Lambeth Palace, the official London residence and offices of the Archbishop of Canterbury, is to stage an event showcasing Anglican primates’ views on the care of creation. Archbishops, presiding bishops and moderators from Australia to Zambia, representing the 39 provinces of the Anglican Communion, are being asked to make a written submission, illustrated by photographs, paintings or videos, for the event which will take place during the Season of Creation (1 September to 4 October). The primates’ views will be displayed at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco on 12 September, for the launch of the Global Climate Action Summit; and displayed online in the run-up to the 2020 Lambeth Conference.
“Primates are being asked to write about their local environments and illustrate with photographs, paintings or videos what care for God’s creation means in their province and what their message is about the care for our common planetary home,” David Shreeve, the environmental advisor to the Church of England’s Archbishops’ Council said.
The project was suggested by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, during the primates’ discussions on climate change at last October’s Primates’ Meeting in Canterbury Cathedral. In their communiqué, the primates said that they were “deeply concerned” to hear about the severe impact climate change was having in parts of the world, and said: “We understood the importance of giving moral leadership because the effects of climate change are not evenly distributed.
“Drought and flooding most affect the poorest of the poor, with the least resources to rebuild a home, replant a field or seek medical care for flood-borne illnesses. We recommitted ourselves to advocate for improved stewardship of God’s creation.”
The Bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtam, the Church of England’s lead bishop for the environment, said: “There is no doubt that the care of God’s creation is a priority for the Anglican Communion. It is an issue where a strong consensus continues to grow about the urgency for action to make the transition to a low carbon economy and to address the degradation of biodiversity.
“This subject strongly engages young people, is missionary and evangelistic, and is a major aspect of our care for the poorest in God’s world.
“I very much hope and expect that it will be a significant part of the agenda for the Lambeth Conference, God’s Church for God’s World, in 2020 and to witness the Communion’s fifth Mark of Mission: ‘To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.’”