Sunday, February 6, 2022

Good COP, Bad COP

 In case you missed church today (as I did - in Covid isolation!) here's a report from Rosemary on some of what happened before the church lunch: 

Good Cop, Bad Cop!

This Sunday we sat down with our mugs of coffee following the morning service for a quick update – to find out if anything is happening after November’s COP26.

We talked about 

Care for creation being central to our faith – the fifth mark of the 5 Marks of Mission for those in our Anglican church.

The most important thing we can do this decade is to drastically cut the use of fossil fuels – and yet the IMF says we subsidise fossil fuels £5.9trillion /year….

The C of E and Reading Borough Council, are both committed to be carbon neutral by 2030.

We are currently at 1.2 degrees warming above pre-industrial temperatures; we are aiming to stop the temperature rising above 1.5 degrees. Currently we are heading for 2.4 degrees if the COP promises are kept 

Good things from COP26

Lots of people, lots of young people, lots of evidence of church involvement: 100,000 people marched in Glasgow and lots of others in other places around the world. There is now a lot of public concern

Climate justice is talked about – the industrialised countries most responsible for the emissions that cause global warming are not the ones who are suffering most from the disasters caused by climate change. 

An agreement was made to reduce deforestation & methane gas emissions

>20 countries agreed to stop funding fossil fuel extraction overseas; 

There is agreement to have further dialogue on creating a climate finance pot to cover loss and damage

Bad things from COP

We are still heading for temp rises of 2.4 degrees.

No agreements made for climate finance and none to stop fossil fuel use

Fine words, but no action….just blah blah blah!

Corporate courts;  trade agreements with multinationals often include a clause saying they can seek compensation from corporate courts, should the country pass laws which adversely affect their business.

Reliance on net zero – on technologies that do not yet exist at scale, at not thinking to try to improve things by a negative carbon balance. Its not when we reach net zero but how; if we continue life as usual until 2050 we will put a lot more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere – we actually need to reduce by 50% our greenhouse gas emissions every decade. 

So what to do?

1. Look at TEAR Fund’s Climate Fact sheet to help understand the issues.

2. Know about The CEE (Climate & Ecological Emergency Bill. Now supported by 121 MPs – but not by Matt Rodda (or MP) and the Reading Area Green Christians are hoping to get together a group to meet up with him. Find out more about the CEE Bill at Zero Hour Climate UK

3. Reading Borough Council pensions are in a pot called the Berkshire Pension Fund – which has £29 million invested in companies involved in fossil Fuel Extraction. We agreed to e-mail our council representatives to tell them that we want them to divest.

4. Do your own climate footprint – as advertised in the recent church newsheets; go to Carbon Calculator - Climate Hero  (

Monday, September 20, 2021

Creation Season 2021

This year we are following the official Season of Creation more closely - just the Sundays from 1st September until the Feast of St Francis on 4th October - and using resources from the ecumenical website. The first Sunday was the last of our open air services which we've held monthly over the summer, so we could enjoy the beautiful flowers in the courtyard this year.

Yesterday, the third Sunday in the season, Jeremy encouraged us all in his sermon to read the latest IPCC report, or at least one of the summaries of it. He included a few of their graphs of the range of possibilities we now face, emphasising the crucial importance decisions to be made at COP26.

Various congregation members were involved last month in supporting the YCCN pilgrimage residency at Reading, either joining the pilgrims on the routes into and out of Reading or taking part in events including a climate workshop with Reading University scientists and services of welcome and departure. Below are some of the photos Richard McKenzie took for us at the Minster Climate Service with which the residency ended (the weather soon cleared up and the walk to Twyford afterwards was gorgeous).

Meanwhile, over the summer exciting developments have been happening in the courtyard we share with the school:

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Registering the Climate Emergency

Six months on from our first Climate Sunday service on 6 September 2020, we held another one in Lent - 7 March 2021 - and this time we read together a statement recognising the Climate Emergency and commiting ourselves to act accordingly. We included three reflections in the service - the first inviting people to think about why the climate and ecological emergency matters to them; the second outlining recent actions we've done as a church, including investing in Reading Hydro and donations to the World Land Trust as well as practical carbon reductions and parliamentary lobbying. The third was a call to action by the congregation - it's in the new page "Climate Sunday reflection" on this blog.

Following encouragement at a seminar from the Climate Emergency Toolkit, I've just registered that acknowledgement for inclusion on their map. We've also signed up more locally with the Reading CAN pledge. to join with the town's commitment to reach net zero by 2030.

What are we doing about it ourselves? Most recently - we're trying to make it as easy as possible for everyone in the congregation and parish to change to a green electricity tariff, using the resources of the Fair Energy Campaign.; we've checked on the environmental credentials of all our investments and ensured they're as green as can be; and we've applied for a faculty for the cavity wall insulation.

On the church's behalf, Rosemary has been attending monthly meetings with Make COP26 Count, reporting back on the heartbreaking news of climate impact around the world.  Our top campaigning priority at the moment is the CEE Bill - Christian Climate Action are running seminars to help churches understand and support this, starting this Saturday.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Energy Audit


We have now received the report back from the Diocesan Energy Audit that was carried out on 12 October. It is hugely useful and positive. It includes 17 practical suggestions for actions with details of the estimated costs, carbon savings and eventual financial savings as well as whether they would require a faculty.

The next step is for the PCC to work out which they want to prioritise and how to take this forward.