March - Christians and Climate Change.
Updated: Mar 30
“The Earth is the Lords and all that is in it” Psalm 24 v1
I’m grateful to John Ives for writing this piece for the Parish News for me. I am aware that the Church of England is encouraging parishes to strive to be Carbon Neutral by 2030. Perhaps that is more than challenging given the age of our churches, but we must endeavour to do our bit. Huw is also looking into this further and hopefully we can continue to reduce our footprint as time goes on. One of the 5 ‘Marks of Mission’ observed to by the Church, which often gets ignored or easily put to one side, (usually because we don’t quite know what to do about it) is:
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
We have lived through some difficult times recently and as we look forward more difficulties are appearing with rising energy costs and inflation. It is easy to think that we can leave thinking about the climate to another as we live in a particularly beautiful area that is not yet seriously affected. But many of our brothers and sisters in the global south are not able to put the problem to one side. In many parts of Africa, the annual rains on which the farmers depend are becoming unreliable. The Pacific Island Nations are finding life more difficult as the sea levels rise and inundate their land. Many parts of the world are being affected by increasingly violent storms, droughts, floods, heat waves and wild fires. How are we to respond?
Our Lord expects Christians to take responsibility for His creation. Many feel that there is little they can do that will make any difference but we should all try to honour God’s natural world by doing whatever we can. This is a witness to our community and challenges those in positions of responsibility to take the changing climate seriously. By taking action we can also help mitigate our own rising fuel costs. So, what can we do?
Here are some suggestions which we could prayerfully consider.
Try to save energy.
The Energy saving Trust recommends the following : -
Don’t leave appliances on standby mode. Almost all TVs can be switched off but if in doubt check the instructions.
Draught poof windows and doors and any gaps round the floor and skirting board.
Turn off lights when not in use or when you leave the room.
Replacing the lights with LED bulbs will save more.
Use washing machine on a 30ᴼC cycle and try to reduce use by one load a week.
Try to avoid using the tumble drier by drying clothes on a rack
inside or hanging washing outside in warmer weather.
Swop the bath for a shower and spend less time having a shower.
Avoid overfilling the kettle. Only boil the quantity of water you
Fill your dishwasher to reduce water use. Try to reduce use by running it only when full.
Make sure the hot water tank is well insulated. An 80mm jacket is recommended.
For more information, see www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/hub/quick-tips-to-save-energy/
Other areas to consider are : -
Avoid use of peat compost in the garden. Peat is a precious resource for capturing carbon and there are peat free composts available. Try to make the garden wildlife friendly by avoiding use of pesticides and planting bee friendly plants.
Try to reduce car use by having car free days and using public transport, walking or cycling when possible. Think carefully before flying. Is the flight necessary, are there alternatives? Consider supporting a responsible carbon off setting scheme when you do fly. Turn off your car engine when stationary for more than a minute or two (eg at level crossing, or waiting in car parks outside a shop).
Consider reducing the amount of meat in your diet. Perhaps have one or two meat free days each week.
By taking some of these actions we can make a difference, save money on our fuel bills and support those already seriously affected by climate change.
Father God, we thank you that you are a God of justice.
Thank you that you know all those already impacted by climate change.
Jesus, we are sorry for the ways we’ve damaged your creation.
Help us make changes in our own lives to love our global
Holy Spirit, stir our hearts to care for your creation.
Stir the hearts of members of our government.
Guide them in all their decision-making and
inspire them to protect the most vulnerable.
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