A letter from the Diocese

The winter wheat in the fields opposite my house have recently been harvested. The grain is gathered in. As I write the bails of straw remain, soon to be stored. It looks as if this year has been good with sensible yields. Watching the season’s progression has been a joy. The familiar patterns with the early green shoots developing into standing grain, then turning from green to golden and then to harvest itself is both age old and expected. We trust and look for seedtime and harvest relying upon the consistency of the seasons. However, what is becoming more and more apparent is that we must not be lulled into a false sense of security. Fruitful harvests and stable climates are deeply connected. Rather late in the day there is a realisation, both of the fragility of these systems and of their importance. Very few will now deny that global warming is a reality. The factors are many and complex. Over my lifetime the world population has doubled. The very fact that there are more of us has an impact. How the more act responsibly is of vital importance. Average global temperatures are now measurably higher and if this continues unchecked will prove devastating. Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and their impact in many places being both tragic and cataclysmic. The powerful protests of Greta Thunberg, the visceral marches and action of Extinction Rebellion, and the winsome yet powerful work of Sir David Attenborough all point to the necessity of treating these matters with the utmost seriousness. As a particular commercial slogan puts it…every little helps. One of the big problems is that as human beings we each have a tendency to self-protection. We can genuinely want things to be better but only so long as it doesn’t hurt too much or overly interfere with life. Inertia to necessary change is real. Learning to move into that necessary change demands action, some of which will include uncomfortable changes in habits and consumption. Our long term global protection requires a different way of living. Two dangers exist. The first is to deny the realities the second is to act more out of emotion than reason. Given the route by which we have got here there can be a tendency to distrust both science and technology. Harder, but more useful will be the concerted efforts to use both with the clear end in view of sustainability. As a Diocese we have recently opted to being a ‘eco’ diocese In order to support positive change. The ancient wisdom of the Bible is worth heeding. It challenges us all to be stewards not exploiters and to treat creation as a precious resource not a possession.