This week a group of young people from the Mini Mothers' Union ‘Mini MU’ visited Bishops Lodge to raise their concerns over the future of our environment.
They presented Bishop Paul with a cross made out of eco-bricks that they had spent time making themselves. The eco-bricks are one way of finding a use for non-recyclable plastic waste that would otherwise end up in landfills or even ending up in the oceans.
In a question and answer session with Bishop Paul at his residence, Bishops Lodge, the children articulated their concerns over issues relating to the impact of environmental issues on their future because of climate change.
They challenged the Bishop on what the church is doing to become eco-friendly, asking what the church is doing on a day to day basis to reduce plastic waste and how the church might support farmers and their families facing difficulty due to climate change. Their final question posing the problem of how long will God’s world survive if we do nothing?
The Bishop spent time listening to the children’s concerns and sharing with them some of the actions that Liverpool Diocese is taking to become eco-friendly. Bishop Paul said “To have your home invaded by a group of young people brings fun and challenge. These kids brought real challenges about our environment. Almost never before has Jesus’ message to listen to the children been so needed. Their passion, commitment and understanding of the climate challenge should spur us all into action. I am proud that here in the Diocese of Liverpool we are working to be an Eco Diocese, that my own home is worthy of an Eco Church silver award. But we are not content with this and are working for gold so this was an urgent welcome call for us all to do more and work harder.”
The ‘Mini MU’ is the first of its kind in the world and was created in Liverpool Diocese after a group of children from St Mary’s church West Derby asked if they could join the Mothers' Union. Dianne De Costa one of the adult leaders of the group explains, “As the children were too young to join the adult Mothers' Union, the Mini MU was created to allow the children a safe space just for them where they could come along, meet their friends, socialise and talk about the things that matter to them.”
World Children’s Day is held on 20th November each year. It is a day of action for children, by children, that celebrates all children’s rights and the power of their voices in changing our world across the globe.
Sue Mitchell, Children and Families Missioner from the Diocese of Liverpool said, “I have been working with the World Council of Churches and UNICEF to highlight the importance of listening to children. This year on World Children’s Day, 20th November, children all over the world will be raising the issue of climate change, recycling and looking after our planet. Here in Liverpool, we have the first Mini Mothers' Union group in the world made up of children between the ages of 4-15yrs, the group are currently working on plastic recycling and are passionate about this issue. It seemed that the link between listening to young people and our aim to be an Eco Diocese was the perfect opportunity to hear what this group had to say. We need to highlight the listening to what our young people have to say ... not just on world children day but every day!"
The last word has to be given to the Mini MU who have a final challenge for you, the reader of this article. “What one change can you make your daily life, to help make a bigger difference?”