Local Groups

Andover
Bristol     contact: bristol@greenchristian.org.uk
Cheltenham     contact: cheltenham@greenchristian.org.uk
Clifton
Clun    contact: clun@greenchristian.org.uk
Fleet, Hampshire    contact: fleet@greenchristian.org.uk
Hereford    contact: hereford@greenchristian.org.uk
Leighton Buzzard (see their ecumenical environmental course for Leighton Linslade Churches Together.)    contact: leightonbuzzard@greenchristian.org.uk
Lincoln    contact: lincoln@greenchristian.org.uk
Milton Keynes     contact:miltonkeynes@greenchristian.org.uk
Norfolk     contact:norfolk@greenchristian.org.uk
Reading    contact: reading@greenchristian.org.uk
St Ives, Cambridgeshire    contact: stives@greenchristian.org.uk
Shrewsbury – EGG (Ecumenical Green Group)    contact: shrewsbury@greenchristian.org.uk
W&N Yorkshire    contact: webeditor@greenchristian.org.uk
Wychling    contact: wychling@greenchristian.org.uk
Mock-up of web page for Greentown and it’s events


Activities of local groups with a presence on this website can be found here
To contact anny one of these  email Isobel.murdoch@greenchristian.org.uk

Any sympathetic non GC groups can apply for corporate, affiliate or local group membership of GC.

Contact GC’s Local groups officer ( Isobel Murdoch Tel: 01790 763603 ) and/or webeditor@greenchristian.org.uk for further information.

Local Groups, Local Churches and Corporate members are all entitled to five copies of Green Christian. Please email to request 5 copies if you would like them.


Local Groups

Think global, act local.
As we seek to follow Jesus – against the tide – we need a different world view. Could a local group sow these seeds in your community?

How do you picture a Green Christian local group?

Every group differs in some way, whether in size, purpose or setting. Whether informal – gathering occasionally to talk and pool ideas and news – or more structured, with regular events, groups embody our mission in their communities and allow the ‘storm of hope’ a wider voice.

Would you consider starting a group – as an experiment, with no commitment, just to see what might happen? Your group would be another ‘living stone’ in the new future we are all trying to build:
‘As you come to him, the living Stone … you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house’ … (1 Peter 2.4-5).

Or do you attend, run or know of an environmental group in your denomination which is not a member of Green Christian. Maybe your group would like to link in with us: we would be glad to hear from you.

Starting a group might be seen as planting a seed. Just as in agroforestry, crops and trees grow together for mutual benefit, so local groups and Green Christian complement one another. In agroforestry trees feed and bind the soil and thus the crops – perhaps as Green Christian might support a group. And agroforestry is know to produce higher combined yields – just as Green Christian is strengthened by a local presence in more communities.

Scattered nationwide there are twelve Green Christian groups: Andover, Cheltenham, Clifton, Clun, Hereford, Leighton Buzzard, Milton Keynes, Norfolk, Ottery St Mary, Reading, St Ives and Shrewsbury Some are ecumenical, some are centred on one church.
You might ask ‘What do groups do?’ You could…

  • Use our ecocell programme
  • Hold a church service on a green theme, as St Ives do regularly. Andover held one where each person contributed a song or hymn, reading or prayer.
  • Try Forest Church, a ‘fresh expression’ of church in the natural world. The Norwich Diocese Environment Group have held a Forest Church session in the beautiful setting of Blickling Woods.
  • Hold a Green Christian stall at a local event – perhaps a fete or fair (as the Reading group has done), carnival (as in Leighton Buzzard) or other event.
  • Organise a letter-writing session, as some groups do. You could send our latest members’ campaign letter or see what campaigns other charities have. Or you could decide on a local theme.
  • Arrange an outing – maybe to an organic or sustainable farm, a nature reserve, a farmers’ market, a recycling plant, or an environmental event or march. You could also do some conservation work or tree planting, or hold a litter pick.
  • Organise a LOAF meal or coffee morning. You could try a bring and share meal, as several groups have done, or a picnic.
  • Follow a green theme with your prayer or Bible group. Leighton Buzzard and, most recently, Shrewsbury, have produced and followed reflections.
  • Hold a green day or other event. The Clun group holds an annual Green Weekend each June, with themes like trees or the interdependency of species. Ottery St Mary have a biannual exhibition with talks and activities.
  • Produce a newsletter. This could cover group activities, or just news and ideas – mention a new book or film, or publicise non-Green Christian local initiatives.
  • Take part in an initiative like the Rubbish diet (www.therubbishdiet.org), like the Shrewsbury
  • Arrange talks, as Cheltenham and Hereford do in particular – on themes from different perspectives on climate change to ethical investment and form farming to the RSPB. Or you could screen a film or hold a discussion.
  • See how your church or churchyard could be more eco-friendly. Several groups have earned Ecocongregation , Eco church and Live Simply awards. And the Clifton group manage their churchyard for wildlife, with particular emphasis on wild flower species.
  • Hold children’s activities, like Clifton’s bulb-planting, bird box making and willow wreath weaving.

 

…  But you could also just gather to share ideas and support as like-minded ‘green Christians’. You are free to form a group of any kind – there are no limits or specific demands, no one formula for a local group.

Examples from two Local Groups:

Cheltenham: Ten GC meetings with outside speakers have taken place in Cheltenham over the past five years. Starting off, GC told me which members lived locally; I asked them to come for a chat and prayer, and meetings were open to all. Most have been held in St Gregory’s church hall: the Parish makes no charge. Publicity is mainly via email: I now regularly circulate to 135 people. The main expenses are speakers and A5 leaflets: offerings more or less cover costs. We provide tea and coffee before meetings, and end with evening prayer. GC literature is displayed on a table.  

Martin Davis.

 
Shrewsbury Ecumenical Green Group consists of twelve churches across the town. We work to encourage our congregations to live as sustainably as possible and support each other by holding joint events and sharing expertise. We have established ourselves as a group in the wider community and meet with organisations such as Transition Town Shrewsbury and, Friends of the Earth. This enables environmental groups to have a higher profile and exert greater influence. It has also enabled the church to make a link with secular organisations and individuals who would otherwise see the church as of little relevance.

Howard Hutchings.

 

If you are considering starting a group, ring our Local Groups Contact. She can arrange for you to be sent some free leaflets and magazines, which you could distribute or display.

Ask members of your congregation whether they would like to start a group. You could mention the idea to your minister and write a piece for your church bulletin or newsletter. You could also contact other local churches – some groups work through Churches Together.

Several groups work in with other, secular local groups – Transition, CPRE, Friends of the Earth or your county wildlife trust. You could hold some joint events – and some of their members may be Christians who might join.

Green Christian can supply posters and leaflets: and as a local group you would be sent five copies of each issue of Green Christian magazine. We can also help you find speakers, and advertise any event you arrange on our website.

To find out more contact our Local Groups Contact, Isobel Murdoch, on 01790 763603 or write to her at Hopp House, Back Lane, Old Bolingbroke, Spilsby, Lincolnshire PE23 4EU.

Could you plant a seed of hope in your community?


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