Earth Justice at St James’s

Hear from Deborah Colvin, Church Warden, as she explains how Earth Justice at St James’s is rooted in loving and understanding the whole world and all its inhabitants, so that we act from a place of belonging.

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Church Window Mask
Gold eco church award

What’s in a name? At SJP we’ve been through several iterations of eco-focussed engagement.

Back in the 1990s Creation Spirituality found a home here, with its focus on original blessing and Celtic spiritual tradition, and there was a thriving programme of events and liturgy.

In the 2000s we engaged with Shrinking the Footprint, the Church of England programme to measure and reduce energy use.  We pursued this more or less painstakingly for several years, making some dramatic improvements such as roof insulation, a much more efficient boiler, LED lights for the market traders (instead of 500W halogens). We reduced our carbon footprint by over 50% as well as saving many thousands of pounds in energy bills.

The Eco Church scheme from A Rocha came along in 2015. We put our minds to completing the very helpful structured challenges and achieved bronze, silver, and gold awards in 2016, 2017, and 2018 respectively. The Eco Church scheme encouraged us to look at the whole of our life together. Action on energy, procurement, land use and biodiversity, worship, teaching, community and global engagement, and lifestyle are all required for a Gold Award. We continue to support A Rocha and Eco Church through giving talks, hosting visits and events, and assessing Gold Award churches.

And now, in the 2020s with atmospheric CO2 continuing to rise and communities that have done least to cause climate change feeling the impacts first and worst, our focus is on justice for the earth and all its life forms – Earth Justice. The structure of this website signals that Earth Justice sits firmly alongside Social Justice. We recognise that there can be no environmental justice without justice for people.

Our Earth Justice action plan for the coming years rests on a framework of Liturgy, Learning and Action. We continue our eco-contemplative liturgies in the Southwood Garden and on Zoom at 9.45am on the 4th Sunday of the month, as well as ‘special’ liturgies such as rogation and contributions to the 11am Eucharist. Learning takes many forms including talks, events, eco-pilgrimages, and projects such as Daily Bread and Aftermath. Action is based in liturgy and learning and needs all of us. Pleased do get in touch to help shape the future.

Deborah Colvin

Earthling, born at 318ppm