Environment Sunday

Last week we had Environment Sunday, at St Mary’s at least. Our guest preacher was the splendidly mis-named Dave Bookless (author of at least two books) who is the director of the Christian environmental group A Rocha. To the strains of What a Beautiful World, he told us about A Rocha projects that work to get people and creation living in harmony – like the scheme in India that helps farmers keep elephants out of their crops by planting chillies instead of killing them. (The elephants, that is. The chillies can look after themselves…)

Afterwards some of us met Dave to discuss Christian engagement with fighting climate change. For me there’s an obvious fit between faith, liberalism and the environment agenda; it’s an approach that’s internationalist, unselfish and values creation. But there has been another approach, linked to the religious right, that sees creation as there to be pillaged by man. Dave is optimistic that the political culture change in the US brought by the end of the Bush era is affecting churches there too; not before time. He challenged the politicians among us to overcome partisan differences and unite against climate change; cross-party support for a stronger climate change bill is a good start.

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