Welcome to the John Stott Memorial Birding Day
8 May 2021

Taking part

The John Stott memorial birding day is a global one-day event run by A Rocha on 8 May 2021 to commemorate and celebrate our great friend and supporter John Stott’s legacy as a theologian, pastor and birdwatcher in his centenary year. Whether you are a novice or an expert birder, we invite you to join friends old and new to head into the great outdoors and enjoy the birds wherever you are in God’s good creation.

Share the day with others in the John Stott Memorial Birding Day Facebook group, or on Twitter and Instagram using #JohnStottBirding.


Bird Race

Compete on 8 of May to see as many species as you can in 24hrs with other birders all around the world.



If a day simply birding doesn't appeal, use 8 May as an opportunity to take some time out with God and learn more about him from the birds our teachers, as the title of one of John’s books called them.

We've put together some readings, prayers and reflections drawn from John's writings, and invite you to head outside alone or with a small group of friends to open your life to the presence of God through the beauty of all he has made.



John loved nothing better than a birding adventure. Many of you experienced these adventures with him around the world and we’d love you to share your stories.

Please send your stories and pictures to johnstottbirding@arocha.org and they will be on the site for everyone to enjoy.


Photo competition

A panel of judges will select a winner and two runners up in the following categories:

  1. Best bird photo (under 16/adult)
  2. Best photo of an interaction between birds and humans
  3. Best evidence of commitment to the John Stott birding day

All photographs must be taken on 8 May. Entries can be posted to the John Stott Memorial Birding Day Facebook group or emailed to johnstottbirding@arocha.org, by 13 May.

Winners will be announced on 17 May on this website and will be sent a bird book from John Stott’s collection.

The organizers

The John Stott memorial birding day is brought to you by A Rocha, a family of organizations around the world working in community-based nature conservation. Founded in 1983, we believe the care of creation belongs at the heart of our calling as followers of Christ. John Stott was a generous and encouraging friend to A Rocha from its earliest days; his influence continues to be felt in our culture, theology and values today.

To find out more about A Rocha, please visit www.arocha.org

The Man

John Stott was at the forefront of bringing creation care to the attention of the global Church. He cared deeply for the plight of the planet because he was hardwired with a love of nature in general and of birds in particular. But he was also someone who listened carefully to the Bible and he heard within it God’s great love and concern for all he had made, as well as for people.

He particularly loved Psalm 104, which he said on the tenth anniversary of A Rocha in 1993 was "perhaps the earliest essay in ecology in the literature of the world." On that occasion he preached a sermon which cited many psalms, but one reference which particularly struck us was Psalm 105: 1.

Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known to the nations what he has done… sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.

Psalm 105: 1. The Bible

And he said

Of course we’re used to the idea that we’re to bear witness to what God has done in Jesus for the salvation of the world. But the Scripture says we are also to bear witness to the wonderful works of our Creator. God’s mighty acts in creation and redemption are to be made known throughout the world… I hope, sisters and brothers, that we will not be afraid to bear witness to the Creator as well as to the Redeemer.

John Stott

29 April is the centenary of John Stott’s birth. Although he didn’t live to celebrate his 100th birthday with us, his legacy endures. We hope you will enjoy this day of birding in his memory.

The Bird Race.

We are partnering with eBird’s Global Big Day. Taking part is easy! Follow the three steps below:

Submit your sightings on the eBird website or with the mobile app.

Teams can be up to six people and you must be able to see each other at all times. All team members must log their data using a single account. You can submit multiple checklists throughout the day, and we will aggregate the total number of species seen across all lists for your team. In the spirit of the event, please minimize your carbon output or consider off-setting with Climate Stewards.

Species must be seen on 8 May, but data entered until 13 May will be counted. We will be working together as the John Stott Birding Day to see as many species globally as we can.

Each member of the team that records the greatest number of species in 24 hours will receive a bird book from John Stott’s collection as a prize. The winner will be announced on this website on 17 May.

On the day, the data logged will appear in near real-time so you can see your ranking.

See the Map

The Stories

John loved nothing better than a birding adventure. Many of you experienced these adventures with him around the world and we’d love you to share your stories.

Submit them below and a moderator will post them to the site for everyone to enjoy.

The Auction

All proceeds from the auction will go to further the work of A Rocha around the world. Please visit www.jumblebee.co.uk/johnstottbirding for more information and to place bids, or click on the images below.