Tuesday 29 January 2008

Our crops replace the forest

On Monday 28th January I was scheduled to give a speech at Craven Speakers Club in Skipton. At Speakers clubs we practice giving speeches and are evaluated by other members of the club - and everyone learns and has fun from the performances. I had chosen to give one entitled "You can help save the rainforest".

I spent much of Monday preparing for this. I took for part of the theme the fact that according to a Friends of the Earth Report, in ten years time at current rates of forest destruction in Borneo there will be no orang-utans left in the wild.

I wanted to show some of the main reasons why the forest is disappearing and how it is linked to our lifestyle. I needed visual aids. First I found my eight year old mobile phone -coltan.

Coltan - rare metals from quarries in Zaire. Then I toddled down to the Coop.

Palm Oil: Brown bread rolls with vegetable oil (palm) and soya four.
Peanut butter - well that has palm oil from the outside of the nut. - It gives peanut butter its special taste..
If you were to throw a stick of celery in the air in the food section of a supermarket it would have a 10% chance of landing on something containing palm oil - usually labelled simply as vegetable oil.

Soya: White Fair trade white chocolate with soya emulsifier (soya lecithin - I had learned a new word).
Soy sauce
And the bread rolls above.
And really I should add ordinary British beef -- since our cattle are fed on soya.

Corned beef- from Brazil. Hmm interesting that one variety bothered to state that it was made from cattle not from newly cleared land.

Whilst there I met David and Hilary Briggs (Our minister and his wife).

Later that evening he skyped (phoned) me to suggest we have the first coffee morning at the Church rather than at a house to make it a bigger event and also to start of the "Coffee Morning Season in the Church"

I'll write about how the talk went shortly
Meanwhile I need to prepare display material to be used at the talk to be given by Sean McDonagh at Bradford on Tuesday 29th.

Friday 25 January 2008

Donate Online

The following pages have just been created and are awaiting your donations! :)

I have put Facebook Links to them from my profile in Facebook.

A Rocha UK is dealing with the money we send in for A Rocha Ghana.

So now I hope the money will pour in.. ???
Please consider donating to one of these charities.

Thank you - Judith Allinson

And the News on BBC as I write this -
BBC webpage 24 Jan 2008: Brazil Amazon deforestation soars - rising commodity prices are encouraging farmers to clear more land to plant crops such as soya

Thursday 24 January 2008

Charities we are supporting

So, I wrote something for the coming Sunday's Church Newsheet:

The St John’s Methodist Church (Settle) Rainforest Fund Project:

We will be supporting mainly two charities: World Land Trust and A Rocha Ghana

World Land Trust

says: “You can do incredible things: For just £25 you can buy Half an Acre of critically endangered habitat that will save some of the rarest animals and plants on earth. Working with local. people we create reserves to save precious habitats and species. Already we have rescued over 350,000 acres of wilderness in Belize, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Patagonia and the Philippines. David Attenborough is one of WLT's patrons.”

A Rocha Ghana

This is a Christian organisation which is why I have chosen it as one of our lead charities. The Ghana project (formerly called the Eden Conservation Society) works with sustainable projects with two communities who live next to Mole National Park in northern Ghana.

Make a note in your diary of two meetings for the project: (More details of these next week)

Tue 5th Feb: 10am-12. Coffee Morning Richard Pike invites you to Flat 7, Dawsons Court, Settle

Fri 8th Feb: 7.30pm. Rainforest Fund Presentation at St John’s Methodist Church Hall

Tuesday 22 January 2008

First Planning Meeting and First Event Planned

I have now visited 31 different people in the congregation over the past seven weeks. Almost half the congregation. Most are sympathetic, some keen, some have ideas (which I'll mention later) - and a second person gave a donation! Great.

Monday evening of 22 Jan saw the first official planning meeting: - Four of us - the minister, his wife, myself and Richard, a member of the congregation who nobly offered his flat for the evening.

Richard also offered to host a coffee morning Tuesday 5th February at his flat. We have an event planned! Hurray.

The second event is to be a presentation by myself about the project and two main charities we will be supporting - This is on Friday 8th February in our church hall at 7.30pm..

The minister agreed to include the project in the agenda of the next Church Council Meeting on March 5th.

Although I had initially planned to support three charities - World Land Trust, Cool Earth and A Rocha, the committee decided it would be much better if I just concentrated on two, so we chose World land Trust and A Rocha.

It was suggested I write a paragraph for the upcoming notice sheet due to go to press on Wednesday... That's my next task.

Thursday 10 January 2008

Display in the Church Hall

We are fortunate in having a good church hall. It is used by many different groups during the week.

I made a display about the Rainforest Fund Project. On Tue 8 January I put it on the other half of the board used by Rumpus, the After School Club.

It shows how much has been donated. £50 so far! By one generous lady.

Before Christmas I had started visiting members of our congregation, asking for ideas and ensuring that there would be support for the project. I visited about 15 people - but it was really encouraging when one of the first people donated some money.

I realise now that I need to put the word Settle, and maybe even North Yorkshire on the title above the display. I am hoping that a few of the groups who use the hall will join in and contribute.

Wednesday 9 January 2008

The project is born

On 1st January 2008, in Settle, North Yorkshire, UK, the St John's Methodist Church Settle Rainforest Fund Project was born.
The primary aim is to raise money towards protecting rainforest (and other irreplaceable habitats).

We are supporting three projects - two are secular projects of the type "Buy an acre of Rainforest" and the third supports a Ghanaian Christian group that is running projects to encourage a villagers on land adjacent to a nature reserve to use the land sustainably.

Please note that whilst I (Judith Allinson) am Web Editor for Christian Ecology Link (CEL) and for St John's Methodist Church Settle , the views expressed are personal, and do not necessarily reflect those of CEL or St John's Methodist Church.
Feedback and comments are welcomed.

In future postings I will say how the project started, and how it is proceeding.

Come back next week! See how much money we have raised. See what we have decided to do.

We hope you will support the project too.