March 6th – Climate Change



We are all increasingly aware of the importance of better understanding of climate change and its implications for us all. As Christians, we have a particular responsibility to understand how it is affecting our fellow human beings in different parts of the world.

In conjunction with St Anne’s Social Justice Forum, Churches Together in Kew invites you to a series of three ‘conversations’ that address the scientific basis for recognising climate change and the nature of a faithful Christian response.

The first of these conversations took place on March 6th at The Barn Church.  The speakers were Bishop David Atkinson and Father Nicholas King SJ and their topic was “Climate and Gospel” – the science of climate change and Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si: on care for our common home.

Bishop David Atkinson now retired as Assistant Bishop, Diocese of Southwark, was formerly Fellow and Chaplain of Corpus Christi College, Oxford; Canon Chancellor of Southwark Cathedral; Archdeacon of Lewisham; and Bishop of Thetford. David has taught theology in Oxford, lectured in the USA and India and has written a number of books on Christian Ethics and Pastoral Theology. Among his titles is Renewing the Face of the Earth: A theological and pastoral response to climate change (Canterbury Press, 2008). He served for several years as a board member of Operation Noah, a Christian organisation providing leadership, focus and inspiration in response to the growing climatic threat and is now a patron of that organisation. During that time he led the theology group that created ‘Climate change and the purposes of God: a call to the Church’ (2012), a document that challenges the Church to recognise that care for the world is central to its mission and fundamental to the Gospel.

Father Nicholas King SJ writes on the Jesuit website:

“ I was born in Bath in 1947. After I left school, I went up to Oxford to read Classics, with the firm intention of becoming a wealthy barrister after that. However at a particular moment, which I can date to within a few minutes, and greatly to my surprise, I realised that the only thing that I could do if I was to be happy was to join the Jesuits, who had taught me at Stonyhurst. That was 47 years ago, and (so far) I have seen no reason to change my mind… For the last twelve years I have been teaching New Testament and Greek at the University of Oxford, where I am at Campion Hall, the Jesuit house. Most recently I have published a translation of the entire Greek Bible into English, something that I can hardly believe. Before I came back to Oxford, I taught for many years in South Africa, which was one of the most remarkable experiences of my life. Jesuits do all sorts of things, and our task is to do whatever the Church asks of us. .. Let me simply say this: if it is the life for you, then there is no better or happier way of life. But it must be the life to which God is calling you.”

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