Bishop Alan of Connor diocese has risen to the top of the environmental league table in the Church of Ireland. His entire Lent Course for 2017 is entitled “Stewards of Creation”.

In his talk at Lisburn Cathedral on March 29 he outlined that humans are created by God for a relationship with Him, each other and with the earth and its creatures. We are part of creation but we fail in all of these areas. Hence many of the problems we see around the world.

He highlighted the problem of fossil fuels, deforestation and desertification on land, and the dreadful problem of pollution from plastic in the oceans (with some nasty photos to illustrate!)

For solutions he encouraged everyone to support Christian development agencies like Christian Aid, Tearfund and A Rocha. He suggested we study the 5 marks of mission, which includes care for creation, use Fairtrade in church, walk more, drive less and so on. There were also some great quotes, including this one,
“It seems quite inexplicable to me that there are some Christians who claim to love and worship God, to be disciples of Jesus, and yet have no concern for the earth that bears his stamp of ownership. They do not care about the abuse of the earth and indeed, by their wasteful and over consumptive life-styles, they collude in it.” Dr Chris Wright
It’s very encouraging to see a bishop in the Church of Ireland highlighting care for creation. We need champions who will speak out to society calling for change. We need to stop investing in fossil fuel extraction and invest in green alternatives. Perhaps the Church of Ireland can take a lead calling society to move into a fossil free future.

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