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Sun setting behind a tree in Ethiopia

Walk lighter in the world

Sue Charlton is an active campaigner with Christian Aid. Here she discusses how her Eco Church is learning to 'walk lighter' in the world in the face of climate change.

I’ve travelled to some remote areas and seen for myself glaciers retreating in the Himalayas and Iceland, and the effects of severe drought in Nicaragua as seas warm and our climate changes.

Across the world people suffer increasingly frequent and ferocious hurricanes and typhoons; elsewhere droughts lead to failed harvests that drive poverty and conflict.

At St. Stephen’s Ealing we discuss how we can ‘walk lighter’ in the world. We are signed up as an Eco Church, and were delighted last November to achieve the scheme’s Bronze Award.

We actively encourage everyone to reduce, reuse and recycle; to consider energy efficiency when travelling and for lighting and heating. We have attended rallies and lobbies of Parliament; we celebrate Earth Hour each year, and have services dedicated to thinking about the environment. And we always invite users of our centre to take part where possible too.

The more people we can engage in the care of God’s creation the better.

I believe that God created this amazing planet and requires us all to look after it. Collectively we need to love and care for Earth and with God’s grace take responsibility for sustaining life in all its forms here.

- Sue Charlton.

Our event held at a local nature reserve for Speak Up Week in October 2016 attracted people from other churches and local groups.

Our local MPs have listened to our concerns and attended our bigger events. Both they and our local borough councillors are supportive of all we do in this regard.

The Big Shift from fossil fuels

The Big Shift campaign is another step to encourage a reduction in the burning of fossil fuels. We are planning to visit local high street banks this autumn, with messages asking them to divest from oil and gas companies. We do not want our money to literally ‘cost the earth’.

I sense the tide is at last beginning to turn. Recent reports indicate a growing use of renewable energy. On several days in the UK this summer, more wind and solar power was generated than from fossils. We no longer feel like a voice in the wilderness with cranky ideas and hobbies!

Our love and trust in God gives us hope that can withstand the disappointments of the likes of Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris agreement. We look to a bright new future, where new industries are booming in the production of natural power and a world we can feel happy to pass on to our grandchildren.

This post has been written by Sue Charlton in her words.

The Big Shift

Call on the banks to make the Big Shift to renewable energy now.