Rector's Monthly Letter September 2018

Dear Friends,

This summer has been wonderful for being on holiday but less good for growing crops, manual labour or getting about in London where tube trains are hot and overcrowded at the best of times but intolerably so when temperatures are consistently over 30 degrees. In parts of the UK water reserves are low and wild fires have broken out and been difficult to contain. It would be easy to dismiss the heat of this summer as just a blip. We have after all been here before. I remember 1976 and it was merely an aberration. Cool, wet summers have been the established norm since then and I expect a return to that in years to come.

Is this summer though part of a more concerning trend? Extreme weather events across the world have become more frequent and global temperatures have risen year on year. The polar ice caps are receding. Wild fires in places like Australia and California have become more widespread and arise throughout the year and not just in summer. Extensive flooding is no longer a rarity and it wasn’t long ago that we experienced the unprecedented icy blast of the ‘beast from the east.’

I’m no expert on environmental issues but I am sure that I do not do enough to protect the planet and that the systems that govern our lives seem to conspire against our best efforts to live more simply.

This summer has led me to reflect and a couple of thoughts remain with me. The first is that God’s creation was not given to humans to consume at liberty. Our treatment of the planet is at odds with the way in which God sets out nature to work. We therefore have to act differently or expect adverse natural reactions. This is hinted at in Genesis chapter 3. Secondly, climate change has and will continue to have its greatest effect on poorer nations. As a matter of justice how can we who are more fortunate with our climate respond to assist them?

God bless,