Creation in Crisis?

by Gerry Lynch last modified 12 Nov, 2014 04:35 PM

Dorchester Christians discuss how they can protect the planet

What have composting toilets got in common with vicars doing their rounds on electric bikes? They're both among the ideas a group of Dorchester Christians recently discussed to help address the problem of the changing climate. Members of churches in Dorset's county town discussed these and other ideas for alternative lifestyles at a bring-and-share supper, also attended by the Mayor, Peter Mann, who agreed that these urgent issues need to be tackled locally and globally. 

Val Potter, Chair of the Dorchester Churches’ Ecology Group said, “There is now overwhelming evidence that human activities are disrupting natural cycles to the point that the planet’s ability to sustain life is under threat. Loss of wildlife, an exploding population demanding more energy and producing more pollution, finite resources in decline and global warming all combine to paint a grim picture for many today and for the generations to come.”

There is however, hope in the face of the challenging picture, and churches are leading the way. Martyn Goss, Director for Church and Society for Exeter Diocese, spoke at the event about churches reducing their energy waste, improving efficiencies and investing in renewable energy technologies. He said, the way ahead lies in sharing rather than competing and re-building community at a local level in the face of international uncertainties.

“The future cannot be a continuation of the past”, said Martin, “we need to develop resilience to change, especially in the places where we live.”

Good practice was cited including new biomass heating project at Hilfield Friary, solar installations on churches like St. John’s, Wimborne, the eco-school at St. Osmund’s, Manor Park, and the United Church in Dorchester. Everybody can participate through schemes like the regional churches’ Carbon Fast in 2015, community energy projects through Transition Towns and the Community Orchard and Farm in Dorchester.

Val Potter concludes, “We cannot be complacent: time is not on our side. As the impacts of Climate Change worsen and we start to experience more extreme weather conditions, it will be too late to make a difference. The time to act was years ago, but it is still not too late if ordinary people take steps locally and challenge the political parties to prioritise the environment before the General Election and at  the Paris Summit (COP21) in 2015.”

Learn more about how to make your church greener at www.ecochurchsouthwest.org.uk.

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