Bishop calls for churches to take climate action at Big Green Event
“I’m Nicholas and I’m a recovering carbon user.” Over 200 people were at Exeter Cathedral on Saturday 22 February to hear Bishop Nick Holtam, the national Church of England lead on the environment, deliver a stark call to churches and individuals over climate change.
Bishop Nick was the keynote speaker at The Big Green Event, a one-day festival of faith and the environment organised by the Diocese of Exeter and Exeter Cathedral.
He said: “We all live in the same house, the same eco-sphere. This is our house, it’s our common home and we’ve got to pay attention to this.
“I think Christians have a very particular contribution to make. There are scientific, economic and political aspects which are crucial, but people look to the Church and to faith communities for spiritual and moral guidance in relation to climate change.”
During the event there were practical workshops, talks and a panel discussion, plus a market place featuring stalls from charities and campaign groups.
As well as national charities there were also local experts there giving advice about community, conservation, food sustainability, eco-theology, direct action, and how to make personal changes.
Caroline Pomeroy, Director of Climate Stewards, said: “Our Gospel teaches us to love our neighbour, it’s fundamental to our faith. Our neighbours are also our global neighbours who are suffering from the effects of climate change first and worst.”
Sue Willsher, Senior Policy Advisor for the Christian charity Tearfund, said the Church had a role to play in driving change: “I think part of the Church’s role is to have a prophetic voice. Part of that is being hopeful and ambitious and holding governments to account to do what needs to be done.”
The Big Green Event ties in with the Church of England’s Lent Campaign #LiveLent which features 40 days of Bible readings and suggestions about practical actions we can take to care better for the environment.
Churches are also being encouraged to measure their current energy usage following a recent pledge by the Church of England to go carbon neutral by 2030.
Chris Keppie email, Diocesan Environment Officer for the Church of England in Devon and one of the event organisers, said the three things about the day which stood out for him were the importance of the individual changes we can all make, the value of churches getting EcoChurch accreditation, and the central message of love in the Gospel and the hope that should bring.