Yew protection

I was recently at Lambeth Palace for a day meeting with other green fanatics and agencies. These included Russell Ball from ‘The Ancient Yew Group‘. Apparently, Veteran Yews are 350-1000 years old, and Ancient Yews are 1000-5000 years old, which by any standards is staggeringly old. Yew trees have had a troubled life in the last few hundred years, being cut down to make long bows so we can kill each other. And the few that are left in this country are generally in churchyards. Now Russell is very keen that we don’t kill off any more of the Yew trees and suggested that if we have any in our churchyards that we get a Tree Preservation Order for them. This not only protects them for the next generation, but also enables people to obtain free expert advice if there are any issues with the tree.

Those of us who attended the day wandered through Archbishop Rowan William’s garden and planted a baby Yew tree. I hope he doesn’t mind.

Originally posted on Lesley’s Blog

Biodiversity and Shrinking the Footprint

A couple of weeks ago I attended Lambeth Palace for the annual ‘Shrinking the Footprint’ day (The Church of England’s Environmental Campaign). They have a new website which I would recommend visiting. This year we are particularly looking at the subject of biodiversity. Estimates vary, but it is thought that currently we are losing species at a rate between 100 and 10000 times faster than that which was typical in the geological records. This affects humans in terms of air quality and water pollution, and may make it harder for nature to survive changes in the natural habitats. A helpful website on biodiversity is here.

The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, introduced the day and said that we have a spiritual and moral basis for action, and that he suggested four areas in which to take action:

  • Our own estates
  • Having a deeper conversation in the constituency
  • Recommiting ourselves to Public advocacy
  • Symbolic Action

He then described two symbolic actions that they have carried out in London, one where they fed 5000 people on waste from supermarkets, and the other was an ecumenical procession through Windsor Castle. The latter was described here on Oprah’s Blog:

Windsor Castle, the bucolic weekend retreat of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and her pack of corgis, has witnessed the plague, beheadings, and centuries of state dinners, but it’s surely never seen this: a procession of bearded Sikhs in orange turbans, bald Buddhist monks in habits, Jews in top hats and prayer shawls, Japanese Shintos in white jôes—even a Greek Orthodox archbishop in a black kamilafki hat and floor-length cassock.

I hope and pray that all these things give us hope for the future and an opportunity to care for our planet together.

Originally posted on Lesley’s Blog

Get ready for Inspired by Creation

A little patch of earth. A quiet spot to reflect. A view that stops you in your tracks.

Where do you encounter God through creation?

During September the Diocese of Oxford will be running Inspired by Creation. A chance to share with others how creation inspires you.

Inspired by Creation will give you the opportunity to win prizes by entering a photograph and/or a poem/prayer that captures the place where you encounter God through creation.

Get a head start!

Whether it’s an image or words, they need to be original and taken/written by you, so you might want to get a head start and use the summer to get ready.

Register now by filling in the form here. Then use the summer to take a photograph or write a poem/prayer that is inspired by the place where you encounter God through creation. In September you will get a reminder to come back to the Earthing Faith website, when you will be able to enter your photograph and/or words into the competition.

Tell your friends

Tell your friends to get creative too. Email them, tweet and share on Facebook.

Include details of the competition in your newsletter – the flier can be downloaded here. For high res or paper copies of the flier contact us.

Get creative. Enjoy the summer. And get ready for Inspired by Creation!