Issue 33 | September 2020
God's Green Fingers Environment E-news
Churches around the diocese are finding creative ways to celebrate the Season of Creation - Creationtide. In this newsletter, we have everything from eco cupcakes to an eco-extravaganza.

It is good to see churches starting to respond to the Church of England call to be net zero carbon by 2030. A new working group is starting to scope out how, as a diocese, we might be able to deliver this ambition over the next ten years. It is hoping to be reporting to Diocesan Synod in March next year.

The Covid crisis does not negate the climate and biodiversity emergencies, indeed, it highlights the interconnectedness between ourselves and rest of nature as David Attenborough brings out powerfully in his new program Extinction the Facts. As we re-imagine what our church communities will look like as we go forward from here, having a living doctrine of God as creator and redeemer of all things will be essential. 

God bless

Jemima Parker,
Diocesan Environment Officer
Four-Day Eco Extravaganza from Bradford Cathedral 

Running from Thursday 24th to Sunday 27th ‘What on Earth are we going to do? is a the four-day online festival with a keynote event each day, as well as pre-recorded videos scheduled across the weekend to watch live or later via the cathedral’s website, social media channels or YouTube. Speakers include Dr. Ruth Valerio, the Revd Ruth Newton, Tim Farron MP and many more, with a music performance on Sunday 27th from Ben Comeau.

Ripon church uses Season of Creation to start carbon net zero conversations
The PCC and congregation at St Mary’s Embsay with Eastby have looking at how to achieve the Church of England’s target of carbon net zero by 2030. They have been discussing what more they can do as individuals and as a parish to reduce the damage that they cause and how they can influence their politicians to change policies to protect God’s world?

Environment on a Plate

As well as putting a parish environment policy in place, Bardsey Parish have been cooking up a storm with their environmentally themed cupcake competition. Who knew that everything from the awe and wonder of God’s creation, plastic pollution and rising sea levels could be expressed on cupcakes?

National Creationtide Online Service from Ripon 

Creation and the Harvest is the focus of this Sunday’s Church of England digital service, broadcast from the Diocese of Leeds and led by the Bishop of Ripon, the Rt Revd Dr Helen-Ann Hartley. Viewers from across the country will have the opportunity to join with the bishop and members of St John’s Church in Sharrow as they share readings and offer prayers for God’s creation. 
Broadcast first at 9am Sunday 27th Sept. Watch here
Gold for Summerbridge Methodist Church 

Congratulations to our sisters and brothers at Summerbridge Methodist Church on their recent achievement of a Gold Eco Church award, the first church in the region to have reached this accolade. The church has taken a holistic approach, responding to a comprehensive environmental audit and embedding eco into the life of the community.

Has your church had an energy audit yet?
Energy audits help to identify the changes you can make to save on your fuel bills and reduce your carbon emissions, while maintaining the comfort levels in your church building. The diocesan Green Journey package offers complementary audits, details here. Or apply for a subsidised audit from Parish Buying costing £245 + VAT, read more.
Churches and schools wanted for Community Energy Funding opportunity
Pump priming funds of up to £140,000 are available for energy efficiency or renewable energy projects in rural communities. The Rural Community Energy Fund will pay for scoping and development work including finding a funding model. Could your church work with your local school, or village hall, or as a church cluster? Two webinars for you to be inspired and find out more on Wednesday 30th Sept. 

children and solar panel
More than 3000 churches use new app to become greener
Churches in the Leeds diocese are in the top three dioceses to respond to the new Energy Footprint Tool app, with more than 3000 churches nationally having used the online tool to calculate their carbon footprint. The Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, called it “vital” in helping the Church of England to reach its carbon-emissions target. More. Check that your Church Treasurer has used the tool, if not watch the “how to” video here.
A Year for Climate Sundays
Over 700 churches, from a range of denominations, have registered already to hold a Climate focused service in the next year in the build up to the COP26 international climate change talks, to be held in Glasgow. The Climate Sunday campaign aims to assist churches in making the theological link with the science and creation care and pressing for more government action. When will your Climate Sunday be? 

Former Archbishop Joins Extinction Rebellion Protest
Earlier this month Dr Rowan Williams joined the Christians of Extinction Rebellion, called Christian Climate Action in a march which started Buckingham Palace and ended in Parliament Square. “People of faith should be here because they are people of faith” he said. “People are talking about building back better. We have to take the opportunity.” 

Government must show leadership, says Citizens Assembly
The first national Citizens Assembly on Climate Change, of 108 randomly selected representatives, has issued a report of practical policy recommendations. The report calls for government leadership and insists climate policies must be fair to all – especially the poorest in society. What policies would a sample of your church membership call for?

New extinction film hard to watch, but hopeful
David Attenborough’s recently released program “Extinction: the facts” explores how the crisis in biodiversity loss has consequences for us all, including putting us at greater risk of pandemic diseases. The program is a lament for the decimation of God’s creatures and habitats that glorify Him, but Attenborough believes we are not too late to act. 

Online Training Opportunities
Bradford Cathedral Eco Extravaganza

A wealth of informative talks and videos to inspire and equip you and your church for creation care action. Watch live this weekend 24th-27th September or view later.

NEW Eco Surgery Drop-in Dates

If you have questions and want support taking creation care forward in your church, these drop-in sessions are for you. Simply join the Zoom call. 

What on Earth are we doing?

An exploration of God’s relationship with his creation. Three interactive talks in the St Mark’s Harrogate BRICK series. Mondays 7.30pm. Details. Watch the first in the series Created: What is the purpose of the natural world? here
The Bible and Ecology Course

Seven-session course facilitated by Rev Ruth Newton. Develop Biblical understanding of the connections between ecological concerns and Christian faith. Taking place on Zoom Thursdays 7.30-9pm, commencing 3rd Nov.  

Eco Church - Working Together to Net Zero

Online day conference hosted by the Diocese of St Albans and open to all. Saturday 10th October, 10am - 4pm. Attend the whole day or select a session of your choice. 

Re-imagining the Promised Land - Green Christian Online Festival

23-25th October A weekend of events and inspiration. Speakers include Jonathon Porritt, Melanie Nazareth, Cleo Lake and Bishop James Jones. 

Getting to net zero carbon
This series of webinars is designed to support and equip you to reach the Church’s ambitious "net zero carbon" emissions target. Forming your Team, Action Planning, A positive vision of a zero carbon church, Defining and measuring net zero - choose as many topics as you need to help you on this decade-long journey.

A Time for Creation: Liturgical resources for Creation and the Environment

Offers liturgies for all times and occasions when there is a focus on creation - in daily prayer, services of the word, school assemblies, eucharistic celebrations and seasonal services to mark the agricultural year.

Dexecology: 13 NEW Songs on Themes of Creation, Ecology & Christian Hope

New worship songs bringing creation care theology into our contemporary sung worship. Plus study guide and service plans.

Outdoor Worship Resources

Why not re-awaken and re-imagine Church after lockdown; using your outdoor space for church activities.

Creationtide Resources (1st Sept - 4th Oct) 

The C of E website has a wealth of liturgical and other materials for you to help celebrate the Season of Creation.

Greening the Lectionary

A Theological Response to the Ecological Crisis: Reflections, Liturgy, Reviews, Comment. Weekly sermon ideas are perfect for preaching through the Lectionary.

Funding Sources
Need funding for an environmental/renewables project?

Here's a list of possible grant funding sources.

Churches and schools wanted for Community Energy funding opportunity
Pump priming funds of up to £140,000 are available for energy efficiency or renewable energy projects in rural communities. The Rural Community Energy Fund will pay for scoping and development work including finding a funding model. Could your church work with your local school, or village hall, or as a church cluster? Two webinars for you to be inspired and find out more on Wednesday 30th Sept. 

children and solar panel
Magazine Magic
Ready to Print Magazine Article

Food Glorious Food? A ready to print article for your Parish Magazine

Eco Top Tips

Find a weekly top tip here for your parish newsletter:

Parish Environment Reps

Are you the environmental enthusiast in your church or do you know the person who is? We are seeking a Rep in each parish to receive information and take up training opportunities.

Area Environment Champions

Seeking enthusiastic volunteers for Huddersfield and Wakefield Areas to support local churches in their care for creation. 

Be blessed by this lockdown version of the Irish Blessing performed here by Harrogate coral group Vocalis.
Please join our discussion group on Facebook by following the below link!