General Synod to debate climate change and environment

A large group of organisations have joined together to welcome the debate on climate change and the environment taking place at General Synod on February 12th.

A Rocha UK, Christian Aid, Christian Concern for One World, Christian Ecology Link, Climate Stewards, CTBI Environmental Issues Network, the John Ray Initaitive, Operation Noah, Progressio, the Quakers, the Speak Network and Tearfund have joined together to encourage General Synod to address this debate with the utmost seriousness and support the proposed motion, and we commit themselves to supporting the Church of England and relevant bodies in their future endeavours.

The motion, proposed by Southwark Diocesan Synod, which will be debated on Wednesday 12th February is:

‘That this Synod:

(a) recognising the damage being done to the planet through the burning 
of fossil fuels;
(b) aware of the huge reserves held by gas, oil and coal extraction industries;
(c) committing itself to taking seriously our Christian responsibility to care for the planet (“the earth is the Lord’s”);
(d) acknowledging the financial responsibilities of the Church’s national Investing bodies; and
(e) noting that a review of recommended ethical investment policy with regard to climate change has been begun by the Church of England Ethical Investment Advisory Group (‘EIAG’):

(i) call upon the national investing bodies to ensure that their investment policy (including the option of disinvestment) is aligned with the theological, moral and social priorities of the Church which find expression in the reports “Sharing God’s Planet” and “Church and Earth 2009-2016” and in the “Shrinking the Footprint” campaign;
(ii) call upon the EIAG to publish the report of its review by the end of 2014; and
(iii) agree to the establishment of a General Synod Working Group on the Environment, to monitor this and other environmental issues.’

In the run-up to the debate congregations are being encouraged to get in touch with their Synod representatives to tell them about the joint statement and ask them to support the motion. (The list of members (Bishops, clergy and laity) can be found here and a helpful sample letter/email is given here.).

People are also taking to Twitter using #GSClimate and @CofEGenSyn to show the C of E the support they have for taking action.

You can follow the General Synod debate on twitter and through a live video stream.

Gardening against the Odds award

The Conservation Foundation and the Sunday Telegraph have launched the 2012 Gardening Against The Odds Awards, which celebrate those
inspirational people  who create beauty in the face of physical or psychological difficulties,  or an inhospitable environment.

To enter the awards, visit the Conservation Foundation website by Monday 17th September.

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.

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

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

Creation Tide 2011 – Our Daily Bread Resource

Every year we encourage church communities to observe Creation Tide (aka a Time for Creation) and in 2011 it runs for the five weeks from 1 September to 4 October, which, with the downtime of summer holidays, may mean you need to start planning early.

Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) produce resources for Creation Tide each year, and this year the chosen focus is  ‘Food in God’s creation’ under the heading Our Daily Bread.

CTBI have produced a range of resources to equip churches and help planning  – and they are available now on their website to download. The Our Daily Bread resources include:

  • Sermon notes – include a series of themed sermons for each week of creation tide, plus two longer sermons
  • Re-imagining Harvest – a creative suggestion for a new form of Harvest Festival and community event
  • Ecumenical service outline – complete with PowerPoint presentation
  • Discussion group resource – through two case studies, and questions to aid discussion, a group is equipped to look at farming practices in the UK and ask what does sustainable farming in the UK mean for us?
  • Background paper – a three page background paper on food, agriculture and issues for consumers.

Download all the Our Daily Bread resources here.

Creation Tide resources from previous years can be found here. Also check out other resources mentioned on Earthing Faith.

Do you have resources that could be used in Creation Tide? Get in touch or leave a comment below.

‘What’s the food like?’, ‘Who is providing the food?’, ‘Is there enough food to go round?’ Our everyday talk constantly makes reference to food, which is no surprise, as food and drink are essentials for life and survival.When we pray “Give us our daily bread” we are both acknowledging our dependence on God’s generosity and our realisation that the answer to that prayer needs to include agriculture, commerce, sharing, trade-justice, animal welfare, diet and a host of other considerations.

Green Flag Community Award

The Green Flag Community Award is given to community sites which display high standards of maintenance, management and community involvement, and are managed by the community. Woodlands, allotments, churchyards and public gardens have all been winners.

Could your church community be eligible to apply?

BTCV, Keep Britain Tidy and GreenSpace are supporting groups and local people to apply for the award – and can help groups through all stages of the application process, advising on eligibility, application and judging.

For more information contact Nina Sperinck ( OR 01296 330 033) – and visit here and here.

Get Generating – A Renewable Energy Guide for Rural Communities

Get Generating: A Renewable Energy Guide for Rural Communities is a new resource that gives an overview of community based renewable energy options. The guide, produced by The Commission for Rural Communities (CRC) in partnership with Action for Communities in Rural England (ACRE), the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and the National Association of Local Councils (NALC), aims to help rural communities interested in generating renewable energy locally.

“Rural communities are becoming increasingly aware of the opportunities that renewable energy can offer particularly for the many rural areas that do not have a mains gas connection. However the huge range of organisations, resources and information available nationally and locally on renewable energy can be confusing. This new guide is now available to assist groups in considering their option when thinking about developing a renewable energy scheme.”

You can download a copy of the guide at: Get Generating A Renewable Energy Guide for Rural Communities

via Shrinking the Footprint website