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Christmas, Children and Climate Change

by Michael Ford last modified 08 Jan, 2020 11:56 AM

“Christmas is for the children” was the message from the Bishop of Salisbury’s Christmas Night sermon.

Christmas, Children and Climate Change

Original photo by Gill Ford

Preaching at Midnight Mass Salisbury Cathedral, The Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam said that while the “Christmas story is of God in a baby, of a child leading and of the lost innocence of the older and powerful being restored. Actually every baby lights up the room and grabs our attention.”

Read the text here 

He said that Christmas is “for real children in a really complex world in which everything is not perfect but in which there is always the hope of love that restores and renews us when things go wrong.”

Bishop Nicholas stressed that “the care of children is all our responsibility and one way to measure the health of society.

He said:

“In the UK 4 million children are growing up in poverty. Their mental health and unhappiness are growing problems. In caring for them we think we are doing good to them, but in truth our children and young people make us better and bigger hearted people, they are good for us.”

The Bishop also spoke about “the leadership being given by young people in relation to climate change.”

Referring to the young climate change activist Greta Thunberg and the school children who went on strike to highlight the climate emergency, Bishop Nicholas, who is the Church of England’s lead Bishop on the Environment, said:

“I am older and close enough to those arguments to find their lack of knowledge and realism frustrating but what passion and concern has raised the care of creation up the agenda for politicians and all of us.

“We simply can’t ignore the moral and spiritual claims our children and young people have on us.”

The Bishop also spoke about his visit last year to Bethlehem and of the Cathedral’s Nativity that depicts members of the cathedral community as figures in the Christmas story.

Ending his sermon, the Bishop said:

“Christmas is not only for the children. In a much more profound way it is of and by the Christ child, and by all children, that God’s redeeming love is come among us and draws love from us on this holy night.”

The full sermon text can be read here.

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