Without Nature We Are Nothing

Without nature we are nothing. With that in mind, Sussex Green Living, Horsham Eco Churches and their supporters joined more than 60,000 people, representing 350 environmental groups on the Restore Nature Now march (led by Chris Packham) from Park Lane to Parliament Square in London on June 22.  It was a well organised family event, with amazing costumes, music, banners and speeches, chants led by children and echoed by adults.  Carrie Cort, CEO Sussex Green Living, said it was her first attendance at an event like that in London, she found it inspiring, empowering and motivating. She felt very honoured to walk with so many others and met people who had travelled from as far afield as Aberdeen, Abergavenny and the Lake District to join the march.

The natural world is in trouble, we need to take action and want to see UK politicians show strong domestic and global nature and climate leadership. Our rivers and seas are being poisoned, one in six British species are at risk of extinction, floods and droughts are becoming more extreme as we see the escalating effects of the climate emergency. Yet the UK Government’s own advisers say we are not on track to meet legal targets to restore nature and reduce climate emissions.

Chris Packham said: “We can Restore Nature Now. And we will Restore Nature Now. We have the tools, we have the technologies, we’ve tried and tested the solutions and they work!

The previous Saturday over 80 enthusiastic individuals from churches across Chichester Diocese gathered at St Mark’s Church Holbrook for an empowering conference on environmental stewardship. The day was filled with inspiring stories, practical workshops, and a shared commitment to care for God’s creation. Rev’d Buff Forbes Stone, Diocesan Environment Officer, who led the day with Karen Park from St Mark’s said: “We were delighted to welcome so many people from our churches who clearly wanted to know more about the climate change issues affecting us all and what their church can do. This was a significant step on their journey as the delegates learned about simple actions they could take and how to get the whole community involved.”

The event began by reflecting on the biblical call to be caretakers of the Earth and our responsibility to our global neighbours. Participants then heard about the Eco Church Award Scheme and the remarkable steps St Mark’s has taken on its eco journey. Local experts ran eight interactive workshops, each offering practical guidance on topics like eco-worship, managing church land and buildings, promoting biodiversity, and communicating environmental messages effectively.

Karen Blackman, from St Margaret’s Church West Hoathly, shared her experience: “It was an inspiring day and well worth attending. There were thought-provoking presentations, interesting workshops, a wealth of resources on offer, and plenty of ideas being shared. I came back filled with hope for what we can do together to better care for God’s creation.”  Another attendee, Rev’d Dr Tim Edge from St Luke’s Church Prestonville, Brighton said: “It was a magnificent conference on the environment; excellent all round with good workshops, worship and speakers.” Representatives from Christian Climate Action, The Quiet Garden Movement, Greenpeace, Horsham Eco Churches and Sussex Green Living also provided valuable information and resources.

Rev Buff Forbes Stone reflected on the collective commitment to environmental stewardship: “We came away encouraged, refreshed and full of hope about what our churches might achieve by working together and with national initiatives.” Participants pledged to take the next steps on this journey, guided by God’s call to care for creation.

More information:
Sussex Green Living: https://www.sussexgreenliving.org.uk/
Horsham Eco Churches: https://horshamct.org.uk/eco-churches/

By Karen Park

Karen Park