1 Jul 2018 • From Mark, our Rural Dean
“In July the sun is hot. Is it shining? No it’s not!”
We have lots of sayings about the weather in the UK. Some are borne out of our experience – such a “rain before 7, fine before 11” – as the rain clouds tend to be blown through quite quickly where we live. But there is a distinction between the weather we experience and the climate that is changing over the long term.
Figures from lots of different sources and different organisations have shown that we have an earlier spring, a shorter winter and longer summer and autumn that previous generations. Flowers are blooming, in general, earlier than a century ago – see The Daily Telegraph of 26th January 2016.
Although this last winter (2017/18) was notable for the cold snaps and snow, it seems to be unusual in the last decade.
In the book of Genesis, looking at the stories of creation, we see that humankind is given a responsibility to look after the world. We have to work at it, but the reward will be that we can live off the land and not be threatened by famine. Now those stories were written down in specific social and cultural context, but still have lessons for us today. We live in a mostly agricultural county, our times of year are defined by the type of tractor on the road, the change in colour of a field of wheat, the blooming of oil seed rape. We are still very much in touch with nature, in ways that some of our urban friends have lost.
God calls us to work in harmony with the seasons, with the earth, that all may have fullness of life. And that is a real challenge for us. As we reshape Britain in these post-EU days, we have the chance to make a more just society, one in which food is produced sustainably, harmoniously with nature, that shares the bounty and rewards those who work the land.
Let us pray and work for such a just place we can all call home.