Climate awareness day attracts top speakers to Reading Minster

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READING Christians are responding to international climate change talks with an awareness raising day at the Minster (St Mary the Virgin Church).

Met Office Principal Research Fellow, Professor John Mitchell and environmental theologian Dr Ruth Valerio are both speakers at the event on Saturday December 5. The day aims to demonstrate that Christians see caring for the planet as a spiritual imperative. The Revd Liz Ratcliffe, curate at Christ Church, Reading, is organising the Reading Climate Day. She said: “We want people to come along and add their voices to those who are pressing for robust action on climate change during the talks in Paris. We also want to look at what churches can do locally, helping environmental groups and to drive environmental policy in our town.”

The day starts at 10am with green Christmas stalls selling Fair Trade crafts and gifts and sustainably produced/ethically sourced foods. Throughout the day there will be an exhibition of photos, a video and a wealth of information in the church. Participants will be encouraged to join in campaigning by completing a sentence “tackle climate change for the love of…” on a Christmas decoration to hang on a Christmas tree outside the minster. They will be encouraged to take a photograph and post it on Facebook and Twitter.

At 4pm Professor John Mitchell, a world-renowned climate scientist, will give a talk. Professor Mitchell will be followed at 7pm by Ruth Valerio, the Churches and Theology Director of Christian environmental charity A Rocha and a high profile environmental theologian. Ruth will be preaching at a special Climate Mass. MPs and local councillors as well as environmental groups will be invited to the talks, which will also be open to the public.

Prayer Stations will be set up and will remain for Sanctuary, later in the evening, when the church becomes a chill-out zone for people enjoying a night out in the city centre.

 

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