The Vicar's Letter (this letter written by Reverend Stephen Burge) has been appearing in the villages Focus magazine since August 2002
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Vicar's Letter

August 2021

Reverend Stephen Burge, Associate Priest of the Church of St Mary The Virgin, Eaton Bray with Edlesborough.

'O Lord, I have heard of your renown, and I stand in awe, O Lord, of your work.' (Habakkuk 3:2)

This year, in line with the International Climate Conference that is going to be held in Glasgow in the Autumn, the Church of England is encouraging all of its churches to dedicate some time to reflecting on creation, environmental issues and all the things we can do to try and do our bit to slow Climate Change, both as individuals and as a church.

As Christians there is a lot that we can do to help climate change: small actions may seem like they don't make a difference but they really can add up, as the Roman poet Ovid once wrote 'Adding little to little, you end up with a big heap'. So, trying to use less plastic by having a refillable container, or making sure you don't fill a kettle up when it isn't needed, or making sure that computers and televisions are not left on standby, will make a difference, even if we don't notice it. While aspects of climate change can have an impact on our local areas, the effects of many developing countries can be catastrophic; places such as Bangladesh have seen more damaging weather that is a result of climate change. Very often, poorer countries struggle to respond to the impacts of climate change, so we need to respond both with charitable giving to organizations like Christian Aid, but also by changing the things that we do to help limit climate change.

Thinking about creation, though, is not simply about environmental issues - although they are certainly an important part of how Christians should engage with the created world. The Bible often describes the awe and wonder of creation, and at time we can lose that sense of awe and wonder. It does us good to remember how beautiful and amazing the world is and to think about what we can all do all to help protect it.

As part of our response, we are planning some events and services to celebrate God's creation. At the end of July we will be holding a Messy Church in the grounds of St. Mary's Eaton Bray, where children will be coming to learn about creation. We have a number of activities planned, like making a "bug hotel", a place where solitary bees and other insects can make a home and lay their eggs.

The children will also be decorating an altar frontal with things found in the churchyard. We will be following this with an Outdoor Eucharist (weather permitting), where we will worship outdoors using the altar frontal the children have made. This will be held on Sunday 8th August at 10am, followed by a bring your own picnic in the churchyard. All are welcome!

Although we will be able to supply a few chairs, we are encouraging people to bring a blanket or their own chairs to sit on. We will also be welcoming Rev'd Canon John Payne-Cook on Sunday 5th September, at 10am who will be preaching during our normal Sunday service. Canon John has done a lot of research into environmentalism in Christian thought and has a wealth of knowledge and insight into the issues, so we are really looking forward to hearing what he has to teach us.

This month I encourage you all to think about the created world and about the changes that you can make to help protect our environment. Above all, I hope that you manage to take advantage of some of the summer sun and stand in awe and wonder at the beauty of the created world.

God Bless

Rev'd Stephen Burge


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About the Vicar's Letter

The Vicar's Letter has been appearing in the villages Focus magazine since August 2002.

The Rev. Peter Graham also used to publish The Vicar's Letter in the parish magazine of 1964. Please see the area for these.