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Welcome to Reading Christian Ecology Link's blogsite

"For the Church of the 21st century, good ecology is not an optional extra but a matter of justice. It is therefore central to what it means to be a Christian"
Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury


The latest update from Christian Concern for One World, followed by CAFOD's information including a bus to the service at Westminster Central Hall that precedes the Hyde Park gathering:

Enough Food for Everyone IF … April Update
What’s happened already?
You may have sent an IF email, lobbied your MP, or even taken part in the spectacular “Spot the George” stunt … all asking the Government to commit to reaching the 0.7% aid target. And you may have heard the good news that when the Budget was presented, the Government committed to meet the 0.7% target on aid not only for this year but through 2015. They were under a lot of pressure not to do so – so thank you to all of you who made it clear that you supported the move!
What’s coming up?
There are three upcoming summits, each of which has a direct bearing on the IF issues. There are two large-scale events asking the politicians at these summits to keep a focus on addressing some specific causes of hunger and economic injustice.
And you and your church are invited to take part.
Your invitation to The Big IF Event ….
First come to Central Hall Westminster for a service of worship and prayer bringing together thousands of Christians and church leaders from across different church groups and across the country. God calls God’s people to feed the hungry and to live justly. So if we’re seeking an end to hunger and economic injustice, how can we not come together before God in praise and prayer!
Then process to join even more thousands of people in Hyde Park. There will be speakers. Family friendly activities. And a chance to help create “an iconic image of support for tackling hunger.” The image will be created with spinning flowers, which will form a powerful reminder of the two million children whose lives are lost because of hunger each year. It’s a chance to put politicians “in the picture.”
So how can I get involved? And how can I involve other people in my church?
Make your plans to come to London!
o Join the Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign to show your support and to get updates on what’s happening. (You can do this online at http://www.enoughfoodif.org)
o Sign up at http://www.enoughfoodif.org/g8/london to say you’re coming. (You can come even if you haven’t signed up – but it helps planning to know if people are coming)
o Work out how you’re coming! Coaches will be going directly to the event from some parts of our area. There will also be groups going down together via public transport. To find out more email info@ccow.org.uk or ring 01235 851763.
Be a Sherpa!
o Going to a large event in London can feel a little scary if you’ve never done it. So local agencies and denominations are asking people to be “sherpas” – people who will meet first-time event-goers in their home town and help them get down to the event. Could you be a “Sherpa”? Email info@ccow.org.uk or ring 01235 851763 if you’d be interested.
Have a flower-making day … and bring the flowers down with you.
o A toolkit for making really simple flowers will be available. Could you ask your Sunday School … church school … youth group … flower rota … home groups … if they’d be willing to make some spinning flowers? Then you and any members of the groups who are going down can bring the flowers with you to be part of the image in Hyde Park.
Join in The Big IFast.
o On the 6th of June, in preparation for the summits and events, IF campaigners across the country will be fasting to be in solidarity with people who are hungry and to send a message to politicians that this really matters. Might you join in fasting and prayer that day? For more information, go to http://www.enoughfoodif.org/ or ring 01235 851763.
Help people to learn about the campaign
o One church brought a laptop into the church hall for people to browse the website. How could you encourage people to sign up, so that they too can get excited by the campaign?
o IF it up with an IF banner! Could your church put up one of the campaign’s banners (both Christian Aid and Tearfund have produced them) on your church building? Put one up, decorate it if you want, and send a picture of your church and its banner to the local press and to the IF Campaign itself. If you use Facebook or Twitter, put the picture there marked with #enoughfoodif or @enoughfoodif .
o Come to one of the IF events in our area. Jointly sponsored by Christian Aid, CCOW , the Diocese of Oxford and Tearfund, these events will explain the campaign, help you find out what others are doing, and give an opportunity to prepare for action. Look at CCOW website’s events section to find the event nearest you.
Q and A: Why the 8th of June? And why London?
On the 8th of June the UK Government is gathering together world leaders -- including members of governments from both wealthier and poorer countries, leaders from the private sector and key figures from the third sector -- for what has been billed as a high-level meeting on “Nutrition for Growth: Beating Hunger through Nutrition and Science.”
Taking steps to end childhood malnutrition is a key goal of the Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign.
As the campaign’s briefing notes: “Malnutrition is the underlying cause of 2.3 million child deaths each year, and has tangible impacts on the public health, economic and social development of countries.” Those impacts come in part from stunting, the phenomenon that means that if a child doesn’t get enough nutrition in the first 1000 days of its life, its long-term physical and mental development may be irreversibly impaired.
The campaign is asking leaders at the high-level meeting to commit to fund the costed, vetted national nutrition plans that countries have created – and to support future plans created by countries with high levels of malnutrition. It would also like to see them acknowledge the impact that biofuels policies and climate change are having on hunger, declare interim targets to reduce wasting and stunting over three years , and develop a mechanism to better track, and ensure transparency of, aid given for nutrition.
Your coming to London for the service and Big IF event helps to send a message that there is support for these requests.
What about the actual G8 summit? And the campaign’s other requests?
Good questions! The aim of The Big IF event in London isn’t just to influence the Hunger Summit. It’s also to influence two later events – the “Three Ts” summit on the 15th of June in London and the G8 summit in Northern Ireland on the 17th and 18th of June.
The Government has called the “Three Ts” summit on the 15th of June for G8 leaders to work on the themes that David Cameron set out as UK priorities for the G8 presidency: tax, trade and transparency.
The Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign is asking leaders at this summit to take action to stop tax dodging and land grabs. More specifically, the campaign wants them to agree on a new standard on beneficial ownership (and bring that to the G8 meeting), to put pressure on tax havens for automatic information sharing, to acknowledge the issues around land grabs, and to put together a new land transparency initiative in line with the global guidelines on land acquisitions.
There will be various events happening around that summit, including the Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign’s other big event, which will be held in Belfast (look on the campaign website for details).
But people coming to London on the 8th also have a role to play. The campaign is counting on the impression made by The Big IF event in London to inspire Government and other leaders. If thousands of people have already made their support for the campaign known on the 8th of June, it will lend further power to the requests for the 15th and the G8 Summit.
And if there has been sufficient progress at the first two summits, it will be easier also to make progress at the G8 Summit itself.
There’s a lot on the agenda at that summit -- and amidst all the competing agenda items, it’s really vital that hunger and economic injustice don’t drop off! If progress has been made at the earlier summits, there will be very concrete actions that the G8 leaders can commit to take. And there are further things they could do as well, such as committing to fund investment in small-scale agriculture.
How can I find out more about the different summits and what the campaign would like to see come out of them?
The campaign has a briefing paper incorporating recommendations for all three events. You can read it at http://enoughfoodif.org/sites/default/files/g8_summit_briefing.pdf. Might you consider also meeting your MP to give him/her a copy … and to bring him/her up to date with the campaign and your concerns?
How can I get further assistance?
Want to talk about ideas for the campaign? Find out even more about its requests? Or just let us know what you’re doing? We’d love to hear from you. Email info@ccow.org.uk or ring 01235 851763.
Join us on 8 June! by cafodportsmouth
We are really looking forward to the big IF mobilisation in London on 8 June. It will be THE biggest event of the year.
We will be joining thousands of campaigners and supporters of the Enough Food for Everyone IF coalition from every part of the UK. The schedule of the day is as follows:
  • 11.30am Ecumenical Service at Westminster Central Hall (opposite the Houses of Parliament). Bishop John Arnold, chair of the CAFOD Board of Trustees, will be one of the speakers
  • the Ecumenical Service will be followed by a Walk of Witness to Hyde Park
  • 2-5pm main event in Hyde Park, with speakers, live music and activities for all the family – children and young people are very welcome to come along and there will be plenty of activities for them!
Together with Christian Aid, Save the Children and Oxfam a coach has been booked, making the following stops.
Swindon Bus station 07:45
Newbury Wharf Coach park 08:30
Reading train station 09:00
Maidenhead Braywick Rd outside Toby Carvery 09:30
Places are limited so if you would like to come along in one of our coaches, please book your place as soon as possible by emailing portsmouth@cafod.org.uk or calling us on 01252 329385, indicating the number of seats you require, the names of the passengers and whether there are any under 14.
Tickets on the coach cost £12 per person, children under 14 are free. Payment in advance please by cheque to CAFOD Portsmouth, St Mary’s Church, Belle Vue Road, Aldershot, Hants. GU12 4 RX.
If you are coming along to the day but travelling by train from another town, please register your attendance with us as above, and we could also put you in touch with other people from your area who will be attending on the day.
We will let you know of a meeting point at Westminster Central Hall as soon as possible, so that we can gather together after the Ecumenical Service for the walk of witness.
8 June will be our chance to tell world leaders that we want to see an end to global hunger – please join us and pray for the success of the event!

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