Manningham Uniting Church, in Melbourne’s north east, has been on a journey in recent years as it has engaged with the issue of climate justice and the role that Christians can play in promoting care of creation.
The church’s social justice group has spearheaded much of the activity, which has included installation of solar panels, water tanks and a vegetable garden; letter-writing to politicians; participation in climate rallies and the annual Earth Hour event; screenings of films like the documentary 2040 and some of the works of David Attenborough; and regular articles on climate and other justice issues in the church’s magazine.
And a prominent visual display outside the church helps to engage passers-by with the issue.
“Murals of different themes line the processional drive of the church’s new community centre, highlighting the themes of welcome, justice, inclusion and diversity,” says Gail Pritchard, a retired Uniting Church minister and Manningham Uniting parishioner. “Care for the earth, its waterways, fauna and flora vividly express the artist’s collected ideas from an enthusiastic working group composed of church and community members.”
The murals were created by Melbourne-based artist Katherine Gailer (also known as Katira).
Tearfund has supported the church with resources and photos for its display boards inside the church building, and members of the social justice group have taken part in some of Tearfund’s online events on climate justice.
“Display boards in the foyer of the church command attention for social justice issues,” says Gail. “A climate display featuring photos, captions, media content and contributions from Tearfund have added to the church community’s understanding and awareness about the climate emergency. We hope positive change will ensue.”
Photos: Katherine Gailer and Manningham Uniting Church.