Minister's letter

A message


from Revd. Malcolm Strange

(Rector of the Fromeside Benefice)




The opening words of ‘William Henry Drapers’ great hymn of praise for creation reminds us that the created order includes everyone, every living creature on the face of the planet and in the depths of the seas. Our faith teaches us that we as human beings are ‘Stewards of Creation’, in partnership with the God of unconditional love, whose hands crafted through the amazingly evolutionary process, the wonders of the world which is our ‘Island Home’.


On the 1st November COP 26 (The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference) takes place in Glasgow, which this year takes on even greater significance than ever, as we are reminded that the impacts of ‘Global Warming’ and our inadvertent undermining of the creative process, threatens the very existence of our planet for future generations. Science constantly reminds us that the time to act is now and that the clock is ticking towards a point in time, that any future intervention by us might just be too late.



As a benefice we are holding a special service at St Michael’s Winterbourne on Sunday 31st October, the eve of the conference, in which we will be praying for the leaders of our world; that they will lay aside selfish, materialistic and nationalistic desire and embrace a spirit of human unity and togetherness, to resourcefully and sacrificially address the crisis we face.


The other week when I preached about addressing the evils of poverty, I talked about ‘The Five Goods’ that we as Christians needed to live out in our lives to help address that challenge. I mentioned then how these ‘Goods’ also applied to other situations and challenges which we face. Dealing with climate change and the future of creation is clearly one such area of concern where relationship, partnership, creativity, compassion and joy (the five goods) have a significant role to play.




It is vital that ‘World Leaders’ and we embrace these goods, that we acknowledge that all of the created order, every living thing is in an intricate relationship, dependent on each other for survival. For example, no bees, no crops, no food, starvation! It was Einstein who said that humanity would survive for no more than 4 years if the world lost the wonder of the bee! The COP summit gives us all a chance to work in partnership together, the strong supporting the weak as we strive to address the threat of Global Warming. We have proved through the ‘Covid Pandemic’ with the swift development of vaccines how creative humans can be. We need to strive now to encourage this creativity as we seek to find alternative and economic ways of sustaining human life, with less dependence on the destructive effects of carbon fuels and their deadly omissions. For those of us who have become wealthy on the exploitation of the world's resources, it is time for us to show real and meaningful compassion to those who have not. Finally, let us find together a true joy, whatever our faith or creed, to celebrate and cherish that what God has given us in his creation: a true gem of great worth, that is a precious gift to us all:

“Dear mother earth who day by day unfoldest blessings on our way, O praise him alleluia!”



If you share a real concern for the future of our planet and humanity, then please do come and join us at our service on the 31st October; for this is a critical moment for the human race and all creation, this is a true time for reflection and prayer.



God Bless

Fr Malcolm