David Peel, Moderator of the General
Assembly of the United Reformed Church (2005-6)
We are increasingly aware of our need to care for our planet. The church cannot act like it is immune to the challenge of climate change and we must work with our partners to effect political and economic change. I have been inspired by the initiatives I have seen in our churches - there are already so many exciting stories to be told and some excellent resources to be shared. I welcome this joint initiative with the United Reformed Church and hope that many will be encouraged to get involved."
Tom Stuckey, President of the Methodist Conference (2005-6)
Global Climate Change is one of the most significant issues facing the world today as it impacts on all our lives, especially those who are the poorest, in the developing world. Our Christian discipleship includes caring concern for the planet, and I have been impressed and challenged by the initiatives of individual and groups of churches who are actively seeking to address environmental issues both locally and nationally. I welcome the collaborative work of Baptists with our colleagues in the United Reformed Church and Methodist Church through the Joint Public Issues Team. I trust that their work will encourage us all to greater involvement.
John Weaver, President of the Baptist Union of Great Britain
Development of the idea for Environmental Network
In 2004 the United Reformed Church General Assembly approved an Environmental Policy and then discussed how to make this commitment meaningful and active in the local churches. Some churches had taken up the ideas for environmental action suggested in the Roots and Branches pack produced by the Church and Society Committee in 1998 or the Eco-Congregation programme. It was agreed that it would be useful to have a network of those in the churches trying to encourage better environmental practice.
When it was apparent that the Methodist Church was also looking at a similar idea, it was agreed that working together would make a more effective network. Representatives of the two churches put together a proposal and agreed that communication would be based on an e-mail newsletter, which would initially focus on three elements:
Climate change - and the development of Operation Noah
Sharing stories of action by churches - relating to Eco-Congregation
Events information - using such contacts as the Church and Society hotline, Christian Ecology Link and relating to the Environmental Issues Network of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.
The priority for the environmental network is to connect with church people who are active on environmental matters, through work or general interest and encourage people to join the Network and use it, to make the care of God's creation a central part of local church life and witness.
Then in January 2009 the Baptist Union of Great Britain asked to become involved, and the Joint Public Issues Team were delighted to accept.
We want to know what you think....
Please give us your feedback. Contact the Network Coordinator with your thoughts or comments.