‘Saying Yes to Life’: Lent and Lambeth 2020 – a reflection from the Bishop of Brixworth

This summer, almost 1,000 bishops from all over the world will be gathering in Canterbury for the Lambeth Conference. Some of the bishops, including from our link dioceses in Korea, will be spending a few days beforehand at Launde Abbey with Bishop Donald and myself.

A key theme of the conference will be the global climate emergency that is already impacting the dioceses from which some of the bishops serve. For example, low-lying areas flooded by rising sea-levels and conflict triggered by expanding deserts, forcing people to move and compete for scarce land. Archbishop Justin has recorded a short interview highlighting this aspect of Lambeth 2020, which you can view below.

As we approach the season of Lent I’d like to commend two ways in which we can engage with these important matters from the perspective of our faith;

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book, Saying Yes to Life by Ruth Valerio, is a brilliant exploration of what it means to look after God’s world, reflecting on creation themes including light, water, land and seasons alongside environmental concerns. It’s full of good stories and great insights. Archbishop Justin says that this book “is perfect for individuals and groups to reflect, pray and be challenged together”. Copies are currently available for loan from the Bouverie Court Library.

The Church of England’s Lent Campaign, ‘#LiveLent – Care for God’s Creation’, have produced challenges for 40 days in adult and children’s versions that are available as a pocket-sized booklet, via an app or by email. The aim is to broaden our view of Christ’s redeeming mission. The campaign have distributed over 13,000 sample copies – your church may have some. The daily Bible readings, reflections and suggested actions link with Ruth’s book. I think both versions are really inspiring and great fun! If you wish to order copies of these books, contact environment@peterborough-diocese.org.uk.

In this diocese, we are aiming to make 2020 a year of greater focus on our stewardship of God’s earth as the fifth of the Five Marks of Mission; tell the good news of Jesus, teach the faith, tend for all in his name, transform society in line with Kingdom values and treasure God’s creation. Throughout 2020, look out for new initiatives from the diocesan Environmental Team.

With my prayers and best wishes for a holy and world-changing Lent,

Bishop of Brixworth

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