Climate Sunday - a hopeful focus on one of our greatest challenges

02 September 2021

Ahead of Climate Sunday this weekend, lots of churches across the Connexion have been holding services to focus on climate change and using these as a springboard to take action. Sue Wood from the Ark Methodist Church at Highwoods, Colchester, told us about what her community has done over the summer.

We held our service on 22nd August. We wanted it to be very visual, include members, especially younger people, and to be hopeful.

We had lots of Power Point pictures, a video from Zimbabwe, a story of avocados in Chile, and some beautiful modern hymns which were very appropriate. Probably our highlight was the talk given by a young man about his involvement with climate change issues. Tom is the son of a member and he now lives and works in London. His work is making videos, and those he has made recently on climate change have caused him to worry a lot about the problem.

So, Tom spoke briefly about the effects of climate change, how he has joined in a community garden, and other changes in his life. He spoke strongly to encourage us in actions we might take in several parts of our lives, particularly as consumers of goods and services. Tom’s talk brought the climate change closer to home for us, rather than another story of disaster from somewhere else in the world, and speaking as one who has been associated with the church since he was very young, the impact was stronger.

For future action, the leadership team will have climate justice as an agenda item at each meeting, and we have already resolved to re-visit the issue of installing solar panels; to write to our MP, Will Quince; to look into planting fruit bushes around the perimeter of the church property, and raised beds for a fruit and vegetable community garden.

At the end of our Climate Sunday service members were asked to give thought to this set of action points:

Closing action points: Climate Justice service 22 August 2021

  1. As a church we can commit to reduce our carbon emissions here.  Our leadership team are looking at this right now.  What better, greener use can we make of the land around our church?  Tell the team what you think.
  2. Listen to Christian Aid.  They have a number of resources to help churches engage and act on issues around climate justice and equip their congregations to be agents of change.
  3. Don’t forget the power of prayer.  Include the issues and concerns of today’s service in your daily thoughts and prayers. Climate Sunday | Service Resources | Worship | Commit | Speak Up
  4. Think about the journeys you make.  Can you walk rather than jump in the car?  Or use public transport?
  5. 360 degree carbon 360°carbon | Climate Stewards  is an easy to use online tool which allows you to work with others to calculate the carbon footprint of your church, charity or small business so they can make changes to reduce it.  Spread the word.
  6. Email or write to your MP to say how you feel and what you want him to do about it.  Your vote counts – so make it work for the environment. 
  7. Follow, listen, and pray for CoP26 – the international climate change meeting in Glasgow in November.  Is this our last chance to fix things?
  8. Attend Colchester’s Eco festival  Eco Festival Colchester - Festival in Colchester, Colchester - Visit Colchester
  9. Go to the all-day Green Christian event at St Stephens Church in New Town on Saturday 2nd On the Road Together in Colchester – Green Christian
  10. Join the national Climate Sunday event at 4 pm on Sunday 5 September 2021, to share church commitments and pray for bold action and courageous leadership at COP26. To register: Climate Sunday (ctbi.org.uk)
  11. Are you living in a clutter?  Recycle your unwanted goods by offering them for free on FaceBook market place if they are not suitable for donation to charity.
  12. Use your LOAF to help reduce your impact on the planet by choosing carefully what you buy to eat: L-O-A-F.  Locally produced.  Organically grown.  Animal friendly.  Fairly traded.
  13. Check out Colchester Borough Council’s web site for what the council is doing and: What you can do  · Colchester Borough Council
  14. Check out the Methodist Church’s work and resources on climate change: Understand the issues (methodist.org.uk)

 Find more resources and news on climate and environmental issues here.