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Viewpoint from Rev Jo Wood 25/11/2022 

JO WOODRev Jo Wood
Priest in Charge in the Ormesby Benefice serving the parishes of Ormesby St Margaret, Ormesby St Michael, and Rollesby.  Minister with Pastoral Responsibility for All Saints', Filby, and Ss Peter & Paul, Mautby

As I write, the COP27 climate conference, hosted this year by Egypt, is about half way through.  World leaders are discussing their commitments to reducing carbon emissions as well as to supporting those nations most impacted by the changing climate.  It’s good to see our new Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, there after all
dove leftIn the background of COP27 are various other priorities which are vying for our attention – and can’t be neglected because fuel and food poverty are real concerns.  However, the issues discussed at the COP conference are more important than ever.  Ultimately, if we don’t learn to live in a better relationship with the natural resources around us, the impact will only make these other concerns deepen the existing inequalities.  We want to live in a world where harvests are not disrupted by extreme weather, where no-one goes hungry, where homes are insulated so that everyone stays warm, where power is generated without destruction, where people enjoy one another’s company, and the beauty of the natural world around them.  Living in Norfolk and especially in our part of it means we have an additional appreciation for what is at stake
Christians are increasingly prioritising responding well to the climate and nature crises.  The Bible is full of reference to the relationship between God, people, and the land.  For a long time, we didn’t notice or give any attention to this part of scripture.  However, the environmental crises have opened our eyes to what was always there
As Christians, we are people of hope.  We do not give up, even when the news is disheartening.  We believe in a God of hope who can bring newness to even the most hopeless of situations.  The reality of these conferences like COP is that they tend to produce mixed results.  It is never enough, too slow, too late.  As people of hope though, this is not where we give up
I pray that we may see signs of hope emerging from the COP27 conference.  But whether or not this is what the news brings us, we do not give up

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