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Where are you?

  • If you're in the Northampton Methodist District and would like to join a group of like-minded 'Green Links' (a network across the District of likeminded people who care about the environment), please either contact me, or one of our District Green Champions:
    • Lydia Barratt, employed on the Young Leaders Scheme - lydia.barratt@northamptonmethodistdistrict.org.uk
    • James Appleby, formerly on the YLS, now a volunteer - james.appleby@northamptonmethodistdistrict.org.uk
  • If you're elsewhere, why not see if there's something similar going on near you - and if not, maybe set something up

May 2021

More news to follow shortly...

April 2021

At the time of writing, I'm pleased to say we have over 30 bookings for our District's Eco Church event on 12th April

The Church of England are currently running a series of webinars on getting to net zero carbon and are happy for them to be shared far and wide - Methodists welcome!

Last month the Bishop of Norwich gained a further role as Bishop for the Environment

Last year the Bishop of Reading produced four short films about the environment and how we understand our relationship to the created world

Jess French was recommended in a recent Big Issue magazine as an author of children's books on conservation

Finally, I've recently added a few more items to my Random website links page on the topic of grants

March 2021

On 12th April there's a District Eco Church event to celebrate what we're doing and to look ahead with hope; it's on Zoom (online or telephone)

The Fairtrade Foundation have an online festival for Fairtrade Fortnight with presentations, discussions, music, art and entertainment 'from all corners of our passionate and talented global Fairtrade community,' plus 'fun, interactive workshops on sustainable living here in the UK'

Oxford Net Zero have a playlist on YouTube for a current series of presentations on a range of issues around climate change and achieving - and exceeding - net zero carbon emissions

Ethical Consumer have recently published an interview with climate activist and Advocacy and Campaigns Coordinator for Tearfund in Scotland who has a large social media following under the name Less Waste Laura

Positive News' bulletin for Week 6 of 2021 has several short environment-related items covering energy, health, gardens, jobs, food and housing

February 2021

Warwickshire Low Carbon Network launched very recently: it aims to connect low carbon groups across the county by sharing ideas, and stimulating and supporting new activity; although primarily rural in focus, they exclude no one*

CEFAW, standing for the Christian Ethics of Farmed Animal Welfare, have produced a 7min video that encourages us to ask whether meat and other animal products we buy come from animals that have been allowed to flourish

Green Christian have created a 7 session course called Radical Presence: a short programme of conversations listening for God’s word in this time 'between worlds' - between the 'old normal' and the future

Secular background material related to the above course includes The Flip: episode 1 from April 2020 (there's also a 2min highlights version) is co-chaired by Caroline Lucas; episode 2 speakers include Michael Sheen who says, "The more that you're able to give of what you have towards the things that you want to see different, the more you feel you have" - do you agree..?

Among several Evangelism and Growth webinars on the Methodist Church website is a discussion - Green Evangelism: what does climate justice have to do with sharing our faith? - 7-8:30pm on Thursday 25th March

January 2021

Lydia, one of our District Green Champions, has produced her first Good News– Green Stories newsletter, sharing environmental actions taken by churches located within our District; please email her with items for a future edition (see above)

Meanwhile, Yorkshire North and East Methodist District had a desktop audit of their 220 churches led by Professor Simon Pringle (a member in Harrogate) of consultancy Project Rome; it involved assessing bills, usage, capacity, mission potential, building type, quinquennial, funding potential, etc; they're now preparing bids for the Rural Community Energy Fund

On a smaller scale, in the Sankey Valley Methodist Circuit to the East of Liverpool, Prescot and Whiston Methodist Church have transformed an outdated, deteriorating, and unattractive community centre into an inviting, energy-efficient building for community use and worship

From 19th November to 1st December 2020 young climate activists filled the void of the postponed COP26 climate change conference with their online Mock COP

Then on 12th December the Climate Ambition Summit 2020 gathered; any thoughts..?

If you’re wondering what to do, Cambridge Carbon Footprint have six areas for action

December 2020

Snip the straps of end-of-life face coverings - that's one of several tips from the RSPCA to protect wildlife from litter

A consensus review of new film 'I am Greta' is, "Audiences might not learn anything new, but its stirring chronicle of the young activist's efforts is inspiring"

Somewhat older (85), the Dalai Lama also asks us all to make a change in his book published mid-November, 'Our only home: a climate appeal'

Perhaps more solution-focused is 'The Joyful Environmentalist' that I look forward to borrowing from my Mum soon; other books are available...

Operation Noah's monthly newsletter highlighted Methodist Council's vote on 12th October to divest significantly from fossil fuels

With 'lessons from lockdown' and 'stories of change' the Rapid Transition Alliance website is worth following

Thanks to those who've donated ink cartridges to our All We Can appeal; these are valued at up to £1.75, but unfortunately Canon CLI-521(BK) ones are not considered to have value by recycling schemes, so I'll leave the apparently new ones at church in case someone wishes to retrieve them*

If anyone would like to calculate their church's carbon footprint, one way is to use 360carbon - I've created a Group for the District and am happy to add our Organisations (churches) because it might make it easier to monitor progress; please feel free to contact me

November 2020

In the past week I've connected a friend from Community Energy Warwickshire with Transition Town Rugby: CEW are looking for energy-related eco-ideas on which to spend Feed-in Tariff income they receive from existing projects*

Summerbridge Methodist Church in Nidderdale, North Yorkshire, gained an Eco Church Gold Award, and published their Eco Church survey response - https://www.summerbridgechurch.org/caring-for-our-world

In neighbouring West Yorkshire, Baildon Methodist Church have opened an 'eco-building' they call The Fold, in faith that they'll receive further funding - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8c1cnx-Axo

As reported widely in the media, in October it was announced that Sir David Attenborough joins the Earthshot Prize Council, an initiative of Prince William to find solutions to environmental issues - https://earthshotprize.org/ Any ideas?

October 2020

Key themes in the recent Citizen's Climate Assembly report will hopefully resonate with you: Education and Information; Fairness; Freedom and Choice; Co-Benefits; Nature - https://www.climateassembly.uk/report/read/executive-summary.html

Some years ago, we agreed to 'twin' the toilets at Paddox by donating towards better sanitation around the world - and many of us have twinned ours at home, too. Given the increased need for handwashing, their current campaign is tap twinning - https://www.toilettwinning.org/tap-twinning/ - and I've just twinned mine.

Toilet twinning was started in 2008 by Cord; since 2015 it's been run by Tearfund who last month launched a new initiative - https://www.bintwinning.org/ - to fund community projects that prevent disease, protect the environment and create jobs. Following my Mum's lead, I've just twinned under this scheme, too.

The Transition Town Rugby Climate Cafe on 19th September brought together faces old and new to inform each other about current activities and discuss what we'd like to see. In summary, we lack a critical mass - various organisations do their bit but maybe lack coordination and the publicity that can be gained from operating under one banner. Any ideas?*

In the last few days, the A Rocha Eco District website has changed to show Northampton District as registered (in bold): one of only three in the country

This year's Ethical Consumer conference is online, with 30+ sessions held over the week 24th-30th October - https://www.ethicalconsumerweek.com/programme - and tickets on a 'pay as you feel' or 'gift economy' system

September 2020

On 1st August the Young Christian Climate Network launched, an ecumenical action-focused community of Christians in the UK aged 18-30 - see YCCN on Facebook

The Hillmorton litter pick on 8th August was cancelled so I joined one along the residential part of Parkfield Road in Newbold instead*

As I write (22nd August), Green Agents of Change online 'catalyst' events are taking place for children and young people aged 8-11 and 12-17 - see https://www.methodist.org.uk/greenagentsofchange/

Look out for the 19th September Climate Cafe on Facebook, organised by Transition Town Rugby, to gather ideas and feed into our council's Climate Action Plan*

Preparing for a time when we can meet together, a Rugby group of Green Drinks ('active in 301 cities worldwide') is starting up as a way for like-minded people to meet socially; it's totally informal, with no agenda or affiliation - http://www.greendrinks.org/Warwickshire/Rugby*

Our Chair of District and I have electronically signed a certificate to confirm our registration towards becoming an Eco District. Perhaps by the time you read this '23 Northampton District' will be in bold on this page - https://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/denominational-awards/eco-district/ (update - see October 2020 above)

The July newsletter from Operation Noah has updates on the Methodist Church's divestment from fossil fuels, along with links to campaigns by RSPB, Possible, and Biofuelwatch - https://operationnoah.org/category/news-events/newsletters/

* - if you're not in/near Rugby, maybe see if there are similar things going on where you are...


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