Pupils from St Mary’s C of E School in Penzance and Archbishop Benson C of E School in Truro accepted the challenge from charity Christian Aid, along with the Church of England Environment Programme, and the Anglican Communion Environmental Network, to use their creativity to share their views on climate change and the injustices at its heart, in producing Letters for Creation.

Drawings, letters and posters, produced by the children in response to the challenge, have been displayed for all to see, in Truro Cathedral.

St Mary’s teacher Andy Varker said: “At St Mary’s we are incredibly fortunate to have pupils that are courageous advocates for their environment, they passionately believe in safeguarding the world for future generations to enjoy.  We are blessed to have nurtured pupils who deliver their opinions in a respectful and thoughtful manner.  The subject of climate change has really grasped the imaginations of these pupils and they tackled the Letters for Creation challenge with great enthusiasm.”

The messages of the letters shared some common threads, with a clear message sent to the COP 26 Leaders:

“We need to cut down on the things we don’t need to use all the time like lights or gas heating. It just wastes energy we don’t actually need.” Loveday, 10

“We are the future generation please help us to have a sustainable planet. I hope for us and our future generations.” Val, 11

In their letters the children also detailed the ways in which they have already pledged to make small changes in order to help ease the climate crisis:

“We have made an eco-council which is helping reduce un-needed things such as turning off the lights and turn off the smart board when we are not using it.” Bre,  11

“We are grateful that the children get to be heard, because if the changes do not happen it is us and our future children that will be affected.” Delilah, 10

Mr Varker added: “It is fantastic that big charities and local organisations are providing children with a platform to express their views in a respectful manner.  It has been extremely evident in recent years, that the generation of children and young adults coming through our society, are passionate on the subject of climate change.  We are grateful that they are being listened to as the current emergency will directly impact them as well as future generations.”

Archbishop Benson teacher James Kitto said: “As a church school, Creation is one of our values – it means a great deal to our children and adults alike – something to be treasured and protected. We were delighted to be invited to contribute towards the ‘Letters for Creation’ exhibition in Truro Cathedral.

“We launched the project through our worship sessions and every year group in the school was eager to participate. The younger children created beautiful drawings and posters celebrating God’s beautiful creation and older ones wrote letters to the planet and poems about climate change.

“The children’s thoughts, concerns and wise words of advice were incredibly powerful, and were all the more poignant as they were written in the lead up to COP26 – they will certainly provide anyone reading them with food for thought. What really shines through is that our children provide a flame of real hope for the future.”

Katrine Musgrave, Christian Aid’s Church Engagement and Fundraising Officer for Cornwall and Devon, said: “The next few years will be an incredibly important moment in the movement for climate justice. The climate crisis is never far from the headlines, as news of escalating environmental impacts intersect with promises from governments to do more to meet the challenge of climate change.

“We are inviting schools and churches to consider a spiritual response. With Letters for Creation, we are seeking to make sure that children and young people engaged at church schools and churches are able to exercise their voices on climate justice through and beyond COP26.”