Archbishop Jackson can lead a Church of Ireland revolution


Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson, Archbishop of Dublin and Glendalough can lead a revolution in the Church of Ireland, and it might be inspired by the Pope.

The revolution I am talking about is to do with mission. The signals are that the archbishop has been thinking long and hard about mission and Christians’ responsibility to care for creation. He likes to use the term 'theological ecology', for it sums up what creation care is all about: humankind’s relationship to God and to the world.

Most recently he spoke at the Arklow Festival of Faith on June 2nd 2016 where his theme was 'Care for Creation'. For me several comments stand out from his speech,
We as humans have been spectacularly unable to regulate our relationship with creation.
This speech draws inspiration from Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si’ on the environment and human ecology. The Pope’s intervention in the climate change debate last year is regarded as a key moment running up to the successful COP21 Paris Agreement on Climate Change. As the archbishop mentions in his address, the Pope’s letter reconnected many Christian’s to creation and reawakened the urgency of climate justice for the poor of the world. It was an inspiration to many Christians.

In regards to mission archbishop Jac,kson says,
We are called to be the church in mission: that is, to protect humankind from self–destruction and to protect the creation from destruction by the same humankind.
This emphasis on mission is really good to see. For mission is involves preaching the gospel and furthering the Kingdom of God. The Anglican Communion's five marks of Marks of Mission sum this up very well,
  • To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom 
  • To teach, baptise and nurture new believers 
  • To respond to human need by loving service 
  • To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation 
  • To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth 
Dr Jackson’s words resonate with these Marks of Mission, particularly the 5th one. In addition to speaking on creation care at the Arklow Festival of Faith, he organised the recent Ecumenical Bible week in Dublin at which the subject was, 'Care for Creation'. Christchurch Cathedral in Dublin was also used for the event ‘Prophetic Voices – the Call to Action’ in the run up to the UN Paris summit on climate change.

I sense a trend.

The Church of Ireland needs a bishop who understands care for creation, climate change and social justice, a ‘theology of ecology’ you might say. Someone who understands mission and prophetic action. We need a 'Lead Bishop for Climate Change'. In a similar way that The Right Reverend Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury, has this role in the Church of England.

Perhaps the 'Lead Bishop for Climate Change' in the Church of Ireland should be Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson,  

Archbishop, it is time to lead a climate action revolution.


#ChurchOfIreland #ClimateChange #ArchbishopMichaelJackson #MarksOfMission

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