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CEL home > News, archives and links >October 2008
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6 Nov. 6pm for 7pm GC Annual Members Meeting Bristol
 7 Nov 2015 GC ‘Joy in Enough’ day conf Bristol
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Environmental activity in the different denominations - summer 2008

The page give some examples of activities. It is based on reports sent in by EIN members in summer 2008, to the EIN meeting Environment Issues Network of 12 June 2008, both before and after the meeting, as a means for members of EIN to share with each other what is going on.

See EIN report notes for Autumn 2008

1. Campaigns 2. Events 3. Publications 4. Other News
Operation Noah CHASE A Rocha CTBI


Christian Aid Diocese of Clifton Eco-Congregation Eco-Congregation
Catholic Bishops Conference Church of Scotland Louisa Poole (Catholic Bishops) CEL
Faiths United- Scottish Climate Change bill Operation Noah Adrian Shaw (Church of Scotland)  
A Rocha - Living Lightly ECEN CTBI  
Tearfund Kenyon Wright Church in Wales  
Methodist URC URC  
  A Rocha Ruth Conway  


1 Campaigns


Operation Noah (presented by Mark Dowd):
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  • Lambeth Conference: ON is helping the Anglican Communion organise a special plenary session on the climate issue on July 25th. As part of the session, Director of the Science Museum , Chris Rapley, will address the international gathering with an overview of the latest thinking on the scientific trends.
  • Lambeth Conference: On July 30th, ON will also stage their own fringe event for the Conference which will include a showing of the Channel 4 documentary, God Is Green.
  • It was noted that the Anglican Communion Environment Network had been unable to meet before the Lambeth Conference.
  • Operation Noah have been asked to work with the Bradford Diocese on giving background information on the environment following on from an inter-faith rally in Bolton .
  • Advent Campaign: Fr Chris Jamison OSB of BBC2's "Monastery" series will give the inaugural "Operation Noah" lecture at St Alban the Martyr, London EC1 on Nov 11th at 7pm. This will presage an Advent campaign in which various Cathedrals and Churches (including Exeter , Birmingham and Bradford ) will be invited to "reclaim" Christmas by "Putting the Waiting Back into Wanting.", an anti-consumption drive, make your own presents and take the message of living simply into the shopping malls.  
    There will a day of repentance at the beginning of Advent followed by a day of creation.
  •  Website has a petition to divert 10% of MoD spending into renewable energy development. This is on the basis that energy resources are likely to be the basis for future conflicts.
  • Website also has a no-flight pledge.
  • The Prayer and Fasting event from the Edmonton Diocese has received local coverage in the media.
  • Discussion with TenTenTheatre for sketches for schools etc.

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  • We continue to work on the Climate Change Bill and will have a new email action for supporters to send to MPs, targeting MPs based on whether or not they have already signed up to EDM 736. To be added to our CC Bill email list, please contact Lucy Hurn ( )
  • We are in the process of developing an international Climate Change campaign, focussing on an equitable global deal by Copenhagen, December 2009. We are working with our European sister agencies (CIDSE) and the Caritas Internationalis network.
  • We have been working on the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO), calling for it to be halted until we have a clearer understanding of the impacts both direct and indirect of biofuels on both social and environmental issues. 

Christian Aid
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  • Letter writing campaign to MPs about the Climate Change Bill

Catholic Bishops' Conference
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  • In April a religious lobby of Parliament was held (in conjunction with CAFOD) where delegates lobbied their local MPs on the Climate Change Bill. 200 attended and over 50 MPs were lobbied.

Church of Scotland (Adrian Shaw)
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  • Faiths United running a campaign for the Scottish Climate Change Bill has attracted 21,000 responses. Meeting John Swinney, Finance and Sustainable Growth Minister of Scottish Government in July.

A Rocha
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  • Ruth Valerio has been updating the materials on the Living Lightly 24-1 website ( ), and there are plans to relaunch this in late 2008. Over 750 people have currently signed up to this practical lifestyle commitment.

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  • At the moment the main focus of our climate change campaign is on the Climate Change Bill. This is currently in the Commons and we have been asking supporters to contact their MPs to push for a stronger Climate Change Bill. We also delivered over 10,000 campaign cards signed by supporters to Downing Street with the help of some cycling vicars.
  • We have also collected many letters and messages from supporters to urge the G8 to give more commitment on tackling climate change.
  • In the autumn we will focus on the UN climate negotiations (COP) in Poland , calling for a strong post-2012 deal to tackle climate change globally.

Christian Ecology Link (CEL)
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  • CEL has produced a comprehensive action guide for use in small groups called ecocell, with the aim of facilitating lifestyle changes in a supportive atmosphere, and relating this to our discipleship. It is available on CD-Rom. It provides a set of tools to frame and guide prophetic witness, around four key words: See, Grieve, Hope, Act.
  • CEL has been represented at the demonstrations against the proposed third runway at Heathrow (T5 flashmob, where we used a Common Worship litany in the middle of the demo; and at the latest May 31 march to Sipson, where Archbishop Rowan Williams sent a message of support).

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  • Stem the Tide campaign. This focuses on the effect of climate change on Pacific Islands aiming to make people take action both individually and as churches. See

2. Events

CHASE (Peter Padley)
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  • Meeting in Cardiff on the population question "Shrinking the Footprints" November 28 th .

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  • Conference in Milton Keynes on 22 November 2008 11am - 4.30pm on Transport with Prof Michael Northcott and Prof Steven Potter (Open University Professor of Transport Strategy). Venue: Church of Christ the Cornerstone, 300 Saxon Gate West Milton Keynes MK9 2ES
  • Gathering at Ringsfield Hall, Beccles, Suffolk in 13-15 Feb 2009, and in Scarborough in Feb 2010

Catholic Diocese of Clifton
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•  "Sound of Many Waters" year long campaign on the environment which included a dawn chorus event in the Bishop' garden broadcast on Radio Bristol.

Church of Scotland
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•  Edinburgh churches climate change conference on 11 th October.

Operation Noah
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•  Presence at Greenbelt

•  Screening of "God is Green"

•  Ann Pettifor interviewing Hugh Montgomery author of "The Genie in the Bottle", a book to make children and families aware of global warming without being scary, at a workshop entitled "What do we tell the kids about climate change?"

•  Mark Dowd is giving the keynote address at the Independent Schools Religious Studies Association conference in November.


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•  The seventh ECEN Assembly will take place in Milan from 24-28 September 2008. The title of the Assembly will be The True Challenge of Climate Change. Note that individuals can go without representing anyone.


Kenyon Wright
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•  In Stratford on 31 st May there was an Eco-Fair organised by Lim Ho. There were about 30 stalls and various seminars. Local shops took part.

•  New Hall, Cambridge on 25 th June. "The Root Causes of Environmental Unsustainability" conference with a number of notable speakers.

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  • CAFOD is working with Christian Aid and Tearfund on an event for MPs -
    Christian Perspectives on Climate Change Bill, to be held in Parliament
    in late June.

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  • General Assembly, Edinburgh , in July will have theme of migration and climate change, with a fringe meeting with someone from Kiribati who has experienced the effects of climate change.
  • September with Christian Aid to have a "Green Apostles" day to improve networking.


A Rocha
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  • Hope for Planet Earth (Feb-March 2008) This tour, jointly organised by A Rocha, Christians in Science, John Ray Initiative, Share Jesus International, Tearfund visited secondary schools in 20 cities and towns, with a presentation on Climate Change from a Christian angle. Over 5,000 school pupils took part and 3,000+ adults attended the evening sessions. The general view of the 14-16 y.o.s was that politicians are too slow and parents too lazy to deal with the problems. There are plans for a 2009 tour, hopefully covering Scotland and Wales as well as parts of England not covered in 2008..
  • Spring Harvest - A Rocha led seminars at all 6 weeks on Climate Change and Christian faith. These were well-attended, largely by people not previously actively involved in the issues
  • Baptist Union A Rocha helped the English Baptist Union and BMS World Mission with an environment theme at the Blackpool Assembly in May 2008. Dave Bookless will be the keynote speaker at the Scottish Baptist Assembly in November 2008.
  • A Rocha's 25 th Anniversary is being celebrated on 19 th July at the Chiltern Gateway Project in Lewknor (M40 J6). Speakers will include Peter & Miranda Harris (Founders of A Rocha), Marie Connett-Porceddu (International CEO) and Sir Ghillean Prance (International Chair). All are welcome, but please book via r.
  • Greenbelt - DB running a workshop and the chairman of A Rocha India, Rev Prem Mitra, speaking about the work among Dalits and the work of A Rocha India.
  • Education Events - Dave Bookless has spoken in recent months for the Association of Christian Teachers, the Stapleford Centre and EurECA (the European Educators Christian Association). Each has the realisation that children need to be educated to connect with the place they live in and care for the world you live in.

There seems to be a rising interest amongst Christian educationalists about making education far more sustainable in its philosophy & practice. A Rocha has also been asked to prepare materials for Education Sunday 2009 which will be on the theme of sustainability.

•  New Wine - A Rocha (Dave Bookless) will be giving two seminars at New Wine London & South East in late July 2008 Mark Dowd

  • Ofcom is about to deal with the complaints over the "Great Climate Change Swindle" broadcast on Channel 4.

Louisa Poole
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  • Need for support in the A-level Ethics module on climate change. It was suggested that a list of suitable web-sites would help.

3. Publications

A Rocha
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•  Following a number of request from schools, AR is producing a CD-ROM resource for GCSE Religious Education projects.

•  Recent publications have been well received and are selling well

•  Dave Bookless "Planetwise" IVP

•  Margot and Martin Hodson "Cherishing the Earth" Monarch

•  Peter Harris (A Rocha founder) "Kingfisher's Fire" Monarch

•  The A Rocha resource pack that goes with Planetwise

•  Small group resources seem to be needed and a number of people are writing these.

•  Recommended read "Hot Topic - what we can do about global warming", by Gabrielle Walker and Sir David King - Bloomsbury

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•  In May the new Eco-congregation England & Wales website was launched, enabled by funding from Christian Aid. It is much easier to update, and has a much better feel to it.

•  Across the nations, Scotland , E&W, Ireland, there has been recognition that the modules which form the core part of the programme desperately need updating. A budget of about £15k is needed. Jo Rathbone has managed to gain £1,000 towards this, after a trawl round of grant giving bodies. Eco-congregation Scotland is working with Christian Aid Scotland to rewrite Module 12 - Global Neighbours. SEPA (Scottish Environmental Protection Agency) is committed to enabling a further module (13) on footprinting. Both of these will be available across the nations. Other funding is being sought, and the hope is that organisations may work in partnership through offering their skills for rewriting the resources.


Louisa Poole
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  • Operation Noah study guide "Between the Flood and the Rainbow" distributed to JPs in parishes
    Mark Dowd commented that Operation Noah study guides could be used for Lent.
  • Irish Bishops are producing a pastoral letter which will be distributed in two forms - one more simplified.


Adrian Shaw (Church of Scotland)
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Mary Gandy (CTBI)
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  • Time for Creation - Two sets of sermon outlines have been produced by Dave Bookless on the Lord's Prayer and the lectionary readings.
  • Time for Creation - a large number of resources in 15 categories. Not sure how this can be publicised. The resources will be web based. Jo Rathbone has aided in this.

Robin Morrison (Church in Wales)
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•  Church in Wales "Green Guide for Parishes". Launched in September. It has a check list for PCCs, prayer etc.

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•  CAFOD has just produced a group study Call of Creation 'tool kit' exploring ecological issues in a faith context and linking into CAFOD's work on climate change and livesimply, for use by catechists, group leaders, religious and volunteers.
It includes:
1. Tips for use
2. Booklet of the original text of 'The Call of Creation'
3. Liturgy leaflet
4. Six photo cards with material for discussion/workshops on the reverse

It will be adding to the toolkit online through the year, with a
PowerPoint and extra liturgical resources going up soon, at

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•  "Reform" magazine was guest edited by David Pickering in June. Copies were offered to all who contacted Dave Coaker.


Ruth Conway
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Other News

Mary Gandy -CTBI
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  • Green Church Awards - David Shreeve and the Editor of the Church Times have met and agreed that the CT will run a green issues column from the summer through to Jan/Feb 2009. Then there will a decision on running the 2009 Green Church Awards.
  • There are diocesan awards in Wales (Robin Morrison)

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•  Doing an environmental audit of URC Church House

•  Doing an energy base line exercise in the Mersey Synod aiming to be an Eco-Synod.

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•  100 th Eco-congregation Award in England & Wales given in May 08

•  13 churches have received 2 nd Awards

•  2 are applying for their 3 rd Award

•  20 churches are in process of being assessed

  • In April 2007- March 08 there were 37 registrations and 29 Awards given.
  •   Methodist Relief and Development Agency has once again provided a major grant (£30k over 3 years) to enable Eco-congregation E&W to continue at the same sort of level that is has been running at for the last 4 years. Further funding is being sought from denominational bodies, although the CofE says there is no funding available. The issue has been forwarded to the appropriate people in the Methodist Church . This is in response to the denominational bodies in Scotland starting to provide funding for Eco-congregation Scotland .


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  • Operation Noah has finally been floated off from CEL, although CEL remains actively involved, and deeply committed to its success.


See EIN report notes for Autumn 2008

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