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Shrinking the Footprint Conference - 30th June 2010 at Lambeth Palace

CEL member Clare Hyde writes notes on her main impressions

The conference was exactly what David Shreeve ( Conservation Foundation and environmental advisor to the Church of England) said it would be- a ' magazine' of speakers, each of whom told us of the work of their organisation and how that might link with the environmental work done by the Church of England.

Like any magazine, read in one sitting ,there were some dull 'articles', some random 'articles' and some which I'd have liked to have been longer! And I would have enjoyed more interaction and the chance for dialogue.

Out of the 20 or so speakers during the day, representing for example, Natural England, Christian Ecology Link and the British Council, I have highlighted here the remarks/ facts/ quotations that I thought worth noting!

Dave Bookless- ARocha/Eco Congregation

-There are only 67 C of E Eco Congregations in the UK

-There are new guidelines for becoming an Eco Diocese (eg 50% churches have to have completed the check-up , and 10% have to be working towards the award) See website.


Peter Brotherton -Natural England

Quoting a US senator..

'The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment.'

Andrea Gilpin-Caring for God's Acre

Recommended their DVD 'Mow a meadow' on managing churchyards for conservation..


A spokeswoman for the Climate Justice Fund reflected that world development issues had sadly not been covered at the conference. Climate Change is affecting the world's poor NOW !


For me, the best speaker of the day (the last!), was Rabbi Natan Levy from the Chief Rabbi's office. He told the story of a friend whose synagogue in New Orleans was destroyed by the floods .. He went to his congregation and told them 'I have some bad news , and then I have some good news and then I have some bad news! '

The bad news is that our synagogue is ruined and it will cost millions of dollars to rebuild. The good news is that we have that money. The bad news is that it is in your pockets!!

He suggested that we could view the Earth's crisis in the same way eg. The earth's resources are in decline, there is pollution, reduced biodiversity extinction of species etc.

The good news is that there is a way to restore the Earth. The bad news is that we are the people to do it!


Quotation of the day...Teillard de Chardin (1881-1955)

'The age of the nations is past. The task before us now, if we would not perish, is to build the Earth'.



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