Greenbelt and the National Justice & Peace Conference – are you going?

Green Christian is always at the Greenbelt festival and national Justice and Peace conference. We’d also like to explore having a presence at another festival, such as New Wine or Spring Harvest. If you are planning to go to one of them this year, maybe could you set up and keep an eye on our information stall?

The National Justice and Peace Conference takes place at the Swanwick Conference Centre in Derbyshire, 17-19 July. We have a simple stall at the ‘Just Fair’ over the weekend – you will be free to attend all the sessions.

The Greenbelt festival takes place at Boughton Park near Kettering, Northamptonshire, over the late summer Bank Holiday weekend, 28-31 August. We need numerous volunteers to set up the stall and take it down, and staff it throughout the weekend, including someone to act as official contact on site. For Greenbelt complementary weekend tickets will be available for the most generous volunteers!

If you’re a regular at another Christian festival, you could help us reach a new audience. Green Christian may be able to cover the cost of a stall, but what we really need is people who can look after it. Could that be you? Get in touch (without obligation) if you would like to explore the possibilities with us.

If you can help with either of these, please contact Paul Bodenham at chair@greenchristian.org.uk.

 

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Not one member, but many – and “What is Green Christian?”

“Not one member, but many” (1 Corinthians 12:14)

by Martin Davis

This is the text of a talk given to Churches Together, Shurdington, Cloucestershsire  on 15 February 2015 by Martin Davis. Martin is a founder member of Green Christian, and coordinator for Cheltenham Christian Ecology Group.  This talk includes a good description of Green Christian (formerly Christian Ecology Link):

 

My talk is in three parts, a short bible reflection; a word about my personal journey, and a word about the organization I represent. Your invitation to me arose because Peter and Brenda had been to some of the meetings I arranged on behalf of Cheltenham Christian Ecology Link.

Many people stumble over that word ECOLOGY: I found the following sentence helpful:

The subject matter of ecology is the whole natural world, including both the living and the non-living parts.

It could have been ECOLOGY that St Paul had in mind when he wrote (in Chapter 12 of the First Letter to the Corinthians):

The body consists not of one member but of many… [The world isn’t just made up of human beings.]

If the ear were to say, ‘I am not an eye, and so I do not belong to the body,’ that would not stop its belonging to the body… [We can’t opt out.]

The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’… [Each part of the world needs the others.]

It is precisely the parts of the body that seem to be the weakest which are the indispensable ones. [Think of the plankton on which marine life depends.]

…God has composed the body so that… each part may be equally concerned for all the others. If one part is hurt, all the parts share its pain…

So we can apply Paul’s words to our planet,

  • - its inhabitants – some in very vulnerable situations
  • - its animal/plant life – some faced with extinction
  • - its natural resources – some under great pressure (water, e.g.).

It was last October when Brenda asked if I would come along on behalf of Christian Ecology Link. Since then, there has in fact been a change of name, in recognition of the difficulty some people have with that word ECOLOGY. It’s now Green Christian. But don’t get too worried! We’re not all members of the Green Party, and I’m not a member of any party.

This isn’t going to be a party political broadcast. A word or two about my own journey through life as a Christian. I was born in the War. My mother was from an Irish Catholic background, my father C of E – nonpractising. So, I was brought up in the Roman Catholic Church in an era when our services were all in Latin, and it was almost regarded as sinful to pray with other Christians.

I made my first Communion aged six and was presented with a souvenir, illustrated by the famous Leonardo da Vinci image of Jesus’ supper with his 12 friends on the day before his death. That picture sums up one very important aspect of being a Christian, namely believing that the Jesus, son of Mary, who lived amongst us was also son of God, and came to redeem mankind through his death on the cross.

This was the crux of the teaching I received during the ten years I was sent away to Roman Catholic boarding schools. I was confirmed there, and above all we were encouraged to be devout followers of Jesus as our saviour and redeemer.

So, my Christian faith at that time concentrated on redemption, and though we learnt at school about the natural world, there was little to connect our lives as Christians with God’s creation. I emerged from a relatively sheltered existence into life as a university student, where I found I came to meet and to like people who I discovered were steeped in other Christian traditions and others who were non-believers.

And it was the time of the Second Vatican Council in Rome, where much that I had been taught seemed to be up for grabs. All rather bewildering.

Fast forward 10 years, during which I qualified as a lawyer and my faith was like one of those books you put on the spare room bookshelf and never get round to open – pretty much neglected, in other words, save during the times when I happened to have a Roman Catholic girlfriend. So, there I was, a cradle Catholic and just a nominal Christian. What changed me?

One turning point was a TV report by John Pilger about the devastating floods in Bangladesh. I lived near Winchcombe at the time, and a group of local people of no particular belief decided to raise money for a clean water supply in one village there. They asked me to become involved on the legal side.

Another turning point was discovering a book with the famous earth-rise photograph (taken from Apollo 8) on the cover: one of its authors, Barbara Ward, was – I learnt – a committed Christian: she it is who is credited with coming up with the concept of sustainable development.

This book, Only one earth, the care and maintenance of a small planet” said that We need to care for the Earth “for the survival of the human species, and for the creation [my italics] of decent ways of life for all the people of the world.”

Creation: well, of course I believed that God created the universe, but wasn’t that a once-for-all thing, that happened long ago? No, this seemed to say. Creation is an ongoing process, in which we are involved. We need to look after the Earth in order to create decent living standards for all those who share the planet with us, and that will come after us: we are, therefore, in a sense co-creators with God. Only one earth for the first time made sense for me (as a Christian) of creation – the world God made for us and in which we had to get along together.

Because there is only one earth. There is no Planet B. But what were we doing to this earth of ours? Those floods in Bangladesh had causes, I discovered. One of them was deforestation in the Himalayas.

Trees could be saved if these people used more efficient cookers. We in the West had the technology they needed. Were we, comparatively richer, going to pass by on the other side, as in the parable of the Good Samaritan?

I found, by the end of the 1970s, having been involved in a successful charity, that this was not merely a matter of charity, it was a matter of justice for our human sisters and brothers.

As St Paul writes, “God has composed the body so that… each part may be equally concerned for all the others.

As a lawyer, I knew that justice depended on having the right laws, and that to secure a change in the law meant getting political. I hadn’t been a member of a political party up till then (and as I said I am not a member now), but I decided to join the relatively new Ecology Party (now of course called the Green Party).

My hope was that – as a new party – it would avoid the infighting I could see going on in the mainstream parties; but no. So I met up with a few others who I knew to be Christians within the Party, and in 1981 we started what is now Green Christian.

The aims were:

  •  to be a beacon of Christian values within politics (bringing those values to a secular movement), and
  •  to encourage those who find little awareness of the need to safeguard Creation within their worshipping communities.

Green Christian is a registered charity. It has no affiliation with any political party, and it welcomes all those who are looking to deepen their understanding of the meaning of living within God’s creation, and being part of it.

A friend recently put it to me that he was turned off Green Christian because when people become members, it’s as if they convert to another religion. So I need to stress the things we are NOT, and the first is that we are NOT another religion; nor are we a Green straightjacket – a sort of holier than thou Thought Police about green living. We recognise that there are shades of Green (perhaps not as many as 50), and everybody is not at the same place on the spectrum. Nor, finally, are we biased in favour of any one denomination – in fact I’ve never found anything about being a Green Christian that clashes with being a Roman Catholic.

So what IS Green Christian then?

We are:

* a members’ charity – all are welcome to join, on payment of an annual subscription (it varies according to your circumstances;

* it produces regular newsletters

* it organizes conferences and

* workshops;

* retreats & prayer services.

* Members get involved with other networks in campaigns & non-violent protests.

* Some take part in ecocell, a programme for local groups to explore the journey towards a sustainable life.

* There’s an online discussion forum – CELINK.

* Resources available – a website; leaflets (I have brought some along for you) and speakers.

So, to sum up, Green Christian doesn’t pretend to have all the answers, but it does help us to ask the right questions, e.g.

• about our dependence on fossil fuels

• about the way we farm the land

• about our economics: as Christians, we can hope to think and act longer term than the politicians

• about how we live our lives: we need to examine our own way of life, to see where our excesses may cause stress for the planet’s limited resources.

We are just Ordinary Christians who recognise these are extraordinary times.

Martin Davis

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General Synod: Campaigners Urge Church Of England To Divest From Fossil Fuel Companies

synod action-7A group of young campaigners have protested against Church investments in fossil fuels at Church House, London during the General Synod.

The group, from Christian Climate Action (CCA,) were highlighting how Church Commissioners’ funds are invested in energy companies such as Shell and BP.

The group dropped a protest banner [1] from the public gallery and held a prayer rally outside Church House demanding the Church to pull its investments from fossil fuel companies.

The protest, days before Global Divestment Day, comes after the it was revealed that Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), the world’s richest sovereign wealth fund worth £556bn, removed 32 coal mining companies from its portfolio in 2014, citing the risk they face from regulatory action on climate change.

Holly Peterson, from CCA said: ‘Fossil fuel companies cannot continue with ‘business as usual’ if the world is to avoid catastrophic climate change.

synod action-2“If the Church believes in ethical investment and cares about the impacts of climate change on people and planet then why do they still invest in fossil fuels? They are not practising what they preach.

“We are calling on the Church of England to show courageous leadership and take action now by moving their investments. This is the only way to send a clear message that the continued extraction of fossil fuels is no longer morally acceptable.”

Two thirds of fossil fuel reserves need to stay in the ground to prevent the catastrophic effects of climate change, yet companies such as Shell and BP planning to extract all of their reserves and explore new ones.

synod action-11A crowd of 50 Christians gathered for the prayer rally carrying candles in green glass jars and banners calling on the Church to divest. Earlier in the day, members of Operation Noah, SPEAK and CCA delivered a Valentine’s Day card to the Church of England and Methodist Church containing messages from Christians asking the Churches to show their love for Creation by breaking up with the fossil fuel industry.

Hundreds of events are now planned worldwide for Global Divestment Day in 48 countries spanning six continents. In the UK rallies and protests are planned in major cities including London, Bristol, Oxford, Nottingham, Swansea and Edinburgh.

Last week Operation Noah published a paper with contributions from a number of Christian theologians and scientists including Revd Prof. Michael Northcott, Professor of Ethics in the School of Divinity from University of Edinburgh and Bill McKibben, Founder and Senior Advisor of 350.org, reflecting that it is unethical to invest in fossil fuels.

Rev. Rupert Martin of Sandal Magna parish, said, ‘We need to be leaders in our response to the threat of climate change and the impacts it will have on the poorest and most vulnerable across the world.

“The Church must stop investing in fossil fuel companies immediately as part of its ethical investments policy.”

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For more information please contact 07905959159.

More photographs are available by emailing: christianclimateaction@gmail.com

Notes to editors

[1] The banner was dropped after the Synod held a debate on the issue of ‘inter-generational equity.’  The banner read:

synod action-1‘We are young Christians. For us and our children, climate change is the biggest threat we face. Please pray and act for all those afflicted by climate change now and in the future.

‘As a church community, we cannot continue to invest in fossil fuel companies. So we ask you, on our behalf, to divest now.’

[2] Public Health England (PHE). (2014) PHE-CRCE-010: Estimating Local Mortality Burdens associated with Particulate Air Pollution. http://www.thehealthwell.info/node/756717[1] Website here.

Operation Noah’s paper on the ethics of divestment can be found here.

Currently the Church of England holds over £60 million in fossil fuel investments and the Methodist Church has £58 million invested in major fossil fuel companies (figures from 2012).  In 2014, six Methodist Circuits and Districts (regional areas) brought Memorials (resolutions) to national Methodist conference, four of which called for divestment. In November 2014 the Diocese of Oxford passed a resolution calling on the Church of England to divest; this will be debated at General Synod later this year. The investment advisory bodies for both the Church of England and the Methodist Church are currently reviewing their investments in fossil fuels and are due to report back in 2015.

Over the last 18 months, the Church of Sweden, the World Council of Churches, Quakers in Britain, Uniting Church in Australia, Presbyterian Church in New Zealand, United Church of Christ (US), Brighthelm URC Church in the UK, 5 Dioceses in the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia and 3 Anglican Dioceses in Australia have divested from fossil fuels! The Anglican Church in Australia passed a motion in July 2014 recommending divestment to all its member Churches.

The Church of Sweden holds similar size investments to the Church of England and has made its $691 million in assets fossil-free

The total number of local and national Churches that have divested is now at 49

So far 181 institutions and local governments and 656 individuals representing over $50 billion in assets have pledged to divest from fossil fuels. In the UK this includes the British Medical Association, Oxford City Council, the University of Glasgow and Quakers in Britain. Recent commitments include the US Rockefeller Brothers Fund -an $860 million fund – and Second AP Fund, a national pension fund in Sweden that has just divested $161 million from coal, oil and gas companies.

Since January 2014 the number of commitments has doubled. The number of philanthropic organisations divesting has risen to 71, representing more than $4.2 billion in divested investments. 85% pledgers have made a commitment to invest in clean technology solutions over the next 5 years.

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Happy Valentine’s Day Churches!

On Wednesday 11th February, 2015, Green Christian members took part in three Operation Noah and Christian Climate Action actions to encourage the UK Churches to disinvest from fossil fuels.  We also joined the Global Day of Divestment on the Saturday.

  1. We gave a Valentine’s Day card to the Churches!

valentines card 2We told the churches why we thought they should disinvest from fossil fuels! Three days before Global Divestment Day, which is also Valentines Day, Operation Noah and Christian Climate Action delivered a Valentine’s Day card to the Chvalentines card 3urch of England and to the Methodist Church investment decision-making bodies, asking them to ‘Show the Love’ for our planet and its people by disinvesting from fossil fuels. We wanted to share people’s messages about why they believe the Church should disinvest from fossil fuels in 2015.valentines card 1


 

  1. Christian Climate Action did a banner-drop in General Synod!

banner 1On the same day, Christian Climate Action, which includes many members of Green Christian, dropped a banner at the end of the Synod’s debate on intergenerational equity.  The General Synod is the sort of parliament of the Church of England.

banner 2The banner said: ‘We are young Christians. For us and our children, climate change is the biggest threat we face. Please pray and act for all those afflicted by climate change now and in the future. As a church community, we cannot continue to invest in fossil fuel companies. So we ask you, on our behalf, to divest now. ‘May God defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy.’ (Is. 24:2-5)

They then sang a rousing chorus of Amazing Grace and even got a round of applause!


 

3. Prayer Rally calling on the Church of England to Divest

vigil 4As the General Synod members were leaving Church House, Christian Climate Action held a prayer vigil to call upon the Church of England to divest from fossil fuels.

vigil 1The vigil used green jam jars and including a short service of prayer and reflection.

 

 


 

4. And on February 14th, Global Divestment Day, GC members were amongst the hundreds of climate change activists that descended on London’s City Hall, to put pressure on Boris Johnson and the Greater London authority to divest from polluting fossil fuels.

Sunniva-Taylor-Huck“I want to live in a city that is doing everything it can to build a more just future, led by the needs and aspirations of its citizens,” explained Sunniva Taylor, a campaigner with Bright Now, the church divestment campaign. “Instead I live in a city where fossil fuel companies have a huge amount of power. As well as the London Pension Fund Authority having millions of pounds invested in fossil fuel companies, Westminster politics is heavily influenced by their lobbying. Their logos are all over our art institutions and London-based churches and universities continue to profit from their fossil fuel investments.”

 

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Climate Change Lent Lunches at Bentham – act local

low bentham 009-countryside-1-may

The Bentham countryside is used mostly for sheep and cattle grazing – A walk on 1 May.

Set near  the western most tip of  Yorkshire on the borders with Lancashire and Cumbria, the parish of Bentham includes the market town of High Bentham, and 1.5 miles away the smaller village of Low Bentham

Caring for God’s Creation: Responding to Climate Change:” is the title of the Lent Lunch series organised by Bentham Churches Together

These lunches are an opportunity for all people in Bentham and in the churches to meet, have a good lunch and learn more about, and how to deal with, this vital topic.

Climate change is a process that is beginning to affect everyone as we get more frequent storms. It will affect our children and grandchildren as the rate of change increases with build up of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases on top of the current levels.

The first session is entitled “celebrating creation” and will include a five minutes slot on wildflowers and habitats in and near Bentham – some to be shown shortly in this post- that people in Bentham can celebrate and  be proud of.  This will be given in a five minutes slot by Judith Allinson who has carried out botanical survey work in this area

The Methodist Church in High Bentham is hosting the meetings, with a Jacob’s Join lunch (local expression for Bring and Share) on the first and last Wednesday and Bread and Cheese lunches provided by the different churches for the four middle sessions.  The dates are: 18 Feb- – 25 March, starting at 12.30pm. The talks/ discussions/ reflections themselves will be quite short (?25 min?) allowing people to go back to work or away in the afternoon.

The six sessions will follow the themes in the Ash Wednesday Declaration, a statement launched two years ago by Operation Noah (the Christian Climate Awareness Charity) and signed by many church leaders. The Declaration challenges the church to realise that care for God’s creation – and concern about climate change – is foundational to the Christian gospel and central to the church’s mission.

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Bentham Beagles (runners) at The Great Stone of Fourstones. Bentham can be proud it has some peaty moorland soil in its parish. Such soil can store 5 times as much carbon as grassland soils – and much more if the peat is very deep. But if the peat dries out it decomposes and carbon dioxide is formed

18th:      1. Find joy in creation       –  CofE
25th       2. Listen and   3.Repent   –  RCs
4th         4. Take Responsibility      –  Methodists & Students from Capernwray
11th        5.   Seek Justice                  –  Anglicans
18th       6.   Love our neighbours   – Quakers
25th.      7.  Act with Hope               –  Timothy Fox & others

 

The series is organised by retired Anglican Priest, Revd Timothy Fox: – shown here displaying an Operation Noah poster – appropriately on a very rainy day.climate-change-rev-timothy-fox-300-landscape

Other people will be making contributions including Andy Ive,  an environmental engineer, whose church at Ingleton has just achieved their second Eco-Congregation award 

 

 

Bentham has many environmentally aware people including the Bentham Environmentally Sustainable Town project. (BEST).

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Dr Rowan Williams speaks on Climate Change in Bristol

rowan200x278Two reports from the Global Aware Conference at Bristol on 24 Jan

1. By Deborah Tomkins

On Saturday 24th January 2015 around 200 people attended Global Aware’s annual day conference in Bristol, where Dr Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, spoke on Climate Change: A Matter of Faith. (See video on YoutubeThis annual conference is supported by all the major Christian aid agencies (such as Tearfund, Christian Aid and CAFOD), as well as by many others.

Dr Williams’ talk was very well received. Our faith should help us consider who we think we are in terms of God’s Creation. God’s vision of Creation is good, and we live in and out of that affirmation. God loves the world because it’s there – He asks this of us. We don’t own and don’t control the world; we are joyful guests in a world which has been lent to us so that all may be nourished. However late in the day, however big the problem, we should not ask ‘Can I make all the difference?‘, but ‘What difference can I make?’ We act because it is right, and it is about justice, restoring right relationship not only with all Creation and all humanity but with our descendants yet to be born.

Later in the day we heard from representatives from many agencies, including distressing stories from Uganda and Bangladesh, and also Operation Noah, Grandparents for a Safe Earth, local MP Stephen Williams, and local food-growing initiatives. Lunch was provided by FareShare SouthWest (which rescues edible food that would otherwise go to landfill).
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The day opened and closed with worship, and personal pledges were made.

 

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2. by James Goodship

“Global awareness is living in a World we don’t own”

Dr Rowan Williams, Global Aware Conference Bristol 2015

On Saturday 24th January, 200 Christians with a concern for creation gathered at Elim E5 church in the heart of Bristol for the annual Global Aware Conference. This year was blessed by the attendance of former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams and, in his new role as the Chairman of Christian Aid, he gave an enthralling key note address. Recognised by the Organisers of Bristol 2015 this was the first large scale event of the EU Green Capital year for the city.

Master of Ceremony, Major Ian Mountford of The Salvation Army and Chair of Bristol Churches together drew attention to the importance of the event with the well-known stewardship verses of Psalm 24 and worship to ‘I Lift my eyes up’ and ‘Be Thou my vision’ opened hearts to the important messages to be shared by the various speakers.

Dr Williams’ key note address was greatly anticipated and he poured out some valuable insight from his own experience whilst visiting Anglican Dioceses in Africa. An example he gave was of a small village which had been able to produce gas for cooking and heating from cow dung. Referring to Creation he pointed out that we have made ourselves not good to God’s sight and that part of this, as well as war and greed, is making the world not good as it was in Genesis 1:31. He went on further to say that we should not trivialise and deceive with the message of climate change, “We’re all doomed”, and communicated this through the metaphor of a closed fist; not closing our fist in defence against the world but opening our palms to receive from God, in fact, to pray.

He continued by unpicking the phrase Global Awareness from scripture. Awareness is the delighted awareness we should have for the earth not because it is our job as stewards but simply because it is there; If God has seen it to be good, so then should we. Global Awareness is therefore simply living in a world we don’t own. Referring to Leviticus 25v14 where land itself cannot be possessed but rather that it is for a number of harvests which may be acquired to sustain a family. This was used to show that we should step back from ownership and control and align ourselves with a right relationship with God. Can we make a difference? Faith comes in living our way into right relation and that is not all about success but whether it is right (just) and, after all, we can always change TODAY.

Linking to the work of Christian Aid, Dr Williams referred to environmental Justice saying “all human destinies are bound together; we either serve one another or kill each other” and, through a passionate connection with the community of faith, not only other Christians, we can change the assumptions of the context in which we live to provide a robust reason for the Church to model different behaviour before the world.

The conference continued with some passionate presentations from Christian Aid, Tearfund and smaller local organisations hoping for community change thorough this important year for Bristol. A wonderful lunch was provided by FareShare South West from food that, whilst of quality for sale, would have been sent to landfill due to the unsustainable way in which the food industry handles its supply chain. Needless to say the food was excellent and I was pleased to do my bit to reduce the environmental impact!

 

Groups represented as well as Christian Aid, Tearfund and CAFOD at the Global Aware Conference;

  • Pray & fast for Climate on 1st day of each month
  • Church Solar panels
  • Fairtrade
  • Jubilee Food Hubs
  • Greenlight Campaign (Challenging your pension provider to divest in fossil fuels)
  • Operation Noah (Church divestment)
  • Grand Parents for a Safe Earth (Phil Kingston)
  • Green Christian (Providing resources and canvasing interest for a Bristol group)
  • Close the Door (petition shops to close their doors)
  • Live Simply (Catholic alternative to ecocongregation)
  • Shared Interest (Crowd funding)

The conference closed with attendees making a pledge to change something or reduce their environmental impact in 2015 before gathering on stage for a photo. I stand earnestly behind by pledge to start a successful Local Group of Green Christian so please get in touch if you live near Bristol and would like to be involved. email bristol@greenchristian.org.uk

James Goodship

See video of Rowan Williams’ talk

Picture @FestivalofIdeas

Picture @JGoodship

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The Bible and Biodiversity

The organisation “The Jubilee Centre” produces papers on various social and economic topics from a Christian point of view. On the evening of 21 January it launched the paper “The Bible and Biodiversity” given by David Bookless (of A Rocha), held at  24 Greencoat Place, London, SW1P 1RD. This is the UK headquarters for Initiatives of Change.

Judith Allinson, (Green Christian’s Web Editor) went down to London for the occasion, and recalls the evening:

 

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“It was well worth going to, – both to hear Dave Bookless highlight some parts of the paper (which you can read here and I had read on the train down) and to hear the response of two people in important conservation organisations:  David Nussbaum -CEO of WWF-UK (The World Wide Fund for Nature) and Simon Stuart of  IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature – made up of wildlife and research bodies from a wide variety of countries )

At the foot of this post I give you links to videos of the three talks which the Jubilee Centre has  put online

It was also good meeting people in the audience. I was glad that from the start I made a big effort to meet as many people as possible, (I do recommend this to you, whatever meetings you attend. As I had “spent enough carbon units” travelling down I wanted to make good use of my time.)  – I managed to chat to about half the people- a few old friends, plus several members of Green Christian who I had not met before. Plus people from a wide variety of  conservation and other organisations. (I list some at the end)

Here are just a few of the points I noted during the talks. You can watch the full talks that the Jubilee Centre have now put online, at the bottom of the page.

bb-09David Bookless gave highlights from his paper “The Bible and Biodiversity”  You can read the paper here

 

bb-vsmall-06

David Nussbaum. David N picked up on several points in David B’s talk. e.g  he loved “The image of God” as a “job description” – it is in Genesis that we read that God created Man in his image – but what is God’s image? –  the image of God relates to our relationship with other creatures.
He also said that more could be made of the story of Noah. If God had just wanted to save humans, he could have asked Noah to build a big rowing boat for a few people – but instead he told Noah to build an ark.

 

 

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Simon Stuart of IUCN.
He pointed out that of the 11 species of animal mentioned in the end of Job,  7 or them were now extinct in that part of the world.

 

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Brain Cuthbertson told us of the plan to carry out professional / detailed wildlife surveys of all the graveyards in London – they are still seeking some funding.

 

 

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An attentive audience

 

Wysocs (West Yorkshire School of Christian Studies)

RSPB (Tropical Forest Conservation Manager,)

EIN (Environmental Issues Network)

EcoCongregation/A Rocha

A Rocha – Chiltern Gateway Project

The Faraday Institute

A gentleman from St Michaels and All Angels, Claverdon.

Two ladies who worked for MPs,

 

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I was pleased to meet the A Rocha Director of Conservation

You can see I am holding the latest version of the GC “Saving Wildlife Leaflet” (aka biodiversity lealflet) , which I was able to give to several people. You can download a copy here and print it – we are keen to hear how it can be improved and made more useful to people, to ordinary “people in the pew”  before printing a bulk run of the leaflet.

 

I recommend reading some of the other publications of the Jubilee Centre.  There is a lot worth reading on banking and sustainability, economics, peace

 

Watch the talks online:-

…  Dave Bookless

…  Daid Nussboaum (WWF)

…  Simon Stuart  (IUCN) 

 

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Arundel and Brighton Ecumenical Walking Pilgrimages

RoseMarie Richardson from Stonehouse enthusiastically recommends the Annual Walking Pilgrimage organised by the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton Ecumenical Walking Pilgrimage http://thepilgrims.org.uk/wp/.  This has been going annually for 30 years and is organised by volunteers from the diocese so costs are kept down.  Each year has its own theme.

She writes “The idea behind the movement is to experience pilgrimage a bit as it used to be – tramping one of the old pilgrim routes, walking across country in whatever weather (it’s all right, it’s always in August), stopping off at shrines, or churches on the route, chatting, telling stories, singing, or just struggling on.  Your luggage is taken on each day by van; packed lunch is provided and a cooked meal in the evenings.  We sleep on the floors of church halls or village halls mostly.  The organisers try to have the route cross with a ‘bus route about lunchtime, so that anyone who is too weary can catch a ‘bus.  You need to be able to walk about 15 – 20 miles a day, but there are 2 rest days with a chance to look around and to find a launderette.”

RoseMarie walked from London to Birmingham in 2011 visiting places associated with John Henry Newman.  The website is very informative, with details of all the pilgrimages since 1975, and more!

 

The current website says:

Our Pilgrimages in 2015

In 2015 we are celebrating 40 years of our walking pilgrimages and 50 years of our parent Diocese of Arundel & Brighton with 2 separate pilgrimages:

 

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