On Wednesday, the Conference delegates spent the day at Lambeth Palace in London, hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury and Mrs Caroline Welby. During the day they heard from Climate activists on the ways the Church must respond to the Climate Crisis and an act of worship was held to launch the Communion Forest: a project for the whole Communion to engage in forest protection, tree growing and eco-system restoration to safeguard creation.
The Communion Forest (more about which can be read here) launched with the planting of a symbolic tree at the palace, with earth scattered by many of the Bishops, Spouses, and guests attending.
The Rt Rev Ian Paton, Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane, spoke about the day spent in London at Lambeth Palace. Whilst in London the Bishops discussed the Lambeth Call on Environment & Sustainable Development. Bishop Ian reflected that: “One of our speakers pointed out that ‘an open heart is where the seed of true action lies in us.’ And that points us in the direction of action. We’ve had so many words about the environment. And here is another Call document, which is more words. What we need is actions. We all know this in our hearts but we’re all so reluctant to face the challenge of that.”
Bishop John Armes (Edinburgh) welcomed the Communion Forest project saying: “The tree planting was part of the ‘The Communion Forest Project’, something I hope our Province can join in wholeheartedly. Not just tree planting but forest protection and eco-system restoration too – plenty for us to go at in Scotland. Indeed, we already have a number of projects across the Province which would find an honourable place in the Communion Forest.”
Bishop Mark Strange (Moray, Ross & Caithness; Primus) spoke with protesters from the Christian Climate Action group outside Lambeth Palace in the afternoon. He reported that: “It was good to meet briefly with Christian Climate Action protesters outside Lambeth Palace yesterday. They affirmed directly to all of us Lambeth attendees the urgency of acting to address the Climate and Biodiversity crises.”
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