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Norwich Bishop calls out "huge assault on nature"

The Bishop of Norwich has called on Christians across the country to be a prophetic voice protesting against what he has called the Government’s “huge assault on nature and international environmental commitments”. Keith Morris reports.

Bishop Graham Usher is an ecologist and was appointed lead bishop on the environment for the Church of England by the Archbishop of Canterbury in June 2021.
 
Speaking to journalists, Bishop Graham was giving his thoughts on last week’s mini budget by new chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, and its effect on climate and nature responsibilities, including deregulation of investment zones, the ending of EU nature laws and habitat directives and the Environmental Land Management scheme post-Brexit which provided farmers with income from environmental initiatives.
 
“I’m deeply concerned by the way the Government wants to renege on its climate and nature responsibilities. Ripping up our commitments to internationally agreed directives that have begun to turn the tide of nature destruction, is totally irresponsible. They do this at our peril,” said Bishop Graham.
 
“I see this as a huge assault on nature and showing a real distain for our planet at a time of climate emergency and bio-diversity collapse and it is not the way I think we should be going as a nation. This leaves migratory birds, fish and whales in great danger.
 
“The government’s rhetoric of pitting nature and climate action change against investment and growth is not healthy and needs to be urgently challenged.”
 
Asked by Network Norfolk what was his biggest concern for Norfolk, Bishop Graham said: “That we would lose some of the precious habitats and eco-systems, the chalk rivers, the ancient woodlands, the rare swallowtail butterflies. That we would see less of this. I want to see more nature not less nature because that is good for human health and well being and it is good for the economy as well.”
 
Asked what he would want people and churches to do in response to his concerns, Bishop Graham said: “For me, as a Christian, this is about how we care for God’s creation. Christians are given a responsibility in the Scriptures to care for creation and when we see that not happening and a way of destruction it is important that we speak out.
 
“I would encourage people in our churches, who have a great care for the environment, to raise a prophetic voice of protest, to write to MPs and to sign petitions.
 
Pictured above is Bishop Graham Usher with his bees hives in Norwich.

 


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