Tetbury churches are working together, across denominations, to drive positive community partnership, for the environment. Their goal is to get the whole local community to take action on climate change.
Greening Tetbury is gathering momentum. Across church denominations and secular groups, new task forces have emerged on energy, food, transport, plastics and communications.
Rosemary from St Mary’s Anglican Church said, “Violence is obviously not an option… but this is an environmental crisis – we do need to be heard on this, it is about shouting louder and louder and louder.”
Local initiatives now include:
- a free community fridge available 24-7 for those struggling with food poverty
- talks from climate scientists
- local shops changing their sourcing and supply policies
- cycle groups and community rides
- sharing gardening advice, and
- attending the local music festival dressed as ‘litter angels’ to talk about waste.
The Revd Noel Sharp, Minister of Tetbury Methodist URC tells us how it all began. “It grew bit by bit from a plastic-free month that we ran back in 2019. Representatives from the local churches were going around the local shops to discuss what they could do to reduce plastic. At the end of that month, we showed an Al Gore film about climate change, and then held a second event – a talk about climate change at the Goods Shed – both events funded entirely by the local churches. There were one hundred people at both events … so at the end of it we said to engage with this seriously, we need to meet as a group. So it was a church initiative that has become town-wide.”
The Revd Dr Cate Williams, Diocesan Environmental Engagement Officer said, “What Greening Tetbury is doing, shows us what’s possible when we start working with wider partnerships, and all of a sudden what we can do explodes”. Noel continues, “In three years it has become quite a wide group, with 600 followers on Facebook, around 90 on the email group. It has grown because people have been thinking about how we should involve different areas of community, the land owners, the council etc.”
Mary from St Michael’s Catholic Church said, “Greening Tetbury became a bit of a secular organisation once it became a charity, and that’s ok, but it is good to get together as churches and to bring ourselves back to how it all started. We felt if we limited it to churches that would limit the people joining us to do it.”
Iona from Cirencester Baptist Church said, “Each of us must play our own part and find out what God wants us to be doing in our particular situation.”
The Revd Dr Steve Bullock started as Assistant Curate in Tetbury Benefice just a few days ago, but was immediately struck by how the community was thriving online; “One of the things I noticed immediately; subscribed to the Facebook page and it’s a constant thing, I didn’t realise the wider Church was so active, it’s really leading the way.”