Climate Change is real
IT’S HERE, IT’S NOW. WHAT WE DO MATTERS
Our response [to the climate crisis] must be nothing less than an ‘ecological conversion’ of every person and every part of society. Responding to the current emergency is the responsibility of every family, every workplace, every village, town and city, every company, and every public institution.
The earth is God’s gift as well as God’s creation. Human beings are far more than consumers: we are called to be just stewards of creation, to care for the poorest and the weakest. Human fulfilment lies not in escalating consumption but in meaningful rest and labour and learning to be content.
Churches and faith communities must play their part and are beginning to do so. Many dioceses, including Oxford, are placing care for the earth at the top of the agenda for the coming years, recognising the distance we still have to travel. This means measuring and restricting our own carbon emissions, commending lifestyle changes, undertaking energy audits and campaigning for wider change. It means identifying challenging but achievable targets and the practical path to reach them. We need to hear the voice of government in policy detail and not just principle.Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, 6 February 2020
To see the whole speech in the House of Lords, visit: https://blogs.oxford.anglican.org/stewards-of-creation/
Oxford Diocese Actions
One of our main priorities is responding to the climate crisis and the broader environmental crises facing our planet. It’s a priority for us all, individually and corporately. Diocesan Synod has declared a climate emergency and set ambitious but clear targets for reaching net zero. An Environment Task Group (ETG) is overseeing an ambitious programme of change and we are investing over £200,000 during the next seven years on a carbon footprint reduction programme across our church buildings.
In our own lives, our churches, our schools and other institutions, we’re working to be agents of change:
- taking practical action,
- bringing the issues before God in prayer,
- undertaking advocacy at every level of government,
- standing in solidarity with our overseas partners,
- calling for disinvestment from fossil fuel companies whose plans aren’t in line with the Paris Agreement,
- and seeking to support a just transition locally and globally.
To find out more about how followers of Jesus we are called to care for God’s world, and what individuals and churches can do and are doing, explore their website, The EcoHub.
Our Bishop of Reading, Oliva and the Oxford Diocese have made responding to the Climate Crisis a prime focus.
See the Oxford website for details – Environment – Diocese of Oxford (anglican.org)
All Saints Church Actions
Here at All Saints, we acknowledge the need to do much work in order to make Greener our building, our grounds, our congregation and our surrounding environment. People of great passion for a greener world can influence all those around us.
Our initial focus will be determined by an ECO team of Peter Norris, Mike Brooks, Ruth Norris, Ken Kilner, Malcolm Lock, Angela West, Jackie Sadler, Jackie Wiggins and Penny Roche. We invite other ECO warriors from the congregation to join us on this journey as we work towards becoming an ECO Church.
What is an ECO Church?
All Saints is setting out on a multi-year project to reduce our Environmental impact. For details of what this means, visit their website: Eco Church – An A Rocha UK Project
The ECO Church Bronze, Silver and Gold awards enable a step-by-step process towards an end goal of combating Climate Change. The certification process requires evidence across these six main areas:
- Worship and Teaching – what we do in church and say to our congregation, having Climate Sundays, supported by Sermons, Hymns, visiting speakers, study groups, etc
- Buildings – our energy use (Electricity, Gas, water), building insulation, waste disposal/recycling, use of new technology (eg. Solar, heat pumps), collecting rainwater, etc
- Land around the building – how we manage the grounds and trees, attract wildlife, the plants we have, reducing pesticides, composting, etc
- Adoption of ECO materials within the church and cafe – our use of disposable cups, plastic wrapping, toilet paper, cleaning materials, local sourced food, food waste disposal, Fairtrade products, etc
- Community Engagement – what we say and do with the local community, events we run, ECO things we put in our Newsletters, on our website, WhatsApp and Facebook pages, the charities we support, organising litter picks, etc
- Personal Lifestyle – what individuals are encouraged to do, what they eat, how they reuse/recycle, walk/cycle more – use car less, reduce carbon footprint at home, fly less, etc.
ECO Church is much wider than the Energy Audit that is planned for May/June 2021.
This short film describes Wokingham’s Energy Audit – but as they say – this is much more than a simple energy use audit – Eco Church and environmental audits in Wokingham (anglican.org)
What can you do? Making changes that matter
These steps are the most effective way to reduce your carbon pollution and persuade others to do the same:
Many may be familiar with the RBWM Greenredeem scheme. They regularly have good ECO ideas with blogs/videos/quizzes. Please sign up to Greenredeem to get regular updates on how to become greener.
Visit their website to find out more: Greenredeem – The behaviour change experts since 2009
Creator of our common home,
You fill the earth and sea and sky with life
Forgive us our neglect of your creation
The choking waste of our pollution
The damage done by careless habits
And our indifference to future generations.
Help us to amend our lives
To refuse more plastic if we can’t reuse it
To lift our voice for lasting change
And to live well and gently on the earth
To the glory of your Son, the living Word
Through whom you made this fragile world.
Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft
List of other relevant posts
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