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Thought for the Day

8th December 2021


Recently, twelve Anglican bishops, including the Bishop of Bristol, wrote to the Home Secretary protesting that proposed legislation, forcing migrants back into French waters, was in danger of criminalising the Good Samaritan, and making the priest and the Levite, who passed by on the other side, the heroes in the gospel story. In their action I think we see the church lifting up the voice of Christ in an increasingly self-absorbed society. Or again is it not properly seen in the protest of Christian Aid and other charities against this nation reneging on its earlier commitments to Overseas Aid? Or, to take a third example, were not the voices of church leaders speaking at the Glasgow Conference on Climate Control in support of small island states, already facing possible extinction from rising sea levels, also bang on target?

Whilst care of the created order has only recently grabbed the headlines of our national press, it has been on the church’s agenda for more than half a century. One of the outstanding features of  the World Council of Churches’ Nairobi Assembly in 1975 was an address by the Australian biologist, Charles Birch, who challenged those there assembled with his analysis of the increasing environmental vulnerability of the natural order. Such distress was already a focus of the Council’s programme seeking to establish a ‘Just, Participatory and Sustainable Society [JPSS]’, a concern pressed further at the Vancouver Assembly of the Council, when member churches were called upon to covenant to work together to secure within the international order ‘Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation [JPIC]’.

There is an urgency about the way in which Creation Ethics need to impact the way that we live our lives today.

John Briggs

6th December 2021

Friday of this week marks what would have been my father’s one hundreth birthday, though he died in his late sixties. The eldest of six, he turned down a place at the local High School because he judged his mother couldn’t afford the uniform and the daily bus fares. He left school as soon as […]

3rd December 2021

Last weekend I joined an Advent Retreat online. Revd Richard Carter, from St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square, reflected on Mary’s song: “My soul magnifies the Lord”. Mary has learnt from the angel Gabriel that she is going to have a baby, to be called Jesus, and rushes off to see her cousin Elizabeth. Then follows Mary’s […]

1st December 2021

On Christmas morning 1869 Cosima, wife of the composer Richard Wagner, awoke to beautiful, flowing strains of music never heard before. Richard had composed the piece in thankfulness for the recent birth of their son Siegfried. Aptly named Siegfried Idyll, it was played by a small ensemble he’d secretly gathered on the stairs. What a […]

29th November 2021

It has always seemed self-evident to me that a Christian should keep up with the news in order to know how to pray for the world, but I hope I’m not the only one who has struggled recently with the overwhelming nature, not just of the 24-hour news cycle, but of the news itself. Dire […]

26th November 2021

COP26: success or failure? For people demanding target times underpinned by large grants of money to less developed countries, it was a disappointing failure to be wept over. To people prepared to rejoice over and work with each step towards less fossil fuel and more greening, and whatever time commitments could realistically be achieved, it […]

24th November 2021

Advent will soon be with us; that time of waiting for the joy of Christmas. Which makes it sound such a still, even a calm, time. Like waiting for a bus, perhaps. But it is also a time of preparation and so much of that seems hectic, stressful, draining and requiring the strategic thinking and […]

22nd November 2021

A Father’s Love. I am rather depleted of any helpful thoughts at the moment, so I have gone to a resource that I often use. This is a book of short meditations called Compass Points: Meeting God Every Day at Every Turn by Margaret Silf. I have chosen this one as it resonated with me and […]

19th November 2021

When Keith was working in Geneva he was responsible for the six-yearly Assembly of the Conference of European Churches when delegates from almost all the churches in Europe met in Trondheim (Norway). I went to see Keith and friends but was not a delegate, consequently I had quite a lot of time to kill during […]

17th November 2021

I have been watching the BBC2 series Universe presented by Professor Brian Cox. The first episode on 27 October was entitled ‘The Sun – God Star’. A somewhat challenging title! It dealt with some very big numbers – trillions of miles, 400 billion stars – concepts totally beyond my comprehension. The programme was largely about […]