Wednesday 28 October 2009

Settle Hydro - The Archimedean Screw Arrives

They have been digging and preparing the site at Settle weir since summer. Settle hydro is a community project in Settle. Today - 28 Oct - The crane and the Archimedean screw arrived.

I was driving into Settle to attend Craven Conservation Group Fungus Foray - I saw the commotion and thought - "This is too important to miss."

Here is where the screw was placed initially.

This has four blades. (Larger screws would only have three.)
They are starting to lift it now

Up and over

.. have to remove some blocks from the lintel above the door
There it's in now. Attach some bolts..

See Mark Dale's excellent pictures at

More details about the project

In the background of the pictures above is Lords Wood and some pasture on the hill beyond. This is where I did eventually catch up with the fungus foray - examining a fairy ring of Clouded of Agarics (Clitocybe nebularis)

They had a good day.(Interested? See and Mid Yorkshire Ffungus Group

And quite a few of us went back to see the Settle Hydro.

Tuesday 27 October 2009

Archbishop of Canterbury's lecture on 13 Oct 2009

The Climate Crisis: Fashioning a Christian Response

Due to a meeting I was in London on 13 October and so was able to go to hear Dr Rowan Williams. Over 1000 people had filled Southwark Cathedral to hear the Archbishop. You can read the text of his speech on his website. I was pleased I had gone early enough to get a seat beside the central aisle and spent time leaning out into the central aisle trying to take a picture without flash... grateful in the knowledge that if I did not catch everything he said, the text would be put up on line afterwards (Read it here)

In question time he said things that I found a bit more concrete: .. these answers do not appear to be online but this is what I remember as the gist of what he said:

That perhaps we (the audience) could be the Wilberforces and the Martin Luther Kings of the Green movement.

That God had created the world and "saw that it was good". that he had created us in his image .. so we should see that it is good too, and so look after it.

On rereading his speech I see he does not mention anything about the evidence that CO2 is the main driver of global warming -(allowing people to play it both ways). It is an academic lecture after all. And his lecture will stand in three years or thirty years time whichever way it turns out. He said

"Mike Hulme, in a provocative and original new book, Why We Disagree About Climate Change, argues that the anxieties around global warming and related matters are actually a welcome opportunity for us to look hard at fundamental issues concerning our social and ethical situation. He quotes (p.354) the somewhat startling remarks of a former Canadian government minister who said that even if the science around climate change was mistaken, the focus on the question had provided the best possible impetus towards more equality and justice in the world."

At the bottom of the post I will put some useful quotes from his written text. But I would like to tell you about the three great points about the day for me -

  1. To be privileged to hear the leader of the C of E give a talk about care of the environment in this ancient Cathedral
  2. To walk from Westminster, then along the shingle beach of the south bank of the Thames, waves lapping on the flint pebbles of the shore, two fishermen fishing from a jetty, with St Pauls, opposite, the Gherkin and bridges lit by the setting sun . History. (And how high would the Thames rise?) and (sadly) how high will buildings rise around St Pauls?
  3. Asking my neighbours in the congregation "Who are you?" (well a bit more politely than that) - each answer delighted me.. It was like opening those little pictures on an advent calendar. I remet a man I had met 12 years ago - now ordained; - I met Ben Brangwyn of the Transition Towns Movement - I met Thaddeus Dell who is the the Carbon reduction Policy Officer of the Methodist Church; I met a lady who had come all the way from Sheffield specially for the talk.

Here are some quotes from his speech:

"To act so as to protect the future of the non-human world is both to accept a God-given responsibility and appropriately to honour the special dignity given to humanity itself."

“Each of us can bring pressure to bear on institutions we are connected with to conduct a rigorous carbon audit; for those involved in the Church of England, the website of the Shrinking the Footprint initiative offers help with such projects.”

“There are the various specific choices we can make about our refuse, our travel, our domestic energy use”

“But I'd want also to underline the need for us to change our habits enough to make us more aware of the diversity of life around us. I once suggested that one necessary contribution to a better awareness of these issues was to make sure we went out of doors in the wet from time to time (a suitable lesson from Noah...), and – if we haven't got gardens of our own – make sure we took opportunities of watching the changing of the seasons on the earth's surface.”

I liked this last one best – we have plenty of opportunity to get wet in Ribblesdale.

... So I returned to Settle the next day (220 miles by train - carbon footprint - 21kg CO2 = 84kWh

(And for it to be a fair world we should aim to just produce 6kg CO2 per day or 24kWh. )

Sunday 4 October 2009

Settle Climate Change Day of Prayer

Well, we held the event and it went well. Now I can relax ..

We had a meaningful, varied and worthwhile day, with contributions from people of different denominations - people from 9 different churches were present (Not bad for a small town). I counted 40 people during the day.
  • Our town of Settle has 4798 people (made up of Settle 3044 and Giggleswick 1407 separated by the River Ribble, and Langcliffe up the road with 307) - or twice that when including surrounding villages. So that means we had a turnout of 1 in 100 or 1in 200.

Do you want to hear the variety of different things we did?

1. David Briggs, the minister at St John's Methodist Church opened with the Day of Prayer Introductory Prayer and prayers of his own. Then I played the first seven of the CD prayers with 1-2 minutes intervals between each.

2. Lunch:
- an opportunity for talking to and meeting people.
- an opportunity to fill in the two petitions
- 1. in support of the Prince's Rainforest project,
- 2. to Ed Miliband and Gordon Brown about Copenhagen.
- an opportunity to look at the children's prayers sent in by Giggleswick Primary School and Giggleswick Junior School. The people really appreciated these prayers.
Two pans of vegetable soup (Thanks Elizabeth Towers) and 36 rolls (Thanks Althea) sustained us. Plus a few baked potatoes. served by three valiant members of our church.

3. The DVD "Stations of the Forest" went down well. It is very moving. The video is only 15 minutes but it would be good to have a 1 1/2 hour session to discuss it - useful discussion notes. Maggie McSherry gave an informative introduction.
I now have a copy of the DVD if people would like to borrow it.

4. Huge paper footprints for America and tiny ones for Kerala in India were placed on the green carpet at the front of the church.

"Footprints in the Cosmos" - a short service led by Alistair Helm of Giggleswick Parish Church and Neil Kendra. England's footprints were very big too - It would take three worlds to provide resources if everyone in the world consumed as much as we do in Britain. (Just out of interest, we had a gentleman from Kerala at our church this morning, with his grandchild - visiting his daughter (who works at the nursing home in Settle) and son in law.)

4. Interval -
"Shake yourselves!" I said, "Shake hands with someone you don't know!"..
"And let's have a photoshot of everyone. Please." I ushered as many as would oblige to pose in front of the climate signs on the front door. ... "Thank you group!!!"

Actually that's three separate points - 4. It's good to get the blood circulating - 5. It's good to get to know people. and 6. maybe the photo will come in useful in publicising the issue of climate change..

7. Once inside again Maggie told us about the transport being arranged to the demonstration "The Wave" on the 5th December - both from Leeds+ Bradford and from Lancaster. Then she realised she would have to explain what "The Wave" is, and how Rowan Williams would be speaking at the church service beforehand.

8. Rodney Hooper reminded me to remind everyone about the Showing of "Age of Stupid" on Tuesday night. 6 Oct. Alison said there would be refreshments afterwards.

9. At some point - may be now - I showed people the book "Hope in God's Future" and explained how a friend is walking from Huddersfield to London in time for the wave, staying with Methodist's en route to publicise to Methodists about this report.

10. Alison Tyas gave us readings from the "A Quaker response to climate change", with some personal comments on some of them and time for reflection between others. She described how she had seen melting glaciers in Austria 40 years ago.. Scientist were beginning to record global warming then. Why had it taken us so long to act?

11. Now it was time for our "Settle Prayer Walk". Blessed with sunny weather, the participants set off in groups of 4 to 6 in different directions to visit one or two sites on the Settle Prayer Walk.
I was so glad it was fine. Being outside and experiencing the wonder of nature is half of what it's all about to me!.

12. Music and songs session.
I had been up late the previous evening printing out some copies of "Environment Praise 1" and "Environment Praise 2" - collections of songs and hymns about care of the environment that I have made -- but the printer kept jamming when I tried it back to back - and I wondered if the sound of my printer chugging away at midnight would go through the wall to my neighbour...

"You'll just have to get them to share copies" a friend said - "It's more intimate".

Some came back from the walk early keen to do the songs. I accompanied them one finger on the piano or to my piano accordion- and was really grateful that one lady could sing (sight reading) well and keep everyone else going. We sang five songs and read a couple of others.

13. Tea; chat; look at children's hymns. Look at the box of books for loan from the Eco-nite group and three people borrowed books. Most people left then.

14. The remnant, a dozen of us met for a short period of open prayer and silence.

As we started tidying away I played the next prayer on the cd.- The prayer of St Teresa of Avila (mp3)

We had a good day. thanks to everyone for coming. Perhaps we should have spent more time in prayer and in silence .. but why not listen now: Audio of prayers and readings


Saturday 3 October 2009

Preparation for Settle Day of Prayer on Climate Change and the Environment

Tomorrow is the Day of Prayer

I have spent quite a bit of effort in trying to get publicity for the Day of Prayer Nationally and regionally as well as locally.

The Craven Herald Had a tiny piece this week in a side column - but I met a lady this afternoon in Settle Museum who had read it - We locals read it pretty thoroughly, so well done Craven Herald!

I picked up "Newsround" - the Bradford Diocese Newspaper which only came out this week so most people will not have read it yet.. but it has a section about the event nationally.

I emailed some of my friends and contacts about it this morning.

Well now I am almost ready for tomorrow:

I went into the choir vestry and cleaned the window, in case we use this room. And I arranged some chairs and tables slightly in the Foyer where we make coffee, and where tomorrow we will serve soup.

We have had Prayer contributions form Giggleswick Primary School and Giggleswick Junior School, and I have planned where to pin these up. We will read some of them at 4pm.

I was delighted yesterday to find that Alistair Helm and Neil Kendra the two Anglican priests have prepared something for their "Anglican slot" - "Footprints in the Cosmos".

I had received at last the DVD "Stations of the Forest" and equally delighted that Maggie McSherry is going to use that - She had only been able to get the slide pack so was please to have the DVD -

Alsion Tyas is set to Read some from the "A Quaker Response to climate change".

I will print the programme at the bottom of this post.

So what is the Methodist Response?

I noted in the report from Synod on Settle Circuit's brand new website that there is a Methodist report on Climate Change.


You are all very welcome to this whether of any religion or none.

You can read the programme in more detail at
or download the poster
Here is a summary:
This 'Day of Prayer' is being encouraged across the country this Sunday, October 4th in the run-up to the climate change talks in Copenhagen this December, where bold and science-based agreements must be reached for the continuation of abundant life on earth.

At Settle's event, running parallel to the prayers, will be extra activities:
12.00 Intro prayers and climate prayers - Introduced by David Briggs
12.30 Low carbon footprint lunch - Soup and rolls. Free. Donations welcome
1.00 New Catholic DVD: 'Stations of the forest' - Presentation by Maggie McSherry
1.30 Anglican presentation /session: "Footprints in the Cosmos" - led by Alistair Helm and Neil Kendra
2.00 Quaker contribution "A Quaker Response to Climate Change" - Introduced by Alison Tyas
2.30-3.30 Part of Churches Together Prayer Walk - or stay in church
3.30-3.30 Green Songs / Hymns - Selection form Judith's collection: "Environment Praise"
New words to favourite tunes. Plus old and new green songs you may not have heard before.
If you have a portable musical instrument do bring it! (I can email you some of the music if you want to practise - or just come)
4.00 Reading of Children's Prayers - Poems and Prayers from Giggleswick Primary School and
Giggleswick Junior School will be on display and a selection read
4.30 Light refreshments - If you would like to bring contributions to this, they will be
welcome.... especially if you can work out if they are low carbon footprint.(e.g. local vegetables) otherwise go for LOAF i.e.
one of
L - local
O - organic
A - animal friendly
F - Fairly traded

5-00 Local Prayers; Short talk on how to become an EcoCongregation.
5.30 Prayers and Conclusion
6.00 Finish.

With such a variety of activities, I hope something appeals!

Best wishes
Judith Allinson

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