Free tree packs for communities

Help plant 6 million trees to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee.

To celebrate the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth ll’s historic 2012 Diamond Jubilee, the Woodland Trust is helping millions of people across the UK to come together to plant 6 million trees.

They hope neighbours, communities, schools and families will come together to plant thousands of individual trees in their gardens, playgrounds and community spaces – each taking the chance to mark this special moment in history in a way that will stay with them forever.

Schools and community groups are welcome to apply for free tree packs to help local people get involved in the celebration, or you can browse our range of Jubilee trees to find the perfect one for your garden.

Interested? Contact the Woodland Trust on 0845 293 5689 or email jubileewoods@woodlandtrust.org.uk

via Help plant 6 million trees to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee.

Operation Noah Declaration

Leaders  of the UK’s mainstream churches are today calling for repentance over the prevailing ‘shrug-culture’ towards climate change by signing Operation Noah’s Ash Wednesday Declaration.

‘Traditionally, Christians commit themselves to repentance and renewed faith in Jesus Christ on Ash Wednesday,’ said David Atkinson, Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Southwark. ‘We must live out that faith in relation to our damaging consumer economy, over-dependence on fossil fuels and the devastation we, as a species, are inflicting on God’s world. We believe that responsible care for God’s creation is foundational to the Gospel and central to the church’s mission.’

The Declaration is framed around seven biblical themes and argues that, to be a Christian is to accept the call to radical discipleship and to work through the implications for church life of a real change in lifestyle. In 1934 the Church took a stand with the Barmen Declaration which rejected Nazism.  The lead author, Karl Barth, had guts.  He mailed the declaration to Hitler personally.  The authors believed that the subordination of the church to the Nazi state was a confessional issue, an issue which touched the very heart of faith, not something that they could politely disagree about. Operation Noah believes climate change to be a confessional issue of similar magnitude.

The declaration affirms that God wants a richly abundant earth.  It states that now we know the dangers of climate change, repentance is the responsibility of every Church and every believer.  It argues that the challenges facing us are not merely economic and scientific but are moral and spiritual as well, and that we must hold our governments and corporations to account.

Operation Noah is encouraging individuals and church fellowships to read through the Ash Wednesday Declaration carefully and then, if willing, to sign the pledge on their website, where you will also find a wide range of resources to support the Declaration: www.operationnoah.org.

Carbon Fast for Lent 2012

Join Tearfund and churches across the world for the Carbon Fast this Lent – starting on Wednesday 22 February – with daily actions and prayers to help you and your church reduce your emissions.

Whether you’re a nervous novice or a carbon-cutting champion, there’s something in this year’s Carbon Fast for you.

The daily actions focus on weekly themes providing something for all walks of life, including more adventurous actions for carbon-cutting experts who want a challenge and weekly actions who’s like to take things more slowly.

How to take part – three ways

  1. Get the actions: Download the actions at www.tearfund.org/carbonfast or order an action guide from resources.tearfund.org or by calling 0845 355 8355.
  2. Sign up for Carbon Fast daily emails at www.tearfund.org/carbonfast – these include reflections and prayers and will be sent to you every day during Lent.
  3. Follow the Carbon Fast on Twitter – @carbonfast, #carbonfast

Please tell your church or small group too. Look for ways for your church to take part in the Carbon Fast, for example by featuring an action a week. You can order action guides in packs of 5 if you’d like lots to share with your church or group.

Feed-in-Tariff changes and your project?

We talked about the proposed changes to the government Feed-in-Tariff recently, but how are the changes affecting church based projects on the ground in the diocese? Share you experiences and responses here in the comments.

We are hearing of community solar PV projects that are now in serious financial jeopardy because of the proposed changes to the FiT and the short notice given. Blewbury Energy Initiative is advising, “those leading such projects to keep careful records of their documentation – especially bills and payments, as it is possible they may be able to reclaim expenditure committed before the DECC announcement on 31st October.”

Is your project in such a situation? Or have you shelved plans because of the proposed changes?

Please use the comments section below to share your experiences and how you are responding to the proposed changes, both so we know who is being affected and also to share with others ideas and resources of how to respond.

Also if you haven’t already signed the e-petition started by the CofE’s Shrinking the Footprint campaign, asking DECC to consider exempting not-for-profit group projects from the Feed-In Tariff reductions, please do consider doing so.

Vote for All Saints’ Wokingham

The Carbon Reduction Project at All Saints’ Church in Wokingham have made it to final of the energyshare Fund Vote! Up to £100,000 per group is up for grabs – and the ultimate winners will be decided entirely by public vote.

The Cornerstone is a community centre run by All Saints’ Church in Wokingham, and if they win they will install Solar PV panels on the roof, which through the Feed-in-Tariff  will generate a reliable long-term income stream to support the work of the centre.

There are three categories you can vote in: small, medium, and  large. All Saints’ Church in Wokingham is in the small category. We also understand that Andrew France, a vicar from the North East, who is orgnaising the entry of Earsdon Renewable Energy in the medium category would welcome your votes too!

Everyone who votes will be entered into a daily draw to win River Cottage Veg books and British Gas home efficiency packs.

Get voting at www.energyshare.com/voting/

Read more about the story behind the Carbon Reduction Project at All Saints’ Wokingham in our case study.

UN climate talks in Durban, South Africa

In December UN climate talks will continue in Durban, South Africa. The profile of the talks is lower than in the past, but the results will be even more important.

The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition has resources to help groups organise events between 26 November and 3 December, and can be anything from an African lunch to a photo exhibition, tailored to each area to build local connections and show MPs the strength of concern on climate change.

Plus they are organising an online debate with Chris Huhne, Energy & Climate Minister, just before he heads out to the UN climate talks to represent the UK.

Further details at: www.stopclimatechaos.org/african-climate-connection

Do you know of other resources and planned activities around the talks? Please share them in the comments section below.

Earth Hour 2011 – Sat 26th March from 8.30pm

Earth Hour 2011

From London to Sydney, New York and Singapore, people across the world will be marking Earth Hour this Saturday (26 March 2011) and switching off their lights. A simple idea that has rapidly gained global support. For just one hour everyone is asked to switched off their lights and make a symbolic stand against climate change. It’s a reminder to us all that we only have one planet Earth. And it’s an urgent message that we want to reduce the impact our energy system has on that planet.

Find out more at: earthhour.wwf.org.uk