With COP 26 getting ever closer the period of Creationtide started on the first Sunday of September with the Nations’ Climate Sunday service taking place in Glasgow cathedral. This was a major event with as many attending in person as Scottish COVID rules allowed and many hundreds more watching online. The Diocese was well represented as Christians from across all the nations of the British Isles were welcomed to the service by the Venerable Rosemarie Mallett, Archdeacon of Croydon and a trustee of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.
The Nations’ Climate Sunday was organised to be a visible example of the commitment and energy that the Christian communities in the British Isles are bringing to fighting climate change. This is particularly important to show this year as at the beginning of November the UN climate negotiation, COP 26, is being hosted by the UK government in Glasgow. At the service Andy Atkins, CEO of A Rocha UK, the Christian conservation charity, presented the commitments and actions of nearly two thousand churches who have committed to greening schemes such as the ‘eco church scheme’.
Across Southwark one hundred and eight parishes and growing have signed up to take part in A Rocha’s Eco Church Scheme and we will soon be applying for our Bronze Eco Diocese award, joining the thirteen other Anglican dioceses to have received the bronze award. Our commitments were offered to remind the nations of the world and our own government that we care deeply not just for an environment but a creation; that our relationship to our planet is central to our relationship with our God. One of the readings used in Glasgow which illustrates the closeness of Jesus and creation was:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
This reading is just one small part of the resources available to those churches who wish to host a Creation Sunday service over Creationtide, before the 4th of October. One of the parishes to have achieved the silver Eco Church award hosted its own Climate Sunday service on 5 September where the community listened to the call to love and care for God’s created world. As Bishop Christopher preached:
As good stewards we have a responsibility to care for the planet, and that has never been more vital than now, because the actions of mankind threaten to destroy this planet unless we change our ways… What are the things we can do? What is it that we specially can do to show God’s love for this world which He has made?
If you are interested in hosting a Climate Sunday service, this Creationtide please use the free resources available online
In other news the Diocese has welcomed its new Environment Officer, Jack Edwards. Jack joins us fresh from his MA studies in Theology, Ecology and Ethics and will soon be restarting the environment newsletter which you can sign up for here.