Earthing Faith Gathering – 8 November 2012

 What does it mean to care for the earth in our current climate?

An evening to explore theology and the environment with reflections from Margot Hodson and response from Mark Laynesmith.

  • Revd. Margot Hodson is author of Cherishing the Earth and Vicar of the benefice of Haddenham
  • Revd. Mark Laynesmith is the Anglican Chaplain at the University of Reading

When: 7-9pm, Thursday 8 November 2012

Venue: The Village Centre‎, High Street, Chinnor, Oxfordshire OX39 4DH – map


The recordings from the gathering are now available to download or listen to online using the player below:

Download: Mark Laynesmith – mp3
Download: Margot Hodson – mp3

Earthing Faith’s Cloudcasts on Mixcloud


Whose Earth? – June 2012

In June Whose Earth? will be taking place at 6 venues across the UK to explore how Christians can live on God’s earth God’s way today.

In 1992 the world’s biggest ever political gathering – the Rio Earth Summit – marked one of the first times that world leaders met to discuss the environment. Twenty years later, they’re meeting again for Rio+20 to see how well they’ve done – and how much more they need to do.

Organised by A Rocha, Tearfund, New Frontiers and Jubilee+ the Whose Earth? events will examine Christian responses to environmental issues, including:

  • the Bible basis
  • the science behind the issues
  • how we can all play a part in responding, including calling on decision-makers to act to eradicate poverty in a way that protects the environment

Speakers include Dave Bookless (A Rocha International), Ruth Valerio and Andy Lester (A Rocha UK), Elaine Storkey and Matthew Frost (Tearfund).

For full details see the flyer – Rio+20 A5 flyer

Events nearest to those in the Diocese of Oxford include:

Oxford – Wednesday 13th June at St Aldate’s Church, Oxford 13 June 40 Pembroke Street, OX1 1BP

With speakers:
Dr Elaine Storkey, President of Tearfund,

Martin Hodson, Operations Manager, John Ray Initiative,

Andrew McCracken, UK Director, Tearfund

South West London – 20th June at St Stephen’s Church, Twickenham

The speakers at this event will be:

Dave Bookless – Advisor for Churches & Theology, A Rocha International

Martin Hodson – Operations Manager, John Ray Initiative

David Bainbridge – International Director, Tearfund

Map for finding venue.

Central London – 21 June at All Souls Church, Langham Place, London
The speakers at this event will be:

Dave Bookless – Advisor for Churches & Theology, A Rocha International

Andy Lester – Conservation Director, A Rocha UK

Matthew Frost – Chief Executive, Tearfund

Map for finding venue.

All events start at 7.30pm and will include free refreshments.

2012: Celebrate Making a Difference

2012 is to be the diocesan Living Faith year of ‘Making a Difference’. We embark upon it knowing that ordinary Christians are busy transforming the lives of others, often in quiet and unsung ways. The aim in 2012 is to share together what we do, inspiring one another in new and different ways. We have begun by asking ordinary Christians across the Diocese to tell us how you are making a difference.

Here’s what some have already said:

‘I work in the international coal industry which puts more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than any other industry, so I take every opportunity to persuade everyone involved in the industry to reduce its carbon emissions.  This is part of caring for all of God’s creation and everyone on our planet.’

‘I am privileged to work as a Church Governor at my local primary school and have the opportunity of sharing my faith with young children.’

‘I visit the elderly some of whom have dementia. I hope my regular visiting helps them to retain the sense of their own unique value.’

As these sentences suggest Christians offer phenomenal gifts to the world, through activities that are local, national and international.

What do you do?
We are asking people to share a sentence, like the ones above, that sum up how you make a difference. Simply fill in the form below to send us yours.

2012 is an opportunity to celebrate what we are currently doing; inspire one another to embrace new things, and to remember that we are joining in God’s mission, so will find God there.

Here’s a few ways you can be part of the year:

  • Reflect and pray together, using the various written publications and resources that will be produced throughout the year, including a six session resource for personal and group reflection, ‘BE the Difference’ (due out March 2012), and ‘Passion for Real Life’, a resource for Holy Week.
  • Celebrate ‘Make A Difference Sunday’ during the ‘Month of Sundays’ that is October 2012. We will be producing resources later in the year to enable parishes to celebrate the activities of those in the congregation. Set aside an October Sunday NOW, and begin to think about who and what you would like to celebrate, and how you can thank God and inspire one another.
  • Attend the arts-based Making a Difference diocesan festival that will be held on Saturday 27th October 2012. Parishes will be invited to come along, bringing something with them that is symbolic of how they make a difference, so that we can gather these together and make a big celebratory work of art! Keynote speakers include Ann Morisy (author of many books on mission and social action), and Janice Price (Archbishop’s Council Adviser on World Mission).
  • Partner with your local school: the Diocesan Board of Education is focusing on Making a Difference too, especially in the academic year beginning in September 2012.
  • Revamp your church noticeboard to make sure you are communicating with the world about how you are making a difference in your local community and/or nationally/globally. We will be inviting photographs and running a competition for the best one!

Share what you do

Use the form below to share a sentence about how you are making a difference.

[contact-form-7 id=”3037″ title=”Make a difference form”]

Network gathering – 2nd Feb 2012

You are invited to the first ever Earthing Faith network gathering on Thursday 2nd February 2012.

Sharing | Showcasing | Connecting

The gathering will provide space for sharing stories from projects around the Diocese of Oxford. We will highlight the new energy monitoring pilot scheme, hear creative responses to installing solar PV, learn how your church can grow food and a sense of community, as well as see how lent could connect us with our global neighbours.

There will be space for prayer and reflection. We will be showcasing resources to highlight environmental issues in your prayer and worship.

And there will be plenty of time for conversations over light refreshments. If you register you’ll also get a free goodie bag of resources.

Please do join us – everyone is welcome.

Where: Diocesan Church House, North Hinksey, Oxford, OX2 0NB – full directions here

When: 7pm until 9pm, Thursday 2nd February 2012

Register: Please help us plan by registering to say you intend to join us.

Click here to complete the online registration form (includes lift share details).

Alternatively rsvp via Facebook or by leaving a message on 01865 208745.

Share: The gathering is an opportunity to share with one another and it would be great if you could:

Share a favourite book – bring a favourite book or two on a Earthing Faith theme to share (you can print these slips to fill in and insert in your book)

Share your project – if you are involved in a project, or have a dream for a project, bring a leaflet/poster about it to share.

Not able to come? It would be great to see you or someone from your church – please use the share buttons below to help you spread the word.

Questions?  If you have questions about the gathering please use our contact form or call 01865 208745.

Help a trail-blazing school go solar this Christmas!

Amy Cameron from the carbon cutting organisation 10:10 shares in this post how some schools in the Diocese of Oxford are trail-blazing a funding model that may be one of few ways community buildings can install solar in the future, and how you can help!

10:10, the carbon cutting organisation, began in 2009 with the aim of helping businesses, organisations and individuals reduce their emissions by 10% in a single year. Our plan was to inspire and motivate people towards a change that was fast, achievable and meaningful. Since we launched, over 125,000 individuals have pledged to cut their carbon in over 42 countries, alongside 6000 businesses, 3000 organisations and over 2500 schools, universities and colleges.

The results of our sign-ups to date have been impressive, with everyone from Tottenham Hotspurs cutting 14% to the British Embassy in Beijing cutting 48%, but we’re always looking for new ways to get people acting on climate change. That’s why, this September, we launched Solar Schools, a groundbreaking project to save energy, help schools, build communities and, most importantly, enable thousands of people to engage positively with renewable energy.

The idea, in a nutshell, is to help schools across the country generate their own solar energy by raising the cost of panels from the local community. Each school gets its own webpage, populated with empty solar panels. Family, neighbours, friends, local businesses and ex-pupils sponsor segments of panel by buying vouchers or donating online. The whole scheme lives and breathes community interaction, with pictures and messages of support left by donors.

Recently, it’s been difficult to avoid stories about chaos in the solar industry.  With the government making rapid cuts to Feed-in Tariffs, many projects have been left in the lurch. However, while we wait for a clear pathway to a sustainable future for the UK, the eight schools in the Solar Schools pilot continue to trail-blaze a model that may be one of few ways community buildings can install solar in the future.

The schools involved are based around the country – a hub of five in Reading, one in Cambridge, one in Norwich and one on the sunny Scilly Isles. They are working flat out to reach their targets and they would love your support! If you’d be interested in donating then please do head to You can also send friends and family a tile as a gift, ready to open on a specified date – a nice way to cut down on your Christmas card recycling this year! Plus, if any of the schools involved are in your area, they would love some hands-on support – they have lots of Solar Schools voucher booklets to sell and events to organise, and they need as many people to know about the project as possible – email  to find how you could get involved.

These schools are trying something new to become cleaner, greener places for children to learn, they would love your help to do it!

Amy Cameron is the Solar Schools co-ordinator at 10:10.

Your Church and Heat Pumps

The Diocese of Oxford has published an information sheet to introduce how heat pumps could be used to heat your church. It will help you assess the suitability of your church and provides a list of things to consider as you develop a project to install heat pump technology and benefit from the government Renewable Heat Incentive.

Download the document or view it online:

Pilgrimage Project

Pilgrimage involves going on a journey, which can often lead to us connecting to the world in new ways. Be it appreciating God’s creation in deeper ways or connecting with a deeper call to live the spiritual life.

The Diocese of Oxford has launched the Pilgrim Project  to encourage the spirit of pilgrimage,  part of which has led to the launch of a new diocesan pilgrimage map which features 15 places of special spiritual significance across the Diocese of Oxford. The hope is that the map will inspire not just visitors to each place on the map, but also a spirit of pilgrimage elsewhere. For example, one rural benefice has already been inspired by this project to plan a local pilgrim map encompassing each of its seven churches. What could you do in your area? How can the spirit of pilgrimage encourage us in caring for creation?

Resources to help are on hand, including:

There are A3 posters of the Diocese of Oxford pilgrimage map available and also pocket sized folded maps. Contact the Diocese of Oxford Communications office (01865 208225) if you would like copies.

The Bishop of Oxford, The Rt Revd John Pritchard, will be visiting each place on the map to pray with local people over the summer. There is an open invitation to join him if you are in the area.

  • Monday 8 August: 9.30am Olney; 11.15am North Marston; 12.30pm Drayton Beauchamp
  • Tuesday 9 August: 9am Cookham; 10.30am Easthampstead; 12 noon Stoke Poges
  • Wednesday 10 August: 10.30am Speen; 12 noon Goring
  • Thursday 11 August: 10.30am Stanton Harcourt; 12.15 Dorchester Abbey
  • Friday 12 August: 9am Christ Church Cathedral.
  • Tuesday 30 August 10 am South Newington
  • Wednesday 31 August: 9.30 University Church; 10.45 Binsey; 2pm Compton Beauchamp

See below to view the Diocese of Oxford pilgrimage guides for each of the participating churches on their map.