human development, social justice and sustainable social systems
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Fifteen years ago a friend and I started a campaign on climate change for churches in the United Kingdom.  Britain had just experienced Make Poverty History, a campaign which had unleashed an amazing surge of global solidarity.  Now with Operation Noah Britain’s churches would ‘make climate change history’ – or so we hoped.

On launch day I got my press release ready, clicked ‘Send’, and waited for the calls to flood in.  The first response was not what I hoped.  It came from the Campaign for Dark Skies (I had never heard of them!).  They complained of our hypocrisy: how dare we claim moral leadership, when church floodlights throughout the land stopped the nation enjoying the stars!

I learnt an important lesson.  Unless we ‘put our own house in order’ as a Church, we have no right to lecture others.  Obvious, really.

In this article I’d like to share some of my own experience as an environmental campaigner, a Caritas leader, and drafter of a diocesan environmental policy – and invite you to join with me in exploring how the Church, and Caritas itself, should respond to Laudato Si’.

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author

Paul Bodenham

Programme Leader for Social Action
Diocese of Nottingham

faith and action