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Saturday, December 10, 2016
Sound of Many Waters launched at Clifton Cathedral
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¬†The year-long exploration of our need to care for our environment ≠ Sound of Many Waters ≠ was launched on Saturday night in Clifton Cathedral, Bristol. The Bishop of Clifton, Right Reverend Declan Lang, the Bishop for Environmental Justice in England and Wales, celebrated a special Mass. Australian Bishop Chris Toohey of Wilcannia-Forbes who is Chairman of the Australian Bishops' Commission for Justice and Service, which includes the groundbreaking Catholic Earthcare Australia gave the homily. Sound of Many Waters is an important series of events as the Catholic Church in this country explores ecology. There is over a year of innovative events in and around Clifton Cathedral. Sound of Many Waters is inspired by Mary Colwell who brought her unique presentation 'The Pope and the Iceberg' to Clifton Cathedral two years ago. Mary is Cathedral parishioner, BBC Natural History senior producer and ecological writer. Speaking at the launch, Mary Colwell said: "It's been quite a roller coaster ride through the two years since 'The Pope and the Iceberg'. Back then many people didn't see their faith as having a direct relevance to the problems the earth is facing. Now there is a much greater awareness throughout society and it is wonderful to see an expression of that in this year of events. We all have a long way to go, but the main message of the Catholic Church has always been, and will always be, hope. Not a sentimental or unrealistic hope but a hope grounded in the knowledge that if we approach this in a humble and spiritual way then we will see a way through. The human spirit is the most amazing thing, it constantly amazes, astounds and delights, and there is no reason at all why that will be any different in the coming years. An alliance of spiritual wisdom and the insights of science are a dynamic combination that will tell us what we need to do to found a new civilisation." In welcoming people to Sound of Many Waters Bishop Declan spoke about justice within the Scriptures as the restoration of right relationships. He said: "In many ways we have become disconnected, from the environment of which we are part. In the first place we need to regain a sense of wonder and appreciation about creation as gift of God. Unless we appreciate the earth, we will never properly care for it; or cherish it for future generations. We need is reconnect with our world to see it in a new way - to have eyes that see, ears that hear, a heart that loves and mind that understands." Bishop Toohey toured the UK in the build-up to the Sound of Waters launch, meeting many high profile leaders including Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the Archbishop of Westminster and Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh. He also has led a meeting in the House of Commons. Sound of Many Waters is supported by a range of organisations including WWF, Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC), the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, CAFOD and the Apostleship of the Sea. It has backing on the national and international scene. Messages of support have been received from the Bishops' Conferences of Australia, USA and Scotland. The Sound of Many Waters website - www.soundofmanywaters.org - contains details of the events taking place throughout the coming 12 months.
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