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.