The Parish of Whitehead and Islandmagee is sending a powerful message about climate change to the United Nations climate change conference COP26, taking place in Glasgow at the start of November.
In support of Christian Aid Ireland and the Young Christian Climate Network campaign ‘Rise to the Moment,’ the parish has crafted 200 Prayer Boats which will form part of an installation at COP26 made up of thousands of boats from around the UK.
The rector of Whitehead and Islandmagee, the Rev Canon Mark Taylor, said: “As a parish, we are aware of, and concerned for, our environment; for our care of God’s world in which we live. We have partnered with Jubilee Community Farm, we try to use sustainable products and reduce our waste and carbon footprint where possible.
“This year, as we prepared for our Harvest Thanksgiving, were aware of the nearness of COP26, less than a month away and in Glasgow! We were also aware of the Christian Aid’s support of the ‘Rise to the Moment’ campaign.
“One thing we could do was to make Prayer Boats to send to Glasgow for COP26. Each small boat is insignificant in itself but together they make a fleet.”
Mark continued: “Each of us may feel insignificant as individuals but together we can make a difference. Many of the young people were inspired by the fact that they can make a difference and influence world leaders. So as part of the service we wrote a prayer on a sheet of paper and then turn that sheet of paper into a boat.”
Mark said that after two Harvest Thanksgiving services and a Messy Church service, and with the support of a parent who ‘borrowed’ the idea to use with her class in school, the parish had handed 200 Prayer Boats to Christian Aid to take to Glasgow to tell those at COP26 to work harder for climate justice.
“Together we can make a difference, together we can make our voices be heard,” Mark added.
You can find out more about the Rise to the Moment campaign, and learn how to make your own Prayer Boat HERE.