RESPONDING TO POPE FRANCIS’ CHALLENGE
Compassionate and loving God,
you created the world for us all to share,
a world of beauty and plenty.
Create in us a desire to live simply,
so that our lives may reflect your generosity.
You gave us responsibility for the earth,
a world of riches and delight.
Create in us a desire to live sustainably,
So that those who follow after us
May enjoy the fruits of your creation.
God of peace and justice,
you give us the capacity to change,
to bring about a world that mirrors your wisdom.
Create in us a desire to act in solidarity,
so that the pillars of injustice crumble
and those now crushed are set free.
‘Tis the season for the wardrobe changeover from summer to autumn/winter wear and a time when some might consider a little wardrobe declutter. Charities can re-use or recycle almost any textile and we’re getting better as a nation about recycling clothing. Nevertheless 300,000 tonnes of clothing ends up in household rubbish annually.
According to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) over half of the clothing donated to charity is exported for reuse in other countries, with the UK being the third biggest exporter of used textiles after Germany and the USA. Of the rest, 35% is reused in the UK via charity shops and 9% goes for recycling. So, don’t bin unwanted clothes, recycle them via charity shops, dedicated containers at tips or supermarkets or in one of those charity collection bags that pops through your letterbox from time to time.
Plastic bottles continue to make the news. Public campaigns, either directly targeted at Coca Cola, one of the biggest users of plastic bottles, or more generally at governments, to acknowledge the damage done by discarded plastic are gaining traction. The Scottish Government has now committed to a plastic bottle deposit scheme to encourage consumers to return bottles to retailers so that they can be recycled.
In September, Surfers Against Sewage announced that they had secured 270,000 signatures for their petition urging the UK Government to follow the Scottish lead. As a parish we’re pretty good about recycling plastic but the amount of discarded plastic littering our streets suggests others aren’t, so spread the word and encourage others to follow your lead.
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) supported by War on Want, Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) and Quakers, have been successful in challenging a new regulation blocking local councils from applying ethical boycotts to their investment decisions. The Government introduced a regulation in November 2016 restricting such boycotts. Now, following a Judicial Review pursued by the PSC, the High Court has ruled that the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government acted unlawfully in issuing guidance to restrict local councils from pursuing boycotts, divestments and sanctions (BDS) against Israel through their pension schemes.