On June 22nd we helped put on a climate action day at Stratford Methodist Church, on the theme The Climate Emergency: What Can Stratford Do? This was co-organised by representatives of the Methodist Eco Congregation, Stratford Friends of the Earth, and the Stratford Quakers, in response to the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published in October.

Our aim was to inform people about the need for action, and about the resources available for us in trying to make these transitions, both as individuals and as a community. We were lucky with a beautiful sunny day, and the event was well attended by around 350 people. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

An all-day exhibition, with stalls provided by around 30 campaign groups, charities, and eco-businesses, providing demonstrations and information on all aspects of sustainable living. Stalls covered issues including food, green energy, eco gardening, eco houses, electric cars, green energy, green technology, permaculture, rubbish and waste. Food was provided by Plantarium, Stratford’s own vegan café. 

The event was opened by the mayor of Stratford, Kate Rolfe, and a keynote lecture was given by Dr Lisa Schipper, “Climate Change: Why We Can Still Do Something”. Dr Schipper is from the Oxford Environmental Change Institute, and a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). 

There were further talks from Ruth Dixon of Warwickshire County Council, on “Reducing Waste in Stratford”, and by Richard Milward of Act on Energy, on “Saving Energy in the Home”. A workshop in the afternoon on “Making Stratford Greener” provided an opportunity to think about the ways in which greenhouse gas reductions could be achieved in Stratford to make the town a more sustainable, healthier place to live.

Stratford Methodist Church is active in environmental campaigning within and outside of church networks. The church building is an award winning example of how public buildings can reduce their carbon footprint.