Category Archives: Environment

Breaking News – All Hallows’ divests from fossil fuels

Today we announced that All Hallows is ending all it’s investment in fossil fuels.

Here is a video explaining how it happened:

And here is our press release:

Earth Hour

This Sunday British Summer Time begins and the clocks spring forward meaning that you get an hour less in bed and, if you don’t remember, you might be an hour late for church!

It is also the time when we are invited to celebrate Earth Hour from 8:30pm on Saturday evening. Millions of people around the world will be switching their lights and other electrical appliances off for an hour and using the time to celebrate our planet and it’s huge variety of life. It is a chance to reflect on the impact we have on our fellow inhabitants and how we might change so that we walk more lightly on Planet Earth.

You can find more about Earth Hour at https://www.earthhour.org and do let us know what you get up to in your Earth Hour celebration!

Leeds Youth Strike 4 Climate Protest

Yesterday pupils and students from All Hallows joined the Leeds Youth Strike 4 Climate protest in the centre of Leeds. Catherine, Charlie and I went along to support them. I estimated at least 2000 young people from babies through to university students plus some slightly older folk like me! The protest was very well organised and peaceful, the young people had been very creative with their banners – there were some very amusing but pointed messages – and they were in fine voice. I thought their message was very clear – we, the older generation who run this world have really screwed the climate up, threatening their future and something needs to be done about it NOW! It’s a shame that the news media weren’t listening properly, so much of their reporting seemed to be about pupils missing lessons, whether it was safe for them to be out protesting or that they were protesting about air pollution in Leeds.

Just to clarify, the students are demanding the following:

  1. The Government declare a climate emergency and prioritise the protection of life on Earth, taking active steps to achieve climate justice.
  2. The national curriculum is reformed to address the ecological crisis as an educational priority.
  3. The Government communicate the severity of the ecological crisis and the necessity to act now to the general public.
  4. The Government recognise that young people have the biggest stake in our future, by incorporating youth views into policy making and bringing the voting age down to 16.

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A confession for Lent (and the rest of the year!)

The Joy in Enough Confession

Our climate is changing, and we are changing it. We confess our carbon footprints, our failure to consider the consequences of our actions, our slowness to react. We are sorry for all the times we knew the right thing to do, but chose convenience.

Your earth is exploited, and we are complicit in its exploitation. Species are lost, soil erodes, fish stocks decline, resources dwindle. We confess that many of us have taken too much, and not considered the needs of future generations.

We have become consumers. We have turned a blind eye to greed. We confess our hunger for more, and our failure to appreciate what we already have. We live in a time of unparalleled luxury, and we are sorry that we have not been more grateful.

The poor are left behind, even in this age of plenty. Human rights are pushed aside for profit. Wealth accumulates for the rich while the poorest still do not have what they need. We confess our apathy to injustice, and our haste in judging others.

This is not who you made us to be. We have not been good caretakers of your garden Earth. We have not loved our neighbours. Forgive us, creator God.

Forgive us. Renew us. Inspire us.

And in your strength, God, we declare:

  • Enough climate change: help us to take responsibility. Give us the wisdom to live appropriately, the urgency to act, and the courage to make changes. Give us the voice to call for change from our leaders, and the perseverance to keep asking.
  • Enough consumerism: give us what we need, God our provider. Then help us to find satisfaction and contentment. Help us to be grateful and generous.
  • Enough inequality: nobody should be left behind. You care for the poor, and we want to follow your example. Make your church a living example of equity and inclusion, and a powerful advocate for justice and sharing.

We thank you for your kindness and your mercy. We look to your promise of restoration, and we move forward. Give us the strength to speak and to act – not out of guilt or duty, for we are forgiven and we are loved. Instead, we speak and act out of joy:

  • joy in the living hope of knowing you
  • joy in serving each other
  • joy in the beauty and diversity of creation, your gift to us
  • joy in your provision and your care – joy in enough

A prophet of our time?

Lost Species Day

Friday 30th November is Lost Species Day. Huge numbers of God’s creatures are now extinct because of the way we humans have chosen to live. Lost Species Day is a chance to remember these creatures, what we have done to them, and to hopefully repent and change our ways.

Can we tackle Climate Change?

Today, the world’s leading panel of climate change experts released its latest report  and it doesn’t make for cheerful reading.

The report lays bare how crucial it is that we keep global warming below 1.5 degrees. If we don’t stop burning coal, oil and gas, the damage to wildlife, ecosystems, and vulnerable communities around the globe will be almost unimaginable.

We have just come to the end of Creationtide in the church calendar, a time when we focus on God’s Creation – something that we are part of – and how we are called to care for it.

So, in the light of this report, what are we going to do?

In the next few months we will be looking at ways in which we as individuals, as a church and as a nation can act in order to change our destructive ways. It won’t be easy but we have to find a way!

Do join with us in our discussions and in supporting each other in our journey towards being a regenerative rather than destructive people.

Creator God,
You have called us to be keepers of your Earth;
Through greed, we have established an economy that destroys the web of life. We have changed our climate and drown in despair.
Let oceans of justice flow,
May we learn to sustain and renew the life of our Mother, Earth
We pray for our leaders, custodians of Mother Earth;
May they negotiate with wisdom and fairness,
May they act with compassion and courage,
and lead us in the path of justice for the sake of our children and our children’s children.
Amen

Everything is connected

We are delighted to welcome Peterson Toscano and Ruth Wilde to All Hallows’ on Friday 28th September at 8:30pm and for a follow up “Dig Deeper” workshop on Saturday 29th September at 10:30am to 12:30

Everything is Connected: A lively discussion about identity, justice, and peace

Pull just one strand in our world and see how deeply it is connected to many others. In this entertaining and insightful presentation, Ruth Wilde and Peterson Toscano join forces to reveal strange and often unseen connections in the world. Drawing on ancient stories, comedy, and insights from their travels, they weave together a tapestry that covers identity, LGBTQ issues, climate change, justice, peace, and much much more.

After spending 17 years and over $30,000 on three continents attempting to de-gay himself through gay conversion therapy, Peterson Toscano came to his senses and came out as an American quirky queer Quaker concerned with human rights and comedy. He asks himself and his audiences unusual and stimulating questions: Who are the gender outlaws in the Bible? What is a queer response to climate change? and How can comedy help us better understand our most tragic losses? A Bible scholar, a comic, and public speaker, Peterson is on a mission to connect with his audiences in deeply personal ways stirring up hope and purpose in a rapidly changing world.

Ruth is the UK Outreach Worker for Christian Peacemaker Teams. She also works as National Coordinator for Inclusive Church, so she understands how oppressions can intersect, and how climate change is ‘sexist, racist and classist’. Ruth has known about the oppression of / racism against indigenous peoples since she went on a CPT delegation to Grassy Narrows First Nation, Ontario, Canada in 2011. Now she sees clearly that climate change is also ‘racist’ against indigenous peoples and she thinks this is painfully ironic because they are often the humans who live the most sustainably and most in harmony with the earth. This makes her more determined than ever to educate and speak out about what is happening to indigenous peoples around the world!

In addition, Peterson and Ruth will also be leading a Dig Deeper workshop on Saturday 29th April at All Hallows. Ruth Wilde and Peterson Toscano stir up lots of discussion in their lively presentations. In order to deepen the experience and help communities figure out their next steps, they offer a facilitated discussion that includes small and large group activities designed to dig deeper into the issues raised during their presentation. Come to share your insights and to engage in others in conversation about making the world a better place for all.

Creationtide actions and reflections

World Day of Prayer for Creation

Eternal God,
You crown the year with goodness,
And you give us the fruits of the earth in their season,
Grant that we may use them to your glory,
for the relief of those in need,
and for our own well-being,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen

From Creationtide actions and reflections

Creationtide

‘Creationtide’ or the ‘Season of Creation’ is the period in the annual church calendar from 1st September (the Day of Prayer for Creation) to 4th October (the feast day of St. Francis) set apart for us to pray and celebrate with creation, focus on the story of Earth, and commit to a ministry of healing the Earth.

‘To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth’ is the Anglican Communion’s Fifth Mark of Mission.

This Creationtide why not commit to spending some time each day thinking about our impact on our environment and all the creatures that share it with us and making some changes in our lives that will lead to the regeneration of the Earth rather than it’s destruction? You may like to use this action sheet produced but the Church of England.

Father of all creation, we thank you that you
have given us a world rich in resources,
and made us stewards of your mysteries;
help us to act responsibly,
not wasting or destroying what we do not need,
not polluting the earth, or sea or sky,
that we may act with love towards all things,
and so reflect the great love that you have for the world.
Be with us, Lord God, Creator of all,
to strengthen us on our journey,
to guide us in all our doings,
that we may share in the love and care for your world.

from Adam D. (1996) The Rhythm of Life: Celtic Daily Prayer SPCK, London