Passionate social justice activists from across London and the South-East of England have been coming together on Zoom every Monday lunchtime in 2021 to pray, share ideas, and take unified action for Climate Justice. They discuss all aspects of Care of Creation including preventing habitat loss, protecting biodiversity, eliminating waste, promoting sustainable development, global racial justice, Live Simply Parishes, Journey to 2030, communicating with clergy, parishioners and bishops, and building ecumenical and interfaith partnerships.
The gatherings take place at 1.00-1.45pm every Monday and will continue in the lead-up to the UN Climate Conference COP26 in Glasgow, 1-12 November 2021.
The Briefings were initiated by staff and volunteers from diocesan Justice and Peace Commissions, CAFOD and the Laudato Si’ Animators (a group who have received training via the Global Catholic Climate Movement) and bring together Catholics from five dioceses – Arundel & Brighton, Brentwood, Portsmouth, Southwark and Westminster – as a means to create a unified approach among Catholics in London and the South-East during this critical year for environmental action.
There is a report from each Diocese every week, a time of prayer, and presentations on environmental issues of interest. Guest speakers who have presented to the group so far include: Danny Sweeney (Co-ordinator, J & P Scotland) on preparations for COP26 in Glasgow by Justice & Peace Scotland, Maria Elena Arana (CAFOD Livesimply Co-ordinator) on national CAFOD campaigns, Jane Mellett (European Co-ordinator, Laudato Si’ Animators) on Global Catholic Climate Movement campaigning, Molly Clarke and Flo Wright (Young Christian Climate Network organisers) on the YCCN Relay, Cornwall G7 to Glasgow COP26, and London Residency, 5th-8th August, and Caitlin Boyle (CAFOD volunteer) reporting on the young adult action at the G7 in Cornwall.
A weekly newsletter is circulated to participants after every meeting. The group is growing rapidly and now has over 50 people signed up. New members are always welcome and we hope that more people from the five dioceses will come on board as we get closer to COP26 and the opportunity it presents to appeal to government and big business to step up their climate ambition, as the times demand. Attendees can drop in to just one Briefing during the year or come every week, as suits them. Guests from beyond the five dioceses are always welcome!
If you would like to attend the meetings or be added to the Care of Creation mailing list please email Colette Joyce, Westminster Justice and Peace Co-ordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The meetings are open to anyone who cares about the environment and is sympathetic to the Catholic community and Catholic Social Teaching.
Prayed at Care of Creation Briefing on 14th June 2021
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ
excerpted from Hearts on Fire