It’s been a strange Advent season. Our attention has been focussed outwards on the election and the global climate talks. The practical preparations for Christmas Services make their own demands on clergy and congregations. Thank you for all you give and all you are about to give in welcoming (probably) over 150,000 people to churches across the Diocese on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. All that I wrote last year in appreciation of the commitment of hundreds of people across the Diocese I want to say again.
But still, some inner reflection and preparation is important. I found myself preaching in St. Mary’s Thatcham on Sunday morning and reflecting on the ministry of John the Baptist and on the part of his character which is sometimes neglected.
John’s Gospel describes the large crowds who follow John the Baptist in the beginning. John is a major figure, a prophet like the prophets of old. He dresses in camel hair with a belt of leather. He eats locusts and wild honey. He preaches with passion and honesty. His message is direct and calls his hearers to repentance and a new beginning. He baptises in the river Jordan, and disciples follow him even though he says he is not God’s Messiah.
But then Jesus appears in Galilee, and he also begins to preach and teach and to baptise and to call disciples to follow him. Jesus heals the sick and calms the storm and changes water into wine. The crowds are looking for the next big sensation. They are hungry and thirsty for meaning, for God’s messenger. Slowly they begin to drift away from John the Baptist and they begin to follow Jesus. John’s popularity begins to wane. He is in trouble with the authorities but not yet arrested.
Some messengers come to John. Here is this new Rabbi. The one you baptised. Here he is baptising and all are going to him. Here is the test for John’s leadership. Will he be pressured by the crowds? Will he be jealous that someone else has more followers? Will he be swayed by the popularity of a competitor? This, not his time in prison, is John’s real moment of testing when his character is weighed in the balance, and we see him as an authentic servant of God.
John passes the test. He cuts through all of this and takes the way of humility. This is his answer to the most difficult question he is asked in his entire ministry:
“No-one can receive anything except what he has been given from heaven. You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, “I am not the Messiah”, but I have been sent ahead of him. He who has the bride is the bridegroom The friend of the bridegroom who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. For this reason, my joy has been fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease”.
Focus on those closing words you prepare for Christmas: He must increase, but I must decrease.
The words are remarkable. Ponder them.
They describe John’s whole ministry, but they also describe what it means to be a Christian. John is not the light. We will hear the words of the gospel again in our carol services: But he came to bear witness to the light. The true light which enlightens everyone was coming into the world.
John prepares the way for Jesus through his life and his preaching. But in the end, that mission is not to draw attention to himself but to draw attention to Jesus: Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal. John gives away his precedence and his glory and his ambition for himself because John has a clear vision of who Jesus is. John is the servant. Christ is the Master.
The inner questions John faces have not left us. If anything they are even sharper in a world of social media, of instant fame, of rivalries and rifts in families and deep questions of identity, of triumph and disaster. How will we navigate safely? John’s words challenge us, but they also offer us a safe and level pathway: He must increase but I must decrease.
Our purpose in life is not, after all, to point to ourselves, to make a way for ourselves, to push ourselves to the top of the pile, to make sure we are the most followed and the most noticed in our family or school or workplace or church. There is great relief in that truth… once we truly believe it.
Our purpose in life is to point to someone else, to Jesus, to the Son of God, who has come into the world, to the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, to the light which shines in the darkness and the darkness has never overcome it.
Through all the length of our life’s journey, at each stage of that journey, however long we might live, John’s words are our watchword: He must increase, but I must decrease.
By the grace of God, through the work of the Spirit, Jesus comes not only to save us and bring forgiveness and a new beginning. Jesus comes also to change us and renew us and transform us from within. We are called to reflect more and more the character of Jesus, the fruits of the Spirit: to carry within us love and joy and peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. He must increase, but I must decrease.
So in this season of Advent, as we come to the end of the year, as we prepare our hearts to celebrate the coming of God’s Son, let me offer you a spiritual exercise. Set aside a little time this week to be quiet and alone. Look back over this past year. Give thanks for all that has been good. Offer to God all that has been difficult. And ask yourself these questions:
- Where do you see an increase of faith and hope and love in your life this year?
- Where do you see Jesus increasing and the old you growing smaller?
- Where are you aware of being more Christ-like: more contemplative, compassionate and courageous?
- Where do you think you have pointed clearly to Jesus, the Lamb of God.
- Where do you think you have pointed only to yourself?
By God’s grace, for most of us, there will be areas and moments of grace: where we really have become more full of faith and hope and love. For most of us, there will be areas and moments too where we have moved in the opposite direction: we have increased and Jesus has decreased in us.
Advent is the time to set that right following the pattern of the Baptist. We need to prepare our hearts again and see them cleansed and set right. Come to the waters. Seek God’s washing and cleansing and forgiveness. Lay aside the pride and the ego and the desire to be first. Embrace again the way of humility. Say with John: He must increase, and I must decrease. For this is the way of the disciple and the way of joy.
The Oxford English Dictionary have declared climate emergency to be the word of the year in 2019. According to the dictionary’s own data, usage of the term soared by over 10,000%.
I attempt to write at least one new hymn a year as the verse for my official Christmas card. This year I’ve revisited something I wrote in 2015. In that year, Pope Francis produced his great encyclical on the climate crisis, Laudato Si’: on care for our common home.
The encyclical certainly stands the test of time, but my earlier hymn lacked a sense of urgency and crisis which has become apparent this year in the campaigns around the world and in the escalating effects of climate change. I’ve tried to craft two new verses and reshaped the rest. The verses fit to the tune of the well-known hymn, The King of Love my shepherd is.
The Church is called to the worship of God the creator who loved this world so much he sends Jesus his Son to be part of creation and to redeem us. This must mean we are called to lead the world, not follow, in responding to the climate emergency.
Creator of our common home
And Maker of such wonder
You crafted stars and sky and stone
Dividing seas asunder
But now our waste despoils the Earth
Polluting all you gave us
The world heats up, the seas will rise
From fire and flood come save us
In Bethlehem you gave your Son
Creator in creation
Reason and love came to transform
God’s gift for our conversion
Forgive us our neglect and waste
Bring wisdom to the nations
Make us good stewards of the earth
For future generations
Creator of our common home
Redeemer of such mercy
Sustainer of all life on earth
To you always be glory.
Steven Croft, 2015 and 2019
After Laudato Si’
Suggested tune: The King of Love my Shepherd is
On publication of the annual Statistics for Mission, Bishop Steven reflects that there remains a huge appetite to learn and explore the Christian faith. The sheer number of courses run by churches is a sign of how much people want to explore the big questions about the meaning and purpose of life.
According to the British Social Attitudes Survey, 52% of people in Britain now declare they are of no religion. That proportion is growing. With every decade that goes by, people understand less and less about the Christian faith.
The hunger for purpose and meaning and love remains. Questions about life and faith are as deep as ever. Many people still pray, especially at great crises in their lives. But most people need more help to explore Christian faith in a way which welcomes you in and makes no assumptions about what you already know.
How are churches responding in love to a population which understands less and less about the Christian faith? It’s important to meet people where they are, without judgement. It’s important to offer loving service and friendship without qualification.
Churches are also learning (slowly) that it’s important to offer simple, accessible ways to explore what it means to be a Christian from the very beginning. More than a third of churches now offer some way of doing this every year. For me, it’s right at the top of the list of what you should be able to find in every local church.
Pilgrim was developed by bishops and teachers of the Church of England to support every local church in learning and teaching the faith year by year as a normal part of parish life. There are eight short courses of six weeks each: four for absolute beginners and four which build on this foundation. The courses explore the four simple texts which have always been wonderful ways into the Christian faith: the Lord’s Prayer, the Beatitudes, the Commandments and the Apostle’s Creed.
Every session begins with listening to God in the Scriptures. The whole Pilgrim course is also a guide to reading the Bible: the Old Testament and the New. The original booklets were launched in 2013 and more than a quarter of a million books have been sold. In 2017 the authors published The Pilgrim Way, a simple question and answer summary of Christian faith which is now at the centre of the faith section of the Church of England website.
For many people, it’s good to learn in a group. Others prefer one to one conversations with some daily readings in between. Earlier this year, we published the first two booklets to support this: Pilgrim Journeys on the Lord’s Prayer and the Beatitudes. The booklets were linked to the Church of England’s digital campaigns for Lent and Easter. More than 40,000 booklets were sold, and the same number of people again engaged through smart speakers, the app and daily emails.
There is a huge appetite to learn and explore. We may not be called to be a bigger church in this generation. But we are called to be a deeper church: helping beginners come to know Christ and be formed as Christian disciples for a life of faith and adventure.
At the very heart of Pilgrim is a desire to see the character of Christ formed and shaped in the life of every Christian so that we, in turn, can help reshape the world.
17 October 2019
- Steven Croft is the Bishop of Oxford and one of the four lead authors of Pilgrim (with Robert Atwell, Stephen Cottrell and Paula Gooder)
- It has long been +Steven’s conviction that the renewal and reform most needed in the life of the Church of England and the Church in the United Kingdom is the renewal of catechesis: laying the good foundations of faith in the lives of enquirers and new Christians. Read more.
We may be about to exit the European Union and begin a new relationship with our European neighbours and with the world. +Steven, +Alan, +Colin and Bishop-elect Olivia have written a joint letter to every church, school and chaplaincy in the Diocese of Oxford reminding us all of the important roles that our churches and schools hold at this time. The bishops are encouraging parishioners across the diocese to read the letter too: “Don’t underestimate what we can achieve if every church, chaplaincy and school does something and if every Christian disciple takes some action, however small”.
Love your neighbour as yourself: a Christian response to Brexit
“But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you… and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare” (Jeremiah 29.7)
We are writing as bishops to every church, school and chaplaincy in the Diocese of Oxford and to every disciple at this critical moment in our national life.
As a nation we may be about to exit the European Union and begin a new relationship with our European neighbours and with the world. At the time of writing, the course of events is uncertain – and the prolonged uncertainty is itself challenging. How are we to respond in the coming months as the Church of England across Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes?
Six hundred years before the birth of Christ, the prophet Jeremiah wrote to those sent into exile in Babylon. His words resonate powerfully today. We are to seek the welfare of our cities, towns and villages in these difficult months. The word translated welfare here is shalom: peace, well-being and prosperity. These must be our goal.
There are over a thousand churches, schools and chaplaincies in the Diocese of Oxford and over 50,000 regular worshippers. We are calling on everyone to remember the commandment to love our neighbours as ourselves, especially in the coming weeks. Together we can make a significant difference.
The Church of England and Brexit
Our nation is divided about our future relationship in Europe. Our calling as the Church in these times is not to take sides in this debate but to continue to be the Church for everyone. There are leavers and remainers in every congregation, but this can never be our primary identity as Christians.
We have a particular responsibility at this time to speak out for the poorest in our communities and to act to help them (as the church has always done). We have a responsibility to work for the peace and the common good. We are called to offer in public and in private a voice of truth and a voice for hope in the future. The Bishops of the Church of England made a public statement recently calling for listening, respect and renewal in political life.
As the Church we bring a long perspective on the present debates. We know from our own history that the United Kingdom has re-imagined its relationship with Europe many times in the past. The Church of England came into existence as part of one of these eras of change. In a few weeks, we will all remember again those who gave their lives in the great wars of the twentieth century which were focussed around conflict across Europe.
As the Church, our friendships with Europe and with the Church across Europe will continue and deepen whatever the political and economic settlement.
What can we do?
National and local government have done a great deal to plan for a smooth and orderly Brexit (with or without a deal). However, there is an important role at this time for practical expressions of love and hope by communities and individuals. The exact needs will vary from one parish or benefice to another. These are some of the things you may need to consider and think about as Church Councils, school governing bodies, small groups and families.
Twelve ways to love your neighbour as yourself, a Brexit checklist:
- Give extra support to the food banks in your area. There may be temporary shortages of some foods. Prices may rise. Foodbank usage may also rise. Signpost your local foodbank. Make sure stocks are high, and there are enough volunteers.
- Watch out for the lonely, the anxious and the vulnerable. Levels of fear are rising and may rise further. Knock on your neighbours doors and check if they are OK. Speak to people on the bus and at work. Build networks and friendships.
- Reach out to EU nationals in your neighbourhood and workplace. This is a moment for friendship and hospitality and love for the stranger. As we leave the European Union, or as the uncertainty continues, people are likely to feel less welcome.
- Make sure people have access to good advice on migration and travel, and qualified advice on debt and financial support. It may be possible to set up a temporary drop-in centre in Church for EU citizens or for UK citizens anxious about relatives abroad. Point people to relevant websites.
- Remember the needs of children and young people. Our schools and churches can be a place of balance and sanctuary for our children, who may be feeling upset and anxious. The Mental Health Foundation has excellent advice on talking to children about scary world news. Parents and teachers might want to use this as an opportunity to demonstrate how different media cover the same story.
- Support the statutory services. A lot of good, solid planning has been done by local authorities. Familiarise yourself with your local authority plans and point people to them. Meet with your local councillors and neighbourhood police officers.
- Think about the needs of particular groups in your area. Some parts of the diocese have large communities of migrant workers from a particular region. Other parts will want to focus on the farming industry and its need for seasonal workers. What are the local challenges where you live?
- Work together with other churches, faith communities and charities. There are some excellent examples of collaboration across the Diocese in foodbanks, debt counselling and night shelters. How else could we work in partnership?
- Invite the community together. Encouraging discussion about the rights and wrongs of Brexit is unlikely to be helpful. Gather people to listen to each other about what concerns them looking forward and how communities can be brought together despite acknowledged differences. Gatherings over a meal can be helpful as can skilled facilitation.
- Watch over other faith and minority ethnic communities. Hate crimes and crimes against other faiths increased after the 2016 referendum. Reconnect with the mosques, synagogues and gudwaras in your area.
- Encourage truthful and honest debate. The renewal of our politics will need to be local as well as national. Plan now to host hustings during the General Election campaign. Don’t be afraid of the political space but step into it with a message of faith, hope and love.
- Pray in public worship and private prayer for the healing of our political life, for wisdom for those who lead us, for reconciliation between communities and for stability in our government.
Don’t underestimate what we can achieve if every church, chaplaincy and school does something and if every Christian disciple takes some action, however small.
Don’t take on too much either: loving our neighbour through the Brexit process needs to be woven into everything we do anyway, not simply added into busy lives. Don’t be limited by this checklist – you might have even better ideas. If you do, spread them around.
There are more details and resources in a special section on the Diocesan website, where you can download “Twelve ways to love your neighbour” as a poster.
Together we are called to be a contemplative, compassionate and courageous church, to love our neighbours as ourselves in the months ahead and to pray and work for the wellbeing of our communities.
Olivia, Bishop of Reading elect
7 October 2019
Warm thanks to everyone who shared in my Berkshire Pilgrimage in some way. It was a very good six days.
Together we visited 38 churches and the chaplaincy of Reading University. I travelled 17 miles by boat on 1 September across Maidenhead and Windsor Deaneries. We walked around 50 miles from Monday to Thursday across the Deaneries of Bracknell, Sonning, Reading and Bradfield. On Sunday 8th, the team cycled 16 miles or so across the Newbury Deanery from Hungerford to Thatcham and completed the final couple of visits by car.
We prayed in every place for our government and parliament, for the communities and churches and for Olivia as she prepares for her consecration as Bishop of Reading. I took a picture of the font in every church, and we prayed for the renewal of all the ministry which flows into and out of the font:
- Our welcome to the youngest members of the community whose parents have just enough faith to bring them to baptism
- Our nurture and care for children and young people in parishes and schools
- Walking with adult enquirers as they come to faith as disciples of Jesus and come to baptism and confirmation
- The ongoing formation of every Christian as we live out our baptism every day of our lives and seek to be a more Christ-like Church for the sake of God’s world.
I was moved by the welcome and those who came to pray in every place. Sometimes there were a handful of people, often a group of 20 or more. I met hundreds of people across the week and heard some wonderful stories of hope and grace in the life of the local church as well as stories of difficulty. It was very good to spend time in our churches: these beautiful places of prayer and stillness often hallowed by hundreds of years of prayer.
The journey transformed my view of Berkshire. I normally travel across Berkshire in the car keeping to the motorway and the major roads. Often my journey is to the large, urban centres and back again. I was able to see the beauty of the county in new ways by boat and on foot and cycling and to build a clearer picture of ordinary church life.
It was so good to meet so many people: thanks to all who came and prayed and served tea (and cake!). Thanks especially to Captain Ainsley Swift for the boat ride, to the walk leaders each day and particular to Paul Cowan, my chaplain who organised the whole thing.
I ended the week with sore feet, aching legs, hardly able to sit down from the bike ride but with a very full and glad heart.
Thanks be to God.
I’m beginning my fourth year as Bishop of Oxford by walking and praying across Berkshire. Please do join me if you can, in spirit or in person. The pilgrimage sets off on Sunday 1st September in Old Windsor in and ends on Sunday 8th September in Thatcham.
I’m spending a day in each deanery praying in each of the 38 churches I visit with those who can gather and mostly walking between them (with a bit of travel by boat and by bike). I will be praying in every church we visit for the renewal of our life and ministry and especially for the renewal of the ministry of teaching the faith to new Christians. I will be praying for the renewal of the life of our nation in these turbulent times. I will be listening to God as I walk and to ordinary (but extraordinary) church life across the six deaneries of Berkshire. I will be praying as we prepare to welcome Olivia as Bishop of Reading in November.
This time last year, I made a similar pilgrimage across the city of Oxford and it was immensely helpful to me in getting to know the place and its people. The most memorable part of the week was the sense of welcome and hope.
Full details of the trip and a chance to say if you’ll be joining me for part of the walk are online here, and the schedule of deaneries is below:
Sunday 1 September – Maidenhead & Windsor
Monday 2 September – Bracknell
Tuesday 3 September – Sonning
Wednesday 4 September – Reading
6 & 7 September – rest days
Sunday 8 September – Newbury
An invitation to dwell in the Word
Paul writes in Colossians: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (3.16). One of the habits we are learning to share across the Diocese is dwelling in the word together: reflecting in all of our leadership gatherings and in many parishes and deaneries on the same biblical passages across a whole year. As we do this, we learn to listen to God and to one another for the kind of Church we are called to be: more contemplative, more compassionate and more courageous.
Two years ago, we took the beatitudes as our passage: Matthew 5.1-12. For the last year, we have been dwelling in two passages from Colossians: 1.15-20 and 3.12-17.
Our passage for this year will be Acts 20.17-38: Paul’s speech to the presbyters at Miletus. It is one of the key passages in Acts as Paul roots his ministry in the call to be like Christ and gives to the whole church timeless principles for Christian mission.
I’ve spoken twice on the passage recently: once as part of the series on Principles of Deep Water Fishing at our recent common vision conference and once as the basis of my charge to those being ordained deacon and priest. Principles of Deep Water Fishing is the fourth in our series of study guides and is available to order for delivery in early September.
The passage and the simple instructions for Dwelling in the Word are available to download and copy. Please do pick up this lifegiving practice in your churches if you haven’t already.
We continue this year our call to be a more Christ-like Church for the sake of God’s world. That will mean different things in different parishes, chaplaincies and schools. This term we have launched the Development Fund, and we are launching our new Parish Planning Tool on 14 September. We’ll be introducing the Fund and the Parish Planning Tool at each of the four Area Days, full details here.
A key part of the ordinary common life of our churches is to pray for Her Majesty the Queen, for our government and parliament. That call is honoured in many places, neglected in some.
May I ask that during the coming months, we all remember to pray daily and whenever the Church gathers for the life of our nation: for wise decisions and good government; for care for the poor and for the earth; for all those entrusted with the burdens of leadership; for fresh vision and the return of kindness to our politics. This regular intercession is a key part of our discipleship.
May God bless you and your family, your parish, chaplaincy, school and deanery in the coming months.
The ethical questions surrounding the use of AI and data are manifold and large. Sooner or later they all lead back to the question “what does it mean to be a fully human person in a flourishing society in the 21st Century…”
Fifteen years ago, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube didn’t exist. Today, 67% of people in the UK are active users of at least one of them, and we now spend almost two hours each day on social media. Yet society is increasingly fearful of the risks of fake news and harmful content and distrustful of the very platforms that consume so much of our time.
Our lives are irreversibly online, lived with ever decreasing levels of privacy and hyperstimulated to a relentless pace. Few of us have stopped to properly consider what it means to live well in this age, but as Christians, we have an essential part to play in the shape of online society.
This week the national Church launched a Digital Charter, which includes guidelines and a pledge that anyone can add their name to as part of a personal commitment to making social media a more positive place. I’ve signed up to the Charter, and I hope you will too.
As a Diocese, we’ve been spending time exploring what it means to be a more Christ-like Church for the sake of God’s world. It’s a journey that started three years ago as we studied the Beatitudes together. Recently I’ve begun to ponder what those eight beautiful qualities might mean for social media and our online lives.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
I will remember that my identity comes from being made and loved by God, not from my online profile.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted This world is full of grief and suffering.
I will tread softly and post with gentleness and compassion.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
I will not boast or brag online, nor will I pull others down.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
There are many wrongs to be righted. I will not be afraid to name them and look for justice in the world.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
I will not judge others but be generous online. I will be conscious of my own failings.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
I will be truthful and honest, and I will not pretend to be what I am not.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God
I will seek to reconcile those of different views with imagination and good humour.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
I will not add to the store of hate in the world, but I will try to be courageous in standing up for what is right and true.
Advances in technology have brought sharp ethical dilemmas and deeper questions of human identity. There are important debates to be had about the exploitation of our personal data, along with the threats (and benefits) of AI. These will take time and will require legislation, but we can also do something right now: let us each play our part in making social media kinder.
- Explore UK digital trends
- Sign the Digital Charter
- Thou shalt keep thy fad diet to thyself
- Five ways to stop feeling overwhelmed by the news
I was in Westminster on 26 June with over 16,000 people. Thousands more were with us in spirit. We were meeting and marching and lobbying because the time is now to arrest the emission of greenhouse gases which are causing such lasting damage to the Earth.
“When I consider the heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have ordained…”
From earliest times, people of faith have looked to the heavens and creation. The view of the night sky even seen with the naked eye evokes awe and wonder and a sense of God’s majesty. We are drawn to worship and also to the psalmist’s ancient question. Beneath the great canopy of the heavens and the vastness and beauty of the skies, what are human beings? Who are we, and where do we find our place?
Telescopes and space exploration and the sciences only add to that sense of mystery. We are in a vast universe. As far as we know, this is the only planet able to support the evolution of life in the form we know it here.
Christians see God’s hand in this as creator and see humanity as the pinnacle of creation, able to appreciate the glory and splendour of the galaxies. Christians and atheists alike acknowledge the slender balance by which life has been able to evolve on planet earth and the delicate forces which enable life to flourish over tens of millions of years.
But in the last century and a half, this balance has tipped. There is now a different answer to the question: “What are human beings?” We have entered the Anthropocene era. The world’s population and our technology is altering the delicate balance of life on Earth.
As we look to the other planets in the solar system and beyond it is terrible but not difficult to imagine what could happen to us. We are complicit in the creation of an environmental catastrophe which is already changing the climate. Greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. Global heating continues and is likely to accelerate as a variety of feedback loops are engaged. Life on Earth is about to change in apocalyptic ways during the remainder of this century if we continue to do next to nothing.
The Bible is rich in images of hell. One such image is that of the flood waters rising bringing chaos, which will be the reality for coastal towns and cities across the world. One is a place too hot to live. This week much of Europe is preparing for a heat wave and temperatures high enough to endanger life on a massive scale. Another is of a rubbish dump. As I write this, the Guardian reports the news that the UN Special Rapporteur says our world is increasingly at risk of “climate apartheid”, where the rich pay to escape heat and hunger caused by the escalating climate crisis while the rest of the world suffers. These are the futures we are bequeathing to our children.
I have been gripped over recent weeks by the BBC drama, Years and Years. I cannot say I enjoyed watching it. Russell Davies attempts to chart the future across the next decade. In the final episode, Muriel (played by Anne Reid) looks back across 10,000 days and declares to her whole family (and to us):
“It’s our fault. This is the world we built.”
What kind of world is each of us helping to build? That is the question today for politicians, for churches, for citizens, for discipleship. Setting the care for the earth again at the front and centre of our politics and our lives must be the priority if there is a fair and rich future for life on earth.
- View the photogallery of the Mass Lobby on the Diocese of Oxford Facebook page
- Listen to +Steven talking with BBC Radio Berkshire about the Lobby
- Watch +Steven speaking in the Lords on the day of the Lobby