Our new appeal asks for your help to make the Christian stand on nature protection heard, because as Britain leaves the EU, policies that affect nature protection in the UK are being decided right now. We need to get Christian churches, centres and individuals moving fast to show their care for God's earth, giving us a real chance of making a difference.
At a time when we need to urgently demonstrate how our faith translates into caring for God's earth, our Engagement Director, Rich Bee encourages us to look at Christmas from a different perspective and offers the challenge of a cleaner, greener Christmas.
Please consider giving to our campaign.
Does Christmas get earlier every year? Or do I just get slightly older and slightly grumpier? As I cycled home a few weeks ago in mid-November, I saw the Christmas lights going up in Kington-upon-Thames and sighed inwardly. The Christmas markets are now getting into their stride and the season of wanton consumerist excess is on us.
But wait! Isn’t this what Christmas is? A chance to show love to friends and family by giving thoughtful presents? I’d like to suggest that the answer is more nuanced.
As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, a refugee born in scandal with few possessions, my thoughts turn to the world today. A world where increasing numbers of people will become refugees over the next few years as a result of a warming climate. A world where people lose their possessions to extreme weather events on a growing scale. A world where the current scandal is that we are simply not doing enough to preserve the fabric that sustains life on our planet.
Might I be bold enough to suggest that, in this context, there is a better way of celebrating the coming of Jesus than by buying more plastic toys?
This shouldn’t mean that we lose our sense of generosity—quite the opposite, in fact! Let’s encourage each other to pay particular attention to giving rather than receiving this Christmas. Let’s give home-made presents. Let’s give away the money we don’t need to support organisations and causes that make the world a better place. Let’s give our time to those who might be lonely this Christmas. Let’s provide appropriate food in our gardens for the wildlife that struggles through the winter. Let’s spend a little bit more on supplies for Christmas to ensure that the food we share has been grown responsibly.
Let’s give back to God’s earth, our shared home, and the creatures that share it with us.
In all the doom-laden news of climate change, let’s remember that we serve a God of miracles who asks only that we follow him on the journey and in turn multiplies our efforts.
And let’s celebrate the birth of Jesus with gratitude (without starting too early, of course!)