Light's Out for England's Churches?


I’d like to bring up a challenging topic for discussion with you all. What responsibility do churches have to encourage their parishioners to be responsible stewards of the Earth? If all animals and ecosystems are part of God’s magnificent creation, isn’t it imperative that Christians (to name just one faith as the predominant example) step forward to take care of the environment?

The Church of England is setting forth some ecologically-sound guidelines in a newly published book “Don’t Stop at the Lights.” This book proposes that parishioners not only replace their light bulbs, but that churches themselves turn off outdoor floodlights illuminating England’s grand churches in order to cut carbon emissions. The book suggests that parishioners can get together and sponsor illumination for special events.

“Don’t Stop at the Lights” contains other information and resources for environmental stewardship, like setting up swap-shops to avoid throwing away unwanted Christmas decorations, and using Lent as a time to go within and consider what more each person can do for the environment.

I admire the effort put forth by the Church of England, but considering that this is the destruction of God’s creation we’re talking about, wouldn’t a more spiritually radical stance be more appropriate? I have to say it…what would Jesus do?

Image: Kelly McCarthy