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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

August 2021

On the theme of managing eco-anxiety in this month's Eco Tips, Operation Noah's June newsletter promoted a webinar held on 12th July, 'Is there time for self-care in a climate emergency?' (posted on our District's Facebook page); a similar event is planned for October - it should be possible to give more notice of that one

Meanwhile you may wish to watch the YouTube recording of A Rocha UK's webinar, 'Climate and pastoral care: processing grief for the planet'

If you prefer to read, The New Climate War is Michael Mann's book describing different tactics like, 'Getting climate advocates fighting with each other so that we don’t present a unified voice, [...] deflecting attention away from the needed systemic solutions or policy solutions' (quote from Rolling Stone magazine interview)

Aimed at younger readers, Planet Protectors is, 'A fun, fact-filled book for 7- to 9-year-olds that offers 52 empowering ways to look after God’s world'

Joel Pett's cartoons about climate change summits may prompt a wry smile or two

18th-26th September is Great Big Green Week, run by The Climate Coalition: 'Thousands of events will celebrate how communities are taking action to tackle climate change and [...] together we will call on politicians to raise their ambition and champion action on climate change'

July 2021

Congratulations to St Andrew's Leicester Forest East LEP - on 11th June they gained their Bronze Eco Church Award

Kudos to Chesterfield Central Methodist Church for hosting the town's Plastic Free Festival - at the time of writing, it's the only UK event listed on the website run by the global Plastic Free July campaign

The June 2021 edition of Property Matters included a link to an article, 'Five top tips to create a successful grant application' by Methodist Insurance

Thanks to Thriftify, you can now combine the ease of online shopping with the ethics of buying from a charity; perhaps better still, both environmentally and socially, share things by starting or joining a Buy Nothing group or project

Further to the pilgrimage info posted under June 2021 (recently updated), the Young Christian Climate Network have their own route, Relay to COP26, also passing through our District - Aylesbury to Banbury, 13th-18th August

June 2021

Recordings from our District's Eco Church event on 12th April have now been added to YouTube; see also the first item under May 2021 below for links to further info

Our District Spring Synod in April took place on Zoom - and it's planned to do so again next Spring, specifically to reduce the environmental impact associated with travel

On 30th April the Methodist Church's Central Finance Board announced it had 'fully divested from fossil fuel companies, after selling its remaining shares in Shell and Equinor'

World Environment Day is 5th June, with this year's theme being 'GenerationRestoration' hosted by Pakistan

Churches Count on Nature, 5th-13th June, is intended to be a 'springboard for churches to start recording the wildlife within their churchyards' - and could engage the local community and wildlife groups

Methodist Conference, 24th June to 1st July, will consider Council's draft response to Memorial M6, and if agreed this will align us with the Church of England and Church of Scotland in setting a 2030 'net zero' date for carbon emissions

Looking ahead, one route of the Camino to COP 'pilgrimage for climate justice' (September-October) is currently planned to pass through our District - Milton Keynes to Grandborough, 11th-15th September - before COP26 gathers in November (updated 14th June; note - route may change again...)

May 2021

It was very pleasing to have around 60 people join our District's Eco Church event on 12th April; here are the firstsecond and third installments of follow-up resources (all updated June 2021), the Eco Church survey for Hillmorton Paddox Church in Rugby (note that this used a previous version of the survey: (i) a few question numbers & responses have since changed; (ii) 'need to find out' is no longer accepted as a final response), and a guide to registering an LEP with Eco Church

Going Beyond Bronze is the subtitle of a future Eco Church event, 10am-1pm on Saturday 8th May, organised in Kent but online; other A Rocha events are available here

Driffield Methodist Church in Yorkshire have 'prioritised a sequence of refurbishments to [provide] a more welcoming, sustainable and safe communal space' - as cited in the April 2021 issue of Property Matters

That publication also mentioned an event called, 'Climate Change Emergency: Resources for a Green Church' on Saturday 12th June, 9.30am-3pm, organised by Joint Public Issues Team Yorkshire

Tear up your tennis court (to provide a size guide) and plant 600 trees was the message in a recent Big Issue article on the Tiny Forests concept of Earthwatch, an 'environmental charity with science at its heart'; they also run the citizen science project called FreshWater Watch

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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