Audlem Saint James The Great Church

Helen's Letter

Dear Friends,

A favourite story from when my children wre at primary school was "Miles and the Weather Bureau". Miles, a mischievous boy, finds an old bureau in a junk pile and discovers that each drawer has a different sort of weather in it - so he can make it snow, or rain, or bring out the sunshine, just by opening a drawer. His friends are delighted and a sk him for the weather they want - rain for the farmer, sunshine and no rain for a family picnic, snow for playing with - etc. It all starts well .... until he discovers that controlling the weather is not straightforward - some of his friends need opposite types of weather - who will he disappoint?

Of course, this is just a children's story but over this summer I was reminded of it. The sunshine has been great for school sports days, family bar-b-q s and other outdoor events, and yet disastrous for the farming community, therefore our food supplies, but also dangerous for many peoples health and wellbeing.

What influences the weather? People pray for the weather - for rain where there is drought, but does this imply we think that God controls the weather? I struggle with the idea God sends tornadoes, floods or scorching heat - although the Bible tells the story of Noah and the flood. However, talking to God about the things we're worried about - be that our health or the weather or concerns for family members or friends - well to me that is a different matter.

As human beings we do not control the weather, but scientists have been saying that our behaviour influences the weather. It is hard to believe that any of us can be having such a disastrous effect on the well being of the planet - but perhaps this summer is a reminder that somehow, we are responsible, in some way, for the planet. And our waste and miss-use of resources affects all of us - this is not just someone else's problem or some else's fault.

I wonder what I could be doing differently?