In a spirit of community building and healing, the faith communities of Holy Cross Anglican and St Margaret’s Uniting in Hackett in Canberra’s inner north recently hosted a festival focussed on sustainability.
The ‘Sustaining Our Future’ Festival on the weekend of September 19-20 brought together local groups and speakers to offer information on climate change and inspiration on how to reduce one’s individual or household waste and carbon footprint.
“During these pandemic times, it’s even more important we find ways to get together safely and discuss common concerns, be inspired and make a difference,” said Reverend Chris Lockley of St Margaret’s.
People were able to test ride electric bikes and learn about composting. There was also a concert in the church featuring singer-songwriter Lucy Sugerman and local youth bands, a visual arts exhibition, and an ecumenical ‘Celebration of Creation’ worship service.
The program included an ACT election candidates forum moderated by Dickson College students.
“It was a great opportunity for our young people, who have a lot invested in a low-carbon future, to quiz local candidates about their sustainability policies ahead of the October poll,” said Reverend Tim Watson of Holy Cross.
This event, the first of its kind in Hackett, demonstrated the potential of the venue for more community events in the future where people can gather for spiritual and personal resourcing, community development, and to encourage each other in working for the Common Good.”
The Festival was organised as part of Holy Cross/St Margaret’s joint Carbon Action Project, launched earlier this year. Both churches have committed to make their operations carbon neutral within two years, and to help church members and the local community take climate change seriously through local action and engagement.
The once-fixed pews in the ecumenical Hackett church were recently removed to allow for more dynamic and mixed uses of the interior worship space.
“The event was joyful and inclusive, and it put our mandate to evangelise as followers of Jesus into practice in so many different ways. It was a real celebration of beauty (art, music, God’s creation), truth (political debate, scientific and practical learning) and goodness (community, social and environmental action)”, said Reverend Watson.
“It also resonated with Bishop Mark’s encouraging comment about enabling people to return to church after lockdown: ‘re-integrating people to community through community, and helping us think about how we could implement similar steps with people who’ve never been part of our gathered worship’,” Rev. Watson added.
The two ministers also thanked volunteers who worked hard to make it happen.
“So many people made the event work. There were many hours served planning it and then during – to ensure it was safe and kept the festival moving along,” said Rev. Lockley.
Canberra’s inner north will this weekend host a Sustaining Our Future Festival that seeks to reduce our carbon footprint and build resilient communities.
The churches of Holy Cross Anglican and St Margaret’s Uniting in Hackett have put together an afternoon of talks, demonstrations and tips for action.
“If you want to do something about climate change but aren’t sure where to start, the festival can help identify simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint, tell you how much CO2 you would save and inspire ideas for the future,” said Reverend Chris Lockley of St Margaret’s.
“During these pandemic times, it’s even more important we find ways to get together safely and discuss common concerns and to ways to make a difference.”
The program includes an ACT election candidates forum moderated by college students.
“We think it’s great and appropriate that our young people, who have a lot invested in a low-carbon future, will have this opportunity to quiz local candidates about their sustainability policy ahead of the October poll,” said Reverend Tim Watson of Holy Cross.
Also speaking will be Australia’s Ambassador for the Environment, Jamie Isbister.
The full program is as follows:
Saturday 19 September
12.00 noon – 12.20 pm Welcome to Country by Aunty Vi Sheridan
12.25 – 1.00 pm Australia’s Ambassador for the Environment and head climate negotiator, Jamie Isbister in conversation with author, Toni Hassan
1.05 pm – 1.35 pm Brook Clinton from Capital Scraps Composting on “The science of composting”
4.30 – 6 pm Free concert with Lucy Sugerman (The Voice / National Folk Festival Youth Ambassador 2020) pluslocal bands including Northbourne Flats and Pig Dog To book: https://www.trybooking.com/654789
All afternoon – stalls by Society, Environment and Economy (SEE) Change, Canberra Seed Savers, Switched on cycling, ENJO & Women’s Climate Congress, photography on display, art for kids and food/coffee cart
Sunday 20 September
* 9.30am Ecumenical “Celebration of Creation” outdoor worship service
On 19-20 September, Holy Cross Anglican Church and St Margaret’s Uniting Church, Hackett, are running a community sustainability festival, as part of our joint churches Carbon Action Project. This is a COVIDSafe event, and is open to all.
12.00 noon to 12.20 pm. Welcome to Country by Aunty Vi Sheridan
12.25 to 1.00 pm. Australia’s Ambassador for the Environment and head climate negotiator, Jamie Isbister in conversation with local writer and journalist, Toni Hassan
1.05 pm to 1.35 pm. Brook Clinton from Capital Scraps Composting on “The science of composting”
12 noon to 4 pm. Photography exhibition with photos from lockdown
4.30 pm to 6 pm. Concert with Lucy Sugerman (The Voice / National Folk Festival Youth Ambassador 2020) and local bands including Northbourne Flats and Pig Dog. To book for this free concert go to: https://www.trybooking.com/654789
9.30am: Ecumenical Creation Service outdoors under our flowering cherry tree
We are looking at a number of alternative ways in which we can pray and worship together, including:
online services (using Zoom)
opening the church for private prayer
household liturgies (including kid-friendly ones!) for you to use at home
Parish Council is meeting this Saturday to make more plans, and we’ll update you again soon.
I spoke to Bishop Mark today and he informed me that welfare services such as Tuckerbox should continue at present, as they have a crucial role in meeting the needs of some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Tuckerbox will therefore be taking place this Saturday, and we will be putting in place some strict hygiene protocols to ensure that this is done safely.
One final thing: Sunday 22 March is Mothering Sunday, the middle Sunday in Lent, and Iris usually makes us a simnel cake for morning tea. This year, I suggest that those of us who are able to do so take part in a Holy Cross Simnel Cake Competition – if you’d like to have a go, why not bake one this week and email me the photo so we can post the results on the web site? We’ll ask Iris to judge the entries and award an appropriate prize! Recipes can be found here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/simnel_cake
Keep well, keep in touch, and remember: Christ is still risen!
Lent is fast approaching – it’s a season when all of us are called to set aside time (through prayer, fellowship, and study) to draw closer to Jesus. Here are some of the Lent activities that you are welcome to take part in over the coming weeks.
– We are joining with friends from other local churches to study the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent book “Saying Yes to Life”, by eco-theologian Ruth Valerio: https://spckpublishing.co.uk/saying-yes-to-life Groups meet on Monday eve, Tuesday eve, and Wednesday lunchtime. Email the Rector if you want to sign up.
– Chris Lockley from St Margaret’s is leading a Lent course looking at Celtic Spirituality, meeting on Thursdays at 1.30pm.
Events and services
Tue 25 Feb, 5.30-7pm: Shrove Tuesday Pancake Party in the Annex
– All welcome, especially families with children!
Wed 26 Feb, 10am and 6pm: Ash Wednesday Eucharist
– A solemn and beautiful service with imposition of ashes, to mark the entry into Lent
Sun 1 Mar, 9.30am and 11am: Joint Service with St Margaret’s and Launch of Carbon Action Project
– A very significant initiative in the life of both our churches, enabling us all to practice what we preach as stewards of God’s good creation.
Tues 10 Mar, 10am-3pm: Lent Quiet Day in the Annex
– Led by Rev Joan Smith
For more information on any of these, please email the Rector.
We acknowledge the triune God, the Creator of heaven and earth and His ownership of all things (Psalm 24:1).
We recognise that He gave stewardship of these lands upon which we meet to the First Nations Peoples of this country (Acts 17:26). In His sovereignty, He has allowed other groups to migrate to these shores.
We acknowledge the cultures of our First Nations Peoples and are thankful for the community that we share together now.
We pay our respects to the traditional custodians of this land and their elders, both past and present, and those who are rising up to become leaders.
— Rev Neville Naden
Holy Cross Anglican Parish
Corner Antill St & Phillip Ave
(enter from Antill Street)
Tel: 0490 336 409
PO Box 164
Dickson ACT 2602, Australia