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New Team Vicar takes up post at green church

10 December 2021

Diocese of Southwark

The Revd Dr Sharon Moughtin (centre) at her licensing by the Area Bishop of Kingston, Dr Richard Cheetham (second from right), in Lambeth Palace Chapel, last week

The Revd Dr Sharon Moughtin (centre) at her licensing by the Area Bishop of Kingston, Dr Richard Cheetham (second from right), in Lambeth...

THE pioneer Team Vicar for St Mary’s Eco Church, in the North Lambeth parish, was licensed in the chapel at Lambeth Palace last month.

The Revd Dr Sharon Moughtin spoke of a “wonderful opportunity to take seriously God’s call to safeguard creation, to show our care of the earth, and to model ways of living differently at a crucial time and in such a vibrant location”.

The Area Bishop of Kingston, Dr Richard Cheetham, said that her “Eco-Pioneering” post was “unique but particularly relevant in the wake of the impact of COP26, and the aim is to connect it with environmental work in the diocese but also across London and nationally”.

“The Vicar’s talking rubbish again”

Funding for the post was included in a £3.1-million Strategic Development Fund grant awarded to the diocese of Southwark in 2019 (News, 9 August 2019). At the time, a spokesperson said that the diocese hoped “to engage with this those who see themselves as spiritual and not religious, as well as those who want to explore the role of Christianity in relation to the environment”.

The development of the Eco-Church is the latest stage in more than 1000 years of history at St Mary’s, built as a wooden church in 1062. Among those buried in the churchyard are John Tradescant (d. 1638), the plant hunter and gardener, and his son. It was deconsecrated in 1972, and the Garden Museum was established there five years later.

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