These panels included local party candidates; local councillors, Ministers from the churches involved and other local experts in the field, such as George Monbiot. For an hour the panel took questions from the floor and there was a lively and engaged atmosphere. This was supplemented by updates about Christian Aid’s Loss and Damage Campaign and a trailer for ‘Thank-you for the Rain’ to drive home the message that it’s the poorest who are being hit first and worst by the climate crisis.
(As a follow up event you can find a guide for hosting a thank you for the rain screening here).
Lunch was a highlight - with soups, jacket potatoes and cake provided by local volunteers. This gave people a chance to get to know one another, visit the stalls on display or attend one of the lunch time break-out groups.
(You could do all sorts during the lunch hour to involve others. You could ask local climate or fairtrade groups to run a stall; ask the local Quakers to host a reflection space; organise an Eco Church discussion; Or ask a local green group to explain what’s happening locally)
In the afternoon, participants spilt into small group discussions, for just over an hour. Each group addressed the same three questions about how to respond to the climate crisis (all provided by Christian Aid). It was really helpful to find a facilitator for each group, in advance, to keep the conversations on track and take notes. All the flip charts were collected at the end and typed up, so that these ideas could be turned into an action plan at a follow-up meeting.
Participants felt it was important to know tangible action would follow this event and many want to visit the local MP as a result, to discuss Christian Aid’s Loss and Damage Campaign. Support to visit your MP is available here.
The day closed with a plenary session that reflected on what had been achieved, pulled out some of the highlights and prayed for future action together. Supporters used Christian Aid’s People’s Prayer action and listened to The Song of Kingdom Come; and whilst the day was a free event, a collection was taken for the East Africa Hunger Crisis Appeal.