Vicar's Column - July 2019
St John the Baptist Parish Church
I find it slightly ironic that 2050, the year the government has pledged Britain will become carbon neutral, is the year that the expansion of Heathrow is due to be complete (with the third runway in situ by 2026). Are not these two things diametrically opposed or am I missing something? Of course, there are those of us who would say that 31 years into the future is way too far off to zero our carbon emissions; it is a crisis that needs addressing now.
We might think that the environment is a contemporary issue but Christian history has had its share of prophets on this subject. Hildegard of Bingen warned us eight centuries ago through her creation-centred mysticism of the price we would pay for indifference or injustice to creation. Around that era, St Francis of Assisi was likewise ahead of his time. You can hear about his eco-spirituality in our Autumn Christian Spirituality Course. In his book on the history of spirituality, Philip Sheldrake (2007, p.207) writes:
An awareness of the current fragility of our planet and ecosystems makes the development of ecologically-alert spiritualities a matter of urgency. If one theme is likely to dominate Christian spirituality in the next fifty years, it is this. Rather bland or romantic creation-centred spiritualities are likely to give way to more robust and challenging versions of ecospirituality that counter the irresponsibility of extreme consumerist lifestyles.
What can we change in our own lifestyles to become more eco-friendly? 22ndSeptember has been earmarked as “Walk to Church Sunday”. I’m left questioning why only one Sunday out of 52. Those of us who can should be walking to church every Sunday. I know it is easy for me to say as my walk is only 5 mins and for me to drive takes longer! As well as forgoing the exhaust fumes, I find it is good for the soul and I try to walk mindfully as I go – until I twist my ankle for the umpteenth time on the unmade road and hope no one is in earshot. Virtuous living has its obstacles but persevere we must…
Revd Dr Lisa Cornwell
Church Office (firstname.lastname@example.org )
- 01344 761521
Find St John the Baptist Parish Church
Waterloo Road, Crowthorne, Berkshire, RG45 7NT
There is ample parking along Waterloo Road, and around the back of the Church on the unmade road Church Street.