Our Faith, Our Planet, Our Community
Our Faith, Our Planet, Our Community was a positive, uplifting evening with a serious undertone reflecting the climate change crisis we face and the need for collective action by all faith communities. Organised by the Manchester Cathedral, many people from across the city came together to learn about climate change, share information and consider how they could contribute to Manchester’s Climate Change Strategy.
Jonny Sadler, Director of Manchester Climate Change Agency presented an overview of the 2050 Zero Carbon Strategy, emphasising the need to avoid thinking about climate change as something abstract; that it is something we all face every day.
Supported passionately by the Dean of Manchester and The Very Reverend Rogers Govender, other faith representatives gave an insight into the role of religion in responding to this crisis. He emphasised the need for all to show more reverence and respect for Mother Earth and that the principles of major faiths recognise the intrinsic value of every living organism and their interconnectedness. One strongly supported comment was that ‘Faith is not just to give people purpose, we see our faith through actions’.
Phil Korbel from the Carbon Literacy Trust presented information about a range of current projects involving faith communities retrofitting their places of worship. He gave insight into what can be done and into the work Carbon Literacy has done so far.
Music and song featured during the event demonstrating its power as a spiritual way of reconnecting faith communities to nature and God. Powerful messages were shared of the need to show mercy and compassion to the Earth along with the need for religious groups to take on God’s role of protecting the planet. The Right Reverend John Arnold, Bishop of Salford stated that we need to act as ‘ambassadors for Christ’. This was also a wonderful way of beginning the collaborative process between different faiths. It included reflecting on the shared values these communities have when it comes to their appreciation of, and what they love, about their environment.
The evening ended positively with the hope expressed that this is the beginning of faith communities acting collectively to help achieve Manchester’s target of becoming a zero carbon, zero waste, resilient city by 2050.
The poetry workshop by Sam Illingsworth during the conference produce this wonderful piece of writing in which a sample for each table’s poems was taken.
We love the silhouette of the trees about the busy streets
The flowers and squirrels please (us)
Take a moment to witness the city moving around you
Enjoy the ash trees in Manchester Road park, tall and free
Watch the ducks getting wet and the smiling school children walking by the canal
I love picking out the calls of birds in the morning sun, when all else is quiet
Refugees, refugee-bees, I love that our community is a refuge for all.
View the Twitter Storify here: https://storify.com/ManCathedral/our-faith-our-planet-our-community-59cb8287064e6304818ec351
Listen to the full event podcast here: https://www.mixcloud.com/Manchester_Cathedral/manchester-cathedral-radio-episode-nine/