It's challenging to know what to write in these tumultuous days. So I simply offer the above poem by John O'Donohue, read by Fergal Keane on Radio 4 this week as verse that gives him hope and helped him to deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as a starting point.
For all of us, our home, work and church lives are almost certainly different from anything that we've experienced previously. Many will be living with anxiety, financial hardship, fear for loved ones and, grief. Yet amidst the real suffering that have come with these changes, there have also come new opportunities: to slow down, reflect and reconnect with others and the wondrous natural world that God created. I'm already encouraged by people talking about and practising community in ways that previous generations may have done; and of reports of cleaner air, purer waterways and more audible birdsong. All are signposts that there is another way.
Plans may have gone out the window for the next few months but it might be that now is a good time to reconnect with Eco Church, to take stock of where you are as a church and to think about the road ahead. We know that the climate and wider environmental crises haven't gone away. A recent report in The Guardian cites scientific evidence that polar ice loss is tracking the worst case climate scenario as outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change. We need a concerted effort of a size and scale beyond what we're seeing on Covid-19 - and more of us taking action locally and globally - to avoid the worst case.
But change is possible. We're now at 2,800+ registered Eco Churches and have made over 800 awards. You're part of a growing community of churches across the country committed to making a difference to the future health of this planet. 2020 was billed as a big year for the environment and it still needs to be. So whether or not COP26 goes ahead later this year, there is still much that we can do.
Thank you for all that you are doing.
Courage, grace and peace to you all,
Church Relations Manager
On behalf of the Eco Church team