Fantastic response to ‘Our Fragile Earth’ in Sidmouth

Fantastic response to ‘Our Fragile Earth’ in Sidmouth. Picture: Brian Golding,

Fantastic response to ‘Our Fragile Earth’ in Sidmouth. Picture: Brian Golding, - Credit: Archant

A four-week church-led course of talks and discussions on caring for creation has concluded in Sidmouth.

More than 170 people attended the first event, the next two had about 100 each, and the final one was attended by 75 people.

The costs of the event was covered by a £2,500 grant from 'Scientists in Congregations' - a Church of England project funded by the Templeton World Foundation.

The aim of the course was to inform church members, and the wider community, on the scientific evidence for human degradation of the natural environment, to relate this to biblical teaching on caring for God's creation, and to help members adopt more sustainable lifestyles.

The talks were hosted by each of the four town centre churches - All Saints' Church, Sidmouth Parish Church, the Methodist Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

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Brian Golding, one of the organisers, said: "We started with the ocean, which is responding slowly, but very steadily, to the rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere: firstly by warming up - leading to sea level rise and to the bleaching of coral reefs - but also by becoming more acidic - weakening the shells made by sea creatures...

"Next came the atmosphere, whose response to increased pollution is now clearly evident in higher temperatures that break records almost every year.

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"Rather than the familiar carbon dioxide pollution, Prof Nisbet's own research focuses on methane, originating mainly from farm animals and gas leaks."

Mr Golding said the third talk was on the land, emphasising on biodiversity loss and land degradation as well as climate change.

Guest speaker Dr Hodson spoke about the impact of livestock farming with a clear message that humans need to eat less meat for their own good and the good of the earth.

The final talk took looked at how young people perceived the big issues of our day in terms of science and religion.

Members of the churches are now working on their next steps, including seeking EcoChurch accreditation.

Mr Golding said: "Feedback from those attending the final talk showed that those taking part felt they had gained understanding from the talks."

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