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Letter to Most Rev. Dr. Rowan Williams

Most Rev Dr Rowan Williams

Archbishop of Canterbury
Lambeth Palace
Lambeth Palace Rd.
London SE1 6JU
June 16, 2010

Dear Archbishop Williams

Those of us who are concerned about climate change (and especially Anglican Christians) very much appreciate the leadership you have given on the issue, ecumenically as well as within the Anglican communion. We quote you all the time!

We are working hard as Canadian Anglicans to get our church to take the issue seriously. So far three bishops, and one dean of divinity have signed our manifesto on climate change, with various others (not a large number). We were pleased to see a resolution on climate change (initially drafted by us) adopted at General Synod on June 9.

We have common concerns on many aspects of climate change: how to get dioceses and parishes active (beyond changing light bulbs and bringing their own coffee cups); and encouraging serious reflection and rethinking in theological and biblical studies. We suspect that the Church of England is no farther ahead of the Canadian church in reflecting these concerns in liturgies, parish activities and all the many things we do. (One of us recently spent three months in the U.K. and saw none of these concerns reflected in any parish church or cathedral.)

In both our countries upgrading courses for clergy and laypeople on the crisis are needed. Clergy no more than other professionals who teach and influence opinion have the necessary science background. All concerned churches need to address issues of investment in destructive industries.

We note that you have called a meeting for July on development issues, at which the appropriate Canadian Anglicans will be present (through PWRDF). We hope very much that this meeting will deal both with climate change as an issue in itself and the ongoing development work that these agencies do. Merely to support small projects to adapt to climate change would be wrong, without engaging in mitigation, through drastic reductions in our greenhouse gas emissions.

To make serious changes in our lifestyles is key, and difficult. We believe that people of faith can make a difference, but we have hardly begun. We see this as an obvious subject for collaboration across the Anglican communion. We commend you for taking on climate change as a matter of responsibility for God’s creation, and for contributing seriously to attempts to deal with it.

Yours in Christ
Phyllis Creighton, MA, adjunct faculty, Divinity, Trinity College, Toronto, honorary canon
Barbara Falby, BA (hons), specialist, English and Library Information Studies
Anthony Ketchum, MA, EdD, chair, Conservation Foundation of Greater Toronto
Diane Marshall, MEd, RMFT, director, Institute of Family Living, Toronto
Lynn McDonald, PhD, LLD (hon), university professor emerita, University of Guelph

Copies: Most Rev Fred Hiltz, Primate and Archbishop
PWRDF, Anglican Journal