[ACNS source: Diocese of Portsmouth] Christians, business leaders and sixth-formers from the Isle of Wight are to find out how they can help save our planet.
The island's first Christian conference on the environment will kick off later this month (November 28-30) - but it won't all be talk.
Entitled 'Our Earth, Our Destiny', the conference will include lectures and discussions with Sir Ghillean Prance, the scientific director of the Eden Project in Cornwall and a world authority on tropical rain forests. It will also include practical workshops so people can discover how to do their bit to save the environment.
Island sixth-formers, council employees, conservationists and business people will join local Christians during the weekend of November 28-30 for a variety of events to promote environmental awareness.
Sir Ghillean, who spoke at a similar Christian conference on the mainland 12 months ago, will launch the weekend by discussing the issues with hundreds of sixth-formers from all the island's high schools. That will happen between 10.30am and midday on November 28 at Medina High School, Newport.
That lunchtime, he will meet 40 or so people from environmental organisations and businesses across the island for a seminar at the Medina Valley Centre in Dodnor Lane. They will look at how to reduce the 'Isle of Wight environmental footprint' - the amount of natural resources the island uses each year.
In the evening there will be a public lecture at 7pm in St Thomas's Church, Newport. Sir Ghillean will speak on "What has happened to the environment?" Entry is free.
The next morning, November 29, will see some practical action. Christians, environmentalists, students and other volunteers will take part in practical workshops organised by the Medina Valley Centre from 10am until noon. The options include bird-watching, a practical woodland conservation project, a visit to a demonstration of renewable energy and the chance to examine pond creatures.
Members of the Isle of Wight's Natural History and Archaeological Society will hear from Sir Ghillean at 2pm that day. And he will also visit the Pan estate in Newport that evening to see a new project designed to show how a community can take joint action to reduce their environmental impact.
There will be exhibitions from environmental groups all weekend in St Thomas's Church and parish hall in Newport. And the conference will climax with a celebration of creation in St Thomas's Square at 11am on November 30.
The conference is being sponsored by St Thomas's Church, the Medina Valley Centre, the Isle of Wight Council and the Environment Agency.
Canon Stephen Palmer, vicar of St Thomas's and ecological adviser to the Anglican bishop of Portsmouth, said: "This is a fascinating and varied programme which includes both the chance to hear from Sir Ghillean and the chance to do something practical to help.
"Those who heard Sir Ghillean at our diocesan environmental conference last year need no prompting to come to hear him again. His expertise and enthusiasm are plain for all to see.
"What I hope will come out of this conference is a determination by us all to put environmental concerns at the top of our agenda. Research shows we would need the natural resources of three Isle of Wights to support our current lifestyles. We can't carry on like that."
For more information please visit: www.portsmouth.anglican.org