Tag Archives: climate change

Building common ground: Hope for the Future and climate campaigning…Sermon from 2nd October 2016

(This is a expanded and modified version of a presentation about Hope for the Future  given by Michael Bayley and Jo Musker-Sherwood at St Mark’s Church on 2 October 2016)   Hope for the Future is a campaign focused mostly on churches to enable people to make effective contact with their MPs to persuade them of the importance of taking decisive action on climate change. The need to take action on climate change is becoming ever more urgent. We believe that the case for doing so is established beyond all reasonable doubt so this article focus on how we are campaigning. A couple of months ago my phone rang and it was Jo, who is the campaign co-ordinator. She had a lot to tell me. She had just come back from accompanying two constituents to a meeting with their MP. The constituents had been anxious about the meeting because on a previous occasion the MP concerned, a Tory, had shown no interest whatever in climate change, had been very dismissive of the whole thing and what had been promised as a 15 min meeting had turned into a paltry five minutes. This meeting began in the same way; raised voices and classic defensive behaviours. It was going nowhere. However, this time Jo stepped in and, taking a different approach, began to reflect the MP’s concerns back to him. “You’re right,” she agreed, “How can we rely on renewables when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing?” The MP was taken aback as he wasn’t used to hearing a response like this from green campaigners. The conversation went on, common ground was laid, the MP relaxed and they were able to have a constructive conversation. The real turning point came when his constituents asked his opinion on how to get more people in the constituency interested in climate change. He even offered to speak with climate sceptics in the constituency to persuade them of the importance of taking action! In the space of a short meeting by communicating imaginatively, the MP had become an ally. There is nothing magical about this approach. It takes its inspiration in part from what Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth, “I have become all things to all people that I might by all means save some.” (1 Corinthians 9:22) It is essentially about treating the MP thoughtfully, carefully and with respect, rather than just trying to pressure him or her into giving into your demands. This may seem very obvious but much campaigning i recent years has been simply confronting our MPs with our Asks. This may sometimes be appropriate but often it is not and the whole thing can easily become confrontational and unproductive. Indeed, we have been struck by just how committed climate campaigners find it to abandon a confrontational approach with the unfortunat result that many MPs are suspicious of all climate campaigners. … Continue reading

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Hope ~ Sermon from 20th December ’15

Hope Hope is central to the Christian faith and at no season more than Advent when we look forward in hope to celebrating Jesus’s birth, the coming of the Messiah, the anointed one, who in the Jewish tradition is the … Continue reading

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Pray and Fast for the climate 2

“Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent and believe in the gospel.”” (Mark 1:14–15) That word “repent” comes … Continue reading

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Hope for the Future

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Bishop Steven, a strong supporter of “Hope for the Future”, writes about this vital climate campaign

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Hope for the Future

“Just as the world was beginning to take in the almost unimaginable devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan, a young Filipino diplomat, Naderev Sano, was getting ready to lead his country’s negotiations in the UN climate talks in Warsaw, Poland… By … Continue reading

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Climate, Sustainability and the Future

The climate crisis is seen as being intimately linked to the economic crisis, which, with its inexorable drive for growth, fuels the climate crisis. The case is argued that rather than the unsatisfying drive for prosperity as growth, we should be striving for prosperity as human flourishing with emphasis on greater equality. The million climate jobs campaign provides a model because it links action on the environment with action on the economy by providing jobs. Various strategies are explored, such as sharing work, a more localized approach to agriculture and a more imaginative approach to public procurement and housing. Suggestions are made about the nature of the moral/spiritual crisis that threatens us and ways in which we might go forward. Continue reading

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