“What difference can I make to saving the planet?”

Published: Monday August 17, 2015

Arthur Champion July 2010This question is what people often ask me as the Diocesan Environmental Adviser, perhaps because they feel overwhelmed by the scale and complexity of our responsibility to care for creation. My reply is that even small actions done prayerfully can add up to something worthwhile. Take for example my own efforts yesterday…

It started with a trip down the motorway to Bristol for a committee meeting with colleagues from five other dioceses in the South West. Sometimes as a face-to-face meeting is needed to maintain good working relationships and ensure that we make the right decisions. The good news is that for the third year running there will be a Carbon Fast in Lent 2016 which is a great opportunity for everyone to get engaged in practical actions.

Later in the day I joined a team of volunteers in St James Church at Colesbourne to clean and tidy up the churchyard. It turned out to be a good way of meeting parishoners and I enjoyed trimming back the rose bushes, which were completely overgrown. We ended up sitting in the church porch sharing beer and sandwiches.

My final challenge was to overcome one of the things that deter people from going to church – the lack of toilet facilities. This problem recently turned into a crisis when five pregnant ladies from London arrived for a wedding at St Giles Church at Coberley but had to drive away again in search of public conveniences! Therefore, a car full of us from St John’s Church in Elkstone paid a visit to Coln St Aldwyns and found the design of their green oak shelter would be ideal for our purposes at Elkstone.

We strolled along the riverbank back to the car and admired the trout that could be seen where sunshine poured through gaps in the trees. It was like having a glimpse of heaven and a reminder that even small actions done prayerfully can help to save the planet for future generations.

The Revd Arthur Champion, Diocesan Environmental Advisor

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