Caring for God’s World

World in our handsAs a church we have pledged to do all we can to reduce our “carbon footprint” and promote greater awareness of environmental issues.

We pledge to:

1. Introduce regular “Green Top Tips” in newsletters and communications.
2. Through a recent environmental audit reduce the impact our building has on the environment .
3. Use low energy lighting and reduce emissions from our heating system.
4. Use local suppliers for church events to reduce transport costs and emissions.
5. Reduce water consumption.
6. Re-cycle all waste where ever possible.
7. Work towards Eco Church recognition.

A Rocha Eco Award

Our church has gained the Silver Award for it’s environmental credentials. But for the fact that the church building has absolutely no insulation we could have gained the gold award as we made really good progress in all other aspects of the award scheme. We review our progress annually to make sure we maintain our efforts to have as little detrimental impact on the environment as possible.

IPCC Report   November 2018

The United Nations International Panel on Climate Change has recently given a stark warning that world wide efforts to reduce carbon emissions are not on track to prevent global warming passing 1.5 degrees by 2035. We are already seeing ever greater changes in the worlds’ climate, more frequent extreme weather events and continuing melting of polar ice caps. Even our own Government’s Climate Change Committee has reported that towards the end of this century low lying coastal communities are at severe risk of flooding from rising sea levels.

They go on to state that it is no longer up to governments to take action, we as individuals must do more. Less meat (its production so often relies on soya bean feed grown in Amazonian rain forests  which are so important in capturing carbon), fly less (jet plane emissions at high altitudes are frighteningly damaging to the atmosphere) travel less (and make our next car an electric one to reduce the emissions from petrol and diesel) and rely on renewable energy so carbon fuels can be left in the ground. Politicians are constantly seek greater economic growth, greater wealth for already wealthy nations and votes. WE ALL NEED TO LIVE MORE SIMPLY IN ORDER THAT OTHERS MAY SIMPLY LIVE.

As Christians we are but guardians of a beautiful but fragile world God has given us. We are not being good caretakers.

December 2018

The U.N. Climate Conference in Poland have reached agreement on how to implement the 2015 Paris Climate Accord. A system of how to report the progress each country is making in reducing their carbon emissions has been reached though there are those who still say it is too little too late to prevent continuing rises in global temperatures.

January 2019

What will your New Year Resolution be for the environment?…..   Eat less meat, use less heat, travel less, and buy less stuff?
 
 
February 2019 

“Is there any point in going to school if the world is going to die?”

Greta Thunberg is a 16 year old Swedish student who greatly cares about climate change and lack of global response. She began to strike for the climate each Friday by protesting outside Sweden’s parliament buildings. At first she received little attention but her persistence paid off. Now other students are joining in the Friday school climate strikes. Last week  22,000 in Switzerland,30,000 in cities across Germany, 12,500 in Brussels and Greta has just spoken at the World Economic Forum in Davos.   From little acorns great Oaks grow !!

According to the Guardian Newspaper on 15th March

  • Over 24 hours of climate action, organisers of the climate strike believe more than 1 million students skipped school on Friday or protest government inaction on climate change.
  • From Australia and New Zealand, to Asia, Europe, Africa, North America and South America, students from all over the world took to the streets to demand change.
  • Organisers said there were more than 2,000 protests in 125 countries.

Skipping school, right or wrong?   What do you think!

April 2019

Accelerating Crisis, Accelerating Solutions (from A Rocha UK Eco Church website)

“February was the hottest since records began in the UK; ice-cream vans came out at the seaside. The UN released terrifying research on the global decline of biodiversity and its implications for future food supply.  Also in February, there were wildfires on the usually wet and chilly Yorkshire moors. In March, a whale washed up in the Philippines, was found to have died of hunger from eating the dozens of plastic sacks still in its stomach. In Southern Africa monster cyclone, Idai, combined with deforestation to produce whole-scale death and destruction by flooding. Back in the UK, new research suggested that the government figure of 40,000 premature deaths a year from air pollution is a considerable underestimate.”

We really are facing a climate crisis yet our Government, locked into arguments over BRIXIT  seem to be giving little thought about longer term issues which need more action NOW. How are we as Christians needing to respond? It is not human nature to be proactive but if we wait until we have to be reactive to global warming it will be too late.

May 2019

The U.K. Government has announced there is a Climate Emergency, and across the country, including in Shropshire, Town and County Councils are declaring the same. It will be interesting to see if these words are followed by real and meaningful action.

June 2019

Good news that the Government have decided we need a zero carbon target by 2050.  Many say this is not soon enough but it is a start. 50 M.P’s have now supported the notion that land based wind, which is by far the cheapest form of renewable energy should be encouraged. A zero carbon target will be difficult but not impossible to achieve and will mean phasing out gas heating and cooking.

Local Tetra Pack recycling points have been removed by Shropshire Council so as a church we have decided to act as a collection point for our congregation, with a member who regularly goes to Craven Arms taking them to the recycling centre. The alternative was either adding them to our black bins for incineration or lots of car trips – all additional pollution. (Church members have responded well to the Tetra Pack collection idea and the box in having to be emptied regularly.)

August 2019

At a recent meeting Church Stretton Town Council declared a “Climate Emergency” and a small task force have been given the task of putting together a plan to help the Council reduce their carbon footprint.

September 2019

One of the areas for discussion at the September District Synod is the A Rocha Eco Church project. Our church, who are one of only a few Methodist Churches in the District to have become involved in the project  has been asked to make a presentation on our journey to achieving the Silver award. Let’s hope other churches will take up the challenge….. after all there is a “climate emergency.”