• Comment: Let’s nurture nature
    August 26, 2016

    sept enews book characters go wildSummer’s over. It’s that time of year when most people – especially families with school-aged children – have their most intense contact with the great outdoors.


    Contact with nature is good for us. Studies say connecting with the outdoors improves physical health, through walking, as well as mental wellbeing, with reductions in stress and improved powers of concentration. Many of us will experience greater spiritual wellbeing. We feel closer to God amid creation, gazing for miles from a mountain top or happily ‘lost’ in the depths of a wood.

    That’s all good news. But we need to spread it fast. Britain’s population is 80 per cent urban – and rising. Whole generations have no regular contact with ‘wild’ landscape or abundant nature. That’s bad not only for people, but also for nature. People don’t defend what they ... Read more...

  • Comment: Maintain Paris Momentum
    July 25, 2016

    maintain parisOur world has celebrated the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. After years of fraught and often fruitless negotiations, all countries agreed to limit global warming by cutting greenhouse gases.


    With the impacts of climate change mounting – from the human cost of floods, droughts and fires around the world to the disruption of UK wildlife by ever-earlier spring times – it’s time to build fast on ‘Paris’. Britain has an important role.

    The already eight-month-old Paris Agreement won’t come into effect until ratified by 55 countries – together accounting for at least 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Only 19 of 178 signatories have done so.

    Apart from Norway, these are almost all small island states that have contributed virtually nothing to the ‘stock’ of gases. But they face an existential threat from rising sea levels caused by the warming oceans and ... Read more...

  • Raiders of the lost art
    July 25, 2016

    raiders of the lost art pic - 1Raiders who robbed Wolf Fields of essential equipment have not only failed to halt its development into an urban nature reserve, but have also succeeded in promoting community art on the three-acre West London site.

    Security has been stepped up there in the form of a massive shipping container – to the cost of £1,600. This kind of storage is normally used to transport heavy machinery and household goods on the high seas.


    Now such a super-strong structure has been installed at Wolf Fields. But locals have welcomed it with open arms – and with paintbrushes. Volunteers are ready to trigger their own art attack, adding their own creative expression to the site (pictured).

    More than 20 people from the local community are involved in designing and painting the huge box. ‘While the shipping container was ... Read more...

  • Brothers grab the gold
    July 25, 2016

    brothers grab the gold picMonastics may or not be closer to heaven than the rest of us. But one community has shown at least it’s closer to the earth.

    When Dorset-based Hilfield Friary (pictured) entered for a Silver Award in A Rocha UK’s Eco Church scheme, their application was so impressive, they were immediately upgraded to Gold level.


    ‘They’d achieved so much,’ said Eco Church Manager Nigel Hopper, ‘they ran out of categories in our online survey.’

    An A Rocha UK Partner In Action, the Anglican Franciscan community had done standard activities such as special Sundays on creation care, hosting A Rocha UK speakers, and fitting energy-efficient lamps.

    They’d gone a step further with electricity from renewable sources, insulating and double-glazing buildings, rainwater-harvesting systems and measuring their carbon footprint.

    But the friary tipped the eco-scale with solar panels, running their own water supply ... Read more...

  • Deep calls to deep on oceans day
    July 25, 2016

    deep calls to deep picA Rocha UK marine researcher Hannah Hereward helped lead a special event on World Oceans Day.

    Hannah led Lee Abbey staff and guests on a rock pool ramble, litter pick and a marine-related reflection (pictured). The Christian conference centre is part of A Rocha UK’s Partners In Action network.


    The group gave praise for the ocean’s beauty and bounty, repented for the rubbish, asked for increased consciousness around litter and were challenged to take time each day to stop, look and wonder at God’s world.

    ‘World Oceans Day is a worldwide day set aside for ocean awareness activities,’ said Hannah. ‘This can range from beach murals to litter picks.

    ‘This year it happened to land on a Wednesday – which is the traditional day for the Lee Abbey host team to take guests down to the beach for a fire ... Read more...

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