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Synod’s working group on the environment

by
11 July 2014

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From the Rt Revd Dr David Atkinson

Sir, - Without suggesting that church officials are suffering from bureaucratic lethargy, I find it hard to understand how, five months on from the decision at the February Synod sessions to set up a working group on the environment, there is still no announcement of progress.

Christiana Figueres of the UN, speaking recently in St Paul's Cathedral, urged church leaders to make their voices heard about climate change. Time is not on our side. If the Church is to make any adequate contribution to the decisions being made now before the UN conference in Paris in 2015, and if the Church is going to be able to offer a considered response to the expected papal encyclical on ecology, we really need to get our act together.

In my view what is needed is a named Head of Environment and Sustainability, working with a group that includes "external" experts - as proposed as long ago as 2009 in the forgotten C of E report Church and Earth. It then suggested: "By 2012, at national level [Shrinking the Footprint] will work with a new Environment and Sustainability Strategy Board, bringing together church leaders and expert voices from partner organisations."

It really is time to get on with this.

DAVID ATKINSON
6 Bynes Road
South Croydon CR2 0PR

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