Nine-day prayer relay for the environment

Churches Together in Kidlington are hosting nine days of 24-hour continuous prayer ahead of the UN COP26 Climate Conference in Glasgow.

The ‘eco novena’ prayer relay launches in a joint service at St Mary’s Church, Kidlington on Sunday 10 October. Churches are inviting people to sign up for one-hour slots to pray for the environment and world leaders as they prepare to gather for the COP26 conference. Kidlington Baptist Church has created an interactive prayer space open between 1 pm and 5 pm Monday to Saturday for people to visit and use for prayer and reflection.

St Mary’s is also hosting a community windmill art installation to raise awareness of the climate crisis and the urgent need to conserve the planet for future generations. The windmills, designed to provoke thinking about the environment, are appearing in church yards and gardens across Kidlington. The windmills are made using recycled and biodegradable materials, displaying flags, prayer ribbons, and messages about the importance of climate action.

The events form part of the environment ‘Revival for Survival’ festival hosted by Kidlington Parish Council bringing together a range of community groups and businesses.

Windmill made from recycled materials displaying climate action messages in front of church building

Reflecting on the importance of climate action, the Revd Martin Davies, Team Vicar in Kidlington with Hampton Poyle, said:

“Our planet is the most precious gift from God, and at this time, needs urgent action if it is to remain a safe home to future generations. The prayer activity, the ‘Novena’, and the Revival for Survival Festival are great activities to promote this important response and to support the COP26 conference coming shortly.”

Co-ordinating the eco events from St Mary’s Church, Penny Pedley, shared:

“It is great to be part of these eco events and to see the enthusiasm and interest they are generating in the local area. Drawing attention to the climate emergency and encouraging people to think about their impact on the environment is one of the many ways we can help tackle climate change.”

More information about the diocesan commitment to climate action and caring for creation is available on the environment page.

The climate crisis is one of the of the diocese’s main priorities and, as part of the Common Vision, is committed to responding to the climate emergency. Diocesan Synod declared a climate emergency in March 2020 and the diocese completed divestment from fossil fuels earlier this year. The Diocesan Environment Task Group, led by Bishop Olivia, is working to help churches plan action, prayer and advocacy at every level to play their part in tackling climate change. Read more about the diocese’s commitment on the environmental action page.