Monday, 1 February 2010

Hope for Planet Earth

If you’ve not been to The Barn at Chilton do try it sometime. With its comfortable facilities it proved to be an ideal venue for a double billing on Sunday in 31st January. This was organised by Lesley Fellows and it attracted a good turnout from our various parishes. First on the agenda was a half-hour seminar on Climate Change given by Dr Martin Hodson, Principal Tutor in Christian Rural & Environmental Studies at Oxford Brookes University. This topic increasingly occupies our thoughts, and after the recent disappointing outcome from Copenhagen, many of us really feel the need to improve our understanding of the issues involved.

Dr Hodson gave a factual outline of the various factors linked to climate change, illustrating with graphs the changes that have been occurring, with the prospect of what this could lead to in the future. Included in the talk was the retreat of ice from the Arctic Ocean, the prospect of the future loss of low-lying land (as in Bangladesh) to the sea with mass migrations of humans to more habitable places, and also the loss of biodiversity. Tackling the problem was not simply achieved through securing international agreements controlling CO2 emissions, but also through us in our individual lives as Christians. To that end we were provided with the Tearfund pamphlet “The Carbon Fast” with useful tips on how we could live a non-wasteful, energy-saving Lent. The talk elicited some thoughtful questions from the floor, testimony to the interest it provoked.

After the coffee break we continued with the second part, a Eucharist led by Lesley, in which the prevailing theme in the prayers was of our need to cherish the Earth. It neatly complemented the preceding talk and was very well received by those who attended. Thank you to Lesley for arranging this.

Thank-you to David Chetham for writing this article. There is a new blog for the Diocese looking at environmental issues here.

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