Sunday, June 21, 2009
Yesterday the Churches Together in Reading Midsummer Party was blessed with much better weather than Forbury Fever had been in the same location two weeks ago. Reading Christian Ecology Link were running much the same stall as on that occasion, but inevitably we had rather different conversations since people had not arrived at the event expecting to be challenged about the environment. As well as the Operation Noah petition we were also promoting Thames Valley Vegans and Vegetarians' petition to make one day a week meat free in Reading. The number of vegetarians who visited the stall seemed out of proportion to that in the population as a whole - does this mean vegetarians were more likely to visit a Christian Ecology Link stall? Certainly a meat free day was a popular idea among those who came to the stall, even among the omnivores.
There was lots more enthusiasm for colouring in animal masks than for making origami boats so I think in future we might want to make the boats up ready for signing if we want to be able to post these off. Those who did make boats only wanted to do the ones with scrap paper to see them float, not to post to Gordon Brown. We did, however, fill two pages of Operation Noah's petition and get lots of interest in the Ecclesiastical Electricity plan to put solar panels on a church roof in Reading (including encouragement from Bishop Stephen). A few people also took Eco-congregation leaflets with a view to exploring the possibilities at their churches.
Our display of eco-friendly household items proved a good starting point for conversations too (green washing liquid, wash balls, a pump for grey water [from the renewable energy UK shop], an OWL electricity monitor [apparently now available in John Lewis among many other places and possibly free to British Gas customers], solar powered lamp from Ikea, wind up radio etc). The display of books, on the other hand, was only browsed by other people on the stall!