Energy Saving Week



This week is Energy Saving Week – there are lots of resoruces available on the Energy Saving Trust website, including a free online home energy check, which could save you up to £250 a year on your bills: Free home energy check.

The whole site is a wealth of information on energy saving for your home and community space. Have a look and mention it to your friends.

The story of stuff resource

sosThe Story of Stuff started as a 20-minute on-line film that explores the often hidden environmental and social consequences of our love affair with ‘stuff’. Since then the project has developed new films looking at The Story of Bottled Water, and The Story of Cap & Trade. They are all accesible introductions to complex problems, which may be helpful resources for group discussions.

In addition the project has also produced Let There Be… Stuff? – a faith-based resource designed for a groups of young people between 13-18 years old. It is divided into six sections and provides opportunities for young people to:

  • Think – gain new information about stuff and think about its impact on their lives
  • Reflect on God’s teachings related to the topic
  • Engage the theme more deeply
  • Get Inspired by actions others have taken
  • Enact what they’ve learned with an Action Plan

The resources are US in style and content, but should work for a UK audience, and may just help group leaders tackle complex issues in new ways.

Find out more at:

Oxfordshire Climate Change Community Groups Handbook

The Oxfordshire Climate Change Community Groups Handbook is a new resource for community groups in Oxfordshire, containing case studies, ideas, resources, links to groups and a heap of useful information, whether you’re just starting or looking for new ideas.

The handbook is produced by ClimateX – and you can view it online or download it as a PDF.

Persuading your landlord to install energy saving measures

The start of term can see lots of people moving into rented accommodation – and living in a rented property can be a frustrating experience if you want to stop wasting energy. After all it’s unlikely you’re going to want to install loft insulation or replace the inefficient heating system at your own expense.

Help is at hand, however, thanks to the Energy Saving Trust’s resource for tenants.

With persuasive reasons why your landlord should install energy saving measures, a template landlord letter to encourage your landlord to take action now, and a list of simple and quick ways you can stop wasting energy at home immediately – it could be a valuable resource for you or someone you know.

Find out more at How to persuade your landlord to install energy saving measures in your home.

First prize – Anne Shaw with Sunrise at Port Meadow, Oxford

And the Inspired by Creation 2010 winners are…

The results

For the Inspired by Creation 2010 competition we asked you to share the place where you find inspiration and a connection with God. Many of you entered a photograph you had taken or poem you had written that captured your special place.

The competition ran during creation-tide in September 2010 and we had a great number of entries, giving the judges a difficult task selecting the three winners for each category. The judges included professional photographer KT Bruce, Canon Edmund Newell of Christ Church Cathedral, and the Rt Revd Alan Wilson the Bishop of Buckingham.

There could only be three winners for each category, and so without further a do here they are…

Photo category

First prize – Anne Shaw with Sunrise at Port Meadow, Oxford

First prize - Anne Shaw with Sunrise at Port Meadow, Oxford

First prize – Anne Shaw with Sunrise at Port Meadow, Oxford

Anne said of here photo: “At sunrise, in the quiet of the early dawn, I walk by the riverside and witness the glory of light after dark, in glorious shades of yellows, orange, pinks and reds. I catch my breath at the beauty. I am daily inspired by creation and I thank God for all these wonders as I am filled with peace.”

Second prize – Kate Evans with Barbed wire by the Thames

Second prize – Kate Evans with Barbed wire by the Thames

Second prize – Kate Evans with Barbed wire by the Thames

Kate said her, “…photograph of the barbed wire was taken in Oxfordshire by the Thames on a morning when there was a marvellous Hoare Frost in January 2010. It reminds me that something as vicious as barbed wire can be transformed into something beautiful through an act of God – how much more then might I be transformed?”

Third prize – Rob Cowper with Autumn seat at Danesfield (Marlow)

Third prize – Rob Cowper with Autumn seat at Danesfield (Marlow)

Third prize – Rob Cowper with Autumn seat at Danesfield (Marlow)

Rob said, “Whenever nature splashes us with colour it declares aloud the manifold splendour of the Lord. I always look forward to my quiet times in the gardens of Danesfield. For all its architectural magnificence the wild gardens to the side will captivate any visitor.

Commended entries

The judges also commended entries by Ian Peacock – Light of World, Gordon Cooper with Spriggs Alley and Iain Strachan – Leaves.

Poetry category

First prize – Cobweb, Morning Dew by Antonia Cretney

I am

the Maker

ripped in two

by the beauty I have born.

Lion, gazelle,

eagle, lamb,

spider, fly:

my heart beats for each hunter,

for each prey.

My will is life, but the way,


O do not ask me why,

but love me as I die

and do not look away.

O stay.

© Antonia Cretney

Antonia explained that, “The place of inspiration was my garden and, as the title suggests, the sight of a spider catching her breakfast.”

Second prize – Garden Sunday at Gravelly Close, Radnage

Hot sun, cool breeze, green shade

and meditative silence

Held in an exuberance of bird song.

In this secluded corner of creation

Nothing stirs

No rustling in the hedges,

All is still.

Until the red kites fly in, dip and dart

In elegance arabesques;

high above them the restless travellers

sign off in vapour trails as they depart.

So many garden poems,


rustic idylls,

innocence remembered.

Perhaps it must be so, we must all visit Eden as we may.

© Ena Jenkins

Ena explained she wrote it on Garden Sunday, which in Radnage, “… begins in the Church of St Mary the Virgin, continues with garden visits, refreshments, conversation. For me it ended here in my daughter’s garden (a large grassy area surrounded by trees and filled with bird song) in an hour of quiet reflection”

Third prize – Epiphany Snow by Claire Alcock

I had not thought it could be so white.

Ice white under frost white

Long shadows blue white.

The cold bite in a winter street,

Houses squat,

Stiff walls, safe as a knot.

The ground as a sheet


Hard as a promise is to keep.

The everyday suspended.

Sitting in its place,

Silence, like a great white cat

Air thick with weight,


Soon the anointing,

Trees to be dressed in it,

Blessed in it,

Caressed, as a mother

Did the child.

© Claire Alcock

Clare explained that she, “… wrote this after walking in the heavy snow in Shiplake, South Oxfordshire, at the beginning of Jan 2010. It was Epiphany and I wondered if the excessive snowfall, which disrupted schools and stopped all normal activity for a while, could be seen as a blessing or a gift in any way. It was so prodigious – it made me think of the generosity of God; but also soft and silent in falling, which brought to mind at that time the gentle love of Mary for the new born King, Jesus. So snow and Epiphany became strangely wedded in my mind.”

Commended entries

The judges also commended the following entries, which you can read in full here:

Inspired by Volcano Ash, by Iain Strachan

Down by the Sea, by Karen Brown

Creation, Sourced or Accidental, by Dorothy Stoddart-Watson

Poet at Prayer, by Margaret Moakes

Presence, by Clare Bryden

Thank you to everyone who entered – and to the competition supporters.

Supported by

Spirituality as a Uniting Force for Environmental Action with Satish Kumar – 11th November

ONE EARTH, MANY FAITHS are organising an evening with Satish Kumar entitled ‘Spirituality as a Uniting Force for Environmental Action’.

The evening will be start at 7.00pm in the Old Library at The University Church, The High St, Oxford on 11th November 2010.

The lecture will be followed by a soup and cheese supper in the Vaults and Garden Cafe at 8.00pm. To book a place email Renny Gye on: gyes [at] (replace [at] with @ and remove spaces).

Satish Kumar is current editor of Resurgence, founder and Director of Programmes of the Schumacher College international centre for ecological studies and of The Small School.