Reflection from our parishioner, Bella Harding.

Thank you to Bella for sending us her latest thoughts during lockdown.
"Dear all, I just wanted to update you, as the pandemic slowly comes under control, our churches open, and life is slightly freer.
The good news of the lockdown is that various arguments are now clearly won: it is clear that human activity has a huge effect on the climate, with emissions being profoundly reduced, and that it is possible for great changes to be made that were thought impossible before the virus. Many people do not want to return to life as it was before (93%), oil has tumbled in price, investors and risk managers are really interested in the green economy, for business sake as well as the environment, and even the government is promising funds for green jobs. Our own Marvin Rees has pledged to make Bristol a clean air city by 2022, an advance of three years, and Chris Packham is making his case in court tomorrow that HS2 should not proceed at the expense of ancient and irreplaceable woodland.
The Pope has given Fr Agusto leadership in response to the climate crisis and the pandemic, and in another zoom meeting he told people about the 7 year plan which is called Jubilee. Jubilee in the Old Testament was the seventh year when land was allowed to rest, slaves were freed, and every jubilee of jubilees, ie 50 years, the land was restored to its original owner.
So this jubilee is a seven year programme, which is being devised as we speak, and will provide catechesis from the Pope in the current three months to August on strategy, and then September to November when action plans will be devised in time for the UN General assembly.
Its aim is  to embrace how we ‘prepare the future’, NOT prepare FOR the future, another of Pope Francis’ reflections, with the realism that only the Gospel can bring, to regenerate society, not just the economy. This is all so that we truly implement the insights of Laudato Si, in the ever more urgent situation we find ourselves in. There was also a zoom virtual lobby of parliament by the Climate Coalition, which was addressed by Chris Packham and Caroline Lucas among many others, particularly young activists. It lobbied 156 MPs who were mostly receptive to the ideas of a green recovery. There is still a long hard battle to be won if these gains are to emerge in actual change but this is a moment of real opportunity.
The season of Creation is nearly upon us. There are going to be many resources available through the Global Catholic Climate Movement and others, so that we can focus on Jubilee and harvest, from September 1st to October 4th. I would love to share ideas on how we can celebrate this year, in all the strange restrictions currently in place. We can start preparing now. I invite you to lobby your MP, to show how much you care about what the Government does about the fossil fuel industry, aviation, home insulation, green energy, fossil fuel free public transport and many other issues.
We can also take the opportunity to see how we can cut our own emissions by 10% per year. Obvious ways are by cutting the amount of meat we eat, eating food produced locally, cutting the amount of 'stuff' we buy especially clothing, changing our methods of transport, going for 'slow holidays' rather than flying, cutting our waste by not buying packaging in the first place, reducing food waste, etc etc. It is hugely encouraging that since we have been living more simply, these changes are not only possible, but also provide a much happier stress free life in many ways. We can use all the money we have saved during lockdown to give for those most needy who have borne the economic cost of lockdown.  It is a win win situation!
With all good wishes, and looking forward to when we can meet face to face, Bella"
Apart, yet together.   #ChurchAtHome

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