You may remember the virtual Green Living Group based at Avenue St Andrew’s URC in Southampton which reported in May 2020 that we were using the Dorset Green Living Guide (greenliving.sustainabledorset.org) to look at our individual carbon footprints relating to food, energy, transport, waste, water and community in our lives. At that stage we thought we might finish by July 2020 and see where we went from there.
Since then, we’ve run two more courses based on the Sustainable Dorset project, one for church members and one ecumenical one involving Roman Catholic and Methodist friends. The Roman Catholics in particular have taken this up and are running with it! The Diocese of Portsmouth is currently running an online Green Living course based on our materials and Pope Francis’ writing on the climate, Laudato Si’, involving up to a hundred participants! And our relationship with St Edmund’s, our local Roman Catholic neighbours across the Avenue, has been strengthened, with a pulpit swap for Climate Sunday coming up and a joint litter pick in the local area.
Back at Avenue St Andrew’s, the church meeting has discussed and adopted a Climate Change declaration – you can see it on our website at https://asaurc.org.uk/climate-change/ – which has a number of practical outworkings for our church, from greening the church courtyard to displaying a banner (see picture) outside our church to encourage others to act on climate too. It is on a busy main road with traffic lights, a pedestrian crossing and a bus stop outside, so we hope the message will get through! And the very same banner is displayed outside St Edmund’s – a demonstration of Christian unity in our mission to become better stewards of God’s creation.