Last Sunday was our Great Big Green Harvest Festival. To give a quick bit of background, our minister's five year old son has been asking to help her plan a Climate Sunday service since he did a topic on the environment at school, and when someone mentioned Great Big Green Week it seemed a great chance to link in not only with other churches but with a whole variety of ecologically minded groups across the country. Someone else then suggested it might all tie in well with our annual Harvest service, and so the Great Big Green Harvest Festival was born. We started with our Climate Sunday and Harvest Festival, in which we gave thanks for the beauty of creation, and reflected on our responsibility to care for it and one another. You can catch up with an audio recording of the prayers and reflection here.
Then after the service we enjoyed a bring your own picnic and an afternoon of stalls and activities. The panorama shot below tries to capture as much as possible, but what it can't get is the lovely atmosphere there was about the place.
We were joined by representatives from Friends of the Earth Leicester, Climate Action Leicester and Leicestershire, Green Christian and Knighton Justice Group, who shared information on the climate crisis and ways to engage with campaigning on environmental issues.
Leicester Cloth Nappy Library came along to talk about how reusable nappies can save huge amounts of waste, Leicester Vegetarian and Vegan Group told us how a plant based diet can be good for the planet and their samples went down a storm, and Leicester City Council were here to answer our questions about recycling.
We had a stall of fabulous eco friendly and ethically sourced items from JUST Fair Trade, and EkoJoe parked their mobile zero waste shop in our front car park. We also had homemade cakes and homegrown plants and produce on offer, so no one was going away hungry!
There was also a chance to play some climate themed games, including a special version of Snakes and Ladders in which things that are good for the environment sent you up a ladder, and things that harm the plent sent you down a snake. Plus there was an invitation to get crafty, by making joining the Craftivist Collective in making a canary to send to your MP, or transforming yourself into a climate superhero.
Towards the end of the afternoon, we planted an apple tree in our back garden, with everyone present being invited to help fill in the hole and come back to see the tree's progress.
We also collected a fantastic hoard of food donations for the Zinthiya Trust and raised over £500 for Christian Aid's Harvest Appeal, so thank you to everyone who gave so generously. It was a brilliant day, inspired by our desire to care for our wonderful planet, and it was a joy to share that with friends both old and new. But of course creation care is about developing sustainable habits and practices, so we'll be taking what we've learnt and started and keeping going. There are loads of links above, so do follow them up to find out more and support local groups working hard for climate justice.