Report from Footsteps: Faiths for a Low Carbon Future
Footsteps has continued to benefit from being a project of BCF. It was founded in autumn 2015 around the time of the Paris conference on Climate change and is based on the interfaith Lambeth declaration. Footsteps has active Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Arya Samaj and Pagan members on the Planning Group, and we hope to have Sikhs and Buddhists engaged as well in future, as people of all faiths share a common concern for the future of our planet.
The main annual event is ‘Tread Lightly on this Earth’ held annually in National Interfaith Week. Last year it was held at the Birmingham Central Mosque and was attended by about 80 people of all faiths. There were a range of speakers, stalls and round table discussions. There will be a similar event this year on Sunday November 19th at the Birmingham Progressive Synagogue and we hope to see you there – leaflets are available here. We also supported the inspiring Eco Church Weekend held at Streetly Methodist Church, and, later, the Environmental Workshop held by the Bahu Trust for Muslim Imams. Our summer programme for young people, Small Footsteps, took place at Fircroft College in Selly Oak this year and has built up a strong team of volunteers. About 20 children aged 11 – 14 attended for the 5 days 31st July – 4th August, and enjoyed a range of well presented sessions, with a lot of hands on experiences. A video of the week is available.
Other events during the year included a tree planting day for young people in Balsall Heath Park and a forum at the University of Birmingham on ‘Faith, Ethics and Climate Change’, which included a buffet supper. We were invited to make a presentation for the Moseley Interfaith Forum in July and in the following discussion were encouraged to provide more written and website resources for churches and other places of worship. In August a number of our members were joined by newcomers for the Foraging Walk along the River Cole, led by our Pagan member Rob Stacey. It was so fascinating that we hope to have another one next year.
In March the planning group spent a half day considering the future direction for Footsteps and we also ran two evenings of presentation skills training.
We are setting up a new Footsteps Supporters Group for individuals, groups, worshipping communities and others that share the Footsteps vision. Regular donations from supporters will help fund future events, our website and materials to support faith groups in taking action. Information on how to join the Footsteps Supporters Group will be available on our website and leaflets are available here and from members of the planning group.