In January 2019, the Parochial Church Council established a Green Team. This environmental action group meets once a month to discuss how to bring the church into an awareness of all matters concerning the care of our environment. It has commissioned an energy audit for the church and we are beginning to identify a range of interventions in order to reduce our carbon footprint. At the same time, Julia Hollander and Charlotte Bannister-Parker have initiated a series of podcasts on Climate Change and Spirituality. If you would like to be involved in the Green Team, please contact Tess Blenkinsop via the parish office: firstname.lastname@example.org. [Updated 27 June 2020].
The people of St Mary’s remain proactive in campaigning for social justice and equality. The church was the first meeting place of what became Oxfam and a founding member of the Gatehouse drop-in centre for the homeless. Over the years we have embraced a number of campaigns and initiatives to support a wide range of local and international charities, and supported numerous community ventures such as Oxford’s annual Interfaith Friendship Walk.
In 2020, we launched the Faith in Action initiative to contribute towards transforming society to reflect the Kingdom of God through loving acts of neighbourliness and service to all. We seek to:
· promote reflection and action on issues of social justice and equality and to advocate for change
· identify local and international charities for the church and congregation to support
· coordinate St Mary’s response to disasters and emergencies
· promote campaigns and opportunities for volunteering in partnership with others
Over the years St Mary’s has supported a wide range of charities, from HIV/AIDS projects in Africa, rebuilding a school in Pakistan and work with street children in Delhi to projects for the homeless and asylum seekers in Oxford. We now aim to select a local and an international charity to support each year. We are actively involved in campaigns to support action on climate change and to provide volunteers for the Oxford Winter Night Shelter. We also host annual services for Shelter, and Oxford Pride.