February 2019

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First Thoughts : Canon Ann

As I think most people know by now, both churches in our Benefice — the Church of the Good Shepherd and St Mary de Haura — are working towards achieving "Eco Church" status. This has already generated lots of activity here, from bug hotels to bicycle racks! And we are all set to continue with a “Plastic-Less” Lent, which Revd Jane writes about in the February edition of ShoreLine.

The Book of Genesis reminds us of the amazing gift God has given us in creation; the heavens and the earth, light and darkness. And within that, the creation of flora and fauna, and humankind. And we read in the very first chapter of Genesis that God gave dominion to humankind over all living creatures. In other words, we have the duty of stewardship, of care for this wonderful world.

Interestingly and perhaps surprisingly, it was Margaret Thatcher who, early in her premiership, argued that when it came to the planet we are but tenants with a full repairing lease and with a duty to hand it on to future generations in as good a condition as we found it. The same point is made by the African proverb: “We have borrowed the present from our children.”

We are indeed tenants, not landlords, with responsibilities that go hand in hand with the gifts God has given us. And looking around us, especially from this wonderfully-positioned church on the beach, we see we have so much to be thankful for.

Let me end with a few words from Mother Basilea Schlink, a 20th century German religious leader and writer. She, I think, captures the essence of the gift of creation.

Nature in all its diversity gives us a glimpse into the heart of God the Father which is nothing but love.Trust in his love, and you will never be disappointed.

Words that should sustain us through February and into Spring which is just round the corner!

With love and prayer,

Canon Ann


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