Louise Mabbs (formerly of Wirksworth) looks back on 40 years promoting fair trade. fairtrade from Reform
The Lent theme for Churches Together in Wirksworth and District is “Tenants of the King”, produced by Operation Noah, a Christian charity working with the Church to inspire action on the climate crisis. There are three opportunities to join each week, on Tuesday afternoons, Wednesday mornings and Thursday evenings. Here is a video from Ruth Valerio, introducing the theme.
The materials focus on our response to climate change, particularly leading up to the global COP26 discussions in Glasgow later this year. We are working together with other local churches, and the aim of Tenants of the King is “to reflect on the challenges of a changing climate, and how Christians can respond with hope to one of today’s greatest challenges”. One of the thoughts that struck me from the introductory meetings was that, “life is a gift, so living is thanksgiving”.
Operation Noah has a very helpful strap-line, that expresses the way they work: “Faith-motivated. Science-informed. Hope-inspired”.
In between lockdowns, when it was possible to meet outside in groups of up to six, our Sunday Explorers sessions were held outdoors We enjoyed the open air and thinking about the wonders of the world that we live in. Some of the sessions were based on material from Forest Church, which is a movement of people who take their worship outside – finding a deep connection with God through time spent in nature.
This week I attended a Zoom meeting exploring Forest Church, hosted by volunteers from the charity Green Christian. People shared their experience of being part of Forest Church groups, and the activities and practices that meant so much to them.
Neil Clark, who led a lot of the session, read this very powerful poem which he had written for a recent Forest Church meeting.
I hope you have seen it.
The glow of the light slowly returning, lingering two or three minutes longer every day.
I hope you have heard it.
The delight of the pre-dawn territory calls of the blackbirds.
I hope you have sensed it.
The deep and powerful stirring of nature below the ground, slowly, so slowly getting ready to appear.
I hope you have touched it.
The transient clouds of frosts evaporating from the trees in the warmth of the morning sun.
I hope you have smelt it.
The memories from your childhood of what scents spring will bring.
I hope you know it.
The knowledge that although winter is still with us, spring is waiting patiently, and slowly, almost
imperceptibly, is getting ready to take to the stage.
I hope you have hope.
That no matter how dark it might seem, the light will return, indeed the light is returning even as you read this, and the light will warm and feed you just as it feeds nature.
(By Neil Clark – used with permission)
This spoke so much of the hope that we need at the moment.
Tim has shared the following prayers with us, which are from the Christian Charity Green Christian. Two prayers for Valentine’s Day to show our love for our Planet – God’s creation.
O God who is love
Let love empower our compassion
Let love embrace each and everyone
Let love unite humans and non-human
In restorative co-existence.
O Jesus, love come down to earth
May we honour the earth
May we honour all that dwells in the earth
May we be reconciled with the earth
Become what we are, of the earth.
O Spirit of love
Grant us a spirit of humility
Grant us a spirit of carefulness
Grant us a spirit of friendship
For the earth and all that dwells with us here.
May our loving God,
who created the world and all that is in it,
Inspire us to delight in our beautiful home,
And to live in wonder, peace and joy.
May our living God keep our hearts turned to loving our neighbour
and to respecting the creation we share.
May our merciful God help us to live this week in goodness and hope,
And fill us with God’s peace.
Ash Vale Chapel Poetry Group
All Green Christian’s Show The Love prayers can be found at
On Ash Wednesday 17th February at 7pm (online zoom) Brian Heeley will lead a bible study. Everyone is invited to attend. You can say as much or as little as you wish. Each Wednesday we have a different fellowship meeting. Details of the list can be found under “Events”.
Revd Robert Bushby, Mission Enabler of the East Midlands Synod URC, will lead our Vision Meeting to be held on 24th February at 7pm. Everyone is invited to attend the meeting which will be online zoom as we look to our vision for the future.
We were inspired by Christian Aid bakers and decided we’d like to do our own challenge so during Lent we are offering to bake bread for people from church to order. This will be our own Lenten practice as we both feel baking bread is a very prayerful and spiritual thing to do, whilst at the same time hoping to raise some funds. You can order a loaf during Lent (17th Feb – Easter 4th April) and make a donation, the money raised will be split between our church (for the work on the windows) and Aquabox. There will be three types of bread to choose from: white, malty seeded or wholemeal sourdough. One loaf per household. Suggested donation £5. Wirksworth delivery only to comply with essential journeys regulations. Camilla and Tom.