Blog written by Barrie Stephenson, one of our churchwardens.
My eyes fill with tears as Selina tells her story. This young cheerful Bangladeshi woman ekes out an existence in the delta that has become a swamp. She calls it home. Her plight is caused by climate change.
Selina is a character in the latest Riding Lights production, Baked Alaska. Part funded by the Diocese of Lichfield and promoted by Christian Aid and Operation Noah, it is touring the country to bring home our responsibility for people like Selina.
I've always considered myself someone who 'did my bit'. I cycle, re-cycle, use energy saving light bulbs, turn down the thermostat, but I have to admit that after this compelling performance I realise I am only scratching the surface.
As refugees beat down the doors of EU countries I know I live in one of the richest regions on Earth. Is it any wonder that those who have lost all hope flee in our direction when times get tough. It is only just that we offer them sanctuary. Wars and climate change will drive even more desperate people our way. I have to admit I have no long term solutions, but I can start by admitting that my lifestyle is partly to blame for what's happening now.
In the Anglican Church we confess our sins each time we meet. My mind usually considers where I've fallen short in all sorts of personal transgressions. But now I will add to my confession that I have forgotten that the Earth is the Lord's. It's not mine to exploit; to hoard it's wealth; to expose to the destructive forces of global warming. It's only ours to share with all human kind. I'm not sure where this leads but I know it starts with repentance - turning away from an unsustainable lifestyle for the sake of the many Selina's who will drown in the rising seas and the refugees who are knocking at my door.
There' still time to see Paul Burbridge and Jonathan Bidgood's excellent play, Baked Alaska, when it comes to Doncaster (5/11) Leeds (6/11)and Harrogate (14/11). Perhaps you could take the train.