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Helping things to become better.

June 2021

Dear Friends,

I don’t know about you, but I have always loved St Francis of Assisi. I love his passion, his challenge to the world, his great faith, his compassion and of course his love of creation. I have always loved the natural world, so when it came to picking a Confirmation name as a child there was no doubt which saints name I would be taking!

As part of my faith journey over the years St Francis has been there, inspiring me during the ups and downs of my life and helping me to keep my eyes firmly fixed on Jesus. He was part of my journey in coming here to beautiful Ovingdean and it seems he isn’t finished with me yet.

In February the Church of England’s General Synod passed a resolution recognising that ‘the global climate emergency is a crisis for God’s creation, and a fundamental injustice’ and it called upon all parts of the Church of England, including parishes to work and achieve year-on-year reductions in carbon emissions and urgently examine what would be required to reach net zero emissions by 2030. The resolution included the following quote from Archbishop Justin Welby: “It becomes ever clearer that climate change is the greatest challenge that we and future generations face. It’s our sacred duty to protect the natural world we’ve so generously been given, as well as our neighbours around the world who will be first and worst affected. Without swift decisive action the consequences of climate change will be devastating.”

In response to this St Wulfran’s have been thinking long and hard about how we can take better care of creation and as part of our response we have formed a small environment group. In May the group presented a new Environment Policy for the church with 10 commitments to the PCC and I’m pleased to say this was unanimously accepted. Details of the policy and our work to become an Eco Church are on our website.

Our commitments range from enhancing the wildlife benefits of the church grounds to promoting more sustainable lifestyles within our church community, for example buying Fairtrade products and more locally grown organic food. A key commitment in the policy includes our intention to significantly reduce our carbon consumption through the replacement of our ancient and failing gas boiler. The need to change the heating system is also linked to the ongoing conservation work of the Kempe ceiling which is being detrimentally affected by the current heating arrangements. We are therefore currently working very hard to find new heating solutions that enable us to both meet our carbon reduction targets and help preserve the beautiful ceiling of the church for generations to come. These are big challenges for a small church, but we are determined to do our bit.

David Attenborough has said ‘I’m sure things are going to get worse before they get better. But I believe they can get better.” Join us in helping things to become better. Please get in touch with me if you would like to know more about our work to take better care of creation, including any of the projects I have mentioned above.

With love and best wishes

Fr Richard

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