On 18th March, Quakers from across Central England gathered for an all-day, all-age Area Meeting, focussed on Climate Justice, facilitated by Kim Harrison and Naomi Richards of Woodbrooke.
The morning was spent learning about the key principles of climate justice, and drawing up an extensive list of climate justice work happening in our region. After sharing food and fellowship over lunch, the afternoon was focussed on ideas for action that we could take together as Quaker Meetings, and what could nourish that action. These ideas have been saved to inform future Area Meeting discernment on this issue.
Kim has shared some resources which Friends might find helpful in exploring climate justice further. Part of her message to participants reads:
“It was truly inspiring to hear so many wonderful local activities that are already happening, and such deep discussions and reflections on where you as a Quaker community can best serve, and also find spiritual nourishment. Systemic change requires collective action, and this is where our strengths lie as a faith community active across multiple linked struggles. It was heartening to see such a robust collective response within your area meeting regarding climate witness, and we hope our session nourished this.”
- If you’re interested in exploring this issue further, it’s not too late to join our yearlong Exploring Faith and Climate Justice course. We’re partway through but all resources and recordings are available on our online platform, which also includes a discussion forum.
- Keep an eye out in the next couple of weeks for the announcement of Woodbooke’s full 2023 programme:
– There will be a specific Climate Justice offering in the autumn.
– There will also be a course in our 2023 Racial and Social Justice programme which might address what some of you were saying about having difficult conversations and speaking truth to power.
– Apologies we can’t link to these yet. They will be listed on our website.
Queries for worship and reflection
- Social action should be energising and sustainable; working together can be a source of joy. How are you enabling this for yourself and others?
- What does love require of us, here and now?
- Do you notice inequalities related to the climate and ecological crisis in your neighbourhood? In the UK?
- How can we build relationships with those most affected by climate breakdown to enable climate justice work?
- Who are we listening to, and who should we listen to, and how? What do we communicate with others and in how we live?
- Now that you have a fuller understanding of climate justice and its relation to colonialism, capitalism, and other forms of oppression, what calls to you? How are you led?
- What is one thing – small or big – you could do? What is a way in which you might want to start seeing things differently?
Resources and readings
- For those of you who didn’t get a chance to read the booklet beforehand, here is the link again: ‘What Is Climate Justice?’:
- ‘Climate Justice: A Quaker View’ Leaflet, Quakers in Britain.
- ‘Climate Justice is Social Justice’ video by Earthrise.
- Loughborough Friends Sustainability Handbook.
- ‘Taking Action for Climate Justice’, Quakers in Britain, 2021.
- QCEA climate policies booklet, 2021.
- ‘Facing the Challenge of Climate Change’, 2015 statement from Quaker groups.
- Bristol Friends climate advices and queries.
- Canterbury Commitment.
- The Kabarak Call for Peace and Ecojustice.
- Alastair Cameron’s (of South East Scotland Area Meeting) message to the Scottish Parliament.
- Quakers in Britain article on climate breakdown and migration.
- Cherice Bock (2022). “Faith Communities as Hubs for Climate Resilience”, in The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Urban and Regional Futures, ed. Robert Brears. Palgrave Macmillan.
- Video about the Earth Quaker Action Team and their direct action.
- ‘How Quakers are Working for Climate Justice’ FCNL video.
- ‘A Brief Story of Climate Justice: From Slavery to Now’, QPSW video:
- ‘This is just how unfair climate change is’, DW Planet video: