Thought of the week

My Thought for the Week looks forward to next week and in particular to next Sunday (4th October) when we shall be celebrating our Harvest Festival. Each year at Harvest the PCC seeks your support for the work of a Christian charity. 

In the past this has usually been a charity which is working to provide for human need in some way. We now recognise that to enable human needs to be met, we must give greater attention to caring for our planet, Earth, our fragile and beautiful home, which sustains all life and provides all our needs. 

God has created us and given us the earth as our home, to delight in, to manage, protect and respect and to share its resources fairly and wisely, so that all God’s people and all other creatures he has made may have fullness of life. And the whole of this created order, including ourselves, depends on the earth and the vast weather systems which traverse it. And each part depends also on every other, those myriad individual creatures and plants function interactively - like the parts of the human body - a very beautiful and holistic plan. 

But all of us must surely be aware how we humans are damaging and changing the ecosystem of our planet. The volume of discarded plastic in the oceans is choking marine life. The volume of greenhouse gas emissions is leading to a critical rise in global temperatures which leads in turn to dramatic shifts in climate and rising sea levels. Deforestation on a massive scale, caused by humankind, leads to soil erosion and changes weather patterns, and all this contributes to the mass migration which is felt across Europe. In seeking to meet our growing demands for water, energy, food and for disposal of our waste, we are outstripping the planet’s ability to provide. This is not part of God’s plan.

But then why do we say so little about this in church?

Our Bishop, Steven Croft, has stated: “Such is the crisis facing our world, that in the 21st Century, the tending of creation, ensuring that the world can sustain life for future generations, should be at the forefront of the witness and mission of the Church.”

So at this harvest time, we are seeking your support for a Christian organisation which works for the protection and restoration of the natural world and is committed to mobilising Christians and churches in the UK and elsewhere to care for the environment. This is A Rocha, an international Christian network of environmental organisations, founded in Portugal in 1983.  A Rocha means "the Rock" in Portuguese. 

To help us understand their work, the PCC has invited Jonathan Ford, representing A Rocha, to talk about the charity at our Family Communion Service at 10.30am. Jonathan will be showing us a video about A Rocha’s current work in Ghana and explaining their work in this country. We hope there will be an opportunity to talk with him about this after the service on Zoom and in church.

Colin Cockshaw