Getting to mass is central to expressing our faith, but what about HOW we get there?
In England, 60% of 1-2mile trips are made by car (National Travel Survey 2018). Transportation is the largest contributor to the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 28% (UK ONS 2018). Despite advances in fuel efficiency and increased use of hybrid cars, emissions continue to be high.
For many, getting to church (or anywhere in fact) can be frustrating, with traffic, a lack of parking, or poor public transport. For people with disabilities or simply fragility in old age, this is made even more difficult.
There is a common solution: we must learn to drive less and share more.
Mass is the centre of our faith; it changes our thoughts and behaviours. In light of climate change, pollution and social exclusion, how can rethinking the way we get to mass affect our faith and our community? Could this effort change how we behave in other areas of our lives?
If we believe in ensuring good health and protecting our planet then we should probably think about how we get about – and to use it as an opportunity to build community.
By sharing these inspirational stories with you, we hope to inspire your creativity in your parish and to show that great things can be very simple, and very possible. Please do remember to write to us with any stories of projects that you would like to share.
Here is a selection of ideas to get you started! If you have completed any of these projects, or run these services in your parish please do share your story or resources so that we can improve our guide. When deciding what to do, think about what the needs of your community are; some actions will be possible for some and not for others.
As this site progresses we will add links where you will find toolkits and resources to help you plan these activities. Please do send in any suggestions in the meantime.
There are lots more activities that can help you get moving on our other pages. Sometimes in order to change behaviour we need to change the systems that shape our actions. This might involve making your voice heard in local councils and teaming up with other local faiths and groups to improve our public transport, or encourage new innovative technologies.
The Laudato Si’ Goals are our global Church’s vision for action. Launched by the Vatican in 2021, the 7 goals aim to guide us in our mission to care for our common home by recognising the integral link between all ecological and human systems.
Have a read below about how the topic of this page helps us to meet each of the goals.
With transport being one of the UK’s biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, in choosing to travel in an environmentally friendly way we can dramatically reduce our impact on the planet. Less vehicles on our roads also means less air pollution in our local communities.
In reducing our carbon emissions through the way we choose to use transport, we reduce our impact on climate change, therefore reducing the impact that changing weather has on the world’s poorest communities. In our local communities, carpooling schemes have the double effect of reducing emissions and allowing people access to transport who otherwise would be isolated.
In simplifying and slowing down the pace of our lives, by making space to travel locally without the use of cars, we open ourselves up to encounter God and nature in our local environment. It also allows us to ask ourselves whether we are really putting our faith and care for Creation above our own wants/convenience.
By creating a community of sharing rather than each needing their own car, by using more bicycles and walking, by installing the infrastructure in our car parks to encourage new technologies, we can influence a better model of economics that puts peoples needs first.
In our busy lives, it is tempting to rush around from place to place in our cars – seeing the journey as a means to an end. Reducing our reliance on polluting forms of transport gives us the opportunity to walk or cycle in our communities; allowing us to ground ourselves in our locality and appreciate what we have around us.
The way we travel offers an opportunity to educate our community about the harmful effects of polluting transport, as well as a chance to open up conversations about the extraction of raw materials to build new electric technologies (e.g. lithium).
Carpool schemes and lift sharing are great ways to get to know our community; allowing us to meet new people and serve others who would else struggle to get to church. In working with our local communities, we can also make a bigger impact in campaigning for better public transport provision.
Do you have an inspiring story that you would like us to feature? Write to The Journey to 2030 at email@example.com or click the link below.
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Read the document that inspired The Journey to 2030.