Our Lady of Lourdes Church recently had an excellent mass dedicated to addressing climate change.

It was the mass dedicated each week to parents and children, with the latter taking lead parts in the proceedings.

So the homily was delivered by a young girl named Rebecca, who told how important it was for her to address the challenges being presented by climate change.

Children brought forward their pictures on climate and there was a petition for signing afterwards. The whole experience was most inspiring, people genuinely living their faith in the real world, working for social justice and change.

Our Lady of Lourdes has further plans for eco-groups and bringing about change.

The churches in Redbridge and beyond have been amongst the pioneers in many cases, addressing the climate crisis. Churches are involved in Transition Ilford.

Christchurch has done great things in working with the likes of Wild Wanstead on biodiversity projects. St Marys churchyard is a veritable natural paradise.

St Gabriels in Aldersbrook have also been making strides and want to do more going forward.

All are signed up to the Wanstead Environmental Charter to make the area cleaner and greener.

There is much more though that can be done by churches and other civil society organisations.

On travel, the churches can persuade their parishioners to not drive to church. Cycling and walking should be encouraged. An important way of promoting cycling would be to provide hangars, so that people know they have somewhere secure to put their cycles when they arrive. Car sharing would also cut emissions.

The council is looking for places to put electric charging points. Why don’t the churches and other organisations become sustainable energy hubs, providing cycle hangars and electric charging points?

More church grounds could be given over to wildlife – especially if they have to provide less space for cars.

Green walls and green roofs are other sustainable additions that can be considered. Outside the churches, parishioners could play an active role in adopting tree pits, helping to ensure these become oases of wild flowers.

Tree planters also need some tender loving care.

The energy sector is one of the biggest generators of damaging emissions – 40 per cent it is estimated in total. Churches and other civil society organisations could move to sustainable energy systems involving solar panels and heat pumps. Green roofs and insulation could also be considered.

Many of these schemes will result in financial savings as well, providing not only sustainable but cheaper energy in the long run.

Churches may also want to consider becoming recycling points, where people can bring their recyclable waste.

These are just a few ideas, there are many many more, which can help churches and other organisation continue to shine the light toward a more sustainable, cleaner, greener future.