Festivals/Seasons & Holy Days

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The Big Green Believers’ Agreement

Members of Dorset faith communities sign up to the Big Green Believers’ Agreement in the Bournmouth Reform Synagogue, November 29th 2011

Members of Dorst faith communites: Br Hugh back row left; Rabbi Neil, front left and Beccy from the Hilfield Community signing up on behalf of A Rocha.
Brother Hugh SSF signs the document
Brother Hugh SSF writes:
Rabbi Neil Amswych of Bournemouth Reform Synagogue has brought together a group of over 80 faith representatives from Dorset, including us at Hilfield. We are now part of Interfaith Dorset Education and Action, an interfaith group primarily focused on the environment. IDEA has two simple goals – to educate people about the challenges facing the environment, as well as to educate them in the responses by the different faith traditions, and to act on that learning by making positive changes in our lives.After a series of meetings around Dorset, we have created the Big Green Believers’ Agreement, with an online forum and a list of short, medium and long term commitments we can make, on buildings, consumption, food, social justice, transport, waste and biodiversity. These commitments can be local, educational, political or spiritual. E.g. under biodiversity, at Hilfield we have already fulfilled the short term commitment to put up bird boxes, but have not yet watched the film, ‘The end of the line’, on the destruction caused by fishing. Under buildings we have put silver foil behind many of our radiators (at least against outside walls) and have just put up a chapel roof full of pv panels, but we have not yet done much to encourage prayer as a low carbon activity. Under food, we have done well to use (well mostly) only fairly traded tea and coffee, and have at least one meat free day each week, but have not yet campaigned to stop palm oil being misleadingly labelled as vegetable oil. On social justice we have questioned our local MP (on tax dodging) and we have included issues of the environment in worship, but we have not yet studied issues of fuel poverty.

Last November three Hilfield community members joined representatives of many faith groups in signing the agreement. On 18th March two of us went to a celebration in Bournemouth, with an environmental quiz and a game where 20 of us became a forest, each of us a species from butterfly to oak, and with string we wove a web of our mutual relationships. For more information look at the eco-faith.org website.