The Climate Sunday experience in Reading

In the run-up to COP26, many local churches are considering the ways they can promote a more eco-friendly way of life. As Christians, we’re called to care for God’s creation, and Climate Sunday is a great way of demonstrating that. Two Reading churches share their ideas and experience below.

What is Climate Sunday?

Climate Sunday encourages churches to hold their own climate-focused service, exploring the theological and scientific basis of creation care. Their website has resources to suit all church traditions to best engage the congregation.

St John and St Stephen’s

St John and St Stephen’s, Reading, hosted their second Climate Sunday on 7 March.

Their first service focused on the wonder of creation and was very well received. They explored the idea of thankfulness, and the congregation were then invited to sign up to help with the church garden, integrating with schools or to join a parish prayer walk.

This time, they are asking people to share why they are concerned about climate change. They will also be discussing the ways in which the church is already engaging with climate issues, including food and energy suppliers, and will be considering further action, such as writing to their local MP.

St Nicolas Church

St Nicolas Church, Reading, found their Climate Sunday service sparked a lot of valuable discussion in the post-service Zoom chat.

Revd April Beckerleg’s sermon focused on the carbon cost of food and how to consider personal responsibilities more throughout Lent. Three members of the church’s Justice, Peace and Environment group cooked meals and asked the congregation to guess which has the highest carbon footprint.

Revd April said;

“What is particularly exciting is that this is not simply one or two lone voices – these issues are integral to the identity and faith of many of our church family. Whilst we know that this is a complex area, and that we may not always get things right, we also know this is too important, too compelling, too urgent for us not to do all we can as individuals and as a Church.’

St Nic’s are following up their Climate Sunday with an online Lent lunch, as part of the Make COP26 Count programme. They have also just achieved their bronze Eco Church award, which they hope will encourage wider work towards net zero emissions for the church as a whole.

Where do I start?

If you’re interested in getting more involved with climate action, whether as an individual, church or school, our EcoHub has all the information you need. Explore our top picks of resources and get in touch for personalised help with your church’s journey.