CAP - Christians Against Poverty. There is always hope
Christians Against Poverty (CAP) provides free debt help and local community groups across the UK. Our free services, run with local churches, provide practical and emotional support and show people that there is always hope.
CAP is a family made up of staff, volunteers and supporters. We can only give hope and change thousands of people's lives when everyone plays their part. We need you to join in today so we can open more debt help centres to turn debt and despair into hope and new life for thousands more people. Struggling with debt or unemployment? Need some help breaking free from habits or learning new life skills? Every CAP service is run through a local church, equipped and empowered to transform lives in their communities. Discover how your church can join us. Let's stay in touch! Let us know the best way of keeping you updated with inspiring stories of lives transformed and ways you can get involved in the fight against UK poverty. New enquiries helpline: 0800 328 0006 Supporter enquiries: 01274 760 761 or email@example.com Any other enquiries: 01274 760 720 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Young Christian Climate Network
The Young Christian Climate Network has recently launched their ‘Rise to the Moment’ challenge – a relay of walkers from Devon (G7 Summit) in June to the Glasgow COP Conference in November. They describe themselves as:We are an action-focused community of young Christians in the UK aged18-30, choosing to follow Jesus in the pursuit of climate justice. The climate crisis is a reflection, and a cause, of deep injustice in the world. This crisis arises from our abuse of God’s creation, and our broken relationship with our neighbours worldwide who suffer most from its consequences. We are convinced of the Biblical mandate to care for creation, and lament its exploitation.We are organising this Relay to COP26 to show we care about climate justice and creation care. We want to see systematic change on a global and a local scale. We hope that by running this relay, we can raise awareness of COP26 and our imperative as Christians to engage in creation care theology, individually and corporately.” Along with them will be a boat with mast and sail: “We are using a boat as a symbol of our relay. In the wake of the COVID - 19 pandemic, there has been recognition that “We’re in the same storm, but not in the same boat”. As young people under 30, we are mindful that we are on the course of another storm too; over half of all emissions have been released in our lifetimes, and global average temperatures are set to rise by several degrees over the decades ahead. The consequences of this storm will not be felt equally, but they will be felt acutely.This boat is a representation of our hope that we would Rise To The Moment and use this year to set sail towards a more just future.”We are calling upon the UK Government to: • Reinstate the foreign aid budget to pre-COVID levels.• Secure agreement from rich countries to double the commitment of $100bn a year for climate finance• Develop with other governments and international organisations a new regulated climate loss and damage mechanism which not only saves lives but livelihoods.• Push for the debts of the world’s poorest countries to be cancelled so they can better confront the climate crisis and other urgent priorities
CTKS have offered their support in organising things locally and are hoping that as many as feel able will join the walkers each day. Watch this space.....
Eco Church Team Article for KBC Newsletter
Eco Church Workshops
As part of our role as regional BUEN representatives (Baptist Union Environmental Network) for Web net, (our local Baptist Association), Kevin and I recently organised two on-line workshops for Churches considering signing up to the Arocha’s Eco Church scheme. With the help of the Web net admin team we recruited 23 attendees over the 2 sessions representing 9 churches and the Association itself. (We were grateful to Pat Bell for supporting the first of the sessions.) As a whole the Baptist Union has been slower to respond to the environmental and ecological crisis than other denominations. Since the launch of the Eco Church scheme in 2016 over 2000 churches have registered nationally with under 200 of these being Baptist Churches. Within Webnet itself only about 15 Baptist Churches have so far registered. It should be said though that 2,000 is still only 5% of all the churches so there’s still a long way to go. We therefore wanted to promote the Eco Church programme, provide a ‘nuts and bolts’ introduction to the scheme and an opportunity for people to ask questions, and to hopefully go away both inspired and equipped. We were encouraged that everyone who booked on turned up and some churches sent a number of members who were hoping to form an eco team within their church. Everyone who attended went away with ideas about the way forward.We have also been encouraged that Webnet itself is considering becoming an Eco Association. The dilemma is though that there isn’t a specific programme for Associations so Webnet and Arocha are meeting in May to discuss setting up a pilot project that other Baptist Associations may be able to emulate. Please pray for this. With the rising expectations around the Climate Conference in Glasgow in November this seems the right time to push forward as a Church, as an Association and as a Denomination.
A WAY FORWARD -PLEASE READ ALL THE WAY THROUGH !!!!!
Introduction: We acknowledge that the climate and environmental crisis is an emergency. We recognise that individual and community actions are necessary in responding to Pope Francis’ call for an Ecological Conversion and we encourage all the faithful in the Archdiocese of Birmingham to examine their own consciences in the light of this document and take urgent steps to Live more Simply, Sustainably and in Solidarity. We also recognise that in order to achieve reductions in emissions which will achieve the target of limiting warming to no more than 1.5C, positive actions by Governments, both National and local are required. We commit therefore, as leaders of the Archdiocese of Birmingham, to take whatever steps are deemed necessary to directly engage with such Authorities and to encourage individuals and communities within the Archdiocese to engage with their own local and national representatives. From the Bishops’ Statement ‘ Guardians of Creation’:(Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales (cbcew.org.uk)) Educating towards a Christian Spiritual of Ecology “We are called to be instruments of God our Father, so that our planet might be what he desired when he created it and correspond with his plan for peace, beauty and fullness.” (Laudato Si,53). Our Christian responsibility for the planet begins with appreciation of the goodness of all of God’s creation: “God saw everything that he had made, and behold it was very good” (Gen 1:31) “Our Sister, Mother Earth, now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her.” Expert study points to a devastating losses in biodiversity, with up to a million species facing extinction, and an estimated 1.0°C of global warming since pre industrial levels. This warming is already manifesting itself in changes to the intensity and frequency of climate and weather extremes, impacting on natural and human systems. The worst impacts are felt by developing countries and by populations that are already disadvantaged or vulnerable. Pope Francis states that our relationship with the planet has become confrontational, (L.Si 106) based on the illusion of unlimited growth on a planet with finite resources. This risks leaving a degraded environment for future generations. In the past, a lack of understanding could be claimed, but harm done going forward is done with full knowledge of the impact our activities. Younger generations are not blind to this fact. We must both consider the kind of world we want to leave to children who are now growing up Discerning the threats to our common home and find responsible ways of doing so. Scientists talk of ‘tipping points’ in ecosystems and in global warming which, once reached, could plunge us into a much-changed environment from which it will be difficult, if not impossible, to find our way out. If we are to avoid such scenarios, a concerted effort and widespread change to our current lifestyles will be necessary. These include approximately halving our carbon emissions, globally, by 2030 at the latest. This is not a primarily scientific concern. Pope St John Paul II explained that “the seriousness of the ecological issue lays bare the depth of man’s moral crisis.” Pope Francis reminds us that everything is interconnected, that we are faced with a complex crisis that is both environmental and social, and that “genuine care for our own lives and our relationships with nature is inseparable from fraternity, justice and faithfulness to others.” The challenge before us is to learn to care, in the same breath, not only for the beauty of God’s creation, its bounteous biodiversity and life sustaining ecosystems, but also for the unborn, the elderly, those who are victims of exploitation, and others thrown away by a society focused on the satisfaction of our supposed needs as consumers. A Catholic Response It is possible to change course. Scientific research gives us an insight into what our future earth may look like. But all projections depend on the actions that we take today. We must take action urgently. Central to this challenge will be the development of a Christian spirituality of ecology, and a call to a new lifestyle, beginning in personal and family life. The crisis we face is a summons to a profound interior conversion, whereby the effects of our relationship with Jesus Christ become evident in our relationship with the world around us. As disciples, we are invited to be part of the redeeming mission of Christ, and to approach our task with joy and gratitude. We look to avoid the worst consequences of this ecological cri sis by engaging now and over the next decade on this ‘long path to renewal.’ As Bishops, we will review the ‘Call of Creation’ to reflect on our present situation and to promote good practice for diocese, parishes, schools, families and individuals. We need a more considered relationship with our God, our neighbour and the earth through the way we manage our resources as a Church. We, the Bishops of England and Wales commit ourselves and invite our people to engage in this urgent challenge, so that together we show leadership by our action Let us pray for wisdom and courage for the path ahead. Statement of Principles.1. This policy sets out the following overarching principles which apply to the whole community and from which the detailed policy actions follow. 2. All of Diocesan life and work is to be guided by this policy as part of our mission to care for God’s gift of Creation. 3. We will raise awareness of and become fully educated in the issues concerning the damage being done to God's creation, particularly damage that results in injustice, violence and the life-threatening effects of climate change. 4. We will judge all decisions against the exhortation in Laudato Si to “hear the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.” This includes all economic decisions, actions taken as a consumer and investments. 5.We will support and work with all relevant church agencies, including ecumenical bodies, for the positive environmental change to which we all aspire. 6. We must all live and practice our faith mindful of the requirement in Catholic Social Teaching to live sustainably. 7.We have appointed a person as our Environmental Lead, to lead our programme and encourage him or her to bring relevant environmental issues and concerns forward to the PCC on a regular basis. 8. We will include our concern for sustainability in our worship and teaching, especially observing Climate Sunday, the Season of Creation and similar significant dates and Feast. 9. We will undertake an environmental and energy audit of church and school premises and property, identify the most significant issues and impacts which should be addressed and make and implement plans and programmes to tackle them, recognising that some additional costs may be incurred to minimise environmental impacts. 10. We will work with others in our local community to identify environmental issues which should be addressed in our area and help develop actions to tackle together.
All religions respect the world around them and offer guidance on environmental issues. Christians believe that the Earth belongs to God and that humans are stewards in charge of its care
WWF, 2013; NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, 2013; NASA, 2013Damage to the environment could affect every person and every living organism in some way. The following are among the most common and most damaging causes.
This is the introduction of harmful substances into the environment. The most common pollutants are:
Different animals thrive in different environments, and each has its own natural habitat. When sudden, major changes affect a natural habitat, some species cannot adapt or move and die out. Humans have caused changes in some areas, eg flooding valleys through building dams. These changes have caused the extinction of animals and flora.
In the last 50 years, human beings have destroyed 50 per cent of all forest and woodland. Their reasons include the need for timber, constructions and fuel, or more space to grow crops. Most species, including humans, need the oxygen from trees to survive and the increase in carbon dioxide resulting from deforestation has contributed to the greenhouse effect.
Natural resources are substances that are found on or inside our environment. Non-renewable resources such as coal or oil were formed over millions of years and are limited in supply. They also create pollution when burned. Some natural resources produce no pollution and are renewable, eg wind and solar power. These are often more expensive to harness, and are less reliable.
Average temperatures have increased by nearly one degree Celsius in the last 100 years, and the polar ice caps are melting. According to a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2015) there is a 95 percent probability that human activity has caused an increase in Earth’s temperature. It cites human-produced greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, as major contributors to the observed increase in our planet’s temperature over the past 50 years.A minority claim that climate change is simply a result of a natural cycle. Whatever the cause, the effects include rising sea levels and more severe weather patterns.
In the last 70 years, awareness about the damage human beings may cause to the environment has prompted new legislation, eg insulation in new houses and the use of renewable energy such as solar panelling. Other changes include the introduction of cycle to work and car sharing schemes.
📷Brazil's President Rousseff speaking at UN Conference on Sustainable Development
Most Christians believe that God gave human beings a special responsibility within creation to cultivate it, guard it and use it wisely. This is called stewardship. Man has to work within creation and to look after it:
God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
Humans are given everything for their needs, implying that they can use whatever they want from creation for their survival:
Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. Genesis 9:3
However, as the Earth belongs to God, humans must respect it and hand it back to God unspoiled:
The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it .Psalm 24:1
These passages from the Bible show the dominant message is that God is the one who provides for humans and humans should show they are thankful by taking care of what God has given them.The Christian Declaration on Nature drawn up at Assisi in 1986 makes the following points very clearly:
For many Christians, the guiding principles are to respect God's handiwork of creation, not to exploit any aspect of creation and to be aware of the needs of future generations. Many Christians apply these principles to the question of looking after the environment in a variety of ways. Lines of Implementation and Action. AIMS: TO REDUCE OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT BY 100% BY 2030.This is a more detailed plan for the Diocese.We believe that the best way forward to achieve these aims is to use the Live Simply programme. This programme, administered by CAFOD, assists Parishes, Schools, Communities to Live more Simply, Sustainably and in Solidarity. Participants will make their own plans, one large aim and two ‘smaller’ aims under each of these three headings. This means that they will be able to set their own targets from where they are. Many parishes and schools are already engaged in many activities which can be part of the scheme that to participate is not as daunting as it may sound.We aim to become a Live Simply Diocese by 2025. This means that 50% of Parishes have achieved Live Simply Award. See Appendix A Live Simply AwardA useful tool is this Carbon Footprint Calculator: https://www.carbonfootprint.com/Diocese: We will review our investments and take steps to disinvest from fossil fuel companies, and any company or organization involved in harmful practices, e.g deforestation, especially rainforests.We will seek to invest in ecologically friendly companies, ‘green’ and renewable industries.Energy: As the church’s energy use is arguably its greatest environmental issue, we will seek to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of the electricity and gas used in church premises by asking all parishes and schools and all other institutions to carry out an energy audit. We need to know our energy use. This audit will need to be completed and submitted to the Commission before the end of the financial year, March 2022, and thereafter annually.See Appendix B Energy Audit.-The Archdiocese has switched to a renewable energy supplier.-We encourage parishes and individuals to Switch to “green” energy suppliers (renewably generated electricity and biogas) -install solar panels- Use thermostats for temperature control - Fitting LED light bulbs - Improve insulation wherever practicable - Turn off lights, appliances and computers when not in use. Do NOT leave on standby.- Replace old, inefficient boilers where practicable and investigate renewable heating alternatives Transport: Transport is a huge contributor towards carbon emissions. We will aim to hold all meetings online, whenever possible, to minimise travel. We will encourage Diocesan staff, clergy and lay members, and all congregations to use forms of transport which have minimum or reduced environmental impact.We all must limit our use of cars.We should choose to walk, cycle, and use public transport, instead of the car.If we have to travel by car, can we offer or accept lifts? The use of electric/ hydrogen vehicles is preferable to petrol/diesel vehicles.We will investigate the usefulness of installing battery charging points on all Church and School car parking areas, powered by solar panels.Spending/Consuming: Each person is responsible for how we spend our money, what we buy, and we must consider how these are produced, transported and packaged.We will seek ways to reduce material consumption and the impact of our activities on the environment.Food: use the Loaf principle- buy local, organic, animal-friendly and Fairtrade.- buy locally produced food where possible - minimise the amount of red meat and dairy products served (raising cattle and sheep contributes to global warming because these animals produce huge amounts of methane. Large tracts of land in the rain forests of the Amazon are being cut down to provide land for cattle grazing and/or land to grow soya in order to produce feed for animals.- try for one or two meat free days in addition to Friday abstinence,- if buying meat, can you check the source of that meat and make sure that no laws are contravened in it’s production.- ask “is it necessary to buy the fruit or vegetables produced in countries far away” Buy fruit and vegetables in season. -only prepare enough food for the meal-only buy what you need. Avoid the temptation to fill your cupboards ‘in case’, only to throw out unused food later.-buy organically produced food. Organic means food that is produced without using the harmful pesticides which have killed off large parts of the insect world, leading to decline and extinction of insects and birds.-avoid food wrapped in single use plastic. If possible, use local greengrocers at the market, farmers markets etc- choose Fairtrade Clothing: Do I buy clothes unnecessarily?Ask do I really need this item?-Check where it is from and, if possible, how is it produced? Many fast fashion items are produced in ‘sweat-shops’ by ‘slave labour’. Modern day slavery is happening in many parts of the world, including here in the U.K. Be aware, and report suspicions. The Medaille Trust has more information.-Do I hoard clothes? Do I donate clothes, in good condition, to Charities supporting refugees and asylum seekers, homeless?- try resolving not to buy new clothes for one year
Electronics:-Am I aware of how much electricity I am using?- when I am offered a ‘free’ upgrade, do I find out who actually pays for this?- Do I regularly purchase the latest model of phone, tablet, lap-top? -Do I re-cycle old items?-Am I aware of what minerals are used in production of smart screens, phones etc and where these are from? - Mining for rare minerals is frequently carried out illegally and indigenous peoples are often threatened and even killed.-do I spend too much time playing games or looking and reading ‘social media’?- Social Media can be used wisely and properly, but it can also lead to harmful practices. Am I aware of my own envy, spite, hurtful thoughts or even hurtful posts?- using email rather than sending hard copies
Plastic - We should all be aware of the damage and harm caused to our planet by plastic which has been discarded. Plastic which is thrown away literally kills animals.- In our parish functions, do we use china/pottery cups, saucers and plates which are washed up afterwards, or do we use throwaway plastic cups and plates? - Do we avoid single use plastic when buying any item, especially food? - Do we refuse items wrapped in plastic?- Do we use re-usable shopping bags?- Do we recycle plastic? If our local Council does not accept plastic for recycling why not? Do we ask for a change in policy?
Water. In many parts of the world clean safe water is just not available. We have seen in our own country how our infrastructure can be damaged and certainly, drought leading to reservoirs drying up can happen. We should use water wisely.-We will avoid using water unnecessarily, -We will install water meters where appropriate, -We will check for leakages and fit water minimising systems to taps and cisterns wherever practicable. -we will use rainwater to water gardens.--we will use low environmental impact cleaning materials. Upcycling-We will try to repair broken items, or pass them on to a local upcycling group, rather than throw away everything.- we will use recycled paper - we will repair shoes - we will try to find other uses for items which we no longer need
Recycling- We will recycle all items possible according to our local Council’s Recycling Policy.We encourage all individual members of our congregations to take actions in their personal lives to complement and supplement these actions of the church community.
This policy and programme will be reviewed every two years. We will monitor and receive updates from Salford Diocese as they implement the Laudato Si’ Project
.Next review date – May 2023Useful Resources Laudato Si’Fratelli Tutti,Guardians of Creation (Bishops Conference)Care for Creation. The following organisations promote awareness raising and action to help protect our common home. Details about each of these are on the Bishops’ Website: Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales (cbcew.org.uk)https://www.cbcew.org.uk/ /home/our-work/environment/environmentorganisations