A Rocha UK works collaboratively with other organisations and within coalitions, to achieve the best collective impact from our resources.
In a year of major international environment summits, we are involved in two initiatives to help inform and support action by Christians in the UK. This spring we are co-producing a public conference on saving nature, six months before the major UN summit on biodiversity Kunming, China, in October. And A Rocha UK is playing a key role in a one-off Climate Sunday initiative to engage churches in effective climate action, in the year UK hosts the UN climate summit in November.
Since 2013, A Rocha UK has partnered with the John Ray Initiative (JRI) in providing a distance learning course, CRES (Christian Rural and Environmental Studies), to facilitate greater engagement of Christian on the environment. JRI is an educational charity with a vision to bring together scientific and Christian understanding of the environment in a way that can be widely communicated and lead to effective action. This year’s spring CRES conference – open to all, not just course participants – will be on 18 April at Cuddesdon Theological College Oxfordshire. Titled ‘Is there hope for the planet?’ the one day conference will look at the current state of nature and the actions needed to bring about lasting hope for creation. Speakers include A Rocha UK’s Head of Conservation, Andy Lester, and Dr Martin Hodson, a biologist and author, and Coordinator of JRI. More details, including how to book a place at these popular CRES events, can be found here.
With the UN climate talks (COP26) scheduled for Glasgow between 9-21 November, there is a unique opportunity and need to mobilise UK churches to deepen their action to combat climate disruption. A Rocha UK is working with a coalition of UK Christian charities and denominations to launch a cross denominational initiative, culminating in a Climate Sunday on 6th September. Climate Sunday aims to facilitate 1000s of churches across the UK and across denominations and networks,, to engage spiritually and practically with climate issues. It will provide prayer and service materials relevant to different traditions. And it will enable all to raise their voices together to support bolder UK government and international action at the COP. And it will signpost routes for churches to deepen their action in the years ahead – such as Eco Church, Eco Congregation in Scotland or the Catholic Live Simply scheme. Please start conversations in your church about participating and watch this space for further details to be announced. We are expecting a website to be available from the end of April.
The Climate Sunday initiative is being chaired by A Rocha UK’s CEO, Andy Atkins, who has been involved in organising several previous coalition campaigns, such as Make Poverty History in 2005.