Our Fragile Earth
Thank you for visiting this page on the All Saints, Sidmouth website. There’s a lot on here.
Don’t try to absorb it all at once – tackle it in bite-sized bits, a section or a link at a time!
Climate Change And How We Respond
You probably know we’re facing a global Climate Crisis – unless, of course, you’re an ostrich!
But you’re possibly already pretty well informed about the issues.
For you, it’s about what next?
So, what do we actually need to Do?! How about…
A bit confused about some of the terms used in the Climate Change discussion? Click here for a helpful glossary.
Some Key Dates to Watch Out For
|Saturday, October 2nd||Creation Care Seminar 10am – 12.30pm|
|Sunday, October 3rd||Creation Care Sunday at All Saints|
|Saturday, October 16th||Sustainability Fair followed by Public Meeting|
(see Sid Valley Mission Community website)
|31st October- 12th November||COP26 – Please pray!|
Want help with a particular issue? Click here.
Want material for House Groups?
Try Operation Noah Tenants of the King study guide.
There’s also an excellent nine-part film series for small groups featuring Katharine Hayhoe, available from Tear Fund, complete with Leaders’ Guide for supplementary material and questions. Why not try a video per session?
You could also look at this: Creation Matters Small Group Activities guide
For more information on what we are doing here at All Saints’, Sidmouth, keep checking this page.
There’s so much information available now – websites, TV programmes, videos, books – the list is endless. The following categories take you to a few suggestions according to your preferred way of learning. Have a hunt around and see if you can find something that works for you.
The BBC website offers an excellent introduction to climate change, with clear diagrams and explanations.
NASA also has a really helpful website
And if you want the really technical stuff go to the IPCC site
The Government’s Climate Change summary is also very clear.
There have also been some excellent TV programmes in 2021, many of which are still available on CatchUp TV.
Here are a couple of short videos introducing the idea of Creation Care:
The series of short Katharine Hathoe videos (referred to above under House Group materials) is equally well worth using individually and reflecting upon.
This is a list of things to watch and things to read. Most of the books are available in or through the Mustard Seed here in Sidmouth, or can be bought through our Bookshop.org shopfront – go to the Mustard Seed Bookshop site and type the title into the Search bar at the top of the page. Or use Amazon, and contribute a bit more to the wealth of Jeff Bezos, the destruction of the planet, the ruin of independent bookshops, the collapse of the Mustard Seed and the end of the High Street … ?
A clear and accessible treatment of the topic can be found in Moo, Douglas and Jonathan, 2018: Creation Care: A Biblical Theology of The Natural World, Zondervan, United States
‘In Creation Care, part of the Biblical Theology for Life series, father and son team Douglas and Jonathan Moo invite readers to open their Bibles afresh to explore the place of the natural world within God’s purposes and to celebrate God’s love as displayed in creation and new creation.’
Another good starting point is Hodson, Margot J and Martin R, 2021. (Revised and updated second edition). A Christian Guide to Environmental Issues, BRF and JRI.
An older but still very helpful book is Spencer, Nick & White, Robert, 2007. Christianity, Climate Change and Sustainable Living, SPCK London
And for a broader theological framework: Wright, N. T. 2007. Surprised by Hope, SPCK, London.
A fuller reading list is coming right up
There is an excellent set of short (!) Creation Care videos, one of which is one of the two above, to be found on the Lausanne Movement website: https://lausanne.org/lausanne-global-classroom/creation-care-episode. They could be used individually or as House Group starters.
Fuller Reading List
Bookless, Dave. 1998. Planetwise – Dare to Care for God’s World, IVP, Nottingham.
Valerio, Ruth. 2019. Saying Yes to Life, SPCK Publishing, London
Christianity and the Environment
Bimson, John, 2020. The Book of Job and Environmental Ethics: The message from the whirlwind, Grove, 2020 An unusual and stimulating perspective on God’s view of his creation
Marlow, Hilary, 2008. The Earth is the Lord’s: A Biblical Response to Environmental Issues, Grove,
Material for House Groups
In addition to the ‘Operation Noah’ and Katharine Hayhoe material listed earlier, there is also:
excellent material available on the A Rocha website https://homegroups.org.uk/series/creation-care-with-a-rocha-uk/
good stuff with a different slant from Christian Aid https://homegroups.org.uk/series/the-climate-justice-sessions-with-christian-aid
and a couple of useful Creation Care links on the John Ray Institute resources page (you need to scroll down to find them)
Berners-Lee, Mike, 2019. There is No Planet B: A Handbook for the Make or Break Years, Cambridge University Press
Bookless, Dave. 2010. God Doesn’t Do Waste, IVP, Nottingham.
Valerio, Ruth. 2008.‘L’ is for Lifestyle, IVP, Nottingham. Biblically-grounded sustainable living.
Valerio, Ruth. 2016. Just Living – Faith and Community in an Age of Consumerism, Hodder & Stoughton, London.
Middleton, Richard, 2005. The Liberating Image: The imago Dei in Genesis 1, Brazos Press.
Middleton, Richard, 2014. A New Heaven and A New Earth: Reclaiming Biblical Eschatology, Baker Academic.
Calls to Action
Clifford, Paula. 2009. Angels with Trumpets, Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd in association with Christian Aid, London.
Hawken, Paul. 2018. Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, Penguin Books
Mann, Michael, 2021. The New Climate War: The fight to take back our planet, Scribe.
Berry, Wendell, 1998. A Timbered Choir: The Sabbath Poems 1979-1997, Counterpoint Press, Berkeley, California
Malcolm, Hannah, (ed.), 2020. Words for a Dying World: Stories of Grief and Courage from the Global Church, SCM, Cambridge
Some of these books will be available in or through the Mustard Seed bookshop, or via their Bookshop.org shopfront.
For a list of other helpful websites, click here.
One thing we must do is Pray.
There are lots of helpful prayer resources out there.
Here are one or two suggestions:
Loving Father and God of all the world,
Fill us with peace, that we may live as brothers and sisters, harming no one. O God of the poor, help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth, so precious in your eyes. Bring healing to our lives, that we may protect the world and not prey on it, that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction. Amen.
An excellent and detailed monthly prayer resource from Green Christian, including links to some very specific situations:
A lovely Catholic resource from JesuitResource:
Prayers for World Environment Day:
An interesting Inter-Faith resource:
For the Maoris amongst us, this lovely resource from New Zealand: a pdf booklet for you to download.
Prayers from 24/7: a pdf booklet for you to download.
If you Google ‘Climate Change Prayer’ or some variation of that, there’s plenty more!
As Christians (and indeed as responsible human beings!) we now understand that we need to start living sustainably. That’s a big call – but we have no choice if the planet is to be protected.
How do we go about doing that?
In the Autumn we’re going to give to every family in All Saints’ a copy of the very helpful Which? Publication, “How To Live Sustainably”. If you work carefully through that, you’ll have covered a lot of ground!
In the meantime, have a look at the green ‘My Response’ Pledge Sheet box included on the Fragile Earth page on the Sid Valley Mission Community website (which gives a very good introduction to the ‘Our Fragile Earth’ initiative). That will take you to a number of areas about which you are invited to begin to make commitments.
If you want some more ideas, the dear old Church of England offers an excellent page on this. Just click on the picture:
You could do a lot worse than to work your way systematically through this.
Ruth Valerio, Tearfund’s Global Advocacy and Influencing Director (!) has written a lovely book about Sustainable Living, ‘L is for Lifestyle’, available by clicking on the book cover:
One of the things we are recommended to do is to set about discovering and then working to reduce our own carbon footprint. One of the most widely-used carbon footprint calculators is provided by the World Wildlife Fund:
Click on the picture to go to the website:
If you are interested to know more about carbon footprints, try Mike Berners-Lee’s book, “How Bad Are Bananas?”, available from the Mustard Seed’s Bookshop.org shop-front:
Want help with some particular areas, such as shopping, travel, or food? Try here.
Helpful Christian Websites
Other Helpful Websites
Good Stories – some stuff to cheer us up!
The Guardian – Top Ten Green Websites
Consider Your Energy Use
Create A More Sustainable Home
Food for Thought
… and a caveat
The Problem With Plastic
Products That Stand The Test Of Time
Shopping With A Conscience
- https://truecostmovie.com/ the true human and environmental cost of the clothing industry
Seven Sustainability Myths Busted
- https://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/10-steps-for-going-green – Simple Changes To Make Now
Who are we and what are we doing?
During the Sidmouth Science Festival week of 2019, All Saints helped host an important series entitled “Our Fragile Earth” which explored a number of themes relating to climate change from a Christian perspective and how we might respond to this challenge. Following this event David Caporn, our Vicar and Team Rector of the Sid Valley Mission Community, initiated the All Saints’ Climate Change Group (recently renamed the ‘Creation Care Group’) and invited Revd. Bruce Thomson to chair it. The Group determined to take action to make caring for God’s creation a higher priority than perhaps we had given it before.
Our role is:
- to help us all be properly informed about the climate crisis
- to think theologically about it
- to support us in doing all we can as individuals and as a church to respond with prayer and action
- to enable us to work with others in Sidmouth and beyond who are also responding to Climate Change issues
The church is making progress with lowering the carbon footprint of the church site and buildings. We are aiming, if at all possible, to achieve carbon neutrality in respect of the running of our buildings by 2030.
One of our first actions was to carry out an Audit using a questionnaire devised by A Rocha for their Eco-Church initiative. This link gives you more information about the EcoChurch scheme: https://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/
The Eco-Church award scheme for churches in England and Wales provides a simple way for churches to assess how serious they are about caring for God’s Creation as we are mandated to do in Genesis 1. So we are working through the programme, which is designed to help us live more sustainable lives.
The award scheme has 3 levels, Bronze Silver and Gold, and assesses performance in 4 categories:
- Worship and Teaching
- Management of Buildings and Land
- Community and Global engagement
All Saints Church was awarded the Bronze Certificate in January 2021 and we have plans to improve our standing further in the coming years.
Let’s go for Gold!
Need help with a particular topic?
Farming? Agriculture/Food? Try Malcolm Crabtree (link email address?)
Transport? Try Alan Aspray (link …?
Energy? Try Jon Brown (link …?