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Saturday, 19 March 2011

Communication from Diocesan Environment Officer - March 2011

The Diocese in Europe Environmental Officer, Madeleine Holmes, has circulated to our clergy, readers and parish environmental officer an update on environmental matters of interest to our Church. As Madeleine wants her communications to be widely circulated in the diocese, I have posted it on this weblog.

If you wish to be in contact with Madeleine her email address is:

For her message to clergy, readers and parishes of the diocese, follow the read more link below.

Environment Prayer

Almighty God,
Give us reverence for all creation
And respect for every person,
That, we may mirror your likeness
In Jesus Christ our Lord.
(Collect 2nd before Lent, Additional)

To All Chaplains, Assistant Chaplains, Readers and Environment Officers

Hello and blessings for 2011.

It is my hope that you have been able to see my few notes in the The European Anglican magazine. I had much more up my sleeve but was saving it for the website pages, but this is not on-line yet, so I will share some of this material with you now.

Let me first say that I have heard from two people!! One a very positive report, for which I am delighted and grateful and another pointing out that the Church is not making enough noise with regard to our environment and the people in it. Thank you so much for contacting me and I hope that we will become even more active this year. If you do have items of interest that you want broadcast please contact me.

Through my participation in General Synod I am able to converse with the ‘Shrinking the Footprint’ Team, so let’s hear what you have to say, which I can then pass on.

A further point I must make is that I know you don’t always own your churches so that you are unable to make big changes with regard to your buildings, but we can change our life patterns and habits, so please do appoint an Environmental Officer and join forces with one another to talk and discuss and take action.

Good News from Luxembourg
Our first reference comes from Luxembourg in our North West Archdeaconry, from Phillippa Seymour, Environmental Officer, telling us of their environmental debate. It was an ecumenical event as well as an environmental one; the two main speakers, whose idea it was, were members of the local Anglican and Roman Catholic churches respectively, and the 25 people who attended included members of both churches, and others with no church allegiance. It was a highly enjoyable and thought-provoking evening, and they hope to hold another such event before Easter. (You will find a shortened version of this lecture on

AquitaineMy other communication was from a member of Aquitaine Chaplaincy complaining that the church is not standing firm on many of the environmental issues, and one in particular which seems to have hit a very painful spot in many, namely This has been started by Hugh Fernley-Whittengstall, cook and environmentalist. You will find a list of sustainable fish that we should be choosing in the linked page on Food and Water.

It is important that we do act on whatever areas of the environment and disadvantaged peoples we have a heart for. I came across the following writing from Church House – Reflections for Daily Prayer (pp 313) (no author’s name given) and share it with you.

Isaiah 24.5 : ‘The earth lies polluted under its inhabitants’
Nothing could be more relevant than the message of these words today, that it is people who are capable of polluting the earth. This text talks about religious and moral pollution; about what is clean and unclean. Today, the sustainability of the earth and the state of the environment mean that what is ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’ has a life-and-death meaning.

Many scientist think that the earth may well choke or cook in the future, unless people change their ways, unless there is a carbon-neutral planet, unless the greenhouse gas problem is decisively addressed, unless we recycle conscientiously. Our home is God’s earth, and what we do to the environment we live in, we do to God, because God gave it to us. God makes the earth from nothing (Genesis 1.1; John 1), God declares it good (Genesis 1.4-31; Psalm 148), God sustains it in love (Psalm 104; Job 38).

For Christians, Christ is the centre of the earth where creation is set free and all things are reconciled to God, where all things are made new. We are called to discipleship, in and with Christ, to heal and redeem the whole earth. This is dominion, not domination, to serve and preserve, refreshed by a Sabbath of rest for the land and the people. We seek a kingdom come on earth, this earth on which we live and breathe.

Do let me know what your congregations think of this author’s writings.
Please, please keep me informed.
I will be sending you some additional information on food, water and worship shortly.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world"………. Gandhi


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