Opinion: Change is possible if we work together

Elwin Cockett, Archdeacon of West Ham, doesn't want the next generations to face a bleak future.

Elwin Cockett, Archdeacon of West Ham, doesn't want the next generations to face a bleak future. - Credit: Elwin Cockett

Even in Newham, the recent storms were a reminder that extreme weather patterns are becoming more frequent.

We didn't suffer the floods that hit other parts of the country but scientists tell us that, unless humankind takes some serious steps, all our children and grandchildren face a very bleak future.

The trouble is, we can end up feeling powerless as individuals to do anything that will have any real impact. But, as the ban on single-use plastic bags has shown, where we work together, change is possible. And - let's be clear - we can't go on as we are now if future generations are to survive and prosper.

For Christians, the season of Lent is a time for reflection and for recognising where we need to change our ways.

Throughout the Bible, there is a strong sense of God's love for his creation, and of our responsibility to care for it.

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For us as created beings our relationship with God begins and is worked out in the context of this physical world around us.

Like all my senior colleagues in Essex and East London, I have made our responsibility for God's creation the focus of my prayers for this year's Lent, and I would encourage you to do the same.

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That is going to involve thinking and praying about how we make best use of the Earth's resources in a way that respects and honours our creator.

For each of us, how we do that will depend on our circumstances.

For me, it is an easy choice to make to leave the car at home when I have the option to walk, cycle or use public transport.

For others, that may not be so easy.

You might want to apply the 'LOAF' principles when buying food (Locally-sourced, Organic, Animal-friendly, Fair trade) or not, but at least we can all make sure that we eat with gratitude and awareness

of where our food has

come from and of the people who produced it for us.

The key thing is that whatever we are doing - whether we are buying food or clothes, travelling or planning a holiday - we all have the power to consider the impact on God's creation of the choices we make.

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