We are just back from Greenbelt festival over the August Bank holiday weekend. I describe Greenbelt as a festival with a Christian ethos and strong eco and justice themes that is totally inclusive, with drama, lectures/discussions, music (of course) and much more – read their description at: greenbelt.org.uk. I mean where else would you sing Angels (by Robbie Williams) as part of a church service of thousands, led by David and Carrie Grant?

There are many inspiring speakers about what we can do on climate justice – one of my favourites is Ruth Valerio who is very down to earth, and currently works for Tearfund. I went to a session titled: ‘Burned out fighting for Climate Justice’ – I think it should have had a question mark after it!

Her five tools were:

  1. Acknowledgement – stop and look at the awfulness of the situation full in the face. Don’t keep it bottled up inside you. How do you feel about the environmental crisis that we are in? Grieve and lament.
  2. Community – the sense of being overwhelmed rises if we think we are alone in this and of course we’re not. Share and channel those emotions into something positive that you can do, and we’re more likely to be successful if we work together and support each other.
  3. Take action – her view was that there are those with vested interests in wanting us to do nothing.
  4. Sabbath rest – taking time off to look after yourself, and the importance to body, mind and spirit of rest. Take care of you, so you can keep taking care of the planet.
  5. Hope – she suggested that ‘hope takes shape by taking action’. Read positive stories; search for the good news, the innovations, and the inspiring changes that are taking place. As Chris Packham said in the last series of ‘Earth’, despite the dire circumstances he had hope that people would find the courage and means to step up and do what is needed. Those of us who believe in the God of hope, and that life here on earth is more than just a lucky accident, have even more reason to be hopeful.

We are the Climate Action Team (CAT), in Capel Methodist Church, and we would love to hear from you if climate action and justice is a passion of yours too. 

Jill and Jon Sharp

Jill.sharp@btinternet.com