Royal Wootton Bassett

   A Christian presence at the heart of the community for over 750 years.

“We seek to grow through prayer and share Christ’s love through engagement with all”


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Dear Friends,

                                Lenten call urges care for the planet

The campaign as a whole is based on Archbishop Welby’s Lent book, Saying Yes to Life, by Dr Ruth Valerio (SPCK, 2020). An environmentalist, theologian and social activist, now working for the charity Tearfund, Dr Valerio writes: “Responding to the poverty and environmental crises of our times goes right to the heart of what it means to be a Christian in today’s world, following God who calls us to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with him.”

The Church of England definitely seems to be trying to act on this. Last week it was announced that the Church of England Pensions Board will partially no longer invest in some oil companies, unless they set carbon-emissions targets that are in line with the Paris agreement on climate change. In a season traditionally associated with giving things up, the Archbishops’ challenge to us is to consider giving something up that will help the environment. “If many of us do little things, they can add up to make a big difference. Even if they are marginal, they remind us of the importance of good stewardship.”

So why not pick up a booklet? Or join the Bible Study Group on Wednesday evenings in the Croft, providing a forum in which to reflect on God’s plea for us to care for creation? Or listen to what our preachers during Lent have to say about the weekly themes in the 10am sermon-slot?

You may recall that our church community here at St Bart’s has very much taken this theme to our hearts. Caring for God’s earth has for several months now been one of our four themes or focuses for activity. And as you’ll read later, we have already started working for our Bronze Eco Church award, assessing and planning how we can do our bit for God’s earth.

So this Lent, let’s #LiveLent and Care for God’s Creation!

God is love, let heaven adore him;

God is love, let earth rejoice;

let creation sing before him

and exalt him with one voice.

God who laid the earth’s foundation,

God who spread the heavens above,

God who breathes through all creation:

God is love, eternal love.    

                                                                   (Timothy Rees, 1874-1939)

Canon Jane Curtis

If you’ve not had a chance to do so already, please pop into church and pick up a copy of the #LiveLent – Care for God’s Creation booklet. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York are this Lent urging us to change our lives to ‘rebuild our relationship’ with the earth. Hence their Lent campaign, #LiveLent, and the booklets, comprising 40 daily reflections, actions and prayers on the environment and climate change. So for example, week two’s theme is water. And on the Wednesday participants are urged: “Can you take part in a clean-up of a local waterway – pond, canal, river or beach? Or encourage your church to organise one?”

In the introduction to the booklet the Archbishops describe Lent as “an opportunity for us to rebuild our relationship with our planet, and in turn with the God who is Lord of everything. And during this time we hope you might engage in prayer, learn more about the remarkable world we have been given, and build habits that last beyond the season to protect and honour the earth.”

Please click to go to the Church of England’s Lent Resources site