CoE Networks Share Ideas for Action on Climate

On the 18th of June, members of the Church of England’s environmental, rural, world development and world mission networks met to discuss our responses to climate change. The aim was to hear more about what was happening nationally and locally, and to share ideas for joint action.

The morning involved presentations from members of the Mission and Public Affairs team who have responsibility for national-level work on the environment, foreign affairs and development, and world mission, as well as from a rural officer, the co-director of the Anglican Alliance, and the Director of Mission and Public Affairs. The afternoon involved presentations from local initiatives and agencies.

It was encouraging to hear of the amount of activity that is going on at all levels of the church – and particularly to encounter innovative initiatives like the South West dioceses’ Eco Church South West programme and the North East region’s “Hope for the Future” campaign. Those who attended also found the gathering itself heartening: as one person said, “I found it very helpful. Symbolically, it was important to have all those voices represented in the morning session. It speaks of unity and shared vision. Practically, it was extremely helpful to know where everyone is on the issue. I came away feeling I had a good baseline from which to work.”

A small group of volunteers from the different networks aims to take forward some recommendations of the conference, including an email newsletter that can go out across the networks and a recommendation that each diocese hold a similar gathering for people involved in its own local networks.

To read a brief report of the meeting and its outcomes, click here.

Creation Care and your local church – an Autumn of opportunities…

This Autumn, we have a special opportunity to share our love for God’s creation and for each other … will you join in?

You may have seen the new “For the love of …” campaign. It’s a way of sharing with each other the many different things that we love – people in different parts of the world, our seasons, farming in Somerset, the wonderful majesty of the Great Barrier Reef –  which are threatened by climate change … and because of which we take climate change seriously. Anyone can share what they love online … would you join in, and ask other people in your church to do so, too?

Then there are three opportunities for us to pray and act together as churches, bringing our loves and concerns before God, and putting pressure on politicians to take climate change as seriously as we do.

  • From 1 September to 4 October, many churches will be observing “Time for Creation,” an annual chance to celebrate God’s goodness in giving us this wonderful earth and to explore our role in caring for it. This year the theme is “God Whose Farm Is All Creation,” and the resources (which contain sermon starters and prayers for each week) focus on family farming as well as more generally on creation care and climate issues. If you’re doing something on farming, you might also want to consult the wonderful resources of the Arthur Rank Centre or to talk with our diocesan rural officer, Canon Glyn Evans.

If you’re only choosing one week to celebrate, you might want to pick 21 September, which is the closest Sunday to the UN Secretary General’s special summit on climate change.

  • On the weekend of the 18th and 19th of October, the focus switches to sharing our concern with politicians. Christian Aid’s Hunger for Justice campaign is asking churches during this weekend to invite their MPs to an event or service, and to ask them to speak about their commitments to international development and their responses to climate change. It’s a powerful time offering the chance to pray and to help politicians to see that this is an issue about which we care. If you’d like more information, email Jess Hall at jhall@christian-aid.org or ring 01865 246818. If you can’t invite your MP, you could also use the Hope for the Future letter-writing materials to let him or her know your concerns. Hope for the Future is an initiative of some of the northeastern Church of England dioceses, and it offers a useful pack that you can use to write letters in church or as an individual.
  • Finally, on the 1st of November, you can bring all the Autumn’s events together in a day that involves prayer and fasting (the fasting being in whatever way is appropriate for you and your church). This is the initiative of Faith for the Climate, a working group that brings together a huge number of Christian agencies (Christian Aid, Tearfund, A Rocha, CEL, Operation Noah, CCOW, etc) and churches working on climate change. They’re asking churches to hold a brief time of prayer – and providing service materials if you want them. You’ll be joining people all around the country … and indeed, all around the world. The idea is that we’ll then pray and fast every 1st of the month for a year … praying that God will bring about genuine progress on climate justice at international, national and local levels. If you’d like more information, contact Maranda St John Nicolle.

Environment changes…

Changes to the Envrionment Advisor role for the Diocese of Oxford…

At the end of July 2014 Matt Freer will be leaving his role as Environment Advisor for the Diocese of Oxford.

Matt will be starting a new part-time role with the Quiet Garden Trust (www.quietgarden.org), as well as working freelance (www.mattfreer.info) and setting up a new venture, based on a small-holding in the Welsh borders, providing space for retreats, holidays and workshops (www.warmthandwonder.co.uk).

The environment post is under review, and in the meantime Alison Webster, the Social Responsibility Advisor, will be taking over as point of contact for environmental issues, and Rev Tim Stead (of Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry) will remain as Chair of the Earthing Faith network.

Church Energy Efficiency Conference

The Trust For Oxfordshires Environment (TOE2) and the Dicoese of Oxford invite you to a day conference exploring how we can make our churches warmer, more welcoming and cost less to run.

Building on the Church Energy Audits Project with TOE2 and Sustain, the day will look at how churches can do their own energy audits and make their own action plans, as well as expert content on:

  • electricity use – covering billing, procurement, efficient lighting.
  • heating systems – how to make your system more efficient, and how to answer the ‘heating on all the time, or only when occupied’ dilemma?
  • renewable technologies for churches – what renewable technologies are suitable for churches?
  • what will the DAC allow?
  • funding – how can you raise the money for your project?

There will be specific issue clinics over lunch so that you can get answers to your particular questions.

We will be joined by staff from Sustain, the DAC Secretary and other experts.

The venue will be St Thomas of Canterbury Church in Goring, which was lovingly repaired, extended and refurbished in 2009. It is light and airy, with a breathable limestone floor with underfloor central heating – and given the use of sustainable materials, such as, blown recycled glass, sheep’s wool insulation, PEFC sourced European Oak and lime render for the facade, it will make an ideal venue for our gathering.

Date: Saturday 4th October 2014
Time: 10.15am – 4pm
Location: St Thomas of Canterbury Church, Goring

– Tickets are free but spaces are limited and registration is essential –

Full details at: www.energy-efficient-church.eventbrite.co.uk

 

Earthing Faith Gathering – 9th Oct 2014

Developing an eco-friendly parish: a resource evening for churches in Buckinghamshire

In 2014 Earthing Faith gatherings will bring people together to showcase resources to help churches explore environment related issues in a parish, with a particular focus on resources for worship.

The Buckinghamshire gathering will include an introduction by the Bishop of Buckingham, followed by showcasing of resources churches have found useful and examples of how they are approaching environment issues. There will then be a break to network and connect around the resources shared, and a closing act of worship that engages us in environmental issues.

Projects that will be shared include:

  • St James Love creation, St James Church, Gerrards Cross
  • Bread of Life project, St Michael & All Angels Waddesdon church
  • St John’s Carterton – Forest Church activities
  • A Rocha Chilterns Project

Time: 7.30-9.30pm, Thursday 9th October 2014

Venue: St Marys C Of E Church, Church Street, Aylesbury, HP20 2JJ

Poster: promote the event with a Poster

Please join us and register using the form below:

 

Food and Theology with Mike Rayner – 13th Sept

On Saturday 13th September 2014 CRES (Christian Rural and Environmental Studies) are running a day conference at Ripon College Cuddesdon near Oxford with Rev Dr Mike Rayner on Food and Theology.

The programme will run from 9.30am until 2pm and include:

  • Theological reflections upon the production, distribution and consumption of food
  • Practical applications of our theology of food, both local and global

Book by 7th August – fee for attendance for the morning is £20 including coffee and full lunch

For full details and to book visit: http://www.jri.org.uk/events/food-and-theology/

Traditional Skills at Dorchester Abbey – 23-25 August

TRADITIONAL SKILLS IN ACTION – THE CRAFTS THAT BUILT THE ABBEY

Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th August from 12 – 6pm

Monday 25th August from 10am to 4pm

Traditional Skills will be showcased at Dorchester Abbey, with contemporary craftspeople who are continuing the crafts and skills that would have built Dorchester on Thames’ medieval abbey and sustained the resident monastic community.

Within the Abbey and its Cloister Garden, there will be demonstrations of skills, and opportunity to try some of them for yourself – discovering how much of the medieval tradition continues today.

This year the emphasis is on the crafts and skills that the monastic community would have needed, including demonstrations from:

  • a herbalist,
  • a pole lathe turner,
  • a coracle maker,
  • weavers,
  • spinners and dyers,
  • a calligrapher and illuminator,
  • a basket maker
  • and beekeepers.

The construction and maintenance of the Abbey church will be represented by: stonemasons, a woodcarver, a stained glass artist, a blacksmith and an embroiderer.

Entry to this event is free.
Donations to the maintenance of the Abbey will be much appreciated.

Poster

For further details visit http://www.dorchester-abbey.org.uk/