Churches Green News

Hello and welcome to our 4th ENews of 2020,
For those of you who are new to our ENews – We aim to send you information and events that may be of interest to you, all in one email rather than many throughout each month, one part being general information and updates, the second being news of events / dates for your diary and the other part being links to useful websites. 
If you are a minister or administrator of a church and prefer to nominate a Green Champion to be your church’s point of contact then please let us know who that person might be…. and of course if you want to unsubscribe at any time simply reply to this email and let us know.

General info and updates
  • Amid all the anxiety surrounding the Covid 19 pandemic there is also the call for a new normal to be discovered when the crisis is behind us. Here is an interesting discussion on the topic between George Monbiot, Caroline Lucas and Faiza Shaheen, courtesy of Spanner Films. It looks at all sorts of justice and environmental issues and how we could approach things differently going forward.
  • It is strange times that we live in, with most children home from school every day and yet we can’t really take them anywhere; but there are many ideas and suggestions online for example the Butterfly Conservation Society have lots of suggestions about planting wild flower seeds in the garden, or if you don’t have a garden in pots (or old items like welly boots if you don’t have pots) or window boxes. Wild flower seeds are readily available online, as are small food crop seeds like cress. Also the Wildlife Trust are asking us to take action for insects, 41% of which face extinction; download your guide here. Another idea to amuse (and educate) the children – why not take them on a virtual safari. Or if you don’t have children and finding it hard to fill your time then why not do a free online course such as this one on Climate Change
  • The cancelled Living Sustainably in our Modern World event scheduled for Saturday 14th March at Emmanuel church has now been provisionally rescheduled for 13 March 2021… please pop the date in your diary; those of you who already booked tickets will have your booking transferred to this new date.
  • Plymouth City Council and Plymouth Energy Community have received grant money through the Interreg programme to help reduce carbon emissions from heating. Interreg are working with their French partners in L’orient to explore combining solar energy and heat pumps as a heating solution. The project aims to produce resources, including guidance on best practice for building owners, occupants, as well as those who will deliver these solutions. You can read more about the SunPeople project here. This is a pilot project, so they are just testing the idea for combining heat pumps and solar through a service-based approach. To do this, they need potential individual and business customers who are interested in finding out more about alternative heating solutions.  Please click on the appropriate link to complete the initial survey about either your home, your business, or both! It will enable them to find out a little bit more about your home or business and the energy that supplies it.
  • The Tree Council will make available funds for you to plant trees in your community. There are three funds available for planting trees in your community: The Tree Council Tree Futures Grant Scheme – a fund to get young people under the age of 16 involved in tree planting and care, the Network Rail Community Fund and the Daily Mail Tree Angel Orchards Fund. You can register to hear when the Tree Orchards Fund opens here.
  • A new Christian Eco book club is being started in the city – it will be on Zoom and it is hoped that the first 3 sessions will be scheduled for 29th April and 13th and 27th May – for more information please contact Alan Ramage
Some good news
  • It seems scientists have discovered an enzyme that can help breakdown plastic; of course this is not an immediate solution to the plastic waste crisis, and we still need to curb our use of single-use plastic, but in the long term it may help us use plastic more wisely and dispose of it better at the end of its life. Read more here
Some not quite such good news
  • The ability of the world’s tropical forests to remove carbon from the atmosphere is decreasing, according to a study tracking 300,000 trees over 30 years. With data provided by Dr Sophie Fauset, Lecturer in Environmental Science in Plymouth’s School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, the global scientific collaboration reveals that a feared switch of the world’s undisturbed tropical forests from a carbon sink to a carbon source has begun. The new analysis of tree growth and death in 565 undisturbed tropical forests across Africa and the Amazon has found that the overall uptake of carbon into Earth’s intact tropical forests peaked in the 1990s. By the 2010s, on average, the ability of a tropical forest to absorb carbon had dropped by one-third. The switch is largely driven by carbon losses from trees dying and goes against the typical predictions of climate models. Read more here
Upcoming (virtual) events / dates for your diary 

If you are hosting any relevant events you would like us to help publicise please let me know in time for inclusion in the ENews
  • Monday 20th April 19.00 The film Burned: Are Trees the New Coal? is being shown on line by Extinction Rebellion. Burned is a feature-length documentary, which takes an unwavering look at the accelerating destruction of our forests for fuel. The film tells the story of how woody biomass has become the fossil fuel industry’s latest attempt to greenwash itself as part of the climate solution, and of the people and parties who are both fighting against and promoting its adoption and use. It also explores how government subsidies are propping up the industry. It’s free, and more information about the film and the Eventbright link is here
  • Monday 20th to Friday 25th April World Earth Day Week – no need to leave the house to join in with these free live talks on various topics.The program features the brightest minds to discuss solutions to the most daring challenge humanity has ever faced: the climate crisis. For more information, watch a trailer or register see here
  • Tuesday 21st and 28th April 7.30pm – online training by CCA. How can churches and individual Christians make a difference? How do we respond to XR (Extinction Rebellion)?

    Christian Climate Action has been working with XR over the last year. Many Christians may agree that something needs to be done, but often feel powerless, and also struggle with what XR is doing. If you would like to know more about why CCA does what it does, then why not join the CCA online training – NB this training has already started but it’s not too late to join in with the remaining sessions, which cover on 21st April Volunteer Roles (Theories of Change). (45mins) and Crisis (45mins) and on 28th April How change happens –(45mins) and Going Forward (45mins) To find out more or to book see here

  • Wednesday, 6 May, 6:30 to 8pm Plymouth Green and Science Book Club via Zoom Sign in from 6:15, details below, discussing “Science for Life. A Manual for Better Living” by Brian Clegg. Here is the meeting link Meeting ID: 427 497 397 Password: 076857 More information from Alan Ramage
Information links
We will aim to only send you information once about a particular website or organisation that maybe of interest to some of you; you are then invited to subscribe yourself so that we do not duplicate information which can be off-putting
Climate Outreach was set up in 2004 to help reach people with the message of what climate change is and how we can discuss the topic with others, specialising in providing tools and information to help us engage hard to reach communities such as youth, central right, faith groups and migrants, as well as blog spots and recordings of previous events.
Finally, I’ll leave you with this prayer…..
A prayer in  the midst of coronavirus
God of healing,
Surround us with your love as together we negotiate the complexities of coronavirus.
Guide us all as we seek to support one another. Help us to be attentive to the lonely, the isolated, the fearful and those who are ill.
Mindful of the geographical isolation of many rural communities, we pray for everyone involved in the effective provision of food, medical supplies and pastoral care.
In the name of Jesus Christ, who walks alongside us in our difficulties.
As always, please do let us know any hints and tips you have to share with others, and any relevant events for us to publicise.
on behalf of PCGA steering committee
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