Three people from the Plymouth Diocese attended the national Justice and Peace conference from 23-25 July which had as its theme ‘Life on Earth – 2021: Moment of Truth’. The event brought together people from parishes across England and Wales to pray, reflect and plan for action on the theme of the environment. The meeting had a range of great speakers (pictured above) including Bishop John Arnold, Fr Eamonn Mulcahy, Mark Rotherham, Lorna Gold and Andy Atkins.

We were reminded that there are now less than 100 days before the Climate Conference in Glasgow in November but it is not clear that we will get the commitment we need to ensure that global warming is limited at 1.5 degrees – the commitment made in Paris in 2015. Although the speakers all addressed different elements of environmental challenges and action, there were some common themes:

  • Every action counts – no matter how small.
  • Pope Francis’ Encyclicals, Laudato Si’ and Fratelli Tutti, give us a clear direction about the issues and actions we should take
  • We can all do something to have a positive impact on our Common Home through prayer, advocacy and action
  • Our everyday decisions – what we buy, how we travel, how we heat our homes – are great opportunities to think differently about our own lifestyle and its impact on the environment
  • It’s not all gloom and doom – there is real joy  to be found in putting human flourishing and wellbeing as priorities in place of consumerism and growth. Our young people are leading the way on this.

There are plenty of opportunities to take action but here are a few suggestions we liked:

  • Advocacy – contact your MP and  take action in advance of the peak moment offered by COP 26 – the Climate Conference in Glasgow. CAFOD have lots of ideas. You can also commit to the Time is Now declaration either as an individual or a parish
  • Practical action – why not become a Live Simply parish or school? Come along to our Diocesan event on 1 October  and find out more. Celebrate the Season of Creation in your parish. Take part in the Big Green Week
  • Join local networks such as the Environmental Issues Network of Churches or the Global Catholic Climate Movement
  • Get in touch with Caritas to offer your support or access resources. Come to our event on 14 September to give your views on our environment policy.