Sunday, June 08, 2008

Greener Living

Stockton council held a Greener Living Roadshow today at Preston Park. There were exhibitors showing all manner of renewable heating systems, public transport, recycling, real nappies, plans for the regeneration of the Park, cycling, lower emission cars and even an electric motor bike which produces no emissions at the time of use (because they're all produced at the power station making the electricity). I hope that others will have written more about what they saw because I didn't get much chance to look round as I was helping to man the Fairtrade stall. By showcasing the huge variety of Fairtrade products available we hoped to encourage people to ask their local shops to stokc more. A number of people did take a postcard to do just that so we hope it will have an impact. We also had a lot of interest in the Fairtrade group, in converting local businesses and in giving talks to schools and other places. Definitely worth going and giving up a Sunday afternoon and a huge thank you to those who covered Sunday morning while the councillors among us were at the Civic service.
The civic service is the opportunity each year for the people of the Borough to share with the new mayor in prayer for the borough and to hear the new mayor commit to serving the people of the borough during the year. This year's mayor, John Fletcher, is well known to the people of Eaglescliffe and they were strongly represented in the congregation and in the choir. But John hasn't been a councillor for over 20 years without forging links in other parts of the Borough and of course there were representatives from neighbouring authorities whose links with Stockton extend long past the tenure of any particular Mayor. We were blessed with a sunny day and very little wind for the traditional parade up the High Street to the Parish Church and back again after the service. Sadly, the number of young people from the different organisations in the Borough has decreased over the years, no doubt for complex reasons, but those who do march, old and young, are a credit to their peers and to the Borough.
The Civic service has a number of common elements year by year but each Mayor and chaplain choose some parts to reflect their particular feelings for the role. John's readings and hymns gave a deep sense of the vocation involved in public service, of being a servant to all across the Borough regardless of their background and of trying to work with all the different groups in the Borough. His chaplain spoke of part of his role being to give pastoral care to someone in a very exposed public position - not something which is discussed around council chambers but very important none the less.

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