As we move into Creationtide we look at the importance of caring for the world – locally and globally – which is already beginning to suffer the impacts of climate change.

TO stabilise temperatures at the levels required by the Paris goals, scientists are saying that we need to start taking action now – and plan for a world with net zero carbon emissions by mid-century.

We can all be part of reducing emissions through our actions as individuals and churches – and coming together can have even more impact. Several churches in one Oxford area, for example, have joined with local community groups and charities to form the Fair Play network, which is encouraging people to incorporate Climate Justice into their daily life.

But meeting the challenges we face requires businesses and Government also to play their part. That’s why the Oxford Martin Institute has issued principles for investors to ask companies what their net zero planning looks like – and the Climate Coalition is promoting a cross-party letter, already signed by 127 MPs, asking Government to set a net zero target before 2050. If you’d like to find out more about these, or participate in a workshop on how to build constructive climate relationships with your MP, get in touch via environment@oxford.anglican.org.

Could you become an Eco Church?

CHURCHES that want to become “good news for God’s earth” can find helpful resources in the Eco Church programme.

Eco Church offers a free online survey and tools to help your church express care for God’s world in worship and teaching; care for buildings and land; engagement with your local community and wider campaigns, and personal lifestyle actions. Taking simple steps can even lead to an award.

The Marlow Team decided to participate in the programme, and two of its churches recently received awards: bronze for All Saints, Marlow and silver for St John the Baptist, Little Marlow. Under the leadership of an Eco Church Team, the churches have undertaken a variety of activities, including installing LED lights and special sensors/timers to reduce energy usage, improving their recycling process, and reflecting on care for creation as part of Christian mission. Paul Taylor, of All Saints, who initiated the process, says “It’s very easy to start, doing the survey and find out what you’re already doing. Lots of churches will already be doing different aspects and it’s just a matter of working out where they fit together and drawing people in to help you as you go.”

New resources for Creationtide

Creationtide or the ‘Season of Creation’ (1 September to 4 October) is the period in the annual church calendar dedicated to God as creator and sustainer of all life.

To inspire you and help you explore and celebrate Creationtide the people behind the national Church’s environmental programme have created new liturgies and pulled together examples of services and prayers from across the Church of England. Download the 2018 action sheet.

Could your church switch to renewable energy? Read here how more than 100 churches in our diocese already have.

What does Bishop Steven say about the environment? Find out here and here.