“The Michaelmas Daisies, among dede weeds,
Bloom for St Michael’s valorous deeds.
And seems the last of flowers that stood,
Till the feast of St. Simon and St. Jude.”
We have several events coming up in the diocese during October, many inspired by the upcoming 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) being hosted by our government in Glasgow.
On the 17/18th of October Faiths 4 Climate Justice will be coordinating a global series of actions marking two weeks until the climate talks in Glasgow. In our own diocese we begin with a banner unfurling at St John’s Waterloo, after the Sunday service, on the 17th of October at 12 noon, if you are interested in attending please sign up here.
Prayer Vigil for COP at Southwark Cathedral
On 23rd of October there will be a prayer vigil for COP26 held at Southwark Cathedral. South Bank Churches & the Diocese of Southwark invite people of all faiths to the prayer vigil for the success of COP26, the international conference on climate change. You are encouraged to make a pilgrimage from your place of worship – on foot, by bike, on public transport, or however you wish – to arrive at Southwark Cathedral between 2pm and 3pm. Details for the event can be found online. While these events are concentrated in the north of the Diocese the next event will hopefully be much more widespread.
Ring Out for COP26
A nationwide request has gone out to all bellringers to ring their bells at 6pm on the 30th of October for 30 minutes (or longer) in recognition of the climate emergency and talks at COP26. We recognise that not every incumbent may be happy with this, so I would encourage any bellringers interested in participating to have a conversation with their incumbent.
This is an excuse and opportunity to advertise why you are ringing to your local community and invite local people to find out more about ringing and maybe even start to learn!
If you need any help with local publicity the Diocesan Environmental Officer has access to resources for advertising including a poster, and a draft press release for local media. If you would like access to these resources please email Jack Edwards.
For those who are unable to attend the COP26 in Glasgow, but still feel called to join in prayer for climate justice, Tearfund are hosting an online Sunday service from Glasgow on Sunday 7th of November broadcast from the heart of Glasgow. Register your intent to join.
We may be drawing to the end of Creationtide, but Churches Together Britain and Ireland are still encouraging all churches to hold a Climate Sunday Service before COP26 at the start of November. If this is of interest you can find a host of resources to assist you. You can also find a blog post written about a Climate Sunday service held in the diocese at which Bishop Christopher preached. Remember, you may be able to use your Harvest celebration to draw the link between climate change and food poverty in our communities.
Black History Month
October is Black History Month, this will be marked in many different ways in the Diocese not least by a Sunday Service at Southwark Cathedral at 11am on the 2nd of October, along with the launch of the Diocesan Anti Racism Charter.
Tearfund, Christian Aid and the Evangelical Alliance are running an online event on the 7th of October examining Christianity, Climate and Race. This event recognises that while climate change will effect everyone, it will not do so equally. Socially and economically disadvantaged groups are more vulnerable – and in many parts of the world, these are largely communities of colour. If you would like to hear more about the relationship between Climate Peril and race, this is the event for you. Climate Justice is Social Justice.
Eco Church Surgeries
Lastly, our new Diocesan Environmental Officer, Jack Edwards, is restarting the Eco Church Surgeries which were run so successfully by Laura Baggaley. These will be held on the last Monday of the month, with the next occurring on Monday the 25th of October. Details on registration will soon be available on the diocesan website.
The Diocesan Environmental Officer will also periodically send out a newsletter with information about key events and resources, please sign up here.