Transition communities began in Ireland and the UK but are now found all over the world. Sometimes the word ‘transition’ is not used and may be replaced by ‘sustainable’ or ‘low carbon’, but all operate at a community level – this is not only to do with individuals, families or households. ‘Transition’ is really from an intense carbon society dependent on fossil fuels to a low carbon future based on lighter lifestyles and communities of shared resources.
Across the world people are coming together in local communities to look at the longer term future of their town or city or region. Often these are called Transition Towns or Transition Initiatives and our churches are well positioned to engage with this process.
As the impacts of Climate Change are experienced more seriously, as natural resources peak and decline and as economies struggle under strain, we will need to look at how our lifestyles and our communities can become more resilient. Where will we source our energy or food or water? How will we trade with one another or travel around? How can we strengthen our relationships under increasing environmental, social or economic pressures?
In particular as Christians we hold to particular values – love, justice, peace, belonging, hope, integrity, sustainability, etc. The Transition Movement offers us to explore and implement these values in partnership with others, and often at a congregational level. Transition projects promotes community well-being and can inspire, encourage, connect, support and train people as they self-organise to create initiatives that rebuild resilience and reduce CO2 emissions.
“They are about creating a healthy human culture, one that meets our needs for community, livelihoods and fun.”
Transition initiatives include community energy or connection schemes, local currencies, community food growing or distribution projects. They usually include developing a vision of what citizens hope for in the future, and identify practical steps to achieve that goal. This can include training events and activities to empower local people. They may include ‘Inner Transition’, looking at the motivation for change and how people are sustained socially and spiritually in the transition process. Many initiatives are trans-generational and cross all ages from younger to older…
I live in Devon, England where Transition is an exciting and engaging activity with local food shops, green homes, transition streets and community energy projects, to mention but a few.
Short introductory film