You know how you intend to do something and it’s at the back of your mind and yet you don’t get around to it even though it’s important? This was me with EcoChurch - this is an award scheme designed to motivate and resource churches in England and Wales to care for God's earth. Two examples of suggested actions are: to vastly reduce our carbon footprint; to use some of our land for native wildlife.
However, this week’s conversations with two of my children have reminded me our climate is changing. It is now urgent, and we have to do more than just recycling.
My daughter Alice works in a primary school in Todmorden West Yorkshire (yes, it did used to be in Lancashire!). Todmorden has always flooded occasionally but this year it has flooded three times already.
On Sunday (28.7.19) Alice phoned me and told me her school was flooding. She was in tears and also told me about the impact the floods had on all the children. The last time it flooded it was term time and some of the children who were then living upstairs had problems concentrating and were quite distracted. The rest were also unsettled.
I’ve read that in disasters it is always the poor who bear the brunt of the effects; somehow, I didn’t expect this to apply to the UK. The cleaner who cleans Alice’s classroom and is also a dinner lady is one such person. She’s a single mum and had no house insurance. She lost all her white goods when one of the floods did serious damage to her house.
Here are two pictures of Alice’s school flooded.
Then James, my youngest child, who lives in a tower block in London, told me about living in the heat there.
I’m ashamed it’s taken me this long to start the journey of thinking about what we can do, what our church can do to change the way we live, the way we do church. It is just a drop in the ocean, but it is still a drop.
I would like to hear what you have done, what changes you have made to your garden, to your house, to the way you live in response to reducing climate change? Please email me and, with your permission, I’ll include it in the October Focus magazine.
- Revd. Jan Ashton
Vicar of Hightown, Liverpool