14 July 2016
The Bishop of Lincoln has recently returned from Fiji, where he was the representative of the Church of England at a recent international consultation involving members of the Anglican Communion.
Hosted by Us (USPG), a total of 19 Anglican provinces were represented and welcomed by the Most Revd Dr Winston Halapua, Bishop of Polynesia and Primate and Archbishop of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand & Polynesia. The Archbishop had specifically invited delegates to the Diocese of Polynesia because some 676 villages in Fiji are currently at risk of flooding due to a rise in sea levels. During the course of the consultation, delegates learned a great deal about the far-reaching and wide-ranging impact of climate change, and it is hoped that the Church will further help to raise awareness of this issue.
Bishop Christopher shared a letter of greeting from the Archbishop of Canterbury with delegates and members of the congregation at a special service held in Holy Trinity Cathedral (Suva, Fiji), and speaking towards the end of the consultation, he said: "It's taught me the connection between man, God and the environment. These are things that I knew with my head, but now I understand them more with my heart because of being in this context and meeting people from this part of the world. [I'm] understanding for the first time the real implications of climate change upon real people's lives.
"I'm clear that it's something we have to address creatively and imaginatively. We've got to bend our backs to do something to meet our challenges. And I hope that people across the world within the Anglican Communion and the Diocese of Lincoln can work hard to plan and work to try to play our part in reducing global warming."
In addition to the subject of climate change, other mission priorities were shared and discussed by delegates, including the significant and global issue of safeguarding. Representatives of the Diocese of Polynesia offered a presentation on a zero-tolerance policy towards violence in homes, schools, communities and the church, and delegates affirmed their commitment to working to stand firm with the vulnerable and the marginalised.
A series of short films featuring representatives from around the Anglican Communion have been published on the diocesan YouTube page. These films feature:
The diocesan YouTube page may be found here
Further information is also available via the Us website, which may be found here
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