Gazette letters: Hackney churches going green, Brexit and April showers

Places of worship in Hackney are looking at the heating they use.

Places of worship in Hackney are looking at the heating they use. - Credit: Archant

For many local churches, this is the season of Lent, starting with Shrove or “Pancake” Tuesday and ending with Good Friday. writes Hackney Ecumenical Borough Deans Group

In modern times this season, which goes up to Easter, can be a time of reflection, less about “me” and more about “us”, and about thinking around how we are as a community.

How can we strengthen and transform the communities we live in?

We can ask: “Who is my neighbour?” and to follow the style of “in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.”

And as Hackney Borough Ecumenical Deans, we feel that includes caring for your neighbour’s air which is being polluted and poisoned.

And that we are also called to be stewards of our environment, to look after it, to be responsible for its conservation.

We hope that local and national churches and other faith groups will be considering making a divestment commitment.

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This is a powerful action that a group can take to build support for fossil fuel divestment in the wider church, ensuring that investments are shifted out of the problem – and into the solution.

A number of churches across Britain have already moved their electricity supply to renewables, or are planning to do so.

Significantly in 2015, Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of Cape Town handed interfaith petitions totalling nearly two million signatures gathered worldwide calling for decisive action to curb global warming, to Christiana Figueres, the UN Climate Change chief at the time. That movement is growing.

It is vital that the churches and other faith groups play their part in the transition to a net zero carbon economy.

We are encouraged to see Hackney Council take a lead by stating that it will obtain 50 per cent of its electricity from clean, renewable sources, alongside a range of other radical decarbonisation measures.

The message of all that is being said around the world cannot be more loud and clear: act now or see the last chance for a safer climate future ebb away.

• Signed by Ian Rathbone, Group Convenor; Cathy Bird, Methodist; John Macaulay, United Reformed Church; Rosemia Brown, Anglican; Martin Tate, Roman Catholic; Junior Spence, Independent Churches and Ruth Gray, Salvation Army

Sadly Mrs May has decided to resign as prime minister because we did not leave the EU on March 29. In the circumstances she was right to do so but she tried her best in a very bad situation, writes Christopher Sills, Dunsmure Road, Stamford Hill.

The Conservative Party problems on Brexit began when David Cameron resigned immediately he lost the referendum instead of waiting a month and allowing time for the right choice to emerge as prime minister

She was not helped by a few fanacital remainers who do not believe in democracy and think that electors are silly idiots which they are not.

History will judge her as the prime minister who delivered Brexit against the odds – well done

I have given Conservative Central office unwanted advice which if followed will mean that by the time this letter is published it will be all over bar the shouting.

In short it is that we leave on April 12 but do not have to decide what sort of Brexit we want until we have a new prime minister and a new commission. In the next three months everyone will be able to calm down

If this does not happen the consequences will be serious because years of uncertainty will be far more damaging than my proposal. The Labour Party wants this so they can blame The Tories for the resultant rise in unemployment, when in truth they are as much to blame as the Conservatives.

Finally it is possible we have already left because it appears that the change of the date may not be valid as incorrect parliamentary procedure was followed because of an amendment proposed by the remainers about six months ago. I will explain on or after April 18, and it is too late to correct this mistake.

April showers sporadically interrupted this week, with the occasional downpour threatening anyone daring to walk without an umbrella, writes Will McCallum, Newington Green.

Running through Abney Cemetery, the foliage was so heavy with the smell of rain, comfrey buds bursting at the seams ready for a burst of warmth, I sped up to avoid the coming deluge.

Rain is not the only April shower, as Hackney residents know better than many. Our streets are lined with so many cherry trees, that with each strong breeze you can find yourself walking through a torrent of white petals from on high. The cherry tree in our office garden, nestled next to the New River Path, is one of the most impressive I’ve seen – rising higher than most of the houses around it, its blossom litters our lunch benches every day this month.

Walking home from the shops this week I took a detour through West Hackney Recreation Ground to enjoy the towering trees over the 19th century gravestones.

The transformation of this patch of green on one of the neighbourhood’s busiest roads is remarkable.

Just five years ago it seemed destined to remain a rubbish-filled, overgrown site, under threat of being sold off for less than it was worth.

Now a charming small park, with wildlife and a community who use it regularly, it is a fantastic example of what a bit of funding and a good plan from the council can achieve.