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We Wish You a Merry Saturnalia: Northern Churchman

We Wish You a Merry Saturnalia? The Northern Churchman There is a familiar feel to this time of year. The Christmas advertising on television, the darker evenings, the Carol Services – and the inevitable scoffers who call the Christmas story a myth. Not ‘Once in Royal...

Mark Pickles: The Story of Two Trampolines

Gospel-Driven Anglicanism By the Revd Dr Mark Pickles The Story of the Two Trampolines:  A passage that is frequently referred to during times of great revival is Isaiah 64:1-3:  “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your...

Ten Thousand Bibles for London’s Children

TBS Auxiliary Meets Ten Thousand Bibles For London’s Children The Greater London Auxiliary of the Trinitarian Bible Society was delighted to report at its Annual Meeting held on 15 November that over 10,000 Bibles have been distributed to London schools since the...

Good News for Egypt’s Christians

Barnabas Fund Reports Good News for Egypt’s Christians The government of Egypt licensed 125 churches and church-affiliated buildings on 14 November. It is the 24th batch of approvals made since the government committee overseeing the licensing process started work in...

Church Society’s Response to MP Ben Bradshaw

Church Society’s Response to MP Ben Bradshaw In the aftermath of Desmond Tutu’s daughter being refused permission to preside at a funeral in a Church of England parish, Labour MP Ben Bradshaw told The Guardian that the “C of E must move swiftly to welcome lesbian...

Collins: Who’s Your Righteousness?

Who’s Your Righteousness? By the Revd Canon Chuck Collins Who’s your righteousness? "The Lord our Righteousness" was the sermon preached March 20, 1757 at St. Mary's Church in Oxford. It offended nearly everyone that day and William Romaine was invited to never preach...

Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Act of 1963

Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Act of 1963 Persons Against Whom Proceedings May be Instituted. Proceedings under this Measure may be instituted against an archbishop, any diocesan bishop or any suffragan bishop commissioned by a diocesan bishop or any other bishop or a...

Editorial: Joy to the World Cup

Editorial Joy to the World Cup The result of the 2022 FIFA World Cup is already in. And it appears the Church of England has lost. The latest advice from the Church of England’s Support Hub is for parishes to consider the timing of Christmas Carol Services to avoid...

Symes to Step Down from Anglican Mainstream Leadership

Symes to Step Down from Anglican Mainstream Leadership By Chris Sugden Andrew Symes is to stand down as Executive Secretary of Anglican Mainstream on January 1, 2023, after nearly ten years in post. Rev Symes, 56, who had earlier served with Crosslinks in South...

Retired Bishop Given Life Suspension

Retired Bishop Given Life Suspension By George Conger The former Bishop of Ramsbury has been suspended for life from the ordained ministry after he admitted to having sexually abused two women. The Daily Mail reported the Rt Rev. Peter Hullah had been the subject of...

Prudence Dailey Commentary: The Church Needs to Stop Obsessing Over Climate Change

Prudence Dailey’s Commentary

The Church Needs to Stop Obsessing Over Climate Change

The philosopher Thomas Hobbes famously described the life of mankind in his natural state as ‘nasty, brutish, and short’. And so it was, for most of human history, for the great majority of the population; and even the wealthiest had no protection from the ravages of pain and disease.

Nowadays, however, most of us would not describe our lives in such dismal terms. We are likely to exceed the Psalmist’s three score years and ten, and to live most of our years in comfort and reasonable prosperity. An exponential rise in living standards, first in the West and now spreading around the globe, came as a direct result of the process of industrial revolution, including the invention of the internal combustion engine. Powered by fossil fuels, it has enabled us to enjoy such basic amenities as a heated home and a reliable electricity supply. 

It is difficult for us to imagine what life would be like without these necessities, although we have all perhaps experienced that sense of mild panic when we are faced with a power cut, or when the boiler breaks down. These inconveniences give us a brief taste of just how inhospitable the environment, unmediated by man’s resourcefulness, is to human life. They help us to understand why, in Genesis, God commands Adam to ‘have dominion’ over the earth, and to ‘subdue’ it—and to appreciate the almost miraculous extent to which, through his God-given ingenuity, Man has fulfilled that injunction.

At the same time, we are enjoined to remember that ‘The earth is the Lord’s, and all that therein is’. The world is God’s beautiful creation, and the only home we have, so we must care for it. For many decades, it was generally believed that the planet was too large for human activity to have a significant impact on it: it was only in the 1960s that scientists began to appreciate fully the extent to which we are capable of polluting the earth; and not until the 1990s did man-made climate change become a matter of widespread concern.

When the Archbishop of Canterbury calls for ‘repentance’ over climate change, for what, exactly, is he asking us to repent? For the fact that scientists have not, in the space of thirty years, managed to displace fossil fuels with alternative energy sources that are clean, reliable and economically viable? Or that others might aspire to the standard of living that he—with his six-bedroomed second home in Normandy—already enjoys?

As alluded to by your Editor in the previous issue, the Church of England at present seems completely obsessed with climate change. Not only have the Church Commissioners been charged with disinvesting from fossil fuels, but the General Synod has set a target for all churches to become carbon ‘net zero’ by 2030. Were this to be enforced, it would be a disaster: Parish churches can barely afford to keep the heating on, let alone replace working heating systems; and the alternative—dispensing with the heating altogether—would simply drive already dwindling congregations out of freezing churches.

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