Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What Ash Wednesday is Really About

Ash Wednesday is all about environmentalism, of course:

Rt Hon Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury; Rt Rev Richard Chartres, Bishop of London; Most Rev Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales; Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh and leaders of the Methodist, Baptist and URC churches are among those signing Operation Noah's Ash Wednesday Declaration.

A short public service of prayer and dedication to launch the Declaration will be held at St Mary-Le-Bow, Cheapside, London today (Wednesday 22 February at 5pm), and at numerous churches around the country.

"Traditionally, Christians commit themselves to repentance and renewed faith in Jesus Christ on Ash Wednesday," said David Atkinson, Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Southwark. "We must live out that faith in relation to our damaging consumer economy, over-dependence on fossil fuels and the devastation we, as a species, are inflicting on God's world. We believe that responsible care for God's creation is foundational to the Gospel and central to the Church's mission."

Leave it to Southwark to contort Christian practice to push a pet cause. But I am disappointed that even the Bishop of London is going along with this.

Do not get me wrong. I place a high priority on conservation and the environment and put my money (and my land) where my mouth is in that regard.

But I do not think that is what Ash Wednesday is about. Sorry.

Hat tip to Anglican Samizdat.


David Atkinson said...

Thank you for your publicity! However, your heading is extraordinary. No one I know thinks that Ash Wednesday is really about environmentalism. I think you made that bit up. Operation Noah's Declaration in response to climate change, talks about repentance, justice, neighbour love and a renewed hope in God. I reckon they are good themes for the start of Lent. And why the dig at Southwark? Operation Noah is an independent charity, nothing to do with Southwark Diocese. It just happens that I retired to live there.
David Atkinson

Mark said...

You're welcome. ;)