CANON PETER LEONARD: Caring and protecting God’s creation

The cathedral is hosting a season of eco events
The cathedral is hosting a season of eco events
Haslar Gunboat Yard, Gosport. Picture: Historic England

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ADVENT Sunday – in three days’ time – marks the beginning of a new church year and we start to prepare to celebrate the coming of Christ into the world at Christmas.

It is a time of excitement and looking forward for many of us, and Portsmouth Cathedral is no exception.

This is partly because it is also the launch date for our new annual theme – the focus of our learning activities during 2017.

We are calling it All Things Bright and Beautiful and will be exploring God’s creation and our place in caring for and protecting it.

It seems appropriate that as we turn our faces towards celebrating God’s presence with us in the Christ child at Christmas so we also think about our place in God’s creation and role in caring for it.

We have a full programme of events including lectures, study groups, den building workshops, the creation of a willow dome chapel on the cathedral green, art exhibitions, guided walks, film shows and some special guests including Clive Anderson who is president of the Woodland Trust.

We will be working with schools, colleges, universities and will even have scientists in residence at the cathedral.

At our launch this Sunday, we are delighted to be joined by the Rt Rev Nicholas Holt, Bishop of Salisbury, the Church of England’s lead spokesperson on the environment.

He will preach and present us with our Bronze Eco-Church award.

A full programme of events will be available on our website soon, but here are some highlights to get into your diary now.

n Tuesday, November 29 at 7pm: Advent lecture with Dan Oakley, ranger from South Downs National Park and lead on the dark skies reserve.

n Tuesday December 6 at 7pm: Film show – An Inconvenient Truth, with discussion.

n Tuesday, December 13 at 7pm: Advent lecture by Jo Preston, The Reintroduction of Oysters to Langstone Harbour

n Wednesday, December 21 at 10am: Guided walk with Dr Sara Collins in Hundred Acre Woods finishing with coffee and mince pies.

n Wednesday, March 15 at 7pm: An evening with Clive Anderson – The Woodlands Trust.

Everyone is welcome to these events and further information can be found portsmouthcathedral.org.uk or from the cathedral office on (023) 9282 3300.

Canon Peter Leonard is from Portsmouth Cathedral