Bishop Harold endorses Seasons of Creation


Earlier this week Bishop Harold Miller endorsed the 'Seasons of Creation' initiative by retweeting a video by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby (see below). It is great to see Bishop Harold taking a stand and promoting this initiative. He is also one of the few bishops who actively uses Twitter. Good to see,

The 1st of September is 'World Day of Prayer for Creation' which is now supported by the Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox churches as well as the Word Council of Churches (WCC) - basically all corners of Christendom.

Archbishop Welby is encouraging the Anglican Church to take action on the environment, and climate change in particular. But what does seasonsofcreation.org suggest that churches actually do? Here is a list,
  • Organise a prayer service for creation - at any time between 1 September and 4 October. A straightforward one for churches to do.
  • Take action for creation - this is where it gets interesting. Actions are divided into 'Protestant, Anglican and Orthodox', 'Catholic', and 'Interfaith'. Being a good Anglican I responded by clicking the appropriate link. There are three actions,
  1. Ask world leaders to act for climate justice - by signing the online 'Act now for Climate Justice' petition. Fair enough.
  2. Eliminate the use of bottled water in churches in Europe and North America - huh? Why single this out? Well, the WCC has highlighted this issue and it does create a lot of waste. It is interesting this is singled out from amongst the numerous environmental issues.
  3.  Divest from fossil fuels - this is where it gets interesting. The WCC's own policy is to not hold investments in fossil fuels and,
"the WCC has been reaching out to member churches in Europe, encouraging divestment from fossil fuels as a way for church communities to help achieve climate justice in the absence of political leadership."
There are a growing number of churches and institutions that see divestment from fossil fuels as key to climate justice. The Church of Ireland has been creaking forward slowly on this ethical investment issue, ruling out investments in coal, but so far has refused to divest from other fossil fuel companies.

What the Church of Ireland needs is for one of its bishops to declare publicly that it needs full divestment from all fossil fuels. Retweets are a start, but a call to action is what is really required.

Bishop Harold is on the board of Tearfund UK, an organisation that actively campaigns for a switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy.  Perhaps Bishop Harold will go one step further than a retweet and be the first to explicitly call the Church of Ireland to full divestment from fossil fuels.

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