Christmas is one of the best times of the year for hospitality, friendship and dialogue. 

We organized our second Christmas Friendship Dinner in Reading on December 6, 2019 around the theme of “Environment and Climate Crisis’. The event started with a welcome speech and short information about Fellowship Educational Society (FES) by our Chair, Mr Mehmet Cabuk. He also delivered an introductory speech about the theme of the event.

 We had many guest speakers representing different organizations and faith groups. Our first speaker and our guest of honour was The Rightworshipful The Mayor of Reading, Cllr Paul Woodward. Mr Mayor has kindly delivered a speech about Reading Borough Council’s current work and projects to tackle climate change locally.

The programme continued with speeches by two different activist groups working on Environmental issues. The first speaker, Mrs Tricia Marcouse representing Green Reading Environmental Network and Reading Climate Change Partnership, delivered a speech about the environmental projects which are being developed by the local NGOs. Mrs Marcouse also talked about a common action plan to tackle climate change locally.

The next speaker was Dr Ellen Pilsworth who represented “Berkshire Greenpeace”. Dr Pilsworth gave an overview on the work of Greenpeace and explained to the audience how they can contribute. In her own words : “Greenpeace is an environmental organization that holds governments and corporations to account. Greenpeace organise campaigns on a regional, national and international scale, and we’d love for you to get involved.” Please find the three options below to support Greenpeace :

  1. Join to the monthly meetings on 1st Thursday of every month, 8pm at room 3 at Reading International Solidarity Centre.
  2. Donate online or become a member via http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/support-us/
  3. Dr Ellen Pilsworth is an official speaker for Greenpeace, you can invite her to come and speak to your workplace or school about any of Greenpeace’s campaigns, or how you can help to make a difference for the planet. For more info https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/volunteering/greenpeace-speakers/

In the following part of the event, the participants had a chance to listen to what representatives of faiths and community leaders say about the environment. In this section,

  • Dila and Sena from Fellowship Reading Weekend School shared quotes from holy scriptures, faith and community leaders.
  • Reverend Christine Bainbridge kindly delivered a speech about Green Christian group, their work and the characteristics of Green Churches.
  • Mr Esat Polat from Fellowship Reading Weekend School delivered a speech about the importance of protecting the environment from faith perspective and he shared the teachings of Islam about the subject.

During the dinner, we all completed the Carbon footprint questionnaire that can be found on the World Wide Fund for Nature website. Our event came to an end after our guests who had the minimum Carbon footprint score were presented the gifts they won.

We would like to thank our guest speakers, volunteers and all of our invitees for their contributions to the event. We hope to meet you all again in future events.

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