Engaging with the local community is an opportunity to bring our faith in Jesus and our passion to care for God’s creation into public awareness, being salt and light, and helping others see what it means to be Christian.
Many people are now expressing concerns about the climate emergency, especially young people, and developing ways for people to learn and get involved in action on a local basis offers opportunities for conversations, team-working, and community building.
In spring 2021 four church parishes in the Diocese agreed to pilot community collaboration partnerships with the aim of developing and progressing local environmental goals. The parishes involved in the pilots have been meeting periodically to share learning. The group concluded that the networking and sharing opportunities were proving valuable and a useful stimulus to activity. It also strengthened the relationships between the church and the wider community and developed an increased recognition in communities that the church is interested in real-world issues such as the environment. If you would like to learn more there is a more detailed paper is available.
This shows that there are several ways to start a community environmental group, it doesn’t matter how you do it, just get started! If you’d like help or support to get please contact Mary Oxley or Vanessa Faulkner.
Community and Global Engagement are significant elements of the Eco-Church pathway, challenging us to become global as well as local citizens. Eco-Church has suggestions about engaging with global environmental issues here.
You will also find many excellent examples of community response to the climate & ecological crises already happening in the Diocese through the Herefordshire Green Network and Zero Carbon Shropshire websites.