On 11 November, the Worcester Interfaith Forum met at Holland House Retreat Centre to listen to Dr Martin Hodson (Operations Director for the John Ray Initiative) and Ms Katy Boom (Director of Sustainability at Worcester University) speak on the subject of Climate change. 

Dr Hodson focused on presenting the alarming scale and significance of climate changes for both our natural environment and our civilisation. He highlighted the links between human activity and the deepening climate crisis. Ms Boom focused on practical steps we can all take to mitigate the climate change by influencing policy and urging for behavioural change in how we interact with the natural environment.

Representatives from seven faith traditions also spoke eloquently regarding the relationship of Faith to the Earth and the environment, all holding that the planet and its creatures, plants and animals are beloved of the Divine.

As a result of this meeting, the Interfaith Forum has issued this statement: 

"The representatives of the Baha'i, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Quaker and Sikh faith traditions of Worcester state that, as brothers and sisters in both faith and common humanity, we uphold the sacredness of the earth and all its dependent life, including its seas, forests, mountains and plains. 

We believe the words of the Great Native American, Chief Seattle, (Duwamish Tribe) are true - that "Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect".

We are all deeply concerned about the state of our natural environment and poor stewardship of it which causes the deepening climate crisis. We therefore call upon not only faith communities, but the politicians, businesses and social communities of Worcester to do everything within their power to nurture and sustain the environment, for the benefit of all - both present and yet to come."

On behalf of all the members;

Dr Yvonne Stollard,Chair of Worcester Interfaith Forum

Revd Ian Spencer,Warden of Holland House Retreat Centre.