruthvalerio June 7, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      Hello James, not it’s not, sorry, although I’ll be turning into a book when I can get round to it! But, I’m more than happy to email you over a copy if you want to give me your email address. All the best, Ruth

  • Reply Clive Russell January 9, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    Dear Ruth,
    Apologies for not getting to speak to you after your excellent and inspiring talk this morning. I wanted to understand your comment about stewardship being contrary to biblical teaching. Is this something you can discuss by email or would you prefer not to?

    Kind regards,

    • Reply ruthvalerio January 10, 2015 at 9:55 am

      Hi Clive, yes very happy to discuss by email (ruth@ruthvalerio.net). I knew as I was making it that I shouldn’t make such a throwaway comment without having the time to unpack it but it slipped out before I could help myself (and ‘contrary’ isn’t quite the word I’d use)! Thanks for your kind comments about my talk and I’ll look forward to hearing from you. All the best.

  • Reply Harry Macdonald November 4, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Hi Ruth, looking forward to hearing you at the Canterbury Diocesan Synod.
    The link to A Rocha in your introduction comes up with “page not found”. Can you advise a better link.

    • Reply ruthvalerio November 4, 2015 at 9:08 pm

      Hello Harry, that’s helpful to know, thank you. I’ve fixed it now so do take a look. All the best, I’ll look forward to meeting you in Canterbury (or thereabouts!).

  • Reply cara mengoptimasi blog January 24, 2016 at 12:25 am

    Hello my family member! I wish to say that this post is amazing,
    great written and come with almost all significant infos.

    I would like to see extra posts like this .

  • Reply Paul Ballard April 22, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Dear Ruth,
    I hope this is the right way to get in touch.
    I am Secy. to the Peterborough Eco-faith Network which is a small ginger group coming out of Churches Together in Central Peterborough. We can be lined up with either through CTiCP or Eco-faith web sites.
    On October 9 we are responsible for an ecumenical service in the evening. It should be an opportunity to make further impact on the churches which are by and large complacent about sustainability etc.
    Would you be free to come and speak at this occasion? We can cover fares and, if required, hospitality and a fee, though we run on an empty tank.
    Please let me know you answer in principle and the we can work out details from then on.
    Yours most gratefully,

    • Reply ruthvalerio April 22, 2016 at 8:02 pm

      Hello Paul, thank you for this. I’ll be in touch via email and we can take it from there. All the best, Ruth

  • Reply Stan L LeQuire April 23, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    Hi, Ruth, I am a spiritual formation professor who in the past has used your podcast, “Mission and the Environment.” However, I can no longer find it online. It used to be posted on the Nomad site. Any ideas on how I can get my students to continue listening to this great resource? Cheers! Stan LeQuire

    • Reply ruthvalerio April 23, 2016 at 8:50 pm

      Gosh, I’m afraid I’m not sure, Stan. I can’t remember what that podcast was. Have you been in touch with the Nomad site? Remind me what the podcast was (where was I?) and maybe it’ll jog my memory!

  • Reply Hubert Meisinger July 1, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Hi Ruth,

    I am a German minister and I work as director for environmental affairs at the Centre Social Responsibility of the Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau which belongs to the Protestant Church in Germany. I was a member of the “Advisory Commission for Development” of the Protestant Church in Germany from 2009-2015 – for publications translated into English, please, see: http://www.ekd.de/english/texts.html, especially texts 122 (Guiding Principles for Sustainable Development), 121 (Agriculture and Food Security), 117 (Global Governance) and one on biopatents without number. Currently I am a member of the TUD-Energy-Centre at Darmstadt University of Technology (www.energy.tu-darmstadt.de/energiesysteme_zukunft/index.de.jsp) and a member of the council of the European Society for the Study of Science and Theology (www.ESSSSAT.eu). Supported by the “German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety” we have started a “climate protection programme” in the Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau to reduce our CO2-emission by up to 40% until 2020 – implementing energy controll systems and an audit system called the “Grüner Hahn / Green Rooster” which enables congregations to reduce CO2-emissions. The Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau has also startet a “divestment”-process.

    I will stay in Oxford from July 9 to 22 to do some research with two main aspects:

    One focus of my stay will be on communicating environmental issues by using modern media, e.g. through webinars, twitter, blogs and so on. This focus relates to my department in the Centre Social Responsibility which deals with “environment and digital world” asking for interplays between this two – at first sight rather different – issues. I would like to gain insights about possible strategies, challenges and failures to implement modern media and especially talk about the “and” between these two issues which opens a variety of possible connections.

    Another focus will be on climate change and the role different faith traditions can play – with a concrete background: The „German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety“ has initiated a programme on biodiversity and the role religions can play to increase the sensibility for biodiv in a society. I was involved in this programme up from the beginning and together with other people I work on a concrete five-year-programme on that issue.

    Mike Parsons, Theology Department at Oxford, told me about your work – it woud be wonderful to find time for a communication with you during my stay on the issues raised above since your homepage shows quite a lot of common interests. Whether that communication could take place in a concrete meeting or via email or other social media is up to you, of course.


  • Reply ruthvalerio July 2, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    Hello Hubert. It is good to hear from you – thank you for leaving this message. It would be ever so good to talk. Let’s arrange something via email. Please do email me at ruth@ruthvalerio.net. All the best, Ruth

  • Reply Carolyn Robertson August 26, 2016 at 5:46 am

    Hi Ruth, I’ve just ordered your latest book and in doing so discovered your PhD topic. I used to be on the board of A Rocha in New Zealand where I live. I’m just completing a PhD in Theology on Christian Responses to Consumerism. I interviewed 20 ‘living libraries’ – people seeking to live counter culturally in the face of consumerism and am drawing on their practical wisdom in dialogue with other more theoretical thinkers. I would love to read your PhD if at all possible. If you’d be happy to send it my email address is robertsonhegglun@gmail.com. Thanks for your work, Carolyn Robertson.

  • Reply Bryan Paton March 5, 2017 at 11:01 am

    Hi Dr Valerio,

    Thank you for sharing with us this morning at Emmaus Rd. I was interested in your view that it was sad that Christians voted for Trump. In this view, are you advocating that Clinton would have b3en a more “Christian” choice?

    • Reply admin March 6, 2017 at 10:11 am

      Hi Bryan, it was good to be with you all, thank you.
      It’s a good question and a tough one isn’t it? For me, saying that I was sad Christians voted for Trump does not then equal me saying Clinton would have been the absolutely Christian choice, as if there were no problems with her either. However, when so many of Trump’s policies stand directly counter to Kingdom values of love, compassion, inclusion, welcome, caring for God’s world and so on, I find it unbelievable that a Christian could vote for him.
      All the best, Ruth

  • Reply Fwangmun Oscar Danladi May 25, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    I am so excited to have met you! I am more inspired to pursue creation care as ever. Thanks

    • Reply Ruth May 29, 2017 at 9:03 pm

      It was so good to meet you Oscar at the Youth Greenovation Conference in Jos. Thank you and well done for your commitment to what you are doing. May God bless you and the people you are working with. All the very best, Ruth

  • Reply Daniel Menezo May 26, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    Hello, Ruth. My name is Daniel and right now (literally) I’m translating your book Just living into Spanish. I’m a philologist and I have spent the last twenty years of my life translating mainly books (Christian and non-Christian) from English into Spanish. I just wanted to tell you that I’m enjoying your book exceedingly, and that thank God for the possibility (and the responsibility!) of translating it into Spanish. I can promise you I will do my best. God bless you and your family!

    • Reply Ruth May 29, 2017 at 9:02 pm

      Hello Daniel, how good to hear from you – fantastic to think of you doing the Spanish translation right now. Thank you! All the very best as you do that. God bless you too.

  • Reply Peter Owen October 1, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    Hello Ruth. I’ve just finished reading “Just Living” and found it very relevant and interesting even to an agnostic/atheist such as myself. I sent you a tweet on similar lines. My interest in the environment, which has always been there but latent to say the least, has been sparked by a former colleague and close friend of mine – Paul – who is very active in the Transition Town movement in Northwich, Cheshire. He put me on to one of the leading climate change scientists, Prof Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Centre and I have watched numerous You Tube clips of his, frankly, scary messages about where we are right now as regards Climate Change. His message can be quite stark despite his personal charm but he does touch on issues of global equity as you do. One of the problems with that approach is that it can leave you thinking “Well I’ll make these changes because I have to but, given half a chance, I’d be down the car showroom ordering a Range Rover.” Your book fills in the huge gap as to why there other reasons we need to look at our lives and how a different way of living can be fuller and more rewarding. Have you ever thought of widening your audience to, how can I put it, the heathens amongst us? I’d love to see some joint publications or on-line output with other concerned experts. Perhaps you already do. Anyway – great work.

  • Reply Ann October 6, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    Many people don’t realise that toxic chemicals cause serious ill-health. People often blame God for illness – but traffic fumes can cause lung problems and chemicals such as solvents and benzene etc. can cause cancer and damage family DNA. A Christian family friend, researcher Edward Priestley, developed severe aplastic anaemia (bone marrow destruction) from workplace toxic chemicals. He was given only 6 months to live – but by avoiding toxic chemicals as far as possible – such as pesticides, fluoride etc. – and eating organic, he survived. Decades later his blood count is normal and he campaigns for a healthier environment and helps blood disorder sufferers. He makes no money from this and sells no products. His website is: http://www.medicineandillness.com
    I heard a wonderful interview with Ruth by Sam Hailes on “The Profile” on Premier Christian Radio. She explained environmental care so clearly.

  • Reply Ruth November 27, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Hello Peter, thank you so much for this and apologies I’m only just picking up on it now. I’m afraid my blog has been rather neglected recently! But we did chat on Twitter, as you say, which was very nice. And your comments both here and there are so much appreciated – I’m thrilled Just Living has filled that gap and reached even a heathen like your good self 🙂
    I hadn’t particularly thought any further than the book and wouldn’t quite know where to start to go in that direction (unless you have any particular contacts). One thing I’m going to be focusing on next year is re-doing my ‘L is for Lifestyle’ which, in 2019 will be 15 years old and so we’re going to do a 15-year anniversary edition. That will still predominantly have a church audience in mind though.
    So, I’m not sure what else to say, but thank you again for taking the trouble to be in touch.
    All the very best,

  • Reply A Selby January 16, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    Dear Ruth
    I am really pleased to read that you are looking at L is for Lifestyle again. I am in the middle of my 9th new year read of it and am very excited that a new edition maybe coming soon. So many things have changed for the good and bad since 2008.

  • Reply Greg Fletcher January 29, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    Hi Ruth
    Please could you send me a link as I wish to send you a 93 page PDF on action against tax havens. Thanks.

  • Reply Greg Fletcher January 29, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    Sorry I meant an e-mail address!

  • Reply Ruth February 1, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    Wow! thank you so much, that’s amazing to hear. I’d love to know your thoughts around what would be good to think about as I update it. Do feel free to send me any thoughts to ruth@ruthvalerio.net. Thanks 🙂

  • Reply Alexander Heywood April 23, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    Dear Ruth,
    I have been struggling away with my dyslexia and another disability which I prefer not to talk about (but which I like to think about as “a thorn in my flesh” for a while. Our Alice, aged 19, has just come back from a stint with a small Christian Charity in Tanzania, “Go Make a Difference Tanzania” (“GO MAD”), in the Mara district (head in from Dar El Salam, past Mount Kilimanjaro, past the Serengeti plain and you hit Lake Victoria in the north of Tanzania to where she was working as a volunteer). It struck me as an area ripe for an A Rocha project, but then again, happy ideas, but how to fund such things?
    I took the liberty of copying you into an old friend of mine, Julie Dreblow whom worked from Friends Provident on their Techie side when they had a good Green fund back in 1999. Since the “ESG” area has blossomed: where there was one sector, now there are eight. Where there were only 36 funds to follow, now something silly like 250 have been created in the last five years alone.
    How to not only get people to invest more but to do good with it? How to get the world of finance and e.g. Spring Harvest 2013, The Source, p124 “Use your money in ways that encourage connection rather than separation” … . It saddens me, for example, that the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment do not have a ESG exam in their Financial Planning route nor their Wealth Management route.
    God bless and forgive me for my happy “left field” thoughts. I am not sure what a “blog” etiquette should be.

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.