CCOW’s Environmental Calendar

A calendar of dates for prayer and action, with links and suggestions. Download it here.

Time to Wonder and Respond – Individuals

“How much time do we spend looking – really looking – at what’s in front of us? One day, the train I was on stopped for quite a while at a red signal. My window looked out on a tree – so near that you could see the ridges and  whorls of its bark and the insects that were crawling out onto a sunlit ridge or scurrying back into a crevice. It was mesmerising, and when we started again, I found myself reflecting on the variety and beauty revealed in that one tiny element of creation – something that was normally just a blur, one of thousands of trees we passed on our daily journey. 

If we take the time to look at any part of the world around us, we will find almost infinite treasures: the reflections on a drop of water, the vein patterns on a leaf, the blurred wings of a hovering insect. Pause to see things as they really are and the sense of how precious creation is will almost overwhelm you …” 

What an amazing gift the world is!  In response to God’s goodness in creation, you might want to:

  • spend at least five minutes each day really looking at something – the clouds in the sky, a leaf hanging outside your window, a pebble or conker in your hand, a landscape seen during a walk … appreciating it for what it is.
    Some people find it helpful to have a set time – some simply wait for inspiration when the time is right. Decide what will be most helpful to you – but make sure that you get into a habit of regular contemplation, however you do it.
  • as  you appreciate what you are seeing, offer praise and thanks to God the Creator for it. You might do so in words … or by just holding what you’ve seen before God in silence.
  • try then to sense what it tells you about the Creator. Praise God for what you sense of God from your contemplation.

You may sometimes find it helpful to ponder things outside your own surroundings. You might choose a single image or scene from a video – maybe from a PowerPoint or from one of the ‘Our Planet’ nature programmes.

Sometimes, as you contemplate, you may be led towards not only thanks and praise but also lament and anger – conscious of how fragile what you see is, how imperilled by environmental degradation and climate change, how it is already damaged by human carelessness or greed. You may find yourself lamenting what you don’t see – the insects that are missing from our countryside, the species lost in areas that have been deforested. You may find yourself angered by the lack of response … or at least of response that reflects the urgency of the situation.

Allow your heart to lament or rage – and bring it before God.

The Psalms are full of  sorrow, questioning and anger. Some people find it helpful to adopt in their prayers the pattern of lament Psalms:

  • naming God as creator and redeemer,
  • lamenting what is harmed and the reasons why the harm happens,
  • confessing where you are implicated in the harm,
  • asking God for change and restoration
  • and reaffirming your hope in the One who redeems all things in Christ

Sometimes, though, that may not feel possible or honest. Cry out to God in words, or, where you have no words, simply offer God your pain, and let the Spirit guide the prayer. Whatever you pray, if you are bringing your heart before God in faith, trust that the God who loves you and all created things hears your prayer.



Theology: Reflections on the Anthropocene

 Christians often say that our way of looking at the world should be not centred on humanity or on other creatures, but on God, with whom we and all creation are in relationship. Our current crisis shows what happens when those relationships are distorted. How can we reflect theologically on where we are – and where we might hope to go?

This list includes the books on creation/Creator, as most of them at some point reflect on the distorted relationships that mar our world; it also includes some with a specific focus on the practical, ethical and theological nature of our current situation.

Where should I begin?

If you want to explore the current situation and Christian responses generally, you might want to start with one of the books by David Bookless or the Hodsons, Ruth Valerio’s Saying Yes to Life or the CAFOD study guide to Laudato Si’.  Hannah Malcolm’s Words for a Dying World is an extraordinary compilation of short pieces which mingle reflection on the current situation from a variety of perspectives, lament, and courageous action. You might want to read them one at a time and reflect …

Why don’t you list …? 

This is a list in progress. If you have suggestions, email them to us at

Want more?

Hannah Malcolm has a brilliant reading list – and there’s another good reading list on A Rocha’s website.

A reading list

Richard Bauckham, Bible and Ecology: Rediscovering the Community of Creation (DLT, 2010)  What does the Bible say about humanity’s relationship to God and the rest of the created order? A beautifully written exploration that calls us to rediscover our place as created beings and our specific role in creation’s praise of God.

Professor R J (Sam) Berry. “The Biblical Basis for Creation Care” (JRI Briefing Paper 8) A concise, 4 page summary of the Christian responsibility to care for creation which also includes a useful summary of different creation theologies.

Dave Bookless, Planetwise: Dare to Care for God’s World (IVP, 2008) What does it mean to look at creation in the light of the whole Bible story – from creation to new creation? And how does that change the way we care for the earth? Designed to be used for individual reflection or small group study, with questions at the end of chapters. Accessibly written and engaging. There’s also a good video introducing the concepts behind A Rocha and Planetwise here: If you like this book, you might also try Bookless’ God Doesn’t Do Waste (IVP, 2010).

Dave Bookless, “The Earthly Jesus and the Cosmic Christ” (The Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics, Working Paper No 1, 2016)  What does Christ’s lordship mean for the whole of the created order? An important contribution to a New Testament ecological theology. Free to download here.

Paula Clifford, Angels with Trumpets: The Church in a Time of Global Warming (Darton, Longman and Todd, 2009) One of the first books to look at the climate crisis in terms of issues around climate justice and the pastoral needs the climate crisis would create.

Celia Deane-Drummond, A Primer in Ecotheology: Theology for a Fragile Earth (Cascade, 2017) An introduction to different forms of ecotheology, with a section on the Catholic teaching embodied in Laudato Si’. You might also want to look at the author’s  Eco-Theology (DLT, 2008) an academic text which goes into greater detail.

Vigen Guroian, Inheriting Paradise: Meditation on Gardening (Eerdmans, 1999) and The Fragrance of God (Eerdmans, 2006). A  leading Orthodox theologian offers a mixture of personal and theological reflection, helping us to reflect about ourselves, creation and the Creator.

Peter Harris, Under the Bright Wings (Regent College Publishing, 1993, repr 2000) and Kingfisher’s Fire: A Story of Hope for God’s Earth (Monarch, 2008). Two books by the co-founder of A Rocha, Peter Harris, exploring its roots and its growth – with a focus on conservation and care for the earth. Audio excerpts from Under the Bright Wings:

Martin and Margot Hodson, eds. Environment and Hope, Anvil 29.1 (2013) – A collection of short essays by  theologians, scientists and activists responding to the question – how do we define an authentic Christian hope in the Anthropocene age?   Available free online:

Martin and Margot Hodson, Cherishing the Earth (Monarch, 2008) and A Christian Guide to Environmental Issues (BRF, 2016, rev ed coming in April 2021). Two excellent introductory works, both of which have associated study materials for small group study.

Timothy Howles, Responding Faithfully to the Environmental Crisis: Christianity at the Time of the Anthropocene (Grove Books, 2019) – A belief that we can control the world through our technology has led us into crisis. What do Christians have to offer as a response to help us get out of it?

James Jones, Jesus and the Earth (SPCK, 2003) – What does Jesus say about creation? The former Bishop of Liverpool looks at the question, reflecting on the way in which the Gospels, as well as the Hebrew Scriptures, offer insights into the way Christians should look at the earth and their role in caring for it. Short and accessible, useful for group study.

Hannah Malcolm, ed, Words for a Dying World: Stories of Grief and Courage from the Global Church (SCM Press, 2020)  A collection of theological reflections on climate grief, and the response to it, from Christians in many different countries around the world. Accessible, moving, thought-provoking.

Hannah Malcolm, “Grieving the Earth as Prayer: A wounded speech that heals” The Ecumenical Review 72:4 (December 2020), pp. 581-595.

Alastair McIntosh, Hell and High Water: Climate Change, Hope and the Human Condition (Birlinn, 2008)

Alastair McIntosh, Riders on the Storm: The Climate Crisis and the Survival of Being (Birlinn, 2020)

Jurgen Moltmann, God in Creation (Fortress, 1993)  One of the leading systematic theologians of the 20th century explores the relationship between the Trinity and creation.  What does creation mean to God? How are the different persons of the Trinity involved? What is the relationship between creation and God’s Kingdom? Not one for beginners – but highly influential.

Michael Northcott, The Environment and Christian Ethics (CUP, 2008)  A comprehensive survey of Christian thinking on environmental ethics, which explores the views of God, humanity, and the created order that  underlie different ethical frameworks. Weighty, but readable – and wonderful for provoking thought.

Michael Northcott, A Political Theology of Climate Change (Eerdmans, 2013)

David Osborne, Love for the Future: A Journey (Wild Goose Publications, 2013). A beautifully written, lyrical account of a walk from Shropshire to Iona, contemplating the landscape and being led from that to contemplation of our relationship with God, the planet, and each other.

Pope Francis, Laudato Si’: The encyclical itself weaves a Franciscan sense of the ways in which creation reflects God’s love with analysis of economic, social and environmental injustices to produce an ‘integral ecology’. CAFOD’s study guide (available for download online) is an accessible way of engaging with a complex work.

Sir Ghillean Prance, Go to the Ant: Reflections on biodiversity and the Bible (Wild Goose Publications, 2008)  Sir Ghillean was Scientific Director of the Eden Project,  Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. His engaging and accessible book links references to creation in the Bible with stories drawn from his many decades exploring creation in different parts of the earth.

Ruth Valerio, Saying Yes to Life (SPCK, 2019) – Archbishop’s Lent Book for 2020. Uses the story of creation found in Genesis 1 as a starting point to explore the theology and practice of creation care. The aspects of creation – earth, water, etc –  are explored: how does each one appear in Scripture? What is happening to each in our modern world?  And how can we respond to the crises creation faces? Helpful blend of theological reflection, case studies, and suggestions for practical action.

Rowan Williams – Christ the Heart of Creation  (Bloomsbury Continuum, 2018) How do we “think about the relation between God and what God has made”? A survey of thinking around the relationship between Christology and the doctrine of creation. Complex, deep and worth wrestling to understand.

Why I would miss the humble bumble bee

A lovely piece by the Revd Jennifer Brown, Director of Training for the College of Preachers; Tutor at Ripon College, Cuddesdon; Associate Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics; and editor of Animalwatch, the journal of the Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals.

Why I would miss the humble bumble bee – 1


This piece is one of a series entitled ‘What I want to protect….’ in which people write about the things they want to protect from environmental degradation and climate change. We hope that these essays will be useful. Please feel free to share them with your friends, colleagues and congregations; we simply ask that you quote accurately and attribute them fully. 

For the Love of … 2021

Each February the Climate Coalition holds the #ShowTheLove campaign

The campaign invites people to think of the things they love and want to protect from the worst impacts of climate change – and then to write to politicians, asking them for policies that will create a greener, fairer society.

For Prayer

If you want to pray for the campaign, Green Christian has produced some beautiful #ShowTheLove prayers. You can see them here – why not use one in your church on February 14th?

CCOW also has a ‘For the Love of Creation’ PowerPoint which you could use.  Click on the picture to open the PowerPoint.


For Action

The Climate Coalition has numerous resources to help you take action – including a lovely downloadable card you can send your MP. Click here to access all resources.