Yesterday I had the greatest privilege of attending the Live Lent launch at Lambeth Palace. I was invited by The Church of England to learn about the climate crisis and how we can step up to make a change.
As a family we actively work to reduce our waste and recycle wherever possible, but I have never thought about the importance of bringing my faith into the future of our planet.
Faith and our future
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby chaired a panel discussion with Christians who were passionate about sustainable living, serving Jesus and preserving the planet that God has given us. This Lent, he urges the wider church to step up and start fighting against climate change.
The climate crisis
I was humbled and challenged to learn that our world is heading for a three degree climate change by 2050. This rising temperature will lead to heatwave summers as standard, increased flooding due to hotter, humid conditions and catastrophic conditions for millions of people. Those in already warm climates face prolonged extreme weather, which can lead to failed crops, lack of food resources and adversely affect geopolitical systems.
This is more than just being a degree or three hotter, the climate crisis is a global emergency that we must take action on now.
Justin Welby shared how The Church of England will lead the way in the net zero campaign, to end carbon emissions, by reducing carbon emissions across their churches by 100%. He stressed the importance of climate prevention rather than church preservation, and it was encouraging to hear that The Church are tackling the climate crisis head on.
Creation and the Creator
Perhaps one of the messages that struck a chord with me was the passionate speech given by panel member Ali Angus from St Leonard’s, Streatham. She implored is to take our faith into conversation into the climate crisis because loving our neighbours looks like loving the environment they are in.
Loving our neighbour looks like loving the environment
We are made from the earth, formed by a Creator to live in and live off the land. Without the planet, we cannot survive and we need to look after the one we have been given.
After the panel discussion, we had an eventful Eucharist, which, due to a fire alarm, was finalised on the law a of Lambeth Palace. Ruth Valerio spoke warmly of her revelations when writing her book Saying Yes to Life, sharing how in scripture, God is in every single detail of nature, from the birds in the air to the deer crouching down to give birth.
We were challenged that as Christians, maybe we have separated the creation from salvation, yet the Bible is actually a huge nature book. With so many details of creation recorded in scripture, it makes sense that as His children, God would call His sons and daughters to protect it.
What can we do?
This year we will see the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) where decisions will be made for our planet’s future. What we do now as a people will determine the kind of life our children lead, and the kind of world they grow up in.
Now is the time to petition and pray for our politicians. We need ambitious and bold plans from the UK government on climate change. Current plans still lead to a 3.2 degree increase across the world. Aiming to halve this at the very least could help, but will still be disastrous for many.
The only real solution is to end carbon emissions and stop global warming.
This seems like an impossible task but we can all do something.
We can rise up as the Church, with one voice, to pray for our MP’s.
We can implore and encourage our government to bring forward policies on transport, heating, energy and diet.
We can vote with our feet by not using plastics.
We can choose zero carbon travel to reduce our footprint.
We can reduce waste and recycle wherever possible.
We can restrict consumption of animal products.
We can buy ethically sourced and fair trade items.
We can educate our children on the beauty of God’s creation and why we must do everything in our power to protect it. This Lent why not take time to prayerfully consider Gods creation and pledge to make a change? There are some incredible resources available including Live Lent 40 day challenge booklets for adults and children.
We all have different spheres of influence and can each share what we are doing to change the climate crisis. Love is the greatest commandment, so let’s love our selves and our neighbours and the environment we are in, in order to save our precious planet.
Are you in?