- We have a phenomenal depth of expertise and passion about environmental justice in this diocese. Out and about, if I say "gay bishops" everybody except the occasional couple of zealots glazes over almost instantaneously. When I engage about Creation, which I do rather more often, I notice that people light up. Of course they do. There are four or five verses in the Bible that just possibly could have anything at all to do with the Gay issue. Meanwhile ruddy great chunks of it, say a fifth of the text, is the Creator’s love song — heavens proclaiming God's glory, people exercising stewardship, prophets drawing messages from God out of nature. Apart from the anoraks, a few religious correspondents and rentaquote coteries, nobody in long trousers actually gives a pig's burp about gay bishops, compared to staying alive. Sometimes I feel like a kind of Kierkegaard / Nietzsche character who sees the village is burning down and runs into the square shouting, but nobody wants to know! This diocese is already engaging closely with the environmental challenge in a few parishes and most of our schools. Now we need to get out onto the streets more. We need to change, whilst there's still anything left to argue about. Here endeth the Bishop's rant!
- No it doesn’t! The hacks are brilliant, and are doing some great consciousness raising, thank God, but UK editors still give astounding amounts of airtime to wacko contrarians, as though there were any doubt about the basic science. For them it's just another story. For everyone else it has to be more than that. It took us forty years, nationally, to learn about smoking and health, and change our public habit. We haven't got that kind of time on this one.
- Lambeth 08 will be a fantastic opportunity to network around and explore the global dimension Sandeep talked us through last night. I'm taking his stuff with me on my pre-Lambeth South India schools visit next week (watch this space), and I'm praying we get quality time together on it next July at Lambeth, especially if we can pull together the various strands like we did at last night's seminar.
Wednesday, 28 November 2007
Stop the world. I want to get on!
Yesterday evening I chaired a well attended public Climate change consultation at St Michael’s Amersham, with Revd Profesor Ian James (head of the school of Mathematics, Meteorology and Physics at Reading University), Sandeep Sengupta (International Relations doctoral student from the Enivronmental Change Institute, Oxford University) and Miranda St John Nicolle (Diocesan Environmental Group). We got a comprehensive overview of the basic science, human and development issues, and practical possibilities. I found the whole experience disturbing and energising.