This network meeting was arranged by two enthusiastic supporters and members of Redbridge Faith Forum – Peter & Ruth Musgrave. They
had spent many hours preparing for the event and their hard work and commitment reaped rewards with 87 people attending which resulted in a queue of people waiting to register and a slightly delayed start.
Vine Church had kindly agreed to host the event in their large hall which had been transformed into an “Eco Cafe” with cafe tables. Participants included young people from Redbridge Youth Council, families, and older people - thus the mix of people reflected the diversity of the Borough.
Six local groups which are, in different ways, responding to the climate emergency, had been invited to be Table Hosts. They included Greener, Cleaner Wanstead, Trees for Cities, Nature Conservancy, Our Streets,
Barkingside 21 and Transition Ilford. The wonderful turnout enabled an additional impromptu two tables to be hosted - one by “Ilford Livesm Matter”, a group which is very concerned about all the high rise buildings going up in Ilford, and the second a group on
Greening Faith Buildings.
People were invited to go to a table of their choice and hear about the work of the group hosting that table. They would then spend some
time at that table sharing what had inspired them and ideas they had heard which they could put into practice in their own faith communities before moving onto another table and repeating the process.The buzz of animated conversation was rewarding to hear, and the ideas which were shared by Table Hosts in the plenary at the end of the event were very positive. The number of connections people made was also very encouraging.
Isaac Harvey from Vine Church filmed the event and Peter and
Ruth facilitated. Peter also set up exhibitions on what the different faiths say about caring for the earth and on how the climate crisis is affecting Bangladesh.
At the end of the event the Mayor of Redbridge, Cllr Zulfiqar Hussain, and other faith leaders planted some shrubs in the Bee and Butterfly friendly garden of Vine Community House.
The Mayor said, “It is good to see wild flowers planted in central Ilford. Wildflowers and small trees are good for the environment and encourage bees and butterflies to come into the gardens around here
Many faith buildings have small plots of land lying idle
This is just a tiny step and a small example of what can be done all over the borough- and of what is indeed already being done in countless places by the patient care of people doing voluntary gardening work beside
faith buildings and in other public spaces
It could be good for other faith buildings to follow the example of Vine Church and to plant out small trees and wildflowers on their land and also to encourage their young people to learn about the care of creation in this way”
Redbridge Faith Forum is so grateful to Peter, Ruth, Dulcie and Isaac from Vine Church, the Mayor and all the organisations that hosted tables for making this such a successful and worthwhile meeting.
Get a summary of the ideas
We've collated the ideas shared at every table and produced a brief summary. Get your copy by clicking on the button!